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Monday, April 8, 2013

Bad Boys, Bad Boys (ConCarolinas 2012 Notes)

Hi everyone! Look who's going for record of Longest Notes Delay? *innocent whistle*

Eh, I've said my piece. To say the least, I've been busy. Here, let's look at the less-than-golden boys of fiction, and what makes them tick.

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Bad Boys, Bad Boys
James R. Tuck, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Jim S. Bernheimer, William Hatfield, Dahlia Rose Moderator: Misty Massey

Spike, Mal Reynolds, Han Solo, Repairman Jack, Jack Sparrow, Jareth the goblin king, the man with no name – we like bad boys. But what constitutes a bad boy?
JT: The guy willing to do what it takes regardless of the consequences.
FH: And women like him.
JT: The roughness tended with a good heart.
FH: Even with Spike, there’s something good that’s under that evil exterior. The guy who gets the job done, whatever the job may be. Not ready to settle down.
KP: Can be bad guy, villain, love interest...
JB: A scoundrel, a rogue, stays true to himself, doesn’t spin on a dime – The journey from bad boy to something other than bad boy is not overnight, and has setbacks, if you’re going to redeem him.
WH: Has a too good to be true boy who’s going evil over the course of his series
KP: The bad boy doesn’t necessarily need to be redeemed. E.g. Jack Reacher.
DR: The heroine has to feel she can fix/redeem him. She has to feel part of the solution, not the problem.
KP: The bad boy doesn’t have to have a love interest. But often they’ve had someone they’ve lost or who was killed to push them into the bad boy role.

What’s the difference between a bad boy and a villain?
DR: The bad boy is the guy with a conscience. The villain will do it and say "F it, I’m done". Even if the villain has a love interest, he’s still just looking out for himself.
WH: The bad guys are going for personal gain and that’s it. The bad boy has a conscience but he’s able to successfully bury it most of the time, but every so often Pandora’s box opens.
JB: John Cusak – Grosse Point Blank – he’s an assassin,and no one believes him until he’s actually caught doing it. Minnie Driver saw him as somewhat fixable.  Dan Ackroyd is just after a paycheck.
KP: The bad boy is sexy. Doesn’t mean he’ll get the girl, but he can attract her.
MM: Han Solo – attitude mixed with sexiness.
FH: Fun to write bad boys who cross the line sometimes into villain and back again. Also, bad boys who are led to test the limits of their success.
JT: The difference is cruelty for cruelty’s sake (villain). The bad boy has a nobility streak, however rough. Even if he’s the meanest person in the book there’s still something deep inside. Evil is a matter of intent.

Aud: The bad boy still has his own code of honour, reason for doing something bad
KP: Even villains still must have a code, however messed up it is.

Is there a difference between the bad boy and the antihero?
MM: Antihero is  more damaged, has a lot more to lose or has already lost what there is to lose. Mal and Han still have somewhere to go; Batman has lost everything.
JB: The antihero doesn’t see himself as a villain or antihero. He's doing things for their own reasons and he believes those reasons to be just.

Can a villain backslide to antihero, and backslide to bad boy? E.g. Farscape – sounds like a  bad writing decision. It has to be logical to the reader. Characters have to progress in a logical fashion.
FH: Still have to make the characters behave.
JT: That’s a cycle of redemption. Must have a catalyst for that, a character to help them redeem themselves.

Bad boys vs. Bad girls?
DR: Writes strong women who can match a bad boy. (pass)
WH: Has not written a bad boy. (pass)
JB: (pass)
KP: We have strong women, we have bad women, we have heroines, but not really many bad girls.
MM: It’s a cultural issue. Bad boys = more violence; Bad girls = more sex.

Audience question: How many tormented male characters have been built on the backs of broken women? (eg. Murdered wife, etc)
Bad boys – recklessness, wild; military men have generally chosen their path, not necessarily reckless wild etc.
Military – badass, but not bad boys. Very family-oriented. Usually working towards going home to their families. They want to see their children and save their family. They get home and the curtain falls away and they become family men.

Who is your favorite bad boy?
JT: Mal Reynolds. Nathan Fillion is charming.
FH: Jack Reacher.
MM: Clint Eastwood – The man with no name.
KP: Jareth the Goblin King.
JB: CT Westcott – Will T. Bucko
WH: The road warrior. But Vlad Totosh.
DR: Eric in TrueBlood

Comics: Uncorruptable and Irredeemable – Mark Wade
Watchmen – all of them are bad boys or villains (except for Night Owl)
Lilith St. Crow – Jill Kismet (bad girl)

Women can be badass, too, not just a dude with breasts.

For all of us who are writers – we need more kickass women, we need to change the culture, change the paradigm.

What is the bad boy trope?
Sexy, attitude, reckless, with nobility/their own code.
JB: These days, we could have a bad boy metrosexual.