Friday, March 15, 2013 | By: Angela Brown

Villains You Care About, w/Nazarea Andrews

Nazarea Andrews, author of Edge of the Falls, is stopping by today to share her thoughts on villains. Take it away, Nazarea :-)

Villains you care about.

When I sat down to write Edge of the Falls I knew nothing about the world I was creating. I didn’t know how the story would play out, or even what fairy tale I was retelling (I tried about five before I conceded that this was supposed to be a Beauty and the Best retelling.)

I didn’t know I needed a villain.

This, you guys, is the problem with not going in with a plot.

So I started telling my story. And I realized that I needed an antagonist. Crafting an antagonist was a lot harder than I anticipated—especially when I had no clue who the antagonist was supposed to be.

And I think that’s the only way I could make it work. I wrote the first draft without an antagonist. It was only when I went back for edit that I created a villain. Which is why I like them so much. They’re people, flawed and manipulative and not always nice. They do things that make me and Sabah want to hit them. But they are human. With flaws and twisted motivations, and emotions that I care about.

All the best villains (and mine do not rank in this list) are multifaceted. Yes—they’re bad. But they need to be defined by something, the thing that drives them and all of their bad decisions.

If you can do that—well, hell. You might just have your hands on the next Voldermort.
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Author Bio: 
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog. Her first book, Edge of the Falls, is available March 12.

Edge of the Falls synopsis:
Sabah always knew where she belonged—with Berg—and what was expected of her—to care for the other children the Mistress took in.

But when a ban-wolf saves her life, things begin to change.

Arjun isn’t like the other ban-wolves, the savage creatures that are barely human. He’s gentle and furious and as Sabah spends time with him, she can’t seem to get him out of her mind. But in a world of darkness, control, and danger, is there a place for two outcasts?

A romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a dark dystopia.

Thanks so much Nazarea. Now this post brings to mind a question. Who is your favorite villain to love, uh, hate, oh, you know what I mean lol!! Comment below and you're entered in a giveaway to receive an ebook copy of Edge of the Falls. So I'm dying to know: Who? and Why?


Sheena-kay Graham said...

Yes villains do help move the story along. And no one wants a boring villain. Congrats on the book Nazarea and I love retelling of fairytales.

My fave Villain? The Joke from Batman. He's been remade across time but one thing stands the same. His thirst for chaos. Why I love this psycho? Because he doesn't have any single reason for the way he is and he goes at his villainy with such gusto and without remorse.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So agree that it's important to have your villain be a deep character too and not just an evil, cardboard character. I realized that after a critique by Cheryl Klein at Scholastic once where she asked me some pointed questions about my villain. Good luck with your book.

Anonymous said...

I love villains! They always seem to end up being my favorite, in the end. Maybe it's because they do have that emotional side to them; you always wonder why they do what they do. It's hard to write a good villain, but integral definitely.

I can't wait to read Edge of the Falls!

I'm not sure who my favorite villain is, actually. I love comic book villains certainly, particularly Magneto, Joker, and Loki, and I love sci-fi villains like Darth Vader. But favorite villain, hmmm...this one is really hard! I might have to say Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. I love a villain who is intelligent and pulls all of the strings as much as I love one who makes the hero use their mind to get out of situations.



Angela Brown said...

Oh yeah, the Joker. Heath Ledger did such an amazing job playing that psychopath.

Angela Brown said...

Interesting observation, Natalie :-)

Angela Brown said...

So many villainous bad guys/gals to choose from :-)

LD Masterson said...

In my first attempt at a novel, my villain was an over-the-top, bwa-ha-ha, sort of fellow. Nasty but boring. So much more fun to write one with more dimensions.

Jess said...

Great post! I especially love this advice: they need to be defined by something, the thing that drives them and all of their bad decisions.

Angela Brown said...

Something about the villains makes you stop and wonder what makes them tick.

Angela Brown said...

It's the drive that also grips the reader to try and understand more.

Damyanti said...

I had a villain I hated when I started my WIP, and now I have one I do not love, but who I can understand. I think this has improved his strength as a character, if not his strength of character! Great advice.

Gwen Gardner said...

I don't actively think about the villain when I'm writing, but I know I should, if only because people love to hate them:) I enjoyed your post, Nazarea - thanks for sharing!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

This is one scary villain because he sounds so very alluring. Those are the "best" kind of villain in my book. I really enjoyed reading about her story and Ioved her cover.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, it wasn't until my third book that I included a villain. In fact, I wrote two.

Angela Brown said...

Ah, sounds like a villain that will help to give the reader a run for their money.

Angela Brown said...

I wonder if my brain is hard wired to the good and evil thing because it's hard for me to write without thinking about a villain...or do I harbor a villain that would like to come out and play...hmmm... lol!

Angela Brown said...

Very true, Lee. It's the alluring villain that sells you ice in the middle of a glacier field and makes it seem okay.

Angela Brown said...

Wow. I've got to get your take on that :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the cover and title. They work so well together.

I'm a panster, so I totally relate to not having some key ingredient as I plod along. It's a process!

M. said...

I wrote an article on my blog that tis similar to this, "Aantagonize me: Why i love the villan" My argument is that the better the villian, the more you want to read the book.!/2012/09/antagonize-me.html

please check it out on

Angela Brown said...

It's often fun to venture into the wild "words" wonder that way :-)

Angela Brown said...

Thanks for sharing. Checked it out :-)

Mary Preston said...

I totally agree about Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker. An outstanding villain.


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