8 Steps to Side Characters by @sacha_black #BookReview #PubDay

Today, I have the pleasure of being a part of a very special release day!

Our very own, Sacha Black, has done it again with another cracker of a non fiction release, following on from her gems, 13 Steps To Evil, 10 Steps to Hero, and an absolute favourite of mine, The Anatomy of Prose.

This time we welcome 8 Steps to Side Characters!

Now, Sacha has guided us, in her inimitable way, through how to create the most evil kind of villains and those flawed, yet strong heroes, so it stands to reason that we need some guidance about how to handle all those other characters that make up the bones of our books… so here we have it!

Wanna know more about what it’s all about? Here’s the blurb:

Do your characters fail to bring your story to life? Are they flat, boring or have no depth? Is your story lacking a little cohesion or sparkle?
In 8 Steps to Side Characters, you’ll discover:

+ A step-by-step guide for creating side characters that bring your story alive
+ The main types of side characters and what you should do with them
+ The key to crafting character depth that hooks readers
+ How to harness your character’s voice to deepen your reader’s experience
+ Tips and tricks for using details to enhance characterization
+ Methods for killing characters that will help deepen plot, theme and story
+ Dozens of ideas for creating conflict with your side characters
+ Tactics for differentiating characters and making them feel real to your reader
+ Character archetypes and functions
+ The most common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid

8 Steps to Side Characters is a comprehensive writing guide that will help you create the side characters your story needs. This book is packed with tips and tricks for polishing characters for writers at any level.

If you want to power up your characters, eliminate dull and lifeless archetypes, and perfect your characterization, this is the book for you. By the end of this book, you’ll know how to strengthen your characters to give your story, prose and plot the extra something special it needs to capture a readers and fans for life.

If you like dark humor, learning through examples and want to create better side characters, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting supporting roles with intention, purpose, and power. Read 8 Steps to Side Characters today and start creating kick-ass stories. 

After I read my ebook arc, I was quick to get in there with my request for a signed hard copy of this beaut, too and it will be well thumbed, I can promise you!

My Review

8 steps to Side Characters: How to Craft Supporting Roles with Intention, Purpose, and Power by Sacha Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some authors, you just know you are going to read and enjoy.
And one of those, for me, Sacha Black, has done it again with her next writing craft special, 8 Steps To Side Characters. I’ve loved her previous guides to writing Villains, and Heroes, and the Anatomy of Prose was just ENLIGHTENING!
You know you’re reading a real (Sacha) Black beauty when the first chapter in the book is called F*ck The Rules! Her colourful language embodies all that is Sacha, ensuring a read full of laughs, snorts, and ‘A-ha!’ moments!
There is so much in the book to help you craft your side characters into solid people that readers will understand, and how to use them to push the story forward.
Side characters are fantastic literary devices, but you really do need to know the nuances of how to use them, and also, it’s important to know what kind of side character you are writing… yup, there are several types. Sacha has it all covered!
What a fantastic resource that had me questioning all my side characters, past and present – in a good way. You can always count on Sacha for a dose of ‘Real-talk’ writing advice.
And one of my favourite lines, which I can just hear her saying… (I listen to Sacha’s podcast, so her wonderful British lilt is ingrained in my mind!) “Don’t be an @sshole – they’re full of sh!t rather than words”.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

And… she doesn’t just have the Textbook available, as always there is an acompanying Workbook, too. She’s a whip-wielding task master, that Sacha…! But, honestly, if you want to hone your craft, what better way than to work through the exercises designed to strengthen your craft?

Universal purchase link textbook: books2read.com/sidecharacters 

Universal purchase link workbook: books2read.com/sideworkbook

What are you waiting for? Get yourselves out there!

Oh, and if you want more, check out Sacha’s Social Media. There are a whole host of mini tip videos that have been posted over the last few days, and for the next few days, Sacha has some fantastic interviews lined up.

