Tweet of the Day: Behind the Marshmallow
February brings another Romance trope: All Girls Want Bad Boys. The title explains says all there is to it. But this our focus is writing, and the weak part of this trope tends to be the “Boys” part, to wit, most of the time the so called Bad Boy is presented as part of a romantic triangle as the stand-in for Lust with little or no depth of character except that he is “the Bad Boy your mother warned you about.”
What makes the Bad Boy, well, bad?
Is he a Rebel Without a Cause (or Clue)?
Does he have a Freudian Excuse (worth its salt)?
Or is he merely a meth addicted psychopath on his way to his first dead hooker?
Or for that matter, can he be or should even be redeemed? After all, this is perhaps the strongest reason why the trope is still around. Bad Boys are Broken Boys after all. They only need a good woman to look deep into their souls in exchange for a good night of sex and eternal faithfulness. Or so the saying goes. An easily reformed shallow BB destroys credibility as any other shallow character who changes just because the author made it so.
Think about that the next time one of these shows up in your manuscript.