Writing a Novel – The Four Steps I Use

Thank you very much, Don Massenzio, for sharing the four steps you use to write a novel. This is very helpful for many of us beginners.

Author Don Massenzio

I am on the verge of publishing novels seven and eight of my writing career. I wouldn’t say that I’m anything close to being an expert, but I decided to use my Hurricane Irma downtime to look back on the books I’ve written and the process that I followed.

1-ideaStep 1 – The Premise

The premise is just a general idea of what a book will be about. I’m going to use my second novel, Let Me Be Frank, as the example for this post.

The premise for this book was simple. I had just binge watched the 1970s television show, Columbo, and I was intrigued by the structure of most of the episodes. The show almost always started with a murder and very often showed the murderer and the method used to do in the victim. It was then up to Lieutenant Columbo to solve the case and…

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Characterization Tips – What to Avoid, Where to Focus

Author Don Massenzio provides us with tips on characterization. Thank you very much Don. These are very helpful!

Author Don Massenzio

This post is focused on a very important, if not the most important, aspect of your writers, your characters. Readers become invested in characters. They learn to love and/or hate characters. They sympathize and/or empathize with their flaws, quirks and events that shape them. Character development is both essential and difficult.

In this post, I hope to pull together some useful tips that I have tried to follow in my own writing or have learned from those that are respected and successful in the craft.

quote1

  • Be consistent with what you call your characters – If you’re character’s name is John Doe, stick with calling him John or Mr. Doe or Johnny. But don’t alternate or you will confuse your readers. I actually broke this rule in my first book, Frankly Speakingand in it’s subsequent related books, I have a character named Clifford Jones, III. He is an attorney…

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Anatomy of a Bad Review

Author Don Massenzio provides us with the analysis of a bad review written for one of his books. In my opinion he gives us a great example on how to handle bad reviews in general. But I figure I will find out for sure once one of my own books is published. Thanks for this post, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

online-reviewers Thumb up and down buttons

I’ve been blessed. I’ve written a number of books. I’ve been very fortunate. Readers that I don’t know have given my work reviews that have, in the vast majority, earned four or five stars.

That’s why, when I receive a bad review, I like to study it and figure out if there is something I can learn to improve my work.

Let Me Be Frank - CoverWhen I signed onto the Amazon author’s site, I saw this review for my second book, Let Me Be Frank:

bad review

I’ve redacted the name in this review. I didn’t want to make this post about the person who submitted the review, I wanted to make it a teaching moment.

First, I looked at the review. It’s titled ‘Boring’ and starts out with the words ‘too slow’. This is valid criticism for a book and sometimes, in a detective novel, the pacing can be…

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More Indie Publishing Tips

Don Massenzio is not only a great author; he’s an excellent advisor too! Thank you, for your very helpful and informative tips on indie publishing, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

TandEFor me, indie publishing has consisted of a lot of trial-and-error to determine what things work and what things do not. Unlike other types of sales and marketing, as an author it is not only about selling books, but, to some degree, you are selling yourself. This is something I’m extremely uncomfortable with, but I’ve found some ways to adjust my approach to make it more tolerable.

This list consists of some of the things I’ve tried that have worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

Hard sell concept.

  • Blatantly asking people to buy your books doesn’t work. Instead, I’ve tried to use my blog, Facebook, and other social media to try to convince people that my work might be worth checking out. I do this by trying to entertain or teach with the material I post.

wordofmouth

  • Word of mouth is extremely important. Your existing readers are your best salespeople. I like interacting with them…

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Creating a Universal Amazon Link – One Link Amazon Sites in all Countries

There is a universal Amazon link to Amazon Sites in all countries. Don Massenzio shows us how to get it. Thank you so much Don!

Author Don Massenzio

I posted this tip a while ago and got some positive feedback. If you set up buying links for your books, many of you are probably posting Amazon links for each country that you think your book will likely realize some sales.

There is no need to do this.

I was getting frustrated when I ran a free book promotion weekend and experimented with placing a Facebook ad that reached out to multiple countries. My dilemma with doing this is that I didn’t have a way to post all of the links for the various Amazon sites in other countries on my ad without it looking clumsy.

I searched for a way to create a universal link for my book. A universal link, when clicked by a potential reader, is designed to take them to my book on the appropriate Amazon page for their country.

All they needed to do was…

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Featured Author – Interview – The return of Don Massenzio

don_massenzio_author_picWelcome back!

 

You were a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ before, where we learned about writing in your life and your projects.

 

Let’s see what you can tell us today: 

 

 

 

  1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres?  

Interestingly enough, a couple of months before last year’s interview, I had released a terrorist thriller Blood Orange which, after writing three detective mystery novels, was a change in genre. I have since released another two detective mysteries, but I am writing a follow-up to that thriller as readers seemed to like the main character and his team. It will, however, crossover into the universe of my detective novels.

 

  1. Please, tell us a little about your writing process. 

It’s chaotic. I work full-time in a 50-60 hour per week consulting job that has me traveling 45 weeks per year. I’m not a good hotel sleeper so I spend much of my travel and insomnia time writing. I write whenever I have free moments. This makes continuity a challenge sometimes, especially because I’m not a traditional outliner. But, hey, I was able to publish three books last year, so it works for me.

 

  1. What is important to know for young, new authors and writers? 

Great question. My advice would, just do it. My eight-year-old came to one of my book signings and said she wanted to write a book someday. With my help, she published her first children’s book a couple of months ago, and now she has the fever to do it again. If my writing accomplishes nothing else, I’m truly happy.

 

  1. Your experience in the writing world, do you think it has already taken you where you wanted to go? 

Writing takes me away from the real world and that is exactly where I want to go occasionally. In terms of success, I’m happy with where my sales place on Amazon for the moment. Would I like to take it to a higher level of success? Of course. I don’t know many authors that wouldn’t, but I am content when I look at my bookcase and see my name on a book.

 

  1. In your opinion, are you a writer or an author – and what is the difference for you? 

I am both. A Writer puts word on the page. An author lets other people read those words.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your projects again. Was there progress since the last interview or are there even completely new projects? 

I have published two more books in my Frank Rozzani detective series since the last interview on your blog. I have a follow-up to Blood Orange written and going through the polishing stage and ideas for more ‘Frank’ books on the way. There will always be new projects until I run out of time to complete them.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!! 

 

__________________________________________________________________

Contact Don:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordonmassenzio/

Twitter: @dmassenzio

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Blog: http://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

Web Site: www.donmassenzio.com

 


Don Massenzio Books:

(click on the cover to be linked to the book page to get more information and buy it. Thank you)

 

frankly_speaking

let-me-be-frank

frank_inscensed

frank_immersed

 blood-orange

random-tales


 

Your Best Marketing Tool – Write Your Next Book

Author Don Massenzio teaches us with his post what to use as our best marketing tool. Thank you very much Don. We appreciate your advice and support!

don_massenzio_blog_cwp

Author Don Massenzio

Your Best Marketing Tool – Write Your Next Book

This post is about the activity that most of us probably enjoy the least, marketing our work. This is more than just posts on Facebook and Twitter. This is the part of independent publishing that I dread and that is the most cumbersome. To say you are an independently published author really means that you are taking on two full-time jobs, that of a writer and of a publisher.

I’m sure most of us would just like to write and ignore the marketing. Unfortunately, if you want to gain exposure, this is an unavoidable aspect of what we do. For the mundane marketing tasks, such as posting to Facebook and other social media outlets, I try to be efficient without spamming social media. Social media does have the word social as part of it. Things like automation and cut and paste marketing are…

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