Thursday, 25 August 2011

Writer's Corner - YA Guys: The Good, The Bad and the Gorgeous


I think it’s about time we addressed mine and probably most YA reader’s favourite topic: The YA love interest. You would know him anywhere. He’s the often gorgeous bad boy with a mysterious past that every girl wants but only our MC can have. Or he’s the sensitive, often artistic soul, who is too tortured for everyone but our MC to understand. Or he’s the nice guy with the great sense of humour who our MC isn’t really that interested in until almost the end of the book when she finally see he or what he truly is. You’re getting my drift here aren’t you?
        The YA love interest is elusive. What works for one reader doesn’t necessarily work for another. Which is why the YA love triangle is so prevalent. Writers are smart cookies. They know they will maintain readership better if they have two love interests that readers could possible like.
        Where do you guys swing on the YA love interest personality meter? Are there any other common personalities you can think of? I am a sucker for the bad boy. I prefer Dimitri to Adrian, Gale to Peeta…etc

*Side note: Have maybe answered why I can’t seem to cross the best friend line easily. The best friend tends to always been the “nice” guy trying to win the MC over from said bad boy. Never works well for me.

26 comments:

  1. Hmm I don't think there is one type that works best for me, I think any type could work as long as it is a realistic romance ... and avoid the cliches!! I've been wondering why every YA male interest *has* to be drop dead gorgeous with rippling abs lately -- where'd all the "normal" boys go? And I find the obsessive/stalker type unattractive, but maybe that's because I'm the kind of person who likes a little bit of space in a relationship.

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  2. I like all kinds but inevitably I ALWAYS like the "other" guy. If the MC doesn't like him enough...I do.

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  3. I definitely like the bad boys, but every once in awhile the sensitive type is nice like Sam from the shiver books.

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  4. Jinny: I read another post the other day where someone was complaining about why all the 17 year olds in books always have six packs!

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  5. Jenny: I have had a sudden underdog shift as well. Maybe writers should concentrate on the plot more than the characters love lives!

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  6. This is such a fun post! Mmmm... For me it just depends. I love Patch from Hush, Hush. As for Rose and Dimitri or Adrian - that's tough. I would probably pick Adrian for myself. As for her, I guess Dimitri is what she really wants, but I find Adrian more appealing somehow. I really like the bad boys, but I like there to be a sensitive side as well. I don't like anyone who would boss me around. I hate that, just ask my husband!!! :D Ash vs Puck - I liked Puck in a lot of ways more than Ash, but that's thinking for myself.

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  7. Ash: It all depends on what the alternatives are! Sorry about the horrible multiple responses guys. I'm at work and can only use my iPhone.

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  8. Yeah, I guess it does. What kind of alternatives are there though? Bad boys, sensitive type. My brain is not working.

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  9. Liza: Book boys really have to have everything don't they? I find that YA bad boys mostly tend to have a sensitive side as well that they always keep hidden behind a snappy comment. It's so funny how similar they are when you compare them like this!

    Ash: My brain isn't working either! Never mind. It's almost the weekend.

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  10. Yeah for you...I still have two days..well one day..

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  11. Ash: Hang in there!! I'm exhausted from this week. And haven't been able to finish Firelight. Fell asleep again!

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  12. I'm so ready for the weekend so I can be off. Work is very exhausting. That doesn't say much for the book if you fall asleep. Maybe put it down and try another book for awhile. I think there's one book I can't for the life of me finish. I mean I've tried reading it for quite some time.

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  13. I tend to prefer the hero that I believe will make the heroine happiest. If a couple is perpetually fighting or causing each other misery (*cough* Shay & Calla *cough*) then I want to bang their heads together, not wish them well.

    Derek in The Darkest Powers trilogy by Kelley Armstrong is another excellent bad boy to add to your list...and he's not drop-dead gorgeous, which was a fun change.

    If you've got two love interests, I really do think they should be more or less equal (although definitely different) - otherwise, it feels like wasted plot space.

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  14. BJ: I'm just about to start The Darkest Powers trilogy because it reminds me a little of my own novel so I have to do some research. I think the hardest bit about writing two love interests is to make then equal without making them similar. Hard.

