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Creative Writing Helpful Tips

Updated on October 11, 2013

Do Not Read If You Want Instant Gratification


If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anais Nin

I’m not into it, so stop here if you want the easy way to success in writing. I am a firm believer in the fact that we must pay our dues in order to become good writers, and we must pay even more dues to become excellent writers.

Writing is an art form. It is a craft. It is not something you gain by sending two boxtops in with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

I love the internet but I swear it has spawned a new generation of people who want results now. We want faster internet service so we can have our answers and entertainment NOW! We do not want to wait and we sure as hell do not want to work hard for results. Unfortunately, working hard is the only way to get results in writing.

If your goal is to become a good writer, and then a very good writer, and then an excellent writer, then these ten tips should help you attain that goal.

Taking a break from writing
Taking a break from writing | Source

BE A GOOD READER

The greats of the past are great for a reason: they worked at it. They continued to hone their skills by doing it over and over again. When they had perfected their craft they were then recognized, and even then it took years for the recognition.

We can learn a great deal by reading the greats of the past. Sit down and read “The Grapes of Wrath” and then try to write a scene description like Steinbeck. The first time I read that masterpiece I actually felt the pain and defeat that the main characters felt. I could taste the dirt in my food and my body ached from the heartache of losing it all.

Read the greats! Get a list of the fifty greatest books of all-time and then start reading them.

LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM

The simplest thing in the world for a writer to do is write something and then give it to a family member for review. If that family member loves you then they will have glowing things to say about your writing. Mind you, the writing may be rubbish, but you can always count on family to make you feel like the second coming of Shakespeare.

However, if you want to grow as a writer, then take your work and put it out there for review by someone who does not love you. Join some forums and have your work critiqued. Go to workshops and have the instructor slice and dice your precious writing. That’s how you grow as a writer, by learning to take criticism.

USE A THESAURUS

I have a thesaurus sitting next to my writing desk, and not a day goes by that I do not use it. I have no idea how many words are in the English language but I do know I haven’t used them all yet.

Listen, we all fall into writing ruts. We use the same words and the same phrases and eventually we begin to sound like a counterfeit copy of ourselves. Breathe a little life into your writing by using a thesaurus. On a related note, make sure you are using those new words in the proper context. Some synonyms will not work properly in a given sentence. When in doubt, ask someone else if your new word is being used properly.

Do you edit your older work?

See results

FOCUS ON THE INTENTION OF YOUR PIECE

Why am I writing this piece? That should be your guiding light while you are writing. The intention of this article is to help you improve your writing. If each paragraph does not do that then it is unnecessary.

When you finish an article, go back over it and ask that question after each paragraph. Did this paragraph reflect the purpose of the article? If it did then you were successful.

AVOID CLICHES UNLESS FOR SPECIFIC EMPHASIS

Cliches are clichés because they are used over and over and over again. They are easy to remember and we all love them, and if they slip into your writing too often you begin to sound like a poor imitation of poorly written television show.

Phrases like “on a daily basis” are old and worn out. Why not try to invent your own cliché and let everyone else copy you? Instead of saying you are “happier than a kid in a candy shop,” try saying “you are happier than a school kid on a snow day.” Same meaning but not nearly as annoying.

EDIT OLDER PIECES AND LEARN FROM THEM

I know writers who will go back and delete old articles they wrote for HubPages or some other writer’s site. I am not fond of that practice. We can learn from our older work if we are willing to put in the time.

If you don’t like an older piece that you wrote then ask yourself why you don’t like it? What is there about it that you despise? Figure that out, change it, and re-submit it. I do not believe writers ever waste their time if they are writing. Even our bad work can help us become better writers, but we must be willing to learn lessons from the bad.

Elmore Leonard with tips on writing

Do you try new genres?

See results

Ann Rice gives some tips

Try a new genre; write a poem about wildlife
Try a new genre; write a poem about wildlife | Source

TRY A NEW GENRE

I normally do not write poetry. I marvel at those who can write it and write it well, but I do not consider myself to be a poet. However, one day I wrote a four-stanza poem and then published it on HubPages, and to my astonishment it was well-received. In addition, I became a better writer because of that poem. In writing it I was able to learn something about my writer’s voice and the cadence that I seek when writing.

