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Fringe Fiction General Chat > Smolder McBadassery

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
We've all read his legend. Some of us have told his story.

He is often a stranger with a piercing gaze and mysterious past. His backstory is as hard and edgy as his chiseled abs. He is tall, dark and snarky. He is as intense an enemy as he is a lover. Courtship begins with stalking and ends in roiling ecstacy. He goes by many names - like Colt Prescott or Dante Morte - but we all know him as...

...Smolder McBadassery.

How many stories have we read with a guy matching this description? I'm not knocking him because he's a great character with the right bells and whistles! A byronic hero with sharp dialogue is a dynamic, entrancing protagonist/love interest.

So Fringe Folks - why is this character compelling and/or popular?

No bashing please. Constructive criticism is cool but Smolder commands our attention and demands our respect because - frankly - his presence in books is the only reason some women bother reading.

Props Smolder - you make singlehood suck less by being fantasy fodder.


message 2: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) This archtype is my personal favorite. It gives me the biggest thrill to read, or see (movie/tv) a smoldering badass. I'm always on the look out for this type.

I guess it goes back to the bad boy concept. A character you just know needs to be saved but he get drawn into his mystery instead. It's hard for me to put into words. Sure, there's badass, byronic, etc, but that doesn't seem to do it justice. And sometimes fits this type perfectly without being byronic.

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

A man with a backbone is such a turn-on. If he's mysterious in an interesting way, that just adds to the turn on. It's just.... so freaking cool.

Mickey Royrke played this type really well, and in a way, still does, despite the mess his face has become. Marv in Sin City, what a fantastic character. The ugliest son of bitch with a massive heart of pure gold. Yet still smoldering and still a badass.

This type is both frustrating and thrilling, and I find myself simply going along with the ride.


message 3: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Omg - I love SinCity because every guy was like that, all stupid and noble over a dame. And then they're putting Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the sequel? PfhD! That's a fantasy factory opening up in August.


message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) I can't wait to see the sequel! :D


message 5: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
That movie is a horrible case of "take my money, damnit". I love the brutal poetry in Sin City.

I'm relatively certain Smolder has brothers called Skulker and Swoony since not all these McBadasserys are brooders but lurkers and shaming what guys do cause they're written usually by women.

Going with that "women write them so this must be what women want" angle, I agree that confidence and charm are so great for flipping pages. In real life, I'd want a guy less dramatic/tortured and more stable but for a story characters need to generate action and provoke reactions. Like a difference between an attractive idea and a real life hot-mess.

Yes, the McBadasserys. You are the presidents of Urban Fantasy and princes of Paranormal Romance.


message 6: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Excelent point. There's a variety of personalties. Which reminds me, you'll love the main character in my thriller. He's all of the above. Hey, allowed to do a shameless plug once in a blue moon.

Anyway, for me, characters like Indiana Jones (before the franchise was ruined) and Humphrey Bogart are great inspiration. Characters in Sin City take the gold.

But as far as I'm concerned, the grand first place will always go to Steve McQueen - the ultimate smoldering badass.


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Roberts | 616 comments At risk out being kicked off the island, I loved the Edward Cullen character (minus the sparkles of course). It all goes back to strength, and that irrational, unwavering devotion that few possess.


message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Plug away! I'm calling my variation of this "the Dark Stranger" so it's like I'm not even trying to hide it lolz...ah, thank god it's the type of book that lets me get away with being so on the nose.

Your character should be right at home in a thriller. Anything gritty needs a man with grit :D

I wonder if people write such characters because they make a conscious decision, like the story demands or they know it sells? If they just unconsciously love the archetype and it manifests in?

It's probably a combination and doesn't matter since the point is that this character type resonates and more readers like him than hate him. I know readers will gripe about anything that isn't straight out of the box original (and even then...) but most people appreciate an old trick done well.

Like I was browsing books and came across an assortment of Twilight clones, which reviewers acknowledged either as a statement of fact or expression of disdain. My reactions was "what's so wrong with that" since there's only so many ways a paranormal romance in high school can set up or play out.

Think of a chocolate chip bag cookie recipe - inspired? No. Reliable? Yes. Satisfying? Generally so long as you don't overdo it or get negligent.

