Fair warning, this will be a short post as I'm typing it on my phone (no wi-fi at the cabin), and it'll probably be full of auto-correct blunders, so have patience :)
I don't know how it is for writers who plan out everything in advance, but as a pantser, things come like a bolt from the blue (where DOES that odd saying come from?)
I literally was mid-sentence, when I 'got' Donovan. I was fixing a line of his dialogue, thinking about Jay's reaction, and at the same time, pondering why Jay is pissed, but Kell doesn't care, even though she's the one being insulted.
...and suddenly I don't think the guy is so bad anymore.
I only have one older sister, no brothers, but I grew up next to a family with seven kids (yes, that is not a mistake: 7). Boys play differently, they think differently, they insult differently, they make up after a fight differently.
Donovan may be childish, stupid, and annoying, but there isn't malice in what he says.
Like, a friend of mine taught me how to make fun of myself in Cantonese by saying, 'the white devil is hungry', which, if you must know, was excellent for getting good service in many Chinese restaurants, as everyone always appreciates a sense of humor, and they tend to remember you if/when you go back, which usually means fast service, good table, and often dessert (or dry crab!) on the house ;)
Going back to the notion of fair play, racism, bigotry, etc. even if you say something as a joke, someone else will take offense. I can make fun of myself by telling blonde and Irish jokes, but I've been snarled at by other females who don't like it, even when I'm the butt of my own joke. For some, it's more important to follow the outer example of being 'politically correct', but they do it at the expense of castrating anyone's ability to take the lighter path.
Heck, I made a lot of friends being able to call myself a 'white devil', and that friendship was more true, and had more depth, than if I had been too concerned about 'political correctness' to say anything in the first place.
So... I guess Donovan isn't going to be as difficult to write as I originally suspected... But perhaps that's because my immediate reaction to him WAS to take offence, rather than look for the joke underneath.
Okay, going blind typing on my phone, but I would love to hear your thoughts...
EDIT: okay, now that I've got him, Donny is ridiculously easy to write. I just spilled over a thousand words in less than half an hour.