Writing to individual tastes

I believe the cardinal sin in writing is writing for a market you do not love. Well, the ultimate sin is just plain bad writing, grammar etc. But to me, writing something you do not enjoy, or feel passionate about is tantamount to professional suicide.

This little intro brings me to today’s epiphany. Well, not so much an epiphany as a realisation. I understand that my writing sometimes appeals to the lowest common denominator. People have accused me of being too highbrow, too wordy. That’s a criticism I’ll accept. I know I’m guilty. What many do not realise is that I’m just as guilty at the other end. In the finest pulpy traditions, I enjoy (yes, ENJOY) writing ultra-fast paced, no-brainer actioners. Here’s an example from a writing session I squeezed in this afternoon (around 700 words or so expelled in 90 minutes):

“Screw it,” he said, emptying booming fire into the nearest Creeper.

Tossing the flickering torch into the oncoming mass of bodies, it clattered along the tunnel, becoming submerged in the watery filth. Several faltered, diving at the light in a frenzy of splashing talons.

Emptying the last of his MP7 clip into the horde, he jammed the weapon back into its holster and grabbed for one of the cylinders clipped to his belt.

Peeling round after urgent round into the huddled bodies, he hurled the grenade deep within the Creepers’ midst. And ran. Hard.

And you know what? Just as much as I love evoking psychological unease or stirring haunting emotions that live on in the reader, I love writing about guys with guns shootin’ the crap outta stuff. Why? Because I’m a guy. Yes, my ambition is to mix it with the likes of Stephen King AND Matthew Reilly. Is that possible? I think Harbinger will demonstrate that perhaps it is.

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