I don't know about you guys but I love love love crime thrillers. And I love love love all the new crime thrillers in YA. Therefore I am over the moon to welcome Sam Hepburn to my blog today to talk about her new and awesome YA crime thriller Chasing the Dark. Enjoy the brilliant post - and awesome book trailer! :)
Writing the bad guys (or girls) is great because they are so active. They are the ones committing the crimes, causing mayhem and driving the plot. However, to me the evil genius who lurks in a luxury mountain-top bunker, stroking furry animals, shrieking mwahahaha and getting his minions to carry out his evil plans for world domination are far less scary than the creepy villains who slip unnoticed into the warp and weft of ordinary life, brush past their victim in the dairy aisle of the local supermarket and take an up- close-and-personal role in making the hero’s life miserable. That’s because this sort of villain is so much more credible. To increase that credibility the bad guy must have a proper motive for his actions. Just being evil isn’t good enough. It’s not going to hold the reader’s attention for very long or make for a very complex character, which is why the writer must spend as much time getting inside the head of the baddie as she (or he) spends thinking about the hero. Just as we care about the protagonist because we believe that his actions are rational and good so we love to hate a villain we understand, and who appeals to that little streak of dastardliness inside us all. Therefore, there must be a logic to the villain’s malevolent actions and the reader must understand why he is so convinced that those actions are justified. The villain must also be portrayed as a worthy opponent, capable and intelligent enough to outwit or destroy the hero. The cleverer, more devious and inventive he is, the more he forces the hero to up his game and the more interesting the plot becomes. That tension and sense of uncertainty is what keeps the reader turning the pages, desperate to find out if the hero really does have what it takes to win through. And that’s why my villains all have the tiniest hint of my worst traits lurking inside them!