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  • Writer's pictureRiley Murphy


Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The ‘no good’ character is an oxymoron isn’t it? The best secondary characters in any book are the ‘no goods’. Let’s face it, whether it’s the slinky vixen who has caused your hero to stray, or the person who you thought was an honest business partner, but pockets more of the profits then he’s disclosed, the ‘no goods’ in a story have a tendency to draw the reader’s interest. The only concepts building on the page that trump this form of salacious excitement in story are the sex scenes.

*Looks right at you*

I’m no expert, but I do know readers would plough through pages to get to…

A) The hot stuff

B) The salacious stuff

C) The conclusion/confrontation of either of those things combined.

All of which include the ‘no goods’. At least I hope they do.

In my stories, I want the main characters to be up to no good between the sheets. That kind of naughty captures a reader’s attention right from the start.

Take for instance my lemon oil scene in Reclaimed Surrender. When Rene, my hero, wants his submissive but very feisty wife, to polish his furniture, namely his desk, she could have dusted it with a squirt of a commercial cleaner, Pledge for instance, and swiped it down with a cloth. Instead, she pulls out her homemade ecologically friendly citrus oil, and gives him a nice show. Once she pours the oil, and drops her robe, she uses her whole body to shine his desk.

In one of my soon-to-be released books, Land Me, my heroine is forced into the middle of a world changing discovery. <- Hey, if there’s going to be a huge disclosure why not make it the world changing, right?

So there she is, thrown into a car that has the ‘no goods’ looking to make off with her at breakneck speed. The bad guys are all talking – arguing in half English and half European/Russian or something. Her hero is at the command center miles away and hacks into the car’s Onstar system, listening to the whole exchange.

At first there’s no sound from her, but then his heroine starts telling the crooks they’re doing the wrong thing. She backs it up by calmly pointing out that they are going the wrong way down a one way street, before she tells them not to make a right where they were currently indicating to do so, because it was a dead-end street. The best part about the scene is that you feel sorry for the inept crooks, almost as much as you do for the heroine’s hero, who is almost laughing at the ridiculous nature of the situation until he realizes that she’s been calmly feeding him and his crew her exact location with her logical complaints about by pointing out landmarks.

Here’s a snippet of the story before she decides to play nice and come right out and tell the ‘no goods’ where they are making mistakes. I LOVE internal monologue. This is the part just before she starts talking so the hero can hear her. Makes the scene funnier.

Breena was over being confused. Now she was furious. These assholes had a broken down, smelly car, and not one bright idea between them.

Although she couldn’t understand their language, she totally got their body speak. They were fighting over directions. It was a left or a right-hand turn and they were yelling as if it was life or death.

Meh, she wasn’t going to point out that the right was a dead end, fuck them. Instead, she covertly checked her surroundings. The only thing that might have been of any use was a broken windshield wiper blade, which was shoved in the side storage pocket in the passenger door.

She raised a brow and checked the guy beside her. She might be able to poke his eye out with it, but then what?

You see? Without the no good crooks my hero never would have discovered his girl was natural operative when put under pressure.

If only the ‘no goods’ in our society were so accommodating and resourceful. It used to be you could spot a ‘no good’ just by his/her mask and their black and white striped Hamburglar outfit. Not now. Today they wear suits, an expensive white capped tooth smile, and a charm honed out of a sense of entitlement we gave them when we complimented their fine attire.

Who knew?

Hey, here's the book video of Land Me!

As always, thanks for stopping by!


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