About Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio is the author of Frankly Speaking - A Frank Rozzani Detective novel and the follow-up, Let Me Be Frank. He has also written several short stories.

How to Stop Judging Your Own Writing So Harshly

Check out this post from the Novelty Revisions blog with tips on How to Stop Judging Your Own Writing So Harshly

Novelty Revisions

Have you been extra nice to yourself lately? If you’re a writer … the answer is probably: “…Mayyyybe?”

Writers — creators in general — are way too hard on themselves. We like making things, we feel good doing it. But we really want to feel like we’re doing a good job.

When we don’t feel that way — which happens much more often than we realize — we start to doubt if writing is even worth the struggle.

Why are we so judgmental of our own work? Because it’s the easiest to judge. It comes from us. We know it better than anyone.

But we can all learn to be critical without being so harsh. Here’s how.

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The Nutshell Protagonist

Check out this great post from Staci Troilo via the Story Empire Blog titled The Nutshell Protagonist

Story Empire

Comedy Tragedy

Ciao, SEers. Last time, we talked about Jill Chamberlain’s Nutshell process for writing screenplays or fiction. Today, we’re going to go into detail about the first of her touchstones—the protagonist.

You probably think that’s rather obvious, but consider buddy stories like Thelma and Louise, Harold and Kumar, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Maybe you think you have two protagonists. To elevate your story from a situation to a story, you need to choose one. (Or you need to define these points for both protagonists then merge them into one story.) Maybe you think the character whose name is first is the protagonist. But depending on which film you look at in the franchise, the protagonist might change. Harold was the protagonist in one of the films; Kumar was in another.

So, yes, you really do need to decide who your protagonist is, and…

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10 Ways an Editor Knows You’re Going to Be a Successful Writer

Check out this great post from the Novelty Revisions Blog with 10 Ways an Editor Knows You’re Going to Be a Successful Writer

Novelty Revisions

1. You have clear and concise communication skills — you’re pleasant, but you get to the point.

2. You don’t JUST have ideas. You have goals. Plans. And the writing samples to prove it.

3. You lean on your strengths. You know what you’re already good at — you don’t need someone else to validate that for you.

4. You have strong ideas and aren’t afraid to run with them — even if writing them out isn’t necessarily your strongest skill yet.

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Three Items Writers Hate to Write    

Check out this great post from Mae Clair via the Story Empire blog with Three Items Writers Hate to Write

Story Empire

Hi, SEers! Mae here with you today. Thanks for joining me as I ruminate over three items writers hate to write. Seems odd, doesn’t it?

Most of the time, we love to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and let inspiration fly. But, if you’re like me, there are several writing tasks that make you groan. Let’s take a quick look at each.

I love writing the synopsis for my novel—said no author ever.

Exhausted female writer with head down on desk, laptop open, tablet nearby
Well, maybe that’s too harsh. Some authors write the synopsis before the manuscript, so they know exactly what journey their characters are going to take. Not me. For most of us, writing a synopsis after completing a 50K-90K novel is sheer torture. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit the mere thought gives me a pounding headache. To make it easier, I keep the following in mind:


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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Thriller John L. DeBoer, #Scifi Richard Dee, #History Paul Edmondson

Check out the Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore with author updates from John L. DeBoer, Richard Dee and Paul Edmondson

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore author updates with recent reviews for books on the shelves.

The first author today is John L. DeBoer for his thriller Skeleton Run

About the book

Twenty years ago, four teenage boys left a baby behind in a crushed car after they caused the tragic accident that took the mother’s life. Ever since, they’ve guarded the secret that would’ve ruined their lives and destroyed their future careers. But when one of them succumbs to illness, a blackmailer makes contact, and the survivors realize that, somehow, someone else knows. Now, everything that matters to them is at stake.

Las Vegas billionaire Wendell Logan is pursuing the role of political kingmaker, and he’s selected his unsuspecting king: Alan Granger, governor of Pennsylvania. Granger confesses his closet skeleton to Logan, but the tycoon has invested too much time and money into Granger’s future…

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3 Hard Science Fiction Ideas

Check out this thought-provoking post from Nicholas Rossis’ blog with 3 Hard Science Fiction Ideas

Nicholas C. Rossis

Many of my readers enjoy science fiction as much as I do. Jacob Baumgardner recently shared an answer about which emerging technologies may have the greatest impact in the near future. He identified three: fusion power, rail/coilguns, and pre-coolers.

I imagine that all of these will come to be in this century.

Fusion power

This will probably be the last form of energy generation we develop until the advent of anti-matter.

Right now, fusion power is still in the testing phase in the form of ITER. If all goes to plan, the first successful testbed will be operational 5 years from now. It will start with large power plants, then small power plants, then large ships like carriers, and eventually it will be small enough to use in vehicles like aircraft and small ships. It is unlikely cars and the like will use fusion reactors as superconducting batteries are…

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7 Tips to Putting Ice Cream in Fiction?

Check out this sweet post from the Legends of Windemere blog with 7 Tips to Putting Ice Cream in Fiction?

Legends of Windemere

Baskin Robbins

It’s on the list of post ideas . . . I have no real idea why.  You can guess that I made it at night when I was hungry.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that you don’t see much ice cream in fantasy.  I won’t say it never turns up because I’m sure there’s at least one around with it.  Pretty clear why it wouldn’t be common since they don’t have refrigeration to keep it viable.  Still, there’s no reason you can’t add it and I have no idea what else to do here.  Guess this week is favorite foods or something.

  1. Come up with a way to explain how it keeps cold.  I feel that this is the perfect time to introduce minor spells that can get the job done.  All you really need is something to keep the ice cream cold. …

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The Most Important Reader Question – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Laurie Schnebly Campbell


We might have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen in a story when we pick up a new book. Most of the time, we can judge that book by its cover – or if not, then by its reviews or word-of-mouth from friends.

Even if nobody else has read it yet, we feel fairly certain that a book showing a rancher and a schoolmarm in a chaste embrace will likely end with the couple getting married. Or a book showing a police badge and some crime-scene tape will likely end with the detective taking the killer to jail.

So if we already know the ending, how can there possibly be any page-turning tension along the way?

Read the rest of this post HERE

12 Reasons You’re Feeling Too Overwhelmed to Write

Check out this post from the Novelty Revisions blog with 12 Reasons You’re Feeling Too Overwhelmed to Write

Novelty Revisions

1. You have too many ideas and might need to slow down, take a deep breath, and pick just one.

2. You procrastinated AGAIN come on you can do better than this!

3. You’ve already done a ton of writing recently and your brain just needs a rest.

4. You’re afraid it won’t be “good enough.”

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A Different Approach to Social Media

Check out this post from P.H. Solomon via The Story Empire blog with A Different Approach to Social Media

Story Empire

Greetings to all the Story Empire readers today. I’m posting late since I appear to be lost in some sort of time warp from finishing up a manuscript revision. My apologies for the delay today.

Retro effect and toned image of a woman hand writing a note with a fountain pen on a notebook. Handwritten text THE POWER OF HASHTAGSeptember begins several months of higher books sales and many authors are working now on more active approaches to promotion. Many people will rely on social media and reaching larger numbers of readers. With this in mind, here are some thoughts about gaining a higher reach than you may be getting with your social media (me included). It may be a longer way to the goal but it may end up being more rewarding.

Not everyone has a following of tens of thousands of readers which limits the reach your social media posts may have. Getting some shares from followers and friends can assist in gaining more reach than you otherwise would have. There used…

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