I feel the McBadassarys are always popping up in these "generic" books and might be the reason they achieve any notoriety or success. Edward was - to me - an intriguing character, which pulled me into the first Twilight book. If he wasn't all sparkly I wouldn't have kept up with the series to see what other charm it had so - yeah - these characters, for all their cliches, are the saving grace of some novels.


message 9: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Sarah wrote: "At risk out being kicked off the island, I loved the Edward Cullen character (minus the sparkles of course). It all goes back to strength, and that irrational, unwavering devotion that few possess."

Go stand in the corner.

Kidding. Having read the books myself, I do see the appeal and in my opinion I think it started as a great idea. But the character's dialogue made me cringe at times, at least for me and wonder why the hell Bella didn't just call the police.

Courtney, in all honesty, I had nothing in mind when the character came out of nowhere and started writing himself. All I knew was in order to finish this story, somebody is going to have to kick some serious ass. I'm just lucky the character agreed.


message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara Thompson (sdpogue) I think that the first Twilight book had so much potential but it comes down to an author who couldn't maintain her character growth for all characters. I loved Bella in the last book but I found that I pretty much hated Edward by then. And I hated them both in the movies. It's sad because I think the rush to put them out hurt the books in the long run.

I like the bad boy but I want him to not get whiny as the story progresses (which is what I felt happened to Edward). It's one thing for him to develop conflicting feelings. I just watched all of Dexter and that's a perfect example. His creation of a family and his understanding of the importance of the people in his life was a great arc. He struggled with balancing the two halves of his life but he didn't whine. He never allowed himself to be the victim. He struggled and he fought.
Some authors lose that strength when the going gets tough.


message 11: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Which is why Edward isn't a Smolder McDadassery. Could have been I suppose, but I guess the author just decided to not write him that way.


message 12: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Vohn Guilty as charged for falling into the lover-of- McBadassery category. I blame it on Beauty and the Beast, on Heathcliff and Brando and Mr. Rochester.

I think the appeal is McBadassey's need to be "saved" from himself. There's something very intoxicating in the notion of being someone's portal to redemption or inspiring them to be a better man.

Also, pain makes us real, and McBadassey has usually written the book on pain. I think women who are drawn to sensitivity but aren't attracted to the sugary-sweet pop song of the church altarboy or the nice next-door neighbor find the sensitivity that comes with the dark, tortured badass having gone through intense emotional pain an enticing characteristic.


message 13: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Well, that sums up everything. I couldn't agree more. It's like a big puzzle within itself. How can he possibly save himself? Only one way to find out...


message 14: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Oh, you have emotional baggage sir? Let me help you with that while you concentrate on taking off that shirt.

That's the crux of it.


message 15: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) What shirt? I'm looking at the pants.


message 16: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Rand | 532 comments Oh god, that's awesome. :-D


message 17: by Kyra (new)

Kyra Halland (kyrahalland) Tabitha wrote: "I think the appeal is McBadassey's need to be "saved" from himself. There's something very intoxicating in the notion of being someone's portal to redemption or inspiring them to be a better man.

Also, pain makes us real, and McBadassey has usually written the book on pain. I think women who are drawn to sensitivity but aren't attracted to the sugary-sweet pop song of the church altarboy or the nice next-door neighbor find the sensitivity that comes with the dark, tortured badass having gone through intense emotional pain an enticing characteristic."


This, basically.

I like them hard and crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Never whiny, but he'll shed tears at the thought of losing his woman. Tough and strong, will do what has to be done, but would never hurt anyone who doesn't need to be hurt.

Also, I wish I had thought of the name "Smolder McBadassery." :-D


message 18: by Dina (new)

Dina Roberts Sarah wrote: "At risk out being kicked off the island, I loved the Edward Cullen character (minus the sparkles of course). It all goes back to strength, and that irrational, unwavering devotion that few possess."

In this world, it takes a lot of courage to admit that. I like him too. Though I'm glad you said it first. I'm not as brave.


message 19: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Smolder, you are free to go but your pants must stay so your author might allude to the mirth and girth associated with your Johnsonhood.


message 20: by Shari-amor (new)

Shari-amor | 1478 comments Also a favourite character archetype. I like em rough, dark, charming and mysterious. Although I wish there were more females that fit this description.


message 21: by Tabitha (new)

Tabitha Vohn Shari-amor wrote: "Also a favourite character archetype. I like em rough, dark, charming and mysterious. Although I wish there were more females that fit this description."

Hmmm...that's an interesting thought. I wonder what would be the ideal match for the female character? Granted, there aren't a lot of "male savior" characters in literature in this context; at least, not that I've come across.


message 22: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Lara Croft :)


message 23: by Regina (new)

Regina Shelley (reginas) | 37 comments I hate to admit it. I really do. HATE IT.

