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Bullies, Bastards and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction

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Get to Know Your Character's Sinister Side A truly memorable antagonist is not a one-dimensional super villain bent on world domination for no particular reason. Realistic, credible bad guys create essential story complications, personalize conflict, add immediacy to a story line, and force the protagonist to evolve. From mischief-makers to villains to arch nemeses, "Bulli Get to Know Your Character's Sinister Side A truly memorable antagonist is not a one-dimensional super villain bent on world domination for no particular reason. Realistic, credible bad guys create essential story complications, personalize conflict, add immediacy to a story line, and force the protagonist to evolve. From mischief-makers to villains to arch nemeses, "Bullies, Bastards & Bitches" shows you how to create nuanced bad guys who are indispensable to the stories in which they appear. Through detailed instruction and examples from contemporary bestsellers and classic page-turners, author Jessica Page Morrell also shows you how to: Understand the subtle but key differences between unlikeable protagonists, anti-heroes, dark heroes, and bad boys Supply even your darkest sociopath with a sympathetic attribute that will engage readers Set the stage for an unforgettable standoff between your hero and your villain Choose the right type of female villain–femme fatale, mommy dearest, avenger, etc.–for your story "Bullies, Bastards & Bitches" is your all-encompassing bad-guy compendium to tapping into any character's dark side.


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Get to Know Your Character's Sinister Side A truly memorable antagonist is not a one-dimensional super villain bent on world domination for no particular reason. Realistic, credible bad guys create essential story complications, personalize conflict, add immediacy to a story line, and force the protagonist to evolve. From mischief-makers to villains to arch nemeses, "Bulli Get to Know Your Character's Sinister Side A truly memorable antagonist is not a one-dimensional super villain bent on world domination for no particular reason. Realistic, credible bad guys create essential story complications, personalize conflict, add immediacy to a story line, and force the protagonist to evolve. From mischief-makers to villains to arch nemeses, "Bullies, Bastards & Bitches" shows you how to create nuanced bad guys who are indispensable to the stories in which they appear. Through detailed instruction and examples from contemporary bestsellers and classic page-turners, author Jessica Page Morrell also shows you how to: Understand the subtle but key differences between unlikeable protagonists, anti-heroes, dark heroes, and bad boys Supply even your darkest sociopath with a sympathetic attribute that will engage readers Set the stage for an unforgettable standoff between your hero and your villain Choose the right type of female villain–femme fatale, mommy dearest, avenger, etc.–for your story "Bullies, Bastards & Bitches" is your all-encompassing bad-guy compendium to tapping into any character's dark side.

30 review for Bullies, Bastards and Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    Initial reaction: A strong guide with apt examples on how to craft "bad guys and girls" in fiction. I was impressed how Morrell organized and presented this. Some minor quibbles, but I gained much from reading this and plan to use it as a continued reference. Full review: There's definitely an appeal to writing fictitious narratives from the perspectives of people who may not necessarily be heroic. Or, let's face it - they're the bad guys. Jessica Page Morrell's "Bullies, Bastards, & Bitches: How Initial reaction: A strong guide with apt examples on how to craft "bad guys and girls" in fiction. I was impressed how Morrell organized and presented this. Some minor quibbles, but I gained much from reading this and plan to use it as a continued reference. Full review: There's definitely an appeal to writing fictitious narratives from the perspectives of people who may not necessarily be heroic. Or, let's face it - they're the bad guys. Jessica Page Morrell's "Bullies, Bastards, & Bitches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction" had so many takeaways for me as I perused it. It's cool that Morrell was inspired to write this in part because of the compelling antagonists that George R.R. Martin created in "A Song of Ice and Fire". I feel like people need to read this narrative because it establishes the secret to making a villain appealing in any story is being able to tell that villain or anti-hero's story in a way that has a number of solid foundations. That's something I see authors struggle with in terms of reading a lot of New Adult books in particular, though it's not the only instance in my reading experiences where such portrayals are problematic. *still writing review*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This book was recommended to me by my friend and fellow author T.E. MacArthur. I concur with her premise that, no matter where we are in the authorship/publishing game, we can all learn something new. In this book, author Jessica Page Morrell not only writes about creating the baddies (antagonists and villains) across genders and species, but about how fear itself works. In order to play on the psychology of fear in a reader, Morrell maintains, authors need to understand the biochemical nature of This book was recommended to me by my friend and fellow author T.E. MacArthur. I concur with her premise that, no matter where we are in the authorship/publishing game, we can all learn something new. In this book, author Jessica Page Morrell not only writes about creating the baddies (antagonists and villains) across genders and species, but about how fear itself works. In order to play on the psychology of fear in a reader, Morrell maintains, authors need to understand the biochemical nature of the emotion. There are chapters on writing female baddies, antagonists, out-and-out villains, and anti-heroes, as well as writing baddies for children's and teen-focused literature. There's a lot to take in from an author's perspective here, but all of it is useful and will doubtless be used as reference material time and again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Valoren