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  15. haha...so true! You're bringing up a lot of important stuff. Especially about the "nice" best friend. Unfortunately, the bad boys always win...in books and in real life.

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  16. Why can't the two best friends, main character and main man be bad a mysterious together? Oh I got the Liebster Blog award thing yesterday, and I am passing it to you! :)

    Beth ^_^
    http://sweetbooksnstuff.blogspot.com/

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  17. I think as long as he has an actual personality, as in his own thought processes, no mater what type of man you create he'll be an interesting character to read.

    I don't know your MC so I can't suggest who would be perfect for her.
    Right now I am reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Shadow seems really cool. Hes like Vin Diesel-ish. Big, Strong, Badass, but hes also really nice and kind. Although I wouldnt say I like the Bad-boy, I definitely like guys who are tough :)...mmm.

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  18. Isn't Adrian more of a bad boy than Dimitri? (Only read up to Shadow Kiss).

    Adrian from VA is a love interest I like. I like guys with a wry, sarcastic sense of humour. But I've fallen for bad boys, sensitive types and funny guys in literature - it all depends on how well they're written.

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  19. I'm always falling for the bad boys in the books and on TV (Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl and Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars). Ironically, not so much in real life. Maybe it's because I'm practical in real life, but when it's a fantasy I like to imagine the opposite.

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  20. I really love the nice boy love interests (e.g. Eldric from "Chime," Finn from "Stay," Joe from "The Sky Is Everywhere")--I just think the MC deserves a boy who'll be open about his feelings and there for her instead of off brooding. Every once in a while, I'll fall for those boys who are mysterious but secretly have a heart of gold. But as soon as a love interest gets too brooding or too much of a jerk, I get turned off.

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  21. Sherre: The bad boys only win if we let them win! We mus resist!

    Beth: I completely agree with you. although i don't know about the logistics of that arrangement :)

    Alana: Maybe I should have worded it the way you did. I like the tough ones over the bad boys too.

    TG: See Alana's explanation. I think I meant tough. And I condier Adrian to be more spoilt and bored than bad boy. Christian was more bad boy than Adrian.

    Jessica: I'm the same. Bad boys is books are great but in real life would really irritate me.Unless they're Chuck Bass...

    Karen: I know where you're coming from. Overly broody guys should just get over it. I had a bit of an issue with Dimitri for the whole fifth book of VA, but then again, overly sensitive guys tend to be a bit useless against monsters. We need a balance!

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  22. I used to LOVE YA bad boys! I was completely obsessed with good-girl, bad-boy stories, especially if the guy reforms because of the girl haha. But after reading so many YA books with "brooding, dark and mysterious" hotties, I'm starting to get a little bored of the repetition :/

    You're right, love triangles do maintain readership! But I always end up feeling extremely sorry for the poor abandoned guy, who is usually the nice and sweet BFF :(

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  23. I love reading about the bad boys but I can never write a story about a bad guy winning the girl! Every time I try, he always comes out as the sweet, good guy.

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  24. I married the epitome of a "bad boy" so that pretty much answers the question of what kind of YA love interest i prefer! The funny thing is though that although i choose 'wild, slightly dangerous bad boys' i fiction every time, I wouldnt be able to keep up with them and their shenanigans at all. Im boring, wimpy and stuck in the mud like that.

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  25. Hey! I agree Game of Thrones is pretty awesome, Arya is my second or third favorite. My favorite is most likely Tyrion.

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  26. I'm totally the same way! Even if the other love interest could be a total sweetheart, I always swoon towards the tortured bad boy with a good soul underneath. Maybe it's because I'd rather have the really funny guy as a best friend than a boyfriend.

    Some people don't really like love triangles, but I actually adore them! You're definitely right when you say it gives the reader two options -- even if one obviously has more chance than the other -- and it gives us something to root for. But the ones I love best are those that make it really hard to choose. Now that's where it gets difficult... in a really good way! ;)

    So to sum it up for me:

    Bad boy = end guy
    Nice guy = best friend who doesn't stand a chance

    I really don't think I've read many books where that's not the case, but I could be wrong! Some don't even follow the bad boy/nice guy pattern. Sometimes it's just nice guy/nice guy or two totally in between guys. :P

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