However, every time Hook from Once Upon A Time opens his mouth, I pretty much spontaneously ovulate.

Every time.


message 24: by Sara (new)

Sara Thompson (sdpogue) He's a hard one to resist


message 25: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments Katniss?


message 26: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
Benedict Cumberbatch. Him as Sherlock is just...I want to go 50 Shades on him.

But yeah, I've actually wondered if I should write a female counterpart to Smolder. Wonder how she would go over.


message 27: by Shari-amor (new)

Shari-amor | 1478 comments Lara Croft kicks ass. I loves her. I remember the first time I played her video game.


message 28: by Tiger (new)

Tiger Gray (tiger_gray) | 291 comments ha I love your threads


message 29: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1890 comments Mod
:D


message 30: by Monica (last edited May 16, 2014 12:16AM) (new)

Monica Pierce (monicaenderlepierce) | 115 comments How the hell did I miss this thread?!

Dark, dangerous, and gritty only works if he slips up and show his heart of gold every once in a while. (Otherwise he's just a sociopath.)


message 31: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments I hate Smolder McBadassery. I can't even write about a character like that. He comes off as wank fodder for mary sue/gary stu wetdreams. But then again, my relationships tend to suck so I have nothing to write about (I'm in the write what you know, and if you don't know research camp).

I guess I can say I don't know *how* to write a Smolder McBadassery type of character since I have nothing to base off of (without veering into mary sue territory). I don't know if I've accidentally wrote any Smolder McBadassery types. (No one's read my stuff, so I have no clue). But I'll file that 'research more' and see what I can find. A few books with that archtype Girl's Guide to Witchcraft (Jane Madison, #1) by Mindy Klasky and Marked by Passion (The Guardians of Destiny, #1) by Kate Perry annoyed me to no end. I don't know if I just wasn't that target audeince or something...?


message 32: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) KP, that's definitely not the Smolder McBadassery. Think, really good action or adventure movies like Indiana Jones.


message 33: by K.P. (last edited May 16, 2014 02:29PM) (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments Well, the guys those chicks lust after are of that supposed type. Since you meant the action hero kind, then I get it. I find it hard to write about an action kind of hero without it sounding too over the top.


message 34: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Sin City, both the movie and the graphic novels, is my best example. They're full of Smolders type, not only because of what they do, but more so what they don't do.

"Sides, I don't hit girls." - Marv


message 35: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments Film Noir -full of Smolder McBadassery's. Blokes that are a lil rough and unpolished but gems none the less.


message 36: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 519 comments Joanne wrote: "Film Noir -full of Smolder McBadassery's. Blokes that are a lil rough and unpolished but gems none the less."

I love film noir. :D i got a huge collection on that


message 37: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments Studied it a great deal in uni. Love the femme fatale :)


message 38: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) That's what we're talking about :)


message 39: by Sara (new)

Sara Thompson (sdpogue) While I think Film Noir is full of bad boys, I wouldn't classify them under the Smolder McBadassery. I always think character's like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. To me, there is a marked difference. No one has to agree with me. I think part of it comes down to genre. Noir always has that rough male character - it's part of the story while I feel like the bad boy (Smolder McBadassery) fits more into non-expected genres (does that make any sense?).


message 40: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Oh, James Dean... *drools*

Lily is no longer here.


message 41: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments The definition is indeed a very subjective thing. I wouldn't especially consider Edward Cullen a Smolder Mc. but others do. But Eric Northman from true blood, now he's my sorta Smolder...not dark, sure, but tall and phwoarsomely badass :p


message 42: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Oh, Ed Northman...

*zones out*


message 43: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments Ed Northman? I didn't know he hadda bro...is he even hotter? lmao.


message 44: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) Oh, typos :P


message 45: by Sara (new)

Sara Thompson (sdpogue) Actually the actor - brain is not switching gears, has a brother who's fairly good looking. Makes me feel like a dirty old woman though. They are getting so young.


message 46: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) It's better than Justin Beiber, that's all I can say.


message 47: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments Justin B is NO Smolder. Not in any dimension would he qualify.


message 48: by J.S. (last edited May 16, 2014 04:13PM) (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments


message 49: by J.S. (new)

J.S. (jsedge) | 369 comments ^^ seriously, though!


message 50: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (lilyauthor) *stares*


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