    Bullies, Bastards and Bitches promises to show you how to write better bad guys. How much you get out of it will probably depend on how much of the very obvious information in this book you’re already aware of. A pretty thorough pouring over of the TV Tropes pages on the subjects contained within would render this book basically obsolete; it is less a guide than an index, a collection of archetypes with descriptions and examples attached to each. What I was hoping for when I picked this book up w Bullies, Bastards and Bitches promises to show you how to write better bad guys. How much you get out of it will probably depend on how much of the very obvious information in this book you’re already aware of. A pretty thorough pouring over of the TV Tropes pages on the subjects contained within would render this book basically obsolete; it is less a guide than an index, a collection of archetypes with descriptions and examples attached to each. What I was hoping for when I picked this book up was an exploration into antisocial behavior, narrative themes of antagonism and villainy, and a real discussion on how these can be meaningfully integrated into a narrative. This book is not that: it is an extremely surface-level reference text with a generous amount of self-congratulatory back-patting on the part of the author that is, at times, genuinely offensive. Most of the content of this book is repeated again and again and again. Entire chapters of this work could have been summed up in a couple of pages, but instead are spread out to tens of them, mercilessly flogging the material until I, at least, was begging to move on to the next section. Morrell’s interpretation of antagonistic archetypes is extremely one-dimensional. She speaks in the language of clichés, of four-color superheroics, fairytales, and schlocky B-movie genre stuff. If that’s what you want to write and that’s what you enjoy, then this book may be a valuable resource, serving as a compendium of common attributes and characteristics of villainous stock characters. I needed something more. Furthermore, some of the content of this work is simply offensive to read. Morrell devotes an entire chapter to sociopaths. If she were content to constrain her observations to the body of fictional work featuring sociopathic characters, that might have been fine. Unfortunately, she makes a variety of sweeping, ill-informed statements about actual people grappling with antisocial personality disorder, mischaracterizing them as intrinsically dangerous by virtue of their condition. She quite literally warns the reader against interacting with these people, painting them to the last as immoral killing machines who dispose of a human life as readily as they would discard a potted plant. This is false, and harmful to people who struggle with this condition. It’s also frankly bizarre to dedicate an entire chapter to villainizing a very small slice of individuals who are mentally ill. Nor is Morrell more charitable to women, who I thought she would’ve been more sympathetic to the plight of, being one. It’s odd to me that an entire chapter of this book needed to be devoted to the women villains, with a thin mention to the fact that women can also be “other” types of bad guys. This chapter, too, smacks of desperate padding, since it serves to do little more than provide examples of villainous women. It’s dull: at no point is there a meaningful discussion of what women villains can do that male villains cannot, or why it works in a story, or what it means to have a female villain. This subject especially would have benefited from a more robust academic understanding of feminism and intersectionality, because some fascinating work can be done concerning the use of woman as antagonist, and this book does none of it. Sadly I just didn’t get a lot out of this book, and I desperately wanted to. I enjoy writing villains, and believe firmly that even heroic characters should be deeply flawed. I really wanted this to add something to my understanding of how bad guys are used in a narrative framework: instead, this is a resource index broken up by overwrought paragraphs of meandering and repetitive description. It is the one thing that a book about antagonism and villainy should never be: boring.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This book did not live up to my expectations. I read several good reviews and hoped that it would give me a solid foundation for creating the bad guys I need in my fiction. But I found the exploration of badness and evil to be shallow and repetitive. It was not much more than I got out of a few chapters in a more general book about character development. About halfway through the book, I started skimming and scanning the bullet lists. The author did present valid points, I just wish they had gon This book did not live up to my expectations. I read several good reviews and hoped that it would give me a solid foundation for creating the bad guys I need in my fiction. But I found the exploration of badness and evil to be shallow and repetitive. It was not much more than I got out of a few chapters in a more general book about character development. About halfway through the book, I started skimming and scanning the bullet lists. The author did present valid points, I just wish they had gone deeper. One point that did make an impression was the idea that the antagonist does not have to be a person. It can be a force or natural law. Another was a good list of types of antagonist that included several non-obvious character types.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah

