Colleen’s Book Reviews – “13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains,” by Author, Sacha Black
- Title: 13 Steps to Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains
- Amazon Author Page
- File Size: 6316 KB
- Print Length: 223 Pages
- Publisher: Self-published by author
- Publication Date: May 9, 2017
- Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0722X7Y4P
- Formats: Paperback and Kindle
- Genres: Writing, Research & Publishing Guides, Writing Skills
IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
+ How to develop a villain’s mindset
+ A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
+ Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
+ What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which follows.
As a fantasy writer, I love writing about the hero’s journey. However, as Author, Sacha Black points out, your villain is just as important as your hero. Of particular interest to me was the concept of creating a villain who could stand up to your hero by making the villain credible and believable. This is where the 13 fundamentals of a bad guy come into play. Each concept is discussed in practical terms filled with examples from other books and films that make the concepts easy to relate to.
The author writes in such a way as to coach you on your writing journey by liberally sprinkling her own sense of humor throughout the pages making the discussion fun and never boring. Some of the topics covered were how to avoid cliches, the psychology behind the villain and what motivates them, along with an excellent discussion of anti-heroes.
One of the most important things I gleaned from this book was to not allow my hero to have an easy go of it. The more obstacles I could throw at my hero the better my story would progress. Sacha Black puts it this way:
“No motive, no conflict. No conflict, no story.”
Another section of the novel was dedicated to establishing the mental health of your villain which was created to serve as a reference section for the writer. Here, the author’s advice is clear. When mental health disorders are used as character traits, don’t base them off of myth or stereotypes. Research the mental health disorder and authentically portray your character.
At the end of the book are listings of positive, negative, and neutral traits, along with the lists of positive, negative, and neutral values that can be used in character formation. I found the listing of soul scars to be helpful when trying to figure out what motivates my characters to act or react in a certain way.
I loved this book and will use it as a reference in the future creation of my characters. No matter where you are in your writing journey, you will take away something useful the next time you find yourself crafting your perfect hero, anti-hero or villain.
Author, Sacha Black has created a free short course on villains which is included as a link in the acknowledgments, called Villain School 101. I will read and review that book/class at a later date, so please stay tuned.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 fairies
Author, Sacha Black
About the Author
Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son. When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film, and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.
Or email her on:
Sachablack (AT) sachablack (dot) co (dot) uk
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Thanks for stopping by to meet Sacha and hear about her book. If you love creating bad guys, this is the book for you!