Writing should be a symphony, and I’ll write about that shortly. When I wrote that poem I gained further understanding into how words should flow.

Try a new genre and stretch your limits.

PAINT A PICTURE

You, the writer, are the set director of your own writing stage. You will be positioning the actors and actresses. You will design the scenery and determine how much fluff and how much nitty gritty to include in that scene. This is true if you are writing about tips on parenting and it is true if you are writing a novel.

Words are just words unless they paint a picture in the mind of the reader. How are you going to make your writing come alive so that it is a visual in the mind of your audience?

BE A SYMPHONY WITH YOUR WORDS

Words must flow! When I am writing an opinion piece, or a reflective piece, I am always trying to write as though it is a speech that will be given to a large audience. I need to know when to bring in the drums and the horns and the guitars, and each must compliment the other.

You have all heard the phrase “music to my ears.” That is what writing should be! Continually using short sentences is not a symphony. Continually using long, rambling sentences is not a symphony. Using just the right combination of both, and learning to vary sentence structure…now that has the possibility of being a symphony.

WRITE A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF TIME EACH DAY

I don’t care if you have writer’s block or not. You need to write each and every day. I don’t care if you think you are busy and the distractions are piling up. You need to write each and every day.

Sit down and schedule a set amount of time for each day and then stick with it as though writing were important to you. No excuses! If you want to be a successful writer then you need to treat writing as though it were important.

You set the limit. Write for a half hour daily, or an hour or whatever. Write 500 words per day, or a thousand, or two thousand. You choose the limit but you do not choose whether to do it or not. If you want to improve as a writer then you need to write.

Sit down and start writing
Sit down and start writing | Source

Some thoughts on my own writing process

Was This Helpful?


Well I certainly hope so. Giving tips on writing is a little like checking to see if the noodles are done cooking. You just toss one against the wall and if it sticks it is done, right? I’m just tossing these tips out and if they stick on your personal wall then fantastic. If not, toss them back in the pan and let them cook a little longer. J

Seriously, I hope these have helped because I want you all to enjoy writing and experience success from it. Now turn on your computer and start writing!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike! It's nice of you to take the time to visit my site. Welcome my friend.

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 4 years ago

      I have been writing for several years. I did few articles for a local newspaper but would never be able to say I am good writer. I love the way you handle this article. I can feel the experiences you have peek throught!

      Glad and honored I could read this :-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      kevinwrites, thanks for the visit and welcome to HubPages. I love that you read good authors to learn....it is an age-old remedy and one that still works.

    • kevinwrites profile image

      Kevin Brown 4 years ago from Maryland

      These are great tips, thanks. Most of the time I try to improve my writing by reading a good book by a great author. When I read these books, I naturally adapt effective prose and writing habits in my own writing.

      I think this is one of those helpful articles you can take notes on. The advice will be helpful for a lifetime.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I will keep doing my part my friend. Thank you for being so loyal and supportive.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Great help and insight as usual Bill. I don't mean to keep this short but it's all been said above. As I have said before, just keep leading from the front.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I was turned down on the Apprenticeship Program....I'm kind of happy I was now, since I don't do well following instructions. LOL Hey, there's a place in this world for funny recipes. If anyone could do it you could.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This was very useful to me. Being in the apprenticeship program limited the types of hubs I could write and I really enjoyed writing my humor pieces (not sure if anyone else did though) and amen to the thesaurus. After a while there are only so many ways to describe a craft or a recipe.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Monis, it's nice to see you again my friend. I hope some of these ideas help you in the future, and thanks for the visit.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Fantastic tips, as always. So very helpful. Cliches are hard to avoid, and taking criticizm is not easy either. And thinking outside the box: trying a new genre - that's a real challenge!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda. I read a lot of comments during the day, and I savor the ones that make me smile...as this one did. :)

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 4 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Sir William,

      Savored each word, and I know I will re-read this one several times. Happy to report I do much of what you counsel and advise; and wholeheartedly agree with each wise and thoughtful directive. Looking forward to that cup of tea one day...L.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      khmazz, then I am happy. If my stuff helps in any way then I get a big smile on my face.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

      Great advice! I really needed to read this! Thanks! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      elske, thank you and welcome to HubPages.