    This was very basic and not particularly helpful. As another reviewer noted, there's not a lot here that a good browse of TV Tropes wouldn't cover in more detail. Moreover, many of the suggestions in the book could be summarised like this: "Avoid making your villains predictable or shallow. Instead, give them unique, original character traits, like wearing black or quoting Nietzsche." ...Right. That said, some of the things in this book were reassuring or restated things in concrete ways - I did This was very basic and not particularly helpful. As another reviewer noted, there's not a lot here that a good browse of TV Tropes wouldn't cover in more detail. Moreover, many of the suggestions in the book could be summarised like this: "Avoid making your villains predictable or shallow. Instead, give them unique, original character traits, like wearing black or quoting Nietzsche." ...Right. That said, some of the things in this book were reassuring or restated things in concrete ways - I did find it helpful to get back in touch with some of the basics, like finding ways to put your most vulnerable characters at risk from your villain. Probably the major reassuring takeaway here is that if you're the kind of author who loves to write Terrible People (TM), to avoid audience apathy by giving the book a broad cast including more sympathetic characters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tom Van Boening

    There are a plethora of books on writing, and a large handful of books on writing characters, but not many books related to the craft of creating villains. Villains, that is to say very good villains, are highly complex and interesting. As a writer, I thought it would be best to know how to specifically get villains down before working on the heroes. Your hero is only as good as the villain he or she overcomes, and this is why you need to get villains right. The book by Jessica Page Morrell hits a There are a plethora of books on writing, and a large handful of books on writing characters, but not many books related to the craft of creating villains. Villains, that is to say very good villains, are highly complex and interesting. As a writer, I thought it would be best to know how to specifically get villains down before working on the heroes. Your hero is only as good as the villain he or she overcomes, and this is why you need to get villains right. The book by Jessica Page Morrell hits all sorts of levels of villainy, from the darkest of black antagonists to the many grey areas where anti-heroes and sympathetic villains come into play. Anyone wanting to write, this is a book I would certainly recommend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sieben

    Short impression: A decent look at complicated characters that is significantly hurt by the blatant scaremongering around neurodiversity and mental illness. The chapter about antagonists for young readers is extremely good, though. Slightly longer impression: This book is a perfectly fine (if slightly repetitive) look at complex/"bad" characters and how to write them in a way that keeps the reader engaged. While I think that some bits of advice turn up a lot more often than is strictly necessary a Short impression: A decent look at complicated characters that is significantly hurt by the blatant scaremongering around neurodiversity and mental illness. The chapter about antagonists for young readers is extremely good, though. Slightly longer impression: This book is a perfectly fine (if slightly repetitive) look at complex/"bad" characters and how to write them in a way that keeps the reader engaged. While I think that some bits of advice turn up a lot more often than is strictly necessary and despite the fact that after re-reading the chapter in question twice, I still don't know how the author differentiates between "bad boys" and "dark heroes", I would have given this book 3 stars if it hadn't been for the chapter about "Sociopaths". which really drags down the whole book. In short, this chapter posits that sociopaths are almost natural-born villains with no desire or ability to fit into "normal" civilisation. And this is not even a case of the author saying "obviously, many people with antisocial personality disorder are not the stuff of literary villainhood, but we'll focus on those cases since that's what the book is about". Instead, you find sweeping statements about cold-blooded monsters that hide in plain sight, even though they could never be "truly" human. Which is... not great, for obvious reasons. To be clear, I don't believe that the author was acting out of malice when writing this chapter but boy, did she (and any editor that went over this book) drop the ball there. If you want to read this book but are sensitive about these things, I'd recommend skipping the whole chapter. Something I did like a lot: The chapter about writing villains for younger readers. It shows a lot of insight and gives genuinely useful advice about the ways in which a villain can be made both scary and "safe" to read for younger readers, and how to apply this advice for varying reading ages. This

