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A Potpourri of Writing Tips for Authors and Author Wannabees

Updated on June 9, 2014

Too Much to Cover

I have no idea how many articles I have written about the art of writing. I have tried to cover the main points, but there are always odds and ends that don’t seem to make it into those articles, random tidbits of information that I have not deemed worthy of an entire article.

Today is the day we clean up the backlog of information that has not been covered yet.

There is no logical cohesion to this article. It will be much the same as walking through a whiteout in the dead of winter, snowflakes pelting you as you walk from front door to mailbox, coming from a variety of directions but all finding their mark….the author.

Take what you need and leave the rest for the next visitor to this page. Some of these may not apply to you, and for some of you they all apply. I’m using the scattergun approach in hopes that you find something that can help you on your writing journey.

Shall we begin?

It all begins with a commitment to do your best
It all begins with a commitment to do your best | Source

NEVER FORGET THIS VERY IMPORTANT ITEM

Writers are forever agonizing over the plot of their story, and for sure, plot is very important. For my money, though, the main ingredient in a successful novel, or short story, is the main character.

I was thinking back to some of my favorite reads over the years, and it dawned on me that although I can give you a vague outline of the plot in those books, what really stood out for me were the main characters.

I’m a mystery nut, and the mystery series that I follow religiously all have one thing in common: a main character who curls my toes. I don’t much care what they are doing in the book, or what mystery they are solving. I’m invested in the story because I enjoy the protagonist so much.

Make your characters memorable and you will be well on your way to success as a writer. Ignore the characters, or brush over them quickly, and I guarantee failure.

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF SELF-PUBLISHING

Self-publishing is an enticing concept for those who have had no luck getting published in the traditional way. Simply download your book to Kindle and away you go, and that is certainly true and easy….but….

What are your objectives in self-publishing? If one of your goals is to actually sell some of those books, then you face some “hidden” costs. These include the cost of an ISBN, the cost of a barcode, the cost of an editor and a book cover designer, and on and on we go, where it ends nobody knows.

For my current novel, “Resurrecting Tobias,” I am currently $600 in the hole and it’s not even published yet. That is not a complaint. I choose to spend the money so my book appears as professional as possible. I could spend less money, but I’m not into tacky.

Just something to think about before you begin your journey on the self-publishing route.

Allow your characters to tell their story
Allow your characters to tell their story | Source

LET A SINGLE SENTENCE BE YOUR GUIDING LIGHT

This tip begins with a single sentence. I want you to summarize the main theme of your book in one sentence. This may not be as easy to do as it sounds, but give it a try.

Now that you have your sentence, post it above your computer so you can see it every day that you write….and let it be the bright star that you follow.

There is a very good reason for doing this: a novel of some 100,000 words is a convoluted, complicated, rollercoaster of words, subplots, scenes, and character developments. Keeping a novel on track is a difficult task, and I have found that if I have a reminder posted for me to always see, I have less chance of heading off on some tangent from which I will never return.

GIVE YOUR CHARACTERS FREEDOM

I have mentioned this before but it is worth repeating in a little more detail. Your characters are the ones who should be writing your book. It is their story, so allow them to tell it.

In each scene, ask yourself how your character would react to this situation. For every crisis, ask yourself what your character would do if faced with it. Then turn them loose to be themselves. Never force your characters to be something they are not; it will only end up seeming….forced!

Of course, in order to follow this suggestion, you need to really know your character, and as I have suggested in previous articles, in order for this to happen you need to interview them before you even start writing that novel.

Be willing to cut out the unnecessary
Be willing to cut out the unnecessary | Source

MAKE A COMMITMENT

And that commitment should be to writing!

Become the best writer you can be. Learn as much about writing as you can learn. Hang with other writers, pick their brains, go to workshops, and absorb as much knowledge about this craft as you can.

I love it when one of my peers asks me a question, or seeks my opinion on their work. It means they really care to learn, and they are determined to improve.

If you are going to write a book, then learn how to write a book properly. I am fanatical about this point, because I respect this art form we call writing….and because I want you to experience the success that can only come from improvement.