As part of the launch week, I’ll be interviewing nine authors all about their side characters, their favorite side characters from books and films as well as their tips for creating better characters. And I’ll be doing that all LIVE on instagram every night at 8pm from the 30th July to the 8th August.

Sacha Black
  • Friday 30th July – Mark Lefebvre from Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing Podcast
  • Saturday 31st July Jeff Adams from Big Gay Fiction podcast
  • Sunday 1st August Katlyn Duncan YouTuber and author
  • Monday 2nd August Daniel Willcocks, my Next Level Authors cohost, book coach and horror authors
  • Tuesday 3rd August Crys Cain, host of Write Away, cohost of TASM and author
  • Wednesday 4th August Kristina Stanley, CEO of Fictionary.co
  • Thursday 5th Helen Scheuerer author of fantasy
  • Friday 6th Miranda Bridges romance author
  • Saturday 7th Elaine Bateman urban fantasy author and staff writer at Indie Author Magazine
  • Sunday 8th August – if I haven’t collapsed, will be a solo show from me.

Find Sacha on the following channels:

Facebook: @sachablackauthor

Instagram: @sachablackauthor

Website: http://www.sachablack.co.uk

The Anatomy Of Prose by @sacha_black #BookReview

There are a plethora of writing craft books out there, and it is mind-boggling to work out which one is worth your hard earned money.

Today, I am so excited to share with you a book that is out today, and TOTALLY worth it!

Many of you know Sacha Black. She’s been on the blogging circuit for a long while, and was the head honcho for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards too. She’s the proud author of two YA fiction books and has two fantastic non-fiction books out already, about developing your Villains and Heroes.

This time, Sacha has excelled herself with a book about creating perfect prose, in her own inimitable style.

Do your sentences fail to sound the way you want? Are they lackluster, with flat characters and settings? Is your prose full of bad habits and crutches?
In The Anatomy of Prose, you’ll discover: 
  • A step-by-step guide to creating descriptions that sing
  • The key to crafting character emotions that will hook a reader
  • How to harness all five senses to make your stories come alive, deepening your reader’s experience
  • Tips and tricks for balancing details at the sentence level 
  • Methods for strengthening each sentence through strategic word choice, rhythm and flow
  • Dozens of literary devices, and how to utilize them to give your prose power
  • Tactics for differentiating characters in dialogue as well as making it punchy and unforgettable 
  • A comprehensive prose-specific self-editing check list
  • How to embody your character’s personality at the sentence level
  • The most common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid 

The Anatomy of Prose is a comprehensive writing guide that will help you create sensational sentences. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will power up your prose, eliminate line-level distractions and help you find the perfect balance of show and tell. By the end of this book, you’ll know how to strengthen your sentences to give your story, prose and characters the extra sparkle they need to capture a reader’s heart.
If you like dark humor, learning through examples and want to create perfect prose, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting sensational sentences. Read The Anatomy of Prose today and start creating kick-ass stories.

I was lucky enough to read and review an arc of this book, and I have to tell you, it is a little gem, I kid you not!

My Review

Why is it that whenever I read one of Sacha Black’s craft books, the urge to open up my manuscript, and purge it of stupid errors, is so strong?

Seriously, so many ‘Uh-oh’ moments and dawnings of ‘A-ha!’ realisations!

As I read some parts, they had me moving my head up and down like a nodding dog in the windscreen of an ever-stalling car! “Yes!” my writer’s brain was screaming. “I do that! But, I’d better just reread and double-check to make sure…”

Having read Black’s 13 Steps to Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains, and 10 Steps to Hero: How to Craft Kickass Protagonists, as well as having devoured her two fiction novels, it was a no-brainer that I was going to read this one.

Don’t they all look amazing?

The name; The Anatomy of Prose: 12 steps to Sensational Sentences; just sounded like it was going to give me a huge helping of useful advice, liberally seasoned with Black’s wit (and colourful language!)

I write, yes, but I also doubt myself and my own skill. Black’s clear-cut words have really helped to hone my own writing.