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

    This has one of the best titles in the 'how to write a book' genre. It is also written by a good writing teacher. It is packed with everything you ever wanted to know about antagonists. However, it misses being brilliant. It misses that thread that would make it make sense. It is more of a reference book than the self-help book it pretends to be. I think that is why readers feel slightly cheated.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andy Zach

    As a fantasy author, I learned a lot about writing villains. I was in the middle of writing my sequel, "My Undead Mother-in-law" and it ended up much better (according to early readers; it's not out until July 2017). Besides villains, Ms. Morrell also covers dark heroes, anti-heroes, sympathetic villains, likable bad guys, neutral characters and truly wicked ones. She has a chapter on psychopaths and sociopaths, too, providing definitions and examples of each. She goes further, giving resources t As a fantasy author, I learned a lot about writing villains. I was in the middle of writing my sequel, "My Undead Mother-in-law" and it ended up much better (according to early readers; it's not out until July 2017). Besides villains, Ms. Morrell also covers dark heroes, anti-heroes, sympathetic villains, likable bad guys, neutral characters and truly wicked ones. She has a chapter on psychopaths and sociopaths, too, providing definitions and examples of each. She goes further, giving resources the reader can pursue to understand the psychology of criminals. Indeed, the many examples she cites of heroes, lovable bad guys, and villains from contemporary culture, fiction, and movies, are probably the best feature of the book. I recommend this book for anyone interested in writing or learning to write.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Simone Anderson

    I found this informative and well written. I learned quite a bit from this on how to craft better bad guys and villains. I did find some of the language stereotypical - female characters who are anti-heroes have slips showing, sleep with men she doesn't know or know well, or have smeared lipstick or that implying genre fiction isn't as character driven as mainstream or literary fiction. But the author includes examples from genre fiction and literary fiction as well as from movies in illustratin I found this informative and well written. I learned quite a bit from this on how to craft better bad guys and villains. I did find some of the language stereotypical - female characters who are anti-heroes have slips showing, sleep with men she doesn't know or know well, or have smeared lipstick or that implying genre fiction isn't as character driven as mainstream or literary fiction. But the author includes examples from genre fiction and literary fiction as well as from movies in illustrating her points on different characters. She does touch on the differences when writing female villains and bad guy and offers suggested reading in both fiction and non-fiction sources for more information and examples of bad guys. Overall, it's a fantastic resource for writers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Floyd Larck

    As I wrote in an earlier post this book was worth the purchase just for the chapter titled "Primal Fears" where the author explains what goes in on the human brain when fear strikes. This was a fascinating chapter for me. As for the rest of the book, it is chock full of information and advice on creating one (or more) antagonists for your current or future novel. This isn't another 'write it this way' book, instead she give you a behavior and then delves into the reasons for an antagonist acting As I wrote in an earlier post this book was worth the purchase just for the chapter titled "Primal Fears" where the author explains what goes in on the human brain when fear strikes. This was a fascinating chapter for me. As for the rest of the book, it is chock full of information and advice on creating one (or more) antagonists for your current or future novel. This isn't another 'write it this way' book, instead she give you a behavior and then delves into the reasons for an antagonist acting in such a manner. One other feature in the book is her "Rogue's Galley" where she gives you examples of antagonists and protagonists on either book or movie formats.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Heather Pagano

    A great character focus addition to the story structure reading I've done this year. I took so many notes from this book and it shed new light on concepts I'd learned during other reading. As a stand-alone read I'm not sure I would have gotten as much out of it. The organization of the book was based on character type, so fundamental concepts were scattered in different sections and often repeated.