DON’T BE SO EAGER TO EDIT

Some writers do not agree with this, and that is all fine and good, but for me, the first draft of a book should not be edited while you are writing it. By its very nature, editing destroys the flow of writing, and that first draft should be all about flow.

Allow your book to flow out of you the first time around. Give yourself the freedom to make mistakes. Believe me, if you are serious about publishing your book, there will be endless hours spent editing down the road, and you will come to hate the process after the third edit. You might as well enjoy the process during that first draft.

BE PREPARED TO AMPUTATE

This is painful. Your finished manuscript is your child, lovingly nurtured and raised with care, and the thought of chopping off a chapter here and ten paragraphs there is akin to child abuse…..but…..

It is necessary.

The greats of the past had to follow this rule. There is no earthly reason why you shouldn’t do the same.

Have someone who has no emotional investment in you or your book read the manuscript. Ask them to be brutal in their opinions and suggestions….and then sharpen the scalpel and amputate where needed.

Then go have a stiff drink because you’ll need it.

There Is More but Not Today

Well, I took a chunk out of my to-do list, but I didn’t complete it. I guess that means I’ll have to write another of these articles in the near future. So be it. I am a writer…I write…that is what I do.

I hope you found something helpful here. I know I did. I often write these articles to remind myself of things I learned long ago but forget from time to time.

Best wishes on your current project, and if you have a book project you are thinking about, there is no better time than today to get started.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      I loved your tips and truly appreciated laying it out for us how much it does actually cost to indeed self-publish a book if and when we were possibly interested in doing so. Thanks Bill and have a great Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, there is the cheap way to publish, and then there is the expensive way...and many ways that fall in-between. I'm glad this helped, Janine. Have a wonderful day.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Great advice, Bill! I love that you explain what you are saying in an easy to understand, no nonsense way. I also love how you talk about frustration, pain and disappointment. Much better to be prepared! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Randi! I think it helps when people know the real facts before trying something....it might be a bit painful, but at least then you can prepare for it.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

      That's so true--reflecting on the novels I've read and remembered, it's the main character who sticks out in my mind more than anything else. And I have the worst time trying to free write without editing! It's a sickness, I'm sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, a sickness without a cure. You'll have to go cold turkey, and take it from me, that's no fun. :)

    • Trisha Roberts profile image

      Trisha Roberts 2 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

      I love your advice! Especially keeping the main idea upon your computer so you can look at it as your star every day. I also agree with the not editing, I don't write novels, but I do keep my rough drafts and mistakes, many may throw them away, but I keep them to learn off of them. Thank you once again for a wonderful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Trisha! It sounds to me like you have your act together as a writer. Carry on my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I always get something useful out of you hubs, always. Today is no exception. Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      It was helpful to know the costs of self-publishing. Thank you.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 2 years ago from chennai

      billy, though I am nowhere near your standard, it was useful reading your post. I totally agree with the amputating part, very difficult, but very essential in making any writing effective.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, breakfastpop. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      you are very welcome, Flourish. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mathira. I think you are a very good writer, so don't sell yourself short. :)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Very true about editing and being prepared to amputate, I'm constantly editing but I do keep hard copies. I like the idea of leaving a sentence where it can't be missed. Useful as always, I had three repins from your last hub on my Pinterest account nice going my friend. My best to you.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great tips for writing. Editing is important but as you have pointed out the writing must flow freely for the first time at least. Proper self publishing seems to cost a lot done the proper way but then the proper way is the best. Great hub as always, voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nice going me? Nice going you, Jo! Thank you for pinning my stuff....it means a great deal to me. You are appreciated, and I'm wishing for you a wonderful week.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Hey, Bill! Happy Monday! Great tips, my friend. I'll have to try the one sentence summation thing. That certainly sounds like a good way to stay focused. I know sometimes in my HP articles I tend to meander and go off track. At first I thought it was just a Shauna quirk. It might be okay for certain topics, but certainly not for a novel. That would be a sure way to close the door on my readers!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      If we write from the heart then all of this applies thereto and so is worthy of our life as much as our writing,,, If there be a difference, which my wife questions of us writers.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I so agree with your tips here when I first started writing I just edited as I wrote and eventually learned not to great advice as always from you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur. I just want people aware of the hidden costs before they get their hopes up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, good morning and Happy Monday my friend. No, it is not a Sha thing...we all do it. Staying focused on the goal is crucial for any writer.