From thinking about dialogue and descriptions to characterisation, and that biggie… show vs. tell (which I was especially interested in) there are a plethora of topics covered.

What I love about Black’s advice, is that she’s not saying her way is the right way, but one way to approach crafting words. After all, there is no ‘right’ way to write, is there?

But her (sometimes not-so) gentle nudges to make you reread your own work, and think whether you could, in fact, just word that section a little differently, push you onto a much stronger path of prose.

The Anatomy of Prose is like having your own little developmental editor by your side. It’s not going to tell you what to change, but its pearls of wisdom will make you start to reconsider how you string together your sentences, chapters, and novels, starting with those very gems that a book needs… words.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It will definitely be one of my more thumbed craft guides as I continue on my journey as a writer.

Thank you, Sacha!

And here is a little word from Sacha, herself.

If I were you, a writer with a passion to create perfect prose, I’d be clicking this link here, like, RIGHT AWAY!

Universal link: https://books2read.com/anatomyofprose

I can’t wait for my hard copy to arrive so I can sticky tab it up.

10 Steps To Hero – How to Craft a Kickass Protagonist by Sacha Black #BookReview @sacha_black

I’m really not one for reading texts for how to improve your writing.

Bitmoji Image

It’s not that I don’t think I need them, but I often feel that if someone is telling me how to write, then what I churn out is not really my voice, but that of another…

Having said that, I have read a few recently, by trusted authors, some who I feel I know, some whose name I have grown up with… Stephen King, Karen McQuestion, Bryan Cohen, Nicola Morgan, Sacha Black…

And they haven’t been telling me what to write, rather how to go about the process, sometimes how they started off, in order to reach the heights they have climbed.

Sacha Black is definitely one of those authors.

Hers was actually the first ever writing craft book I read actually.

When she released her guide to creating villains, I had to get it. Partly because I had been with her step by step, via the blog, as she wrote it, and partly because she always sounds like she knows what she’s talking about!

And I wasn’t disappointed! Read my review here.

And after that, she couldn’t leave it at one book, so on top of writing two parts to her YA series, she created a guide to create a fantastic hero character too!

So, the blurb…

From cardboard cut-out to superhero in 10 steps.

Are you fed up of one-dimensional heroes? Frustrated with creating clones? Does your protagonist fail to capture your reader’s heart?

In 10 Steps To Hero, you’ll discover: 

+ How to develop a killer character arc

+ A step-by-step guide to creating your hero from initial concept to final page

+ Why the web of story connectivity is essential to crafting a hero that will hook readers

+ The four major pitfalls to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create your perfect protagonist. Whether you’re writing your first story or you’re a professional writer, this book will help supercharge your hero and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master your charming knights, navigate your way to the perfect balance of flaws and traits, as well as strengthen your hero to give your story the conflict and punch it needs.

First, there were villains, now there are heroes. If you like dark humor, learning through examples, and want to create the best hero you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting heroes.

Read 10 Steps To Hero today and start creating kick-ass heroes.

So…

Did it help me?

I gotta say YES!

For the first time, since reading these kinds of books, I was inspired to get a pen and paper, any paper, and jot down ideas to hopefully improve my characters, and their reasoning behind doing some of the things they do in my own book!

I’m weaving my own web of connectivity, creating character arcs, looking through my hero lens… (you’ll need to read it to get what all those are!) And all with the help of this rather cool guide that is rather funny too. Sacha is like me, she tends to create her own words, to describe things. She’s not afraid to say it like it is either.

And would I recommend it to other aspiring writers?

Absolutely!!!

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Buy it by clicking books2read.com/10stepstohero

Reviewed on Goodreads and Amazon.

And not only does Sacha write these amazing badass craft guides, but she even manages to write accompanying workbooks too!

You know you wanna buy…

If you don’t know Sacha, why not?