  13. 5 out of 5

    L.M. Elm

    Morrell offers up well intentioned advice on how to create memorable antagonists. Tips include listing various types of villains found in genre fiction. Lots and lots of examples from literature and fiction. My one critique of writing craft books, even this book is guilty of it, starts and ends with he assumption writers don't read. Aside from this Morrell still makes a the strongest case for the villain has to be far more interesting than the hero.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bridges

    The book was great, many ideas and templates on creating awesome bad guys, girls, and monsters to scare the crap out of your reader. There's no way a writer can read this book and not get ideas for new projects.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    This book is useful if you have zero knowledge, and that's okay. People need that help, it is also designed more towards people who outline, plan, or do lots of prework, it won't be helpful for people who write by the seat of their pants. Not bad, but not also as useful to everyone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike Garzillo

    If you’re writing a romance, any type of romance, this is a must, especially if you have a female antagonist. The depth required to create a unique bad guy (or gal) will come from the details and examples Jessica provides.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John

    This book is chock full of valuable and thought-provoking ideas for fiction writers.... but I'm only giving it three stars, because the copy-editing is TERRIBLE: misspellings, typo's, dropped words, and TWO Chapter Elevens!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lillie

    A great resource for writers desperate to tap into the world of villains. I would in no way say that it will be a resource for your entire writing career, but certainly to help you develop some of this characters that are harder to write.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Stoner

    Very good, even for expert writers. It explains how to build a diabolical and believable villain.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Lyons

    This is one of the best books I've read on how to write villains. And the author gives plenty of concrete examples of what she's talking about from published books, too.

  21. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Bauers

    This book is an excellent resource for any writer who wants to dig a little deeper in the characterization of their bad guys, villains, antagonists, and anti-heroes. One of the biggest problems I find with reading craft books are that many of the book references given as examples for a technique or character types are books known for their literary value, and not so much reflective of the modern reading audience. This book was well-rounded, citing sources from classical literature to science fict This book is an excellent resource for any writer who wants to dig a little deeper in the characterization of their bad guys, villains, antagonists, and anti-heroes. One of the biggest problems I find with reading craft books are that many of the book references given as examples for a technique or character types are books known for their literary value, and not so much reflective of the modern reading audience. This book was well-rounded, citing sources from classical literature to science fiction TV shows. My goodreads to-be-read list expanded greatly as I read this book, much like it did when I was reading The Breakout Novelist by Donald Mass (questionably my favorite craft book on writing). I did have a few issues with the "Bitch" section of this book, as I felt it was a bit narrow for today's gender roles. Not that I believe Morrell is narrow-minded, but it seemed her focus was primarily creating characters of depth that were male versus that of female (despite her disclaimer in the introduction). My favorite sections were those in describing anti-heroes, dark heroes, and writing villains for YA. It opened up my mind and it gave me some good ideas for my novels in progress. I recommend giving this book a read for anyone having troubles (or just wanting a little inspiration) on creating bad guys with depth.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Trepp

    I really liked the first 5 chapters of the book about anti-heroes, antagonists, dark heroes, and overall character structure. The last 7 chapters about villains, sociopaths, and kid-friendly villains was mostly about incorporating clichés I wish would die, like true crime stories, using mental illness as being equivalent with badness, evil, madness, etc., and female underrepresentation. The women chapter, known in this book as the chapter on bitches, is like 3 pages where a bunch of different ch I really liked the first 5 chapters of the book about anti-heroes, antagonists, dark heroes, and overall character structure. The last 7 chapters about villains, sociopaths, and kid-friendly villains was mostly about incorporating clichés I wish would die, like true crime stories, using mental illness as being equivalent with badness, evil, madness, etc., and female underrepresentation. The women chapter, known in this book as the chapter on bitches, is like 3 pages where a bunch of different characters are mentioned in a really broad and shallow way and I felt disappointed by that. In the future it would be easier if there was less overlap between categories, e.g. outcasts, anti-heroes, dark heroes, and lost souls. There wasn't enough variation to have so many categories. It was kind of like a paper that had to be a certain length and only the first half was really decent material. I gave this book 4 stars because I really liked the first 5 chapters of this 12-chapter book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adrianna

