It’s Okay To Be Scared

I have some exciting news! I gave my book to someone for feedback. Before her, only my family and three of my closest friends had ever seen it. I have been working on the series for two years and have written three drafts of the first book. It had gotten to the point where I wasn’t sure how much more I could do without an outside opinion. So it basically came down to two options for me and the book: Let someone critique it or drop the project. And after two years I had become far too attached to the series to just give it up. So I decided to let someone read it. And I think the decision is going to better my book by leaps and bounds. It’s only been three days, and the amount of critique I’ve gotten already is way more than anyone has ever given me previously and it’s opened my eyes to a lot of mistakes that I hadn’t noticed before.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is to not let your fears get in the way of progress. Even if it’s just a couple baby steps at a time, keep moving forward. There was a point in time where I couldn’t even share a vague sentence from my book without panicking. But very slowly, I’ve been able to overcome my fears. I know I still have a long way to go, and that it’s taken me three years to get to this point but I did get here. And so can you. Just take it one step at a time. And remember, it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to stumble. Just don’t let fear stop you from doing what you love most. Take a deep breath, get back up, and keep pushing through. 🙂

Tips on Writing Villains

Hey guys! Today I will be sharing a few tips on how to write good villains. Let’s get started.

1. Give your villain a reason. They are not puppets that go around causing trouble for the fun of it. Even the most terrible, cruel, hated villain has a reason for doing the things they do. It could be something as simple as they were bullied at school when they were younger and thinks it’s okay to do it someone else. Or it could be something bigger. It doesn’t matter.

2. Your villain is a person, not a cardboard cut out. Give him hopes, dreams, maybe even a person he loves. Make him as intricate and thought out as your protagonist. Don’t make him flat. You have to love him if you want your readers to love him.

3. Give him likeable qualities. I’m not saying he has to go around being a model citizen or anything, but make sure he isn’t all gloom and doom. Show his soft side. Maybe he has a sibling that he cares about? He could be the most oppressing dictator there is and still care about animals. Show the side of him that can’t stand animal cruelty.

4. Give him morals. This ties in with the animal cruelty thing mentioned above. He could be an assassin, highly trained in his arts, but when sent to kidnap a child he won’t do it. Or maybe he won’t fight an unarmed man.

5. No monologue! Oh yes. We all know that speech the villain gives at the climax. As the hero is dragged up to him and chains, he looks down on him and says, “aha! Now I have you! There is no chance of escape! As long as you’re here and I’m going to kill you anyway, let me tell you the details of the plan you failed to foil!” No. Stop there. Delete it all. This is not a good idea. First of all, if the villain is at all smart he would know that there is a chance the hero will escape and then have all the details of the plan. And, it gives more time for the secondary character to get there and rescue them.

6. I just recently learned about this one. Give your villain a backup plan. I hadn’t really thought about it before but your hero always has a backup plan. Why shouldn’t the villain? What was he doing all those years while plotting his revenge? Surely he had time to think up a plan B.

7. The stereotypical dumb henchmen. Why would the villain hire these people in the first place? Instead of hiring minions that the hero can destroy in only a few moments, or guards who fall asleep on the job, he should hire people who give the hero a run for his money.

I hope these tips help and, as always, happy novel writing!