    • elske profile image

      elske 4 years ago

      Great advice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Samikan, I refuse to delete older work. If nothing else it serves as a learning tool for me. :) Thank you for visiting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ceres! The key is that the criticism be constructive, and that we be open to it. We can learn but we must be willing to do so. :)

    • samikan profile image

      samikan 4 years ago from online

      Great tips for the writers.....wonderful. how funny today i just edited my previous post LOL. delete is not good idea.... voted up... interesting and useful....

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      Great hub with lots of useful tips for writers. It was very helpful. I agree about writing every single day. I think it does help in improving your writing. And I also think that constructive criticism is helpful to the writer because it allows them to improve and become better writers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I do the same thing and my cringe is bigger than yours. LOL Thank you and I hope you are having a great weekend.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I go back and see old writings of mine with errors and misspelled words and cringe.

      You have some great advice!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, exactly.....a nobler level of living. I love that thought....and what a rush if our writing actually does that. :)

      Thank you as always, Lurana, and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, you definitely paint with your words. That part of this lesson you already do quite well.

      The chicks are growing and yearning for the great outdoors. Soon they will be part of our garden area.

      Enjoy your weekend my friend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do indeed, Vinaya! Although I do not want grammar to kill creativity, we must work on our skills always.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I just came across that Anais Nin quote myself this week and it has been on my mind! Taking in true "Art" from master writers feeds our souls and helps us become better---I think---at everything we do, not just writing. It raises us to a nobler level of living because we observe our culture instead of just unconsciously plowing through our days.

      Your Steinbeck description of tasting the dirt is perfect. He made that Dust Bowl tangible.

      Thanks for another inspiring piece. :-)

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and useful. Inspirational and great advice as usual. I like the painting with words part. Hope your having a great weekend. How are the chicks doing? Must be getting bigger and cuter by the day. Passing this on.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      To writer better, we need to have language skills. Reading and revising go hand in hand with writing process.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Inter....thank you so much. Have a great weekend.

    • InterSpaceWriting profile image

      David Pinkney 4 years ago from UK

      Great Hub, with very good Information.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I'm glad you added that last part....you wouldn't want to encourage people not to read your stuff. LOL...thanks, Sis! Have a great weekend!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Hi, Bill! You're so good about helping others get their writing ducks in a row..

      i've been writing for under 2 years and recently went to the site i used to write on..and read one or 2..

      and..i believe i've learned a thing or 2, altho - i write for therapeutic reasons if nothing else - so - i'm kinda se la vie about who reads and who doesn't..

      i DO prefer that they DO, mind you - don't get me wrong..

      lol

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I hope that is true, and if any of these help you then fantastic. Thanks for visiting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for some more excellent advice, Bill. All your suggestions are very helpful for someone who is trying to become a better writer!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tennicul, that is one of the most common mistakes, using a synonym out of contest. English is not an easy language....I don't know how these foreign writers use it so well.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, there are a lot of noodles stuck to our walls here in Olympia. :) Thank you so much for your loyalty and friendship. I appreciate you greatly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, I love that word too. My mom used to use that all the time. :) Good luck with poetry month and I look forward to each and every one of your poems. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE....I hope they are helpful for you.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      So, it looks like the noodles are sticking to many walls! Imagine the clean up....“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” You my friend do see them and thankfully share them. Re-reading or re-writing our own old works can certainly be beneficial on many levels. This hub is one for all of us to re-read.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Bill inspirational as always. With me things at this moment are a bit different. I have many ideas about articles to write but at this moment poetry has taken over and each day somehow someway something inspires. Of course this is good for National Poetry month but you know I believe my dad a real poet is standing beside me urging me on because I'm going through the 30 day/30 poem challenge through Wordpress. I will however consider other ventures after April has come and gone. I do write articles as well for some extra finance and this shows me that you really need to have a great treasury of words because otherwise everything on the Internet would just be too similar. I leave you with one of my favorite words which I use when things get too complicated. I often get discombobulated. Love that word. Keep inspiring, you give great ideas and suggestions and I'll keep reading, thinking and jotting notes. Passing this on.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sound advice for writers here and most helpful to any one thing of being a writer.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it is always a pleasure for me to do what I can to help others. I want to see every writer approach their true potential...now wouldn't that be exciting?

