Not too long ago I wrote a story about a bad guy. He was abusive and ‘stalkerific’, a complete and total douche. I have a lot of experience to go on with past relationships, one in particular. This one relationship made all my bad guys outwardly charming and inwardly a ball of seething tar waiting to devour its next victim. But something magical happened, after tons of court battles, phone calls that ended in me asking him not to text or call anymore, and years of therapy, I stopped having a bad guy in my stories. Oh, the occasional douche will pop up but they don’t stay around for too long. If anything, they are two-dimensional characters who only served the purpose of pushing the hero and heroine closer together faster.
I had slowly, over a long time, came to see that my bad guy wasn’t anything more than a bully, and a short badly dressed one at that. I don’t have to put him in my stories with different names and faces. I don’t have to let my hero defeat him or wait for my own, real life, hero to do away with him. I relegated him to the status of a badly dressed trope that I can use or not use. He wasn’t even the bad guys I used to use anymore. Those guys dress better and have better hair. I needed to learn to put my bad guy away, in the past where he belonged, and it opened up my writing.
I don’t need that tool to push my characters together. I don’t need him to make my hero look or seem better. My heroes were pretty kick ass all on their own. I don’t need a bad guy to make me, or my writing, better.
So, you might see a bad guy pop up in a Jisa Dean novel every now and then, but he won’t be my bad guy. He won’t be the badly dressed, abusive person who it took me years to defeat. Because my bad guys are my own. My writing is my own. And I am my own. No bad guy needed.
** Written after a bad text session with the bully boy who doesn’t bother me like he once did. I didn’t allow him to stop me from writing; in fact, I wrote another 1000 words after his text and have plans to exceed my goal for tomorrow. In hopes that somewhere out there it will help a woman find the power to put her bad guy behind her and burn brighter than ever before.