Book Review: 13 Steps to Evil

13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains

Sasha Black – May 9, 2017

(Goodreads) (Amazon)


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 humor, 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.

My impression:

Honestly, I’d give this book 3 stars. The formatting is terrible and the narrative voice is super distracting. It’s like she’s trying so hard to be edgy and off-the-wall that she throws extra metaphors in every third sentence. Most of these just made me roll my eyes, but I was determined to finish it because, well, I paid for it.

There’s some good information in the book, though. If you’re new to creating characters, or aren’t sure what things like protagonists and anti-heroes are, this is very useful. The problem is, most of the things that the author talks about for creation of villains goes toward character creation in general. Another point I’d like to make is that the majority of the book, the way the author talks is like every hero and villain story is like a comic book – it’s black and white, cheesy dialogue, guy gets the girl, etc. And I really could not relate to that. The books I read and write.. just aren’t like that.


There were two really useful chapters. One was on Villains and Mental Health (which honestly should be talked about a lot more) and the other was on Introducing your Villain. Those two chapters and the Appendix (lists of positive, negative, and neutral traits and values) made it worth the purchase.

I just probably wouldn’t read the rest of it ever again.

Have you ever read any books to help with a craft? How did that go?

Comment below and share your experiences!

Published by Jo Narayan

Check out my Instagram @AuthorJoNarayan.

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