      Thank you my friend!

      love and blessings, today and always

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      Great advice and tips once again. If we are to write, we must be creative no doubt! This one's a keeper.

      Thanks for always lending us a hand. We can always depend on you dear friend.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Ruby! Honestly, my answer is going to be a product of preferences. I would always take a class at college simply because I like to learn from a real live person who I can talk to. I'm not designed to learn online, but again, that's just me. I'm sure there are reputable online courses that you could take. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Prasetio, thank you so much my friend. If these are helpful then I am a happy writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MsDora, I am always willing to give a little nudge. I want you all to succeed so I can say I knew you when before you were famous. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira....a take home lesson. I like that; the teacher approves of that phrase. LOL Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Another great share..Thank you Bill. I have been thinking about taking a creative writing course on line, do you think that is a good thing to do or would it be better to take a class at our college? Thank you again..

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Brother, you always find great topic to write about. I always learn from you, including this one. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. I hope many people will love to read this hub....amen. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Another inspiring message from the heart. You say it clearly: "You choose the limit but you do not choose whether to do it or not." Thanks for another push.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Great tips, bill

      I try to avoid cliches but they come around from behind.

      Try to edit my older stuff and still see that I need Ed to edit it.

      Always a good take home lesson when I visit you...cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nell! I find it interesting to read some of my older stuff.....there is always something I could have done better.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      livingsta, thank you so much. My goal is to have you passionate and in love with writing. I want you to find the same enjoyment that I do with the written word. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi billy, I do like the idea of going back over old hubs and redoing them, this is great when we get our proverbial writers block occasionally, at least with the old hubs we know what we were writing about so its just about improving them, voted up and shared! nell

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill, a very useful and interesting hub. Yes this has been of great help my friend. Thank you for the motivation and encouragement. You are too kind.

      Votes up and sharing, I am sure many will benefit!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, there is nothing easy at all about writing. Those who think it is easy are not writing very well if you ask me. :) Thank you for the visit, Stephanie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it is great fun growing together and with all the Hubbers here. Your example about photography is right on....you are getting better and those of us who have followed Boomer Lake can see that. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sunflower....really, you have never tossed noodles against the wall? We did that way back when I was a kid...it really is a fairly accurate test to see if the noodle is cooked enough....really! :)

      Thank you my friend and I hope you are having a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, you are not only rising to the challenges...you are beating the heck out of them. You have established a great niche and you write with knowledge and a voice of an expert in the field. Perception, my friend, and your perception is on a writer who knows what they are talking about.

      Thank you my good friend.

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      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Very sound advice indeed. I do not know why some individuals think that writing is such an easy task. If it were, there would be tons more writers in the world. What seems simple is often quite difficult.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Now, if that isn't a go to it, Charlei, I don't know what is. But yes, it is continual practice, just like me and my photographs. I am told that I keep getting better, but I am shooting the same things, but looking for new angles. Yes, it will happen. Yes, you will experience that aha! moment, and the light will dawn over that jungle. But it won't happen unless you keep working at it!

    • sunflowerforests profile image

      sunflowerforests 4 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      This is a win-win situation! You wrote a really good hub AND it will help everyone else write really good hubs too. Thanks Brother Bill. Btw...I've never heard of throwing my noodles on the wall...but I just may try it. Seems like it might make a sticky mess. hahaha