      Have a great day my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Valid point, Eric...interesting point made by your wife. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, DDE!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Great hints. I agree full heartily with amputation. Sometimes I will remove whole sections (of whatever I am working on) to simplify and make things easier to follow. You can't be too connected to the sentences or paragraphs it is the whole work that counts. Thank you. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I recently did that with my latest novel, and it was painful and very necessary. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

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      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      Great insights and hard truths. These articles keep me trying and trying all the time. Thanks so much, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mari. I'm glad you find them useful.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another great set of tips and reminders! Thanks for sharing. I especially appreciate the reminders on character development. I enjoy this aspect of writing, but know I don't follow through as well as I should. Your tips are invaluable to get me back on track, Bill! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Bill, from what I have seen of your writing, you are right on track. Keep up the good work my friend, and thank you.

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      Elizabeth Parker 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Very enjoyable and great advice! I've learned it is so much easier to write then it is to "Amputate" I spend countless hours removing information that only took me half the time to write! Oh, one thing, if you do go with createspace or lulu, you can get an ISBN for free. Not sure what the advantage is to buying one- as I'm sure there is one- but just wanted to put that out there as well. Thanks for your educational hubs Bill- they are always helpful!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      No I'm not going to leave any tips for the next hubber. You are right about plot. Cannery Row is one of my favorite books and it has no discernible plot. You are also right about not trying to crowbar your characters into a highly restricted and micro managed plot. The funnest part of writing a novel is only having a vague idea about how you are going to wrap it up. Stephen King said being a writer is like being an archaeologist - that the writer has to unearth the plot slowly. Great hub!

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 2 years ago from Sweden

      I always enjoy your writing tips:) Best of all is: give your characters freedom, true and creates a far more natural story. I agree about editing, I never edit while writing, I just want it all on "the paper", then I edit...

      Great hub as usual, voted up and useful!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for adding that, Liz, and you are right of course. The only time you would have to pay for one would be if you are self-publishing through a traditional publishing company like a hometown printer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, you made some great points here. The more I read King's words on writing, the more impressed I am with the man. Thanks for all of this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you kerlund....give the characters freedom. Only a writer would understand that. :)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great points, Bill. By the time I draw up a chair and start banging out a story, I already have the gist of it firmly in mind, and after that, the story simply unwinds on its own.

      I agree on the editing. Write the story, put it away for a few days to mellow, and then edit it. Get the story down first and tend to the mechanics later.

      BTW, if you have an idea, stop what you're doing and write it down, because if you're like me, you'll likely forget that great idea if you don't. Don't trust it to memory.

      Write and right: write it down, and do it right away.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I love your points...especially the one about memory. LOL I would be in deep trouble if not for my notebook. Thank you, sir!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      My favorite point is the one about don't edit while you are writing. As an editor, that is the hardest thing for me to do. I started a book 10 years ago and had to lay it aside because my job changed and I didn't have time to go on location to do the research (online just won't do). Looking back, I see that by editing as I was writing, sometimes a chapter would turn out 180 degrees from what I'd planned, and it didn't fit. So you hit me square between the eyes with that one, my friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great tips Bill. You help us so much. thank you...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, MizB. It is a hard habit for some to break, but I think it is essential that writers do so. Take care and know you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Ruby. I've got one for you tomorrow. :)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Great tips and advice. You continue to educate us. I do like the tip on editing after you have completed the book and I think this also apples to articles. When I get into the flow of writing my travel articles stopping to edit interrupts my thought process. I will leave the editing until I am done. Thanks. Have a great week.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      All so true but how I stumble when fiction writing. The amputation part is so difficult, take it out, put it back, take it out. I'm not a good decision maker. Thanks for all the good ongoing tips and ideas and good reasoning. Most appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well done, Bill. I think it's the only way to write, but what the heck do I know? LOL Thanks my friend, and enjoy your summer week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      travmaj, it is my pleasure. Hopefully one day you will feel more comfortable with fiction. In the meantime, keep doing what you do so well.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 2 years ago from Western NC

      I've definitely been enjoying your "how to write" hubs. You're really good at writing and writing the how-to versions of it, too. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Cyndi. It's the old teacher in me. I can't get rid of him no matter how hard I try. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      I love your great advice Bill, and I will be honest here, its you who has pushed me to not only write, but do it right so to speak! especially, for me, the fact that all your advice does go in this brain of mine even though at the time I don't realise it! lol! since I have been reading your hubs, I now really try to promote stuff, re write it, organise it and so on, and its working! so thanks so much, voted, tweeted, hell all over the place! lol!

