Creating the Perfect Man- Bad Boy Syndrome

We’ve covered a lot of topics as we’ve designed the “perfect” romance novel leading man.

I’ve been fascinated by your responses and by your ideas of what’s appealing. Your comments will certainly help me when I’m working on character development!

So, for this last installment, I’d like to address something we haven’t touched on yet–vices.

Every girl has her moment of attraction to the bad boy, right? Something about the whole unlovable, dangerous, carefree personality draws us into believing that we can redeem him somehow. I’d venture to say that some of you have even lived this out in real life.

But are there any qualities, vices, or “sins” that you consider unforgivable? Is it possible for a character to do something that would cause you to see him as unredeemable? 

I once had a reader tell me that one of my characters didn’t show enough remorse for his “bad boy” ways to be redeemed. She was obviously turned off by his philandering, and I can understand that– it’s her preference.

But besides BIG no-nos, are there little vices that gross you out, or turn you off in such a way that our hero becomes not-so-heroic?

And why are motorcycles an automatic bad boy cliche?

Share with me: What vices could turn you off of a leading man and flush the romance, plot and all, straight down the tubes? Are there any sins that you would consider “unforgivable” for a leading man to commit?


Filed under Writing

4 responses to “Creating the Perfect Man- Bad Boy Syndrome

  1. jamilajamison

    I think my biggest turn-off is cruelty, or harming others for the sake of pleasure. I like bad boys who are a little arrogant and cocky, but the last thing I want to see is my hero stepping all over people without a care, or worse yet, going out of his way to hurt people. That's the kind of thing that will need to be resolved by the end of the book.

  2. I agree with Jamila. A bad boy who has no respect for others and intentionally hurts people is someone I'm not going to like.

  3. I'm definitely with you on this. Cruelty for the sake of being mean is just, well, mean.

  4. A mustache…oh, I guess that’s not the sort of thing you’re talking about here. 🙂

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