|Ask morguefile.com for a picture of |
a "jerk," and this is what you get. Ha!
I couldn't resist.
A couple years back, I started working on a manuscript that involved a bad boy relationship in which the girl just couldn’t see what a jerk he was until she saw someone else in a similar relationship (the story was actually way more complex than that and involved parallel universes and an awesome scene with fruit-chopping ninja performers, but you get the basic idea).
As I was trying to write a relationship where this otherwise healthy girl was going out with this toxically awful boy, I realized I wasn’t equipped for it. I’d never been in a bad boy relationship. I never was one to date much, and I definitely tended toward the nerdy, nice types. Sure, I’d had my share of dumb crushes on boys who did dumb stuff, but I couldn’t imagine getting seriously involved with a real jerk without realizing, hey, this guy is a jerk.
I have a close friend who lived for a long time in a quite emotionally abusive relationship. Eventually, when she got herself out of it, she told me about some of the things that happened, and I thought to myself, “How do you not recognize that this behavior is terrible and manipulative?” It wasn’t that I was blaming her; it was just that I truly didn’t get it.
I ended up giving up on that manuscript until I did a little research. (Also because November ended, and it had been my NaNoWriMo project.) Anyway, fast forward to this past week when a friend of mine shared this article on Facebook. It talks about the chemicals behind bad boy relationships and why they’re so addicting. While I eventually had learned a lot of this, the article really laid it out nicely and concisely. I’m definitely going to be using it when/if I return to that manuscript again.
The upshot: Are you writing a bad boy? Do you need to get a grasp on what’s really going on internally? Read this article; you might find it useful.