    4.5 Stars. b\Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How To Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell is definitely a book I would recommend for the writer's reference shelf. Chapters on primal fears, making your character unforgettable, anit-heroes, dark heroes, bad boys to antagonists in the form of bullies, psychopaths, sociopaths, monsters, and lost souls, and delving into the personality of female villains with definitions of type. Checklists, reading lists, movies to watch. Identifying you 4.5 Stars. b\Bullies, Bastards & Bitches: How To Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell is definitely a book I would recommend for the writer's reference shelf. Chapters on primal fears, making your character unforgettable, anit-heroes, dark heroes, bad boys to antagonists in the form of bullies, psychopaths, sociopaths, monsters, and lost souls, and delving into the personality of female villains with definitions of type. Checklists, reading lists, movies to watch. Identifying your character, personality, defining, infusing with depth. This book even covers creating the bad guy/monster for young adult fiction. A gamut of possibilities for weaving the dimensional dark hero and bad guy characters out of the shadow. For the aspiring author or the experienced author it's worth reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    John

    If you have antagonist problems, this is a great book on how to build compelling bad guys & gals & monsters. I took two workshops with Jessica Morrell at Willamette Writers, but not one on antagonists. I enjoyed her so much I picked up two of her books, and this is the on I read first, because my novel needed bad-guy help, STAT! Well, done, and covers a variety of baddies, including anti-heroes, bad-boys, bad-girls, serial killers, sociopaths, and more. There is a chapter on how to match a hero t If you have antagonist problems, this is a great book on how to build compelling bad guys & gals & monsters. I took two workshops with Jessica Morrell at Willamette Writers, but not one on antagonists. I enjoyed her so much I picked up two of her books, and this is the on I read first, because my novel needed bad-guy help, STAT! Well, done, and covers a variety of baddies, including anti-heroes, bad-boys, bad-girls, serial killers, sociopaths, and more. There is a chapter on how to match a hero to a villain. The last chapter covers writing bad-guys for young adult or younger markets. Plenty of good advice and techniques to create a believable and frightening antagonist. http://johnwsmarvin.blogspot.com/2009...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Annesley

    4.5*s This is an excellent book on writing the gamut of characters from unlikeable protagonists to bad boys to antagonists to villains to sociopaths and more. Each chapter has sections with bullet points on such topics as creating that character and the characteristics of that character. There's a chapter on matching wits between your hero and your villain (the showdown), and creating depth to your antagonists/villains by creating sympathy for them. BB&B sparked many ideas for me for my work in 4.5*s This is an excellent book on writing the gamut of characters from unlikeable protagonists to bad boys to antagonists to villains to sociopaths and more. Each chapter has sections with bullet points on such topics as creating that character and the characteristics of that character. There's a chapter on matching wits between your hero and your villain (the showdown), and creating depth to your antagonists/villains by creating sympathy for them. BB&B sparked many ideas for me for my work in progress. I highly recommend it if you're writing any character from a bad a$$ hero to a super villain. The chapter on antagonists can even be applied to the hero and heroine in a romance novel. If you don't mind the language, then this should be on your writing book shelf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becky Black

