The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Twenty-Nine
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Whatever Floats Your Boat
This will be the last Mailbag before the holiday weekend, so I will wish you a safe and loving one…..a loving one…..a loving one.
I don’t know how to change the world, folks. All I can do is spread the love and hope it catches on.
So thank you for being here, and thank you for your support. May your holiday season be filled with love.
And now, the Mailbag!
Linking to Your Own Book
From Venkatachari M: “I have one question (or a doubt?). Can I share the URL linking to amazon kindle store for my book "Economics for Beginners" just recently published? I may want to share it with our hubbers. How to share it here on two of my economic hubs already there. I think, I can't use the Amazon capsule for it. So, how to do it?”
Venkatachari M, if you can’t use the Amazon capsule it’s news to me. I’ve been doing exactly that for my novels and never had any trouble. As long as the link you share is related to the Hub you have written, then there is a pretty good chance it will be accepted. Oh sure, HubPages may replace the capsule with a different one from time to time, but that’s just the cost of doing business with the HP staff. All in all, though, I have had very little trouble doing what you are describing, as long as the Amazon capsule with my book relates to the subject matter of the Hub.
Or am I missing something here????
THE ELUSIVE MIDDLES
From Mel: “My problem is middles, not endings. A lot of my ideas have died on the vine because I ran out of fluff to stuff in the pillowcase between the beginning and end. What says the writing sage on that?”
The sage says he understands completely. I had to train myself to see the whole picture, and relate what I see to my readers. Remember the five senses. You are the five senses for your readers. What do you smell in that scene? What do you see, and I mean really see? What do you hear? The really good writers have no fear in describing all of those things, and they certainly don’t look at them as fluff.
So break down each scene, using the five senses to make those scenes come alive and become vivid. That’s the job of a storyteller, to not only tell the story, but make it visually appealing through words.
When I write a novel, my first draft is the bare-bones story, and it usually totals around 70,000 words, a very short novel. It’s on my second draft that I do nothing more than fill in the scenes…the fluff, you call it….and that adds between 10,000-20,000 words to the story…at which point I have a novel.
Bottom line: tell your story and then go back and add the descriptions. Think about it, one good description of one character will take a good 200-500 words. Do that for every important character, less for the unimportant characters,…do it for each new scene…it’s easy to add the necessary fluff once you train yourself to do so.
From Rasma: “I have an interesting question for you. Every time I write up something from a certain source I always check up on a plagiarizer free checker. I am greatly thrilled when I get notified everything is just fine and of course I still add the information link. What do you think of the free checkers and can we rely on them? I have two favorites Paperrater and Quetext. The reason I am asking is that first of all I cannot afford to have a checker for money and second I am extra careful always. Did have one incident thus came the question. I checked and was informed that I pass 100% but the site I posted on said sorry needs to be rewritten. Utter confusion as you can imagine. So I would appreciate your views on this. Thank you.”
Rasma, you stumped me! If there was a prize for doing so, I would be putting it in the mail now.
I’ve never used a plagiarism checker. Truth be told, I didn’t know there were plagiarism checkers.
So any answer I give is going to be practically worthless. Are they a good thing? Can you rely on them? I think they certainly could be, depending on their quality. I’ve heard Grammarly is excellent but I have no personal experience. I think any program is going to have its faults, and I think any plagiarism checker is going to miss things from time to time, but I can’t see a downside to a free plagiarism checker. It seems like a no-brainer to me. Makes me wonder why I’ve never used one before…..what did Pooh say about himself? A bear of very little brain? That’s me on this topic.
From Eric: “Bill, what was the driving force that took you or bridged that gap between writing as solely an art form to commercialization? I most assuredly have no bias toward either although I kind of used "commercialization" to address the negative aspect of writing publicly for profit. I could just go back and read all your articles to date and see the transition phases but how about you make it easier for me.”
Eric, there are quite a few ways I can interpret this question. By commercialization do you mean freelancing for customers? Do you mean writing novels to sell? Do you mean writing on HP for pennies? I’m not sure where to go with this one, so I’ll just walk you through my writing process, and hopefully I’ll answer your question.
The turning point, for me, came when I was teaching in Oregon for two years….this was seven years ago. When I would drive back to Oregon on Sunday, after spending the weekend visiting friends and loved ones in Olympia, I would reflect on life. Upon arriving in Oregon I would sit down at the computer and type out those reflections and then post them on Facebook.
People started telling me I was a pretty good writer. It was news to me. At the same time, Bev had challenged me to write a book similar to some really weird, and fun, books written by Tom Robbins. So I took up the challenge, wrote “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” and I was on my way to being a writer.
Jump ahead six months and Bev encouraged me to write for HubPages. Jump ahead one year and I wrote my second novel, “Resurrecting Tobias,” and I was hooked.
The driving force behind all of that? I guess, if I were to sum it all up, the driving force was the passion I had once I started writing, and my desire to improve my craft. Commercialization? I always need money. We are always scrambling to pay bills and have a little left over, so I was hoping to make a little income while doing something I love doing.
Did I even come close to answering your question?
See You Around the Block, or up Your Alley
It will be a busy week ahead for many of us, so I wish you peace and tranquility as we shoulder our way through the end of 2016. Thank you for everything you have given me this past year. I hope you know how much you are appreciated.
See you soon!
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”
More by this Author
What mood are you trying to establish in your writing? These tips might help you achieve your goal.
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to becoming a freelancer.
What do you want to know about writing? You can find the answers, and more, here in the Mailbag!