How to Make Your Bad Boys Good Characters

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As much as I’d love to say “throw them all out and have some more rounded characters”, I have to admit that bad boys have an appeal with readers that we just can’t ignore. Some people like mystery! And most bad boys, at the very least, pretend to be mysterious. They’re tough and broody, which…



I think we all have that one character that can be considered a “ bad boy “. Definitely useful :+1:t2:


Bump ¿ :no_mouth:


It’s okay for certain things, Not everyone has extroverted bubbly personalities and that’s not a bad thing. But the examples they give are horrid.

  • Stop the constant smoking, Stop promoting smoking like its cool or it’ll make you appear more desirable because I cringe every time I see one smoke.

  • I get it their typically Highschool boys, BUT THEY DONT HAVE TO BE H*RNY RABBITS AND SLEEP WITH THE ENTIRE SCHOOL- Before meeting you and suddenly your the magical Mc that will change his ways. :woman_facepalming:t4:

  • Them having a bad past or trauma doesn’t give them the excuse to be a jerk, Nor abusive.

  • Stop the Mc from being a mindless puppet and following everything he does despite him consistently abusing her

Ways to combat this:

  • If you want them to have a smoking addiction, That’s fine! But don’t promote it like it’s a good thing. Perhaps the MC Could be a healthy outlet, If their growing a relationship and the MC hates smoking maybe the “bad boy” could switch from cigarettes to lollipops to showcase how close he’s taken the MC seriously and cares for her/him. Or you could even have them relapse, That’s realistic addictions aren’t cured in a few chapters I understand it’s fiction but at-least try to add some realism.

  • If they have trauma have them get therapy, Or healthy outlets like working out, Meditating, or Yoga.

  • If the bad boy is flat out abusive it’s a no no regardless of what they can do. He shouldn’t hit nor disrespect the MC.

  • Give the MC some backbone! Couples aren’t perfect of course and it’s okay for them to have arguments but forcing the MC to agree with the bad boy in the end or have the bad boy go out and cheat is an excuse to build more unnecessary drama, Have them sit down and talk like mature people.

  • Give the MC an interesting past, I notice in typical bad boy stories the MC is a nerdy quiet type with no friends, Why can’t she have an exciting life outside of the bad boy? She could even be the bad girl and the LI could help motivate her. :blush:

In conclusion the usual bad boy tropes are damaging and it isn’t “hot” it’s weird. It’s okay for the characters to have issues but it isn’t okay when you use it as an excuse for everything they do. :relieved:



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Bad boys are not really my cup of tea. Actually, I don’t enjoy stories with badboys, especially when they are not written well. But I have bumped into several stories, where the author actually shows that the badbiy is not just a badboy. He is a person. He has weaknesses, fears, he has feelings. And his weaknesses are not just a girl! They are other things! And these little things make the badboys way more realistic, and help flesh out the character. It doesn’t matter if they are badboys, have bad grades and smoke, they have a life too. Riding a motorcycle and banging girls is not all they do! They are humans, not bad boys. Many authors don’t realize that, and it shows. Their badboy characters are just the mc’s pawns, and they don’t have a personality. Most of them are really unoriginal and not well written. I don’t recommend having a badboy in your story as the LI, but if you really want to, Shani’s blog post explains really nicely how to flesh them out, to make them characters and not just bad boys.