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Another powerful gem from your fountain of knowledge. I do identify with much of what you say. I am striving to improve and write what comes naturally. I do try and revisit hubs and edit them some more than others. I am currently learning to type properly online as it is a skill I never learnt and I am amazed at how it feels to type without looking at the keys. Slowly I am rising to challenges and will take all your ideas and tips on board and put them to good use. Cheers as always my good buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...drbj, that is way too funny! You were almost too clever for me. I was trying to figure out what you were talking about and then it dawned on me.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Bill, for tossing out all these great tips. I promise you they will stick! I did already take your advice, you know. I went to the book store and tried to buy a tyrannosaurus. They said they hadn't seen any for billions of years. Now what did they mean by that? :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vix my friend, I think you do quite well without my help, but thank you. Your new series is a classic and I shout from the rooftops about how clever it is. I want to see that series syndicated, so start sending those query letters out to newspaper publishers. :) Thank you, Rhonda! You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, if you can get me a follower in North Dakota then you are a wonder woman! LOL Thank you for your kindness. Great? No, but that doesn't stop me from aiming for great. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, I know, rather annoying, huh? Teachers just won't stop giving homework! LOL Thank you and enjoy the heck out of Tess.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you made my day with the phone call. Thank you so much my dear.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy my dear, I will have to disagree with you. Your poems are like a song with arms and legs. I have never been fond of poetry but I drink in your words and gain a new appreciation for that genre with each of your works.

      I may never reach Hemingway's status but that won't stop me from trying. :) And like you, I am having a ball in the process.

      love to you from Oly

      bill

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      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      These are some great tips. I especially like the try a new genre one. Having just done so, I'm loving it. It's a lot of fun. And, as if the too cool tips were not enough, you included Anne! Anne is the reason I love vampires. I could read her novel "Cry to Heaven" everyday and there's not a vampire one in it. Thanks for today's lesson, Bill. I'm off to get the thesaurus and I'm looking forward to learning more tomorrow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, that's a great line. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, thank you for your kind words. My writing skills....I give credit to the nuns in grade school for making me diagram sentences. I wasn't too happy at the time but now I see the benefits. :) Keep writing and keep enjoying it, Kelly!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Bill, you belong right there among the great writers. I truly enjoy your style, as Elmore Leonard put it, you have a rhythm that keeps me wanting to read more. I also enjoyed Ann Rice's video and your video. I'll call one of my friends in North Dakota to see if I can get you at least one book sold there. (Wink!)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Ha, ha, ha...You just can't help being a teacher can you , Bill. You want us to read the 50 greatest books of all time for homework. :D Well that is one assignment I will do with great pleasure. In fact, after I finish your book, I've got Tess of the d'Ubervilles waiting in the wings.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Stay tuned, my friend. I've finished the book. Get ready for the ramparts to rave (wave)!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I wrote one poem when I attended an all girls Catholic high school. I won via the school's vote. But, only since I began here at the hub, did I think about writing poetry again. Like painting, being self taught, I learn something valuable from each canvas I cover. It is only in 'doing' that we discover if it is a passion...or not.

      I like to write in the quiet of the night or wee hours of the morning. Sometimes, however, I get tired. When I begin to write in a way that reflects my lack of energy, I stop. It is surprising how leaving the page and coming back when refreshed can open windows to new views for thought.

      I smell what your stepping in, Bill, as far as the internet. Your opening quote perfectly addresses the issue. Just because one writes does not bestow the work as that of a 'writer.' I feel it is a dishonor to writers the likes of Steinbeck, Hemmingway, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickenson, Yeats and the many too numerous to mention here, to classify myself as a writer. I am a work in progress...to be continued. And, I'm have a ball in the process.

      Great piece, Bill. Long may you write, my friend.

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      I meant that you have tamed that 'bull' to do the waltz.

      I look forward to seeing the 'bull' on "Dancing With The Stars"!! LOL

      DJ.

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      Willette 4 years ago from Michigan

      Honestly billybuc, you have such excellent writing skills. This is just great advice, its very detailed and awesome. I thank you for sharing your wisdom in this area because its inspiring, encouraging, and educational, for me anyway. I thank you and appreciate you sharing. Awesome job and sharing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I think you are wonderful with your comments. There is no quota...every time you comment I am grateful, so thank you! :) Dancing With The Stars? LOL That will be the day.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I do believe we owe it to ourselves and you stated it all perfectly. We do need others to believe in us, and feedback, and encouragement...and yes, gentle criticism. This is a community of writers and we need to act like one. :)

      Thank you my friend. Sending you sunshine and warm temperatures.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe my friend, I did not think you were being morbid at all. As you might suspect, I am a huge advocate for adoption. My son is also adopted. I have often thought about the what if's....and happily I did not have to live them. :)

      I don't know about you but I work hard on my hubs. I suspect it is the same for you as well. Why would I want to delete the result of hard work. There is always something I can learn from past work if I am willing to do so.