    An excellent writing advice book. And despite the title it's by no means only about writing villains, but also those edgier heroes and heroines who are more what the writer calls bad-asses. You'll learn about archetypal characters and you'll see characters you already know well fitting into those archtypes, like the "Dark Hero" or the "Lost Soul". (For the Dark Hero I just kept thinking "This fits Sawyer from Lost to a T!") It took me quite a few says to read it, even though it's not that long at An excellent writing advice book. And despite the title it's by no means only about writing villains, but also those edgier heroes and heroines who are more what the writer calls bad-asses. You'll learn about archetypal characters and you'll see characters you already know well fitting into those archtypes, like the "Dark Hero" or the "Lost Soul". (For the Dark Hero I just kept thinking "This fits Sawyer from Lost to a T!") It took me quite a few says to read it, even though it's not that long at just under 300 pages. But it's so densely packed with such thought provoking material I needed time to take it in and think about it as I went. Highly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wanda Paryla

    The title is what captured my interest in this book at first. And I wasn't let down. This book is very informative, well written, and laid out in such a way that it's easy to follow and simple to find the information you're looking for if you don't want to read it from cover to cover right off the bat. I wasn't sure how to characterize different bad guys or villains, say if I had more than one in a book. Thanks to this book, I have deciphered how to do this without all the antagonists sounding an The title is what captured my interest in this book at first. And I wasn't let down. This book is very informative, well written, and laid out in such a way that it's easy to follow and simple to find the information you're looking for if you don't want to read it from cover to cover right off the bat. I wasn't sure how to characterize different bad guys or villains, say if I had more than one in a book. Thanks to this book, I have deciphered how to do this without all the antagonists sounding and acting the same. Not only that, I'm can't believe just how many types of antagonists and bad guys there are out there. If you're a newbie to writing bad guys, then this is the book for you.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexandria

    If the author doesn't break her arm patting herself on the back, it would come as a huge surprise to me. Unending self-congratulation aside, the author also seems to think women can be shoved into a very small number of categories. She also thinks that women are inherently different antagonists/anti-heroes than men. Everything about her writing screamed "women are only bad for shock value! Men are the default bad guys! Women are harder to make bad because they're inherently good!!1!!11!11!!". I c If the author doesn't break her arm patting herself on the back, it would come as a huge surprise to me. Unending self-congratulation aside, the author also seems to think women can be shoved into a very small number of categories. She also thinks that women are inherently different antagonists/anti-heroes than men. Everything about her writing screamed "women are only bad for shock value! Men are the default bad guys! Women are harder to make bad because they're inherently good!!1!!11!11!!". I could only get through a few chapters of this densely-written tripe. I think I'll keep looking for a good book on writing antagonistic characters because this book definitely isn't it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    Bullies, Bastards & Bitches is a politically incorrect title (in today’s PC world), but it’s the absolutely correct title for Jessica Page Morrell’s book on how to write the bad guys of fiction. Starting with an in depth description of the primal fears that motivate all of us, Morrell than proceeds to chart how to create memorable bad guy (or girl) characters that will keep readers turning the pages of your book, because they see in what you write the things they fear, and they’re afraid to stop Bullies, Bastards & Bitches is a politically incorrect title (in today’s PC world), but it’s the absolutely correct title for Jessica Page Morrell’s book on how to write the bad guys of fiction. Starting with an in depth description of the primal fears that motivate all of us, Morrell than proceeds to chart how to create memorable bad guy (or girl) characters that will keep readers turning the pages of your book, because they see in what you write the things they fear, and they’re afraid to stop reading. Replete with examples of effective bad characters from classic fictional works, this book will help you bring life to your writing like no other.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason Burham

    As far as writing books go, this was a great idea that I thought was poorly executed. I was hoping for a book on helpful tips for fleshing out potentially iconic antagonists. The examples from this book of "bad guys" consist largely of the one dimensional and/or cliche villain types found in the likes of Janet Evanovich's books. It can get the job done if you just need to have a throwaway villain for a book or two, but if you're trying to tell a story with well balanced dramatic tension and bad As far as writing books go, this was a great idea that I thought was poorly executed. I was hoping for a book on helpful tips for fleshing out potentially iconic antagonists. The examples from this book of "bad guys" consist largely of the one dimensional and/or cliche villain types found in the likes of Janet Evanovich's books. It can get the job done if you just need to have a throwaway villain for a book or two, but if you're trying to tell a story with well balanced dramatic tension and bad guys you will remember beyond the last page of your book, look elsewhere.

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