Basic Tips To Write Better (And More Likeable) Badasses
Yet another character type that is often poorly-written by amateurs, many badass characters end up becoming completely unlikeable or even despicable. Here are a few tips to keep these characters from going this route.
Humanize the character ASAP
About the worst thing you can do is create a character who does virtually nothing but kick butt and have sex. Give your character some interests, friends, hobbies, etc. outside of being a badass, and give your character believable emotions, fears, hopes, and quirks.
Don't create an unstoppable kickass machine.
Characters who are so awesome and unflappable that there's no doubt they'll win are boring to watch. Get some tension in there - put your character in real danger. Let xir genuinely worry. Put the character in a situation xe cannot overcome alone.
Be careful that the character doesn't become an amoral/self-centered jerkass.
Many a badass becomes completely unlikeable because, well, xe does whatever xe wants regardless of how other people feel about it, and in many cases it's pretty obvious that the writer thinks the character can and should get away with it because the character is (supposedly) just that cool. Trouble is, when your character intimidates, tongue-lashes, or beats up pretty much everyone who annoys xir, that character is just a bully.
Check your smirks.
Too much smirking just makes your character look like a smug jerk. In fact, just think of the word "smirk" as a portmanteau of "smug jerk."
Just ask yourself how you'd feel if a complete stranger treated you and people you care about the way your character treats people in the story.
Because that's how a lot of readers will feel when they read what your character does.