Here’s an interesting question for you: what bad stuff do you think a hero can get away with doing?
The crit group and I were discussing this as I have an ms with a bad boy in it, a bad boy who has left all the bad stuff behind physically but not mentally. Now I’m talking about his teens here, where he went off the rails and got into some trouble. He pulled himself out of it and is now a successful businessman (aren’t they all?) but he still feels guilty about this stuff – especially as the heroine persists in thinking he’s a great guy but doesn’t know about some of the things he did (no this is not the whole of the conflict by the way, it’s just a layer).
What I wanted to know was what’s acceptable in terms of ‘bad stuff’? Obviously violence towards women and kids is a huge no no. So what else? It has to be something that he would feel very bad about but not serious enough to warrant being arrested and going to jail for years and years. And clearly needs to leave him still feeling awful as an adult. The crit group gave me some great ideas but what I’d like to know is what is your particular line in the sand? Is it drugs? Violence (unfemale related)? Alcohol related crimes? Robbery?
Or is it all in the execution?