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      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Another great hub Billy! Just pinned it to my "Hubs Worth Reading" board and shared with my friends!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, that is a very sweet thing for you to say. Thank you so much. You made this old teacher very happy.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen, thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate that.

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      LisaKeating 2 years ago

      Make a commitment. That tip speaks to me. I get impatient and want to get to the end of the story. Luckily, I write nonfiction essays so they don't have to be as long! I have a hard time letting the story unfold instead of writing a Cliffs Notes version of it. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Lisa. Thank you for the visit and thoughts.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 2 years ago from TEXAS

      Bill, I love this!! One reason is that characters are my stronger suit, plots are not so much. Gives me courage!

      I stand in awe of good fiction writing. Like other forms o excellence, it stands out above the more mediocre efforts. Your own organization and excellence in your own writing are things I admire and feel I might even master, though I've attempted fiction stories over my life, but have never felt the genre my forte, and perhaps it's not. But I've a modicum of hope. So the courage you give is valued. Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Ah ... now I know why it is taking me an eternity to write my novel, as I keep stopping to edit ... when I need to just let it flow freely from my brain to my fingertips and see what prevails! Then I will get the red ink out and bleed all over it lol.

      Thank you for the great tips and I am looking forward to your book ... getting closer each day!

      Peace and blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nellieanna, thank you for the kind words. I'm a big believer, actually, in playing to your strong hand. You are an excellent poet...perhaps that is the strength you will always be known for. Me and poetry...not so much. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Getting closer for sure, Faith. It should be available in hard copy by Thursday of this week...Kindle by early next week. Thank you, as always, for your loyal support.

      blessings to you my friend

      bill

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      Shelley Watson 2 years ago

      Thank you again for sharing - I am guilty about editing before I've finished and you are so right, it stops the flow. I'm trying not to notice mistakes or better still just to leave them alone.

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      Sanjay Sonawani 2 years ago from Pune, India.

      Helpful as usual! Thanks.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Bill. Your efforts to educate us is not in vain. I continue to learn from you. Your suggestion to focus on character over plot helps me breathe easier. I'm not expert at story-telling.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shelley, it is easier said than done, but well worth doing. Thanks for your thoughts my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sanjay, thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, good writers can create such fine characters that the reader really doesn't care what the plot is....you can do it as well. Thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      All extremely useful tips. I know of Author's House Publishers mentioned. Writer's Market is a great book.

      Best wishes with you book. I'm looking at roughly $1500.00 to re-publish my book. I got roughly 100 books or $1500 dollars the traditional way first time round.

      Wishing you well, my Friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita....best wishes on the re-publishing of your book.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I do care more of the characters than the plot. Thanks for the advice and for educating us. I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing your knowledge Bill.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is my pleasure, Thelma. Thank you for the visit.

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Yep, self-publishing can be done for almost free, emphasis on "almost." The formatting, editing, printing and logistics are hard costs. But the time? The effort it takes to market it? Those are the soft costs that become very hard indeed.

      And, yes, I've amputated many a book, article or even website... all for the better. That the even more difficult "editing" process.

      Great odds and ends tips! But I expected that, of course. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Heidi. When I hit it big I'm hiring you for promotion. No kidding!