      Thank you as always. The sun just broke through the clouds and I have the feeling I will be outside earlier than normal today to enjoy this glimpse of the yellow orb. :)

      Take care my friend.

      Aloha to you

      bill

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      DJ Anderson 4 years ago

      Bill, thank you for the time and useful advice that you share with your hubbers.

      I do not leave many comments to you. But, I do read and appreciate all

      that you send our way.

      You have the bull by the horns and your are teaching him to waltz. I admire you and hope to learn much.

      Again, thank you for your time. And, I look forward to seeing that 'bull' on, "Dancing With The Stars"!!

      DJ.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, what a pleasure to see Ann Rice on video.... I love her books, It's good to see her giving some priceless advice to potential writers.

      This hub is one to keep, thank you for the encouragement and the motivation, you are right; as always.

      If we want to be writers, we must first practice our skills...I think many of us are afraid of getting burn. We need to believe in ourselves, we need people who believe in us; we need feed backs, encouragement, unbiased and constructive criticism but most of all we need time. Time is very precious, between work and family, it's not easy to produce the next 'Of mice and men' or even 'East of Eden' but I guess we owe it to ourselves to give it a damn good try.

      Up and awesome, sharing.

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, yet another masterpiece from my good friend in Olympia! I am really fond of the video...I find it to be very inspirational, especially after having enjoyed the sample chapters on Amazon. So what you've done here is present different points along your journey with the combination of the written and visual media, and I am stoked and eager to voraciously dine on more of your creative feast.

      Finally, I agree with you wholeheartedly about never deleting our past work but, rather, improving upon it. I learned today that your genesis was in an orphanage. What would've happened if things had been different and, God forbid, there hadn't been a William Holland there in the first place? (I'm not being morbid, Bill--I think you know my point here.) What you've contributed to so many, and continue to do so, day in and day out, is a living testament of the necessity to save our early writings/beginnings that we might either continually tweak and improve upon them or use them as a measure of how far we've come in our respective journeys.

      Thank you, Bill, for motivating us to think freely and creatively but to never overlook the importance of homework!

      Aloha!

      Joe

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bruce, it's nice to see you my friend.

      It's funny how we learn things. We can hear it one hundred times and then one day we hear it said just a little differently and it hits us right between the eyes, like you said. When I write these hubs I keep thinking that everyone knows this stuff so why am I repeating it all....well, that's why!

      I hope you are well my friend. Get that message out there and people will listen.

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      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 4 years ago from Asheville NC

      Hi Bill!

      I've been waiting for this one! In fact I voted it up + 5, even "funny" because it seems so funny to me when we say we want something but aren't willing to do what it takes to do it! OMG! (including yours truly)

      I think I will use this as a checklist. Why? Honestly, when Ann Rice said, "You have to write what you want to be known for," she hit me right (pun) between the eyes!

      For me, it's not as much about the writing as it is about the message. I've realized, though, if Ann Rice is right (pun again) and I think she is, then the better I write, the greater the impact of the message.

      Thank you so much for helping me, helping us here at hubpages. Thank you for your support and encouragement. That's what I like about you, you know how to say it...in words...with character!!!

      As always,

      Your friend, Bruce

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, glad to be of help...have a great day in Hawaii my friend.

      Aloha,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I may have to hire you as my publicist. LOL What a great review. Thanks my dear friend. I love that you have time off and you are using it constructively. All writers should consider that and follow your example.

      love you,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Randi, Leonard and Rice are probably shocked to have me in their group of videos. :) Thank you and I hope you are doing well in Arizona today while we get rained on hard.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you jainismus! It's always good to see you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thanks for your kind words, but then I expect people from Iