The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Bad Boy Character
I think it’s safe to say that most girls want to read a book about a sweet boy who will sweep a girl off her feet and they live happily ever after. Some might even prefer a rags to riches unrealistic story with a fairytale ending. Both of these sound like cute stories, right?
While the high school jock falling in love with the nerd is a popular storyline, there are plenty of readers, like myself, who want a bad boy. But bad boys are not one size fits all. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors. It’s the bad boys that get the blood pumping and the juices flowing.
When you read a book about a bad boy who was tamed by that girl—you know, the one girl with the magic vagina that ruins him for all women—you start to root for them as a couple, especially if the characters are well developed. You secretly (or maybe not so secretly) cheer for the couple in hopes that the disturbed motorcycle gang leader or the Mafia hit man will end up having a heart of gold. Maybe they can even get matching tattoos and guns.
The DO’s of creating a bad boy character
Just because your bad boy is a cartel gunrunner who snorts blow off the bathroom sink or a famous athlete who offers his goods to the world, doesn’t mean he has to be unlikable. If you can root for men like Michael Corleone or Tony Soprano, then they are proof you can still fall for a bad boy.
The Ideal Bad Boy
* Physical appearance: tall, good-looking, nice skin, hair, and teeth. Bonus points if he has an angular jaw, perfect nose, abs you can bounce quarters off, defined pelvic muscles (the V shape on ab covers you want to lick), and rock hard body parts… I mean muscles. It’s not a necessity but give him a few tattoos and you add more sex appeal for some women.
o Side Note: You won’t find any men with tattoos in the Philly Corruption Series because tattoos are too easily identifiable in a lineup and not a great idea when you’re a member of an organized crime family. Unlike other crime syndicates, the Italian Mafia does not have a specific tattoo or symbol. However, some members get tattoos after they have served time in prison to show that they honor the system and their loyalty lies with the family.
* Attitude: He has to have swagger for days and the game to back it up. You can’t just say he’s hot and has game. You need to show it. Show, don’t tell! Give me some dirty talk and lines you haven’t heard a thousand times. Oh, and he must be desirable by other women. Because why else would he be such a badass catch if girls didn’t go weak in the knees in appreciation of this perfect specimen?
* Throw in money and you’ve hit the trifecta. Girls dig rich dudes because who wouldn’t want to be pampered like a princess? I think most women would rather read about a man who wines and dines them and not about the reality of adding water to your milk to make it last another day or how Applebee’s is a treat in real life.
Besides, you want a man that takes care of you, not one who scratches himself on the couch for an hour and asks you to make him a sandwich. That is not sexy. It’s more like a nightmare, which is why a lot of women have to get their bad boy fix in novels.
But, there’s more to a character than looks, charm, and the size of his package. Oops, I mean wallet. He has to have a big…heart.
The reason Luca Marchese resonated with so many women who read Corrupt Me is because he’s not what he seems at first glance. I wanted him to appear to be your stereotypical bad boy character, but Luca is a major mama’s boy. He loves his Ma, and so do his twin older brothers who you will see in the next two novels in the series. Yep, there are twin hotties who look like Luca in the series. Because of Ma, Luca knows how to treat women, even if he doesn’t show it until after he has rekindled his relationship with Isabella Rinaldi, his childhood sweetheart. These boys will melt your panties…and your hearts.
Based on the current romance books on the market featuring strong leads, it’s a fair assessment to say that most of the bad boys either play a sport, ride a motorcycle, or belong to the Mafia or some criminal gang or organization. Crime is hot and so are athletes. Sex with any of these guys is just HOT! There’s something exciting about hooking up with someone you would never meet in real life. You can meet Bob the IT man any day of the week, but you’re not likely to run into Jax Teller or Tony Montana in the food store. But wouldn’t that be nice?
The DON’Ts of Creating a Bad Boy
It’s nice when you get everything I mentioned above in a book boyfriend, but he needs to be likable. You can forget that he smuggles drugs or makes you say hello to his little friend when he has some redeemable qualities. And maybe you’re like Kay Corleone and actually believe he’ll legitimize his business for the right girl, but if he falls into any of these categories, you’re heading down the wrong path.
The Unlikable Bad Boy
* He’s physically and mentally abusive toward the female lead. This is something I would never tolerate in a novel and would stop reading just to write a scathing review.
* The man is too controlling and demanding. This worked for some women in Fifty Shades of Grey, so I guess it depends how you look at each scenario, but I wasn’t a fan of Christian’s demands, and I know there are plenty who agree with me. No one is going to tell me when and what to eat.
* He’s a stalker. If you’re dating Dexter Morgan, my favorite serial killer, then you might want to call the police and lock your doors—unless he also works for the police department. I recently read a novel from a popular romance author about a guy who stalked the girl he ends up with and made sure she ended up with him. I was so creeped out I had to stop reading. There’s nothing sexy about stalkers. I like my limbs attached, thank you very much.
Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope everyone enjoyed this guest post.
Corrupt Me is one sale now from these retailers:
- Amazon (universal link) myBook.to/CorruptMe
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About the Author
If you like Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, then you’ve found the right author.
Jillian Quinn was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently lives in sunny Cape Coral, Florida where she still pretends it’s okay to drink hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with a good book, even when it’s ninety degrees outside. From an early age, writing and storytelling have been her passion.
When she’s not busy creating fictional worlds and living inside the minds of her characters, Jillian is reading and blogging. But you can bet she’s doing it while watching either basketball or hockey.