She is blogging event organiser extraordinaire, being the birth mother of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Awards, and an author of four books, two fiction, and two non-fiction, with more due soon! And she is a loving wife and mother too, to top it off!

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories,  self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Find out more about Sacha and her books here.

I do love Sacha, she has been ace at giving me, ahem, gentle nudges when it came to getting that first draft finished too!

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#BookReview – Victor by Sacha Black @sacha_black

I’ve been reading plenty this year, but recently, events beyond my control meant that I was so tired, I couldn’t stay awake long enough to read more than a couple of pages of any book every night.

Now, usually, I can’t read in a moving car. Trains and planes are fine, but reading in a car gives me headaches and nausea.

This time, however, I tried to read, and, lo and behold, no headache or sickness!!! I managed to plough through a WHOLE book in the car on my way to see Pops!

And that book was none other than the sequel to Sacha Black’s Keepers, named Victor.

Read the review of book one here!

Victor (The Eden East Novels Book 2) by [Black, Sacha]

Here’s the info.

When Eden East kills someone, she expects them to stay dead. It’s only polite, after all.
Exhausted from battle and finally bound to her soulmate, all Eden wants to do is attend university and spend time with Trey. When her demon-ex, Victor, suddenly returns from the afterlife, Eden’s convinced he’s out for revenge. The last thing she expects is for him to ask for help, especially when he’s being controlled by evil forces.
But when an enchanted lock and key go missing, she’s no longer sure who she can trust. If Eden can’t find them in time, not only will her life, and her heart, be torn apart, the very world she lives in could be destroyed – forever.
Victor will transport fans of The Red Queen, The Young Elites, and The Lunar Chronicles to a world unlike any other…
The Eden East Novels:
  • Book 0 – Sirens (coming soon)
  • Book 1 – Keepers
  • Book 2 – Victor

And here’s my review…

Star rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s been a while now since Keepers was published. I devoured that and was waiting eagerly for the next instalment, Victor.
And I can honestly say I was not disappointed at all.
The story picked up from the end of Keepers and within moments of opening the first page, I was right back in the action.
Beautifully written, with evocative language, Black kept me on the edge of my (car) seat the whole way through the book. I could feel the emotions and picture the scenes within my mind.
I loved the developing relationship between Eden, the protagonist, and her Balancer, Trey (who, might I say, is a hero of dreams!)
The constant reappearances of the should-be-dead Victor had me racing through the pages.
And the ending… Oh My!
Trutinor, what is going to happen?! (Don’t worry, no spoilers here, but WHAT AN ENDING!)
I am now going to be constantly checking for news of book three! Hurry up Sacha Black!

Reviewed on Amazon – Here and Goodreads – Here

Buy your copy here.

If you don’t know Sacha, why not?

She is blogging event organiser extraordinaire, being the birth mother of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Awards, and an author of four books, two fiction, and two non-fiction, with more due soon! And she is a loving wife and mother too, to top it off!

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories,  self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Find out more about Sacha and her books here.

I do love Sacha, she has been ace at giving me, ahem, gentle nudges when it came to getting that first draft finished too!

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Voting is Now OPEN for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards @BloggersBash – SACHA BLACK

The Bash is back!

Well, you all know that! But the voting is now officially open! And there are so many amazing blogs out there waiting for your votes!

There are nine awards and the process is very simple. a simple select then click vote on each nine awards, and that’s it. You’re done!

The hard bit is deciding which blog to choose though.

Please go ahead and vote. It means loads to everyone involved, the bloggers nominated, and the committee who have mixed their blood, sweat and tears into all the organisation for this fantastic event!

Oh, and if you are inclined to do so, my little blog has been nominated for Best Overall Blogger.

Best-Overall-Badge 2018

I’d sure appreciate a vote! Remember… But I Smile Anyway!

Head over to Sacha’s post, below, to vote!

via Voting is Now OPEN for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards @BloggersBash – SACHA BLACK

Best-Overall-e1519401734212

 

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