Showing vs. Telling – What Does it Really Mean?

Author Don Massenzio

show_tellWe’ve all heard this tenet of writing. Show vs. tell. My editor always hammer me for too much telling and not enough showing. I’ve really tried to work on this aspect of my writing, but, being a learning nerd, I had to know the mechanics behind it.

For one thing, you can express traits or history for your characters more succinctly by using dialogue than can be done through narrative. Here is an example.

Joe Smith was a career criminal. He had robbed several banks and had been in jail many times since his teens. As he prepared to rob the first national bank, he reflected on his past and was amused at the fact that he hadn’t learned his lesson and stayed out of trouble.

Here is the same scenario framed as a conversation that Joe is having with his brother, Jim.

“Why do you keep doing this?” Jim…

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An Exciting Adventure to Take My Writing to the Next Level – Please Help

Author Don Massenzio

blood match front coverYou’re among the first to know about this

I’m extremely excited to announce that my new book, Blood Match, is enrolled in the Kindle Scout program.

What is the Kindle Scout Program?

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. … Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, an advance,  royalties and featured Amazon marketing.

Why is it important?

If my book is selected for publication by Kindle Scout, it can help take my writing to the next level.

How can you help?

First and foremost, you can vote to nominate my book. The campaign goes up on September 20th at midnight and will continue through October 20th. You can vote for it and preview the opening of the book by clicking HERE.

As a blog follower, how can you really help?

Spread the word. I’ve made that easy for you using…

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Avoiding Cliches – The Name of the Game or Making a Mountain out of a Mole Hill?

Author Don Massenzio

clicheIn this post, I continue my journey through the book, Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve. If you’ve seen my past posts highlighting information from this book, you’ll know that it is focused on quantifying various aspects of writing. So far, I’ve posted on the following topics:

This post looks at cliches and the frequency that they occur in the writing of notable authors. The clear winner (loser) in the use of cliches is James Patterson. Across his 22 Alex Cross books, he used 160 cliches per 100,000 words. Jane Austen is at the other end of the spectrum with just 45.

graph1

Blatt goes on to point out that the position of Patterson at the top of this list is not a surprise as many of his book titles, 11th hour…

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How Many Characters Do You Need in Your Story?

Author Don Massenzio

crowdPast posts on my blog have touched on the topic of characters. I’ve posted tips suggesting that you avoid having too many characters in your books and to avoid throw-away characters by combining traits and actions into fewer characters.

This begs the question that is the topic of this post, how many characters do you need in your story?

Well, there is no simple answer to this question. The prevailing rule of thumb, from the reading I’ve done, is that you should have as few characters as possible to tell your story effectively. Adding characters just because they have interesting traits or personalities can take away from the overall story.

3d small people - pyramid of successMain Character

Well, duh. Your book should have a main character in most cases. This is the person who drives the events in the book and, very often, from whose point of view the story is unveiled.

The main character…

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A Perfect 10 with Kathleen Jowitt

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on Author Don Massenzio:
This week, I have the pleasure of featuring Author Kathleen Jowitt for this edition of A Perfect 10. Hurricane Irma stopped me from running this interview a week ago as scheduled. Please enjoy this…

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This Week in Indie Publishing

Author Don Massenzio

AmazonAmazon tries to snuff out a bunch of Kindle publishing scams

Amazon has been working for years to clean its sites of fake reviews and fake products. It’s still got work to do.

The online retailer on Wednesday filed five separate legal actions through the American Arbitration Association to cut down on a variety of alleged scams used to make money on Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing service, according to documents obtained by CNET.

Read the rest of this story HERE.


art2Why I’m Still Trying to Get a Book Deal After 10 Years

Ten years ago, while sitting at my computer in my sparsely furnished office, I sent my first email to a literary agent. The message included a query letter—a brief synopsis describing the personal-essay collection I’d been working on for the past six years, as well as a short bio about myself. As my third child kicked from inside…

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Come and be interviewed

Author Don Massenzio

interview-3Hello,

I’ve been running my weekly ‘Perfect 10’ interview series this year. Every Monday, I run an interview with an author and ask them a series of 10 thought-provoking questions. As I look toward the end of the year, I still have about 10 slots open.

If you’re releasing a book for the holidays or trying to get more exposure and meet other authors and bloggers, this is a great opportunity. Just email me at don@donmassenzio.com and I’ll send you the necessary instructions.

This is a great opportunity and there are only 10 slots left until the end of the year.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy Bell

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