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All Due Respect  

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Chris Rhatigan

Shotgun Honey  

An Imprint of Down & Out Books

Publisher: Ron Earl Phillips

In a continuing series of features from our authors, newcomer Steven Max Russo muses on Character Assassination.

Well, I’ve finally gotten a book published and now I fancy myself a bona fide thriller writer.

So what does a novice author pontificate upon?

How about a pet peeve?

I have been told by several agents, editors, even a few close friends, that my writing is sometimes too graphic.

To be more precise, the violent scenes in my books are often described in much more detail than is necessary. I have been informed that in some instances, these scenes take away from the story instead of add to it.

I have also been told that really good writing doesn’t need that level of detail. Really good writing leaves more to the imagination of the reader, allowing him or her to fill in the gory details for themselves.

I was never sure how to respond to these criticisms. On the one hand, I did not want to dismiss what others had to say simply because it’s not how I’ve been doing it. I haven’t been writing novels all that long, but I have spent most of my adult life in advertising and I’ve seen creative teams take ownership of ads that aren’t necessarily on strategy (or even all that good) and then die on the sword refusing to change a visual or even a single word of copy because they felt it would violate the integrity of the idea.

I didn’t want to be one of those people. I wanted to be open-minded.

On the other hand, what if I found that I simply didn’t agree with others’ assessment?

For a while, I must admit, it was a conundrum.

So I took a step back and tried to look at it objectively.

Continue reading…