Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Writing about Jerks (And Also My Relationship with Facebook)

- a post by Jeanna Mason Stay
Ask 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.

Also, incidentally, I realized how much this article reminds me of my relationship with Facebook.


  1. That was a really interesting article. I think another reason women are attracted to bad boys is this need for a challenge and the sense of power a woman feels when she can get this tough guy wrapped around her little finger- well, at least that's the dream. As the article states, it only happens periodically and then he's off and running agin. But it's that gambling addiction, that thought that maybe one day you'll finally be the one to conquer his heart... :-)

    1. Agreed, and it's quite a dangerous idea to want to be the bad boy's savior. It rarely works.

  2. All I can think of as I read this is this: (Studio C, of course)

    1. Ha! That was great. I ended up also watching the Voldemort on a blind date one -- similar idea.



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