I am happy to welcome Steve McHugh’s to Northern Crime for a guest post about writing. His latest novel Lies Ripped Open is published today.
Some helpful info about Lies Ripped Open
Over a hundred years have passed since a group of violent killers went on the rampage, murdering innocent victims for fun. But even back then, sorcerer Nate Garrett, aka Hellequin, knew there was more to it than simple savage pleasure—souls were being stolen.
Nate’s discovery of the souls’ use, and of those supporting the group’s plan, made him question everything he believed.
Now the group Nate thought long dead is back. Violent, angry, and hell-bent on revenge, they have Hellequin firmly in their sights. And if he won’t come willingly, they’ll take those closest to him first.
The battle begins again.
And over to Steve! *claps*
Write For You by Steve McHugh
When I first started writing, I was given a lot of advice by several people. A short lost of which is here:
Don’t write prologues
Don’t write epilogues
Don’t write flashbacks
Don’t write multiple POV characters
Write more metaphors
Don’t write metaphors
Write a book for the masses
Write a book close to the current popular books
Don’t write werewolves
Don’t write vampire.
The problem with opinions is that everyone has them and most of them are contradictory. My Hellequin Chronicles series has prologues, epilogues and flashbacks, because that’s what makes the story work. It also has werewolves and vampires in it, because I want them in it (I think the problem with both of those is their over-played and under utilized. Vampires have gone from being something you fear, to being something you look at and say, “aw.” I’d like to bring the big scary bastards back).
So, following someone’s opinion for what you should and shouldn’t do is all well and good, but you need to make the story work for you. You can’t write a book that you think will be a best seller, or an award winner; you just have to write the book that you want to write.
Advice is always helpful, and if I think it will help the book, I’m happy to take it, but saying you should always do one thing or another with no middle ground just creates confusion.
If someone says, “you can’t do that in a story,” and you want to do that, then why not do it? If it doesn’t work, you can remove it, or change it around—that’s what edits are for after all—but dismissing it off-hand because a few people say you shouldn’t do it is probably not a route anyone should take.
There will always be exceptions to this rule, there will always be those who wrote just to get a bestseller, who wrote a book using the A,B,C’s of exactly what to put in a book to make it as marketable as possible, but mostly those people are few and far between, or they actually do care about their craft, about their story, and about their name, and they’re still able to write that way.
At the end of the day you need to care about the book, about the story, and about your work, because if you don’t, why would anyone else?
Steve McHugh is the author of the popular Hellequin Chronicles. The fifth book, Lies Ripped Open, is out on 25th August 2015. He lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.
Lies Ripped Open: Lies Ripped Open Amazon Link