    • Amy Naylor profile image

      Amy Naylor 2 years ago from England

      Great tips! But I didn't appreciate McEwan's views on undergraduate writing courses... I'm about to start one myself!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Amy! Take McEwan's views with a grain of salt. :)

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 2 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Awesome piece - I especially like interviewing the character, and making them memorable... for me I think it's important that the reader has some kind of connection with the main character - good or bad, as long as it keeps the pages turning to find out what happens to them next. Thanks bill, perhaps you can do a more detailed piece on kindle books (I've been thinking about doing articles for them). Peace. Kawi.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kawi, thank you! Kindle is in the future plans, as are so many other projects.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Money spent for an editor is money well spent --in my opinion--editing is my poorest skill --so I know I need that--as always Bill, food for thought

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, you and me both. I would be in big trouble without an editor. Now, on to the next novel. :) Thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      sound, and great advice.. your writing tips are helpful, useful and come in many varieties, hey just like potpourri... :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the tips, Bill. As always, they are very useful. I agree very much about not editing until the first draft is finished, especially when writing fiction. Stopping in the middle of a draft to edit definitely does stop my flow of ideas and writing.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 2 years ago

      Good hub, useful information, tips. thanks for sharing Bill. I've been reading your hubs. I'm still having computer issues. I can't type using my laptop keyboard so I'm using an on-screen keyboard for now. Looking forward to reading Resurrecting Tobias.

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      Sherri Tuck 2 years ago from Virginia

      Right now, I am learning to deal with rejection. After a couple of years on HubPages, I have gone out on a limb and started to submit to a few poetry journals and literary magazines without any luck. The part about your writing being part of you is so true. I really believe that is why rejections hurts so much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, at first I thought you wrote "just like popcorn." LOL Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I can't imagine anything worse for a fiction writer than to ruin the flow. Thank you again my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Doc, good to see you. Thank you! The book will be out today or tomorrow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sherrituck, good for you. You may be rejected but you are a winner in my book. Keep doing it....and yes it hurts, but you are growing along the way, and building up courage....bravo!

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing more awesome tips, Bill!

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      lovedoctor926 2 years ago

      Thanks for the info. you must be super excited. Will your book be available on Amazon? Congrats!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok...it is my pleasure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Doc, and the book is available in paperback and KIndle...Amazon in a week. Thank you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed this Bill, as always invaluable advice. Good luck with "Resurrecting Tobias", you've done the hard work now I hope you reap the rewards.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, John. I love the book; I doubt it will sell well unless I find an agent or publisher, but I am proud of the book.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I am so grateful to have this wonderful advice, which I know will help me now and in the future. Thanks for caring enough to do this!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Deb. It really is my pleasure. Have a great weekend.

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      It's so useful to have these bits and pieces taken from your journey down the writing road. I found myself agreeing aloud about not editing straight away. This is something I always told my students. Leave it, sleep on it, come back with a fresh outlook, preferably when you've forgotten most of what you've written. The text will surprise you, in both good and bad ways, and you will learn much from the exercise.

      Brilliant!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you know now, of course, that I will be laughing every single time I see the world "brilliant" in one of your comments. You won't need to write anything else to entertain me. :)

      You are a pleasure my friend.

      bill

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      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      “It will be much the same as walking through a whiteout in the dead of winter, snowflakes pelting you as you walk from front door to mailbox, coming from a variety of directions but all finding their mark….the author.” I loved that analogy – and this hub…especially “give your characters freedom.” Thank you.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Genna. I need to use similes and metaphors more often. They really are a powerful tool for any writer.

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      Karen Szklany Gault 2 years ago from New England

      Very useful tips, Bill, especially the one about letting my characters write the story! There is definitely a certain mental space to generate to be able to do that...and developed characters. I hope that I will be able to do that with the 2 MSs I am working on.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, I hope you are able to do it as well my friend. Time and practice....and a whole lot of desire. :) Thank you!

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      Cecile Portilla 2 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Very useful tips as always Billybuc. Thank you for pointing out that we should not be too quick to edit the first draft. I have done this on several occasions and find myself not liking the piece after making the edits.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cecile, thank you for sharing your experience. It helps to hear from others who have done this and found out it is not the best thing to do.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I really agree with the "don't be so eager to edit" section. You may just edit something out that was really good. On another note, what mystery series do you follow religiously? I too am a mystery buff, but have not loved some of my choices this summer.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I will not miss a new book by James Lee Burke. To me he is the best mystery writer on the market...give him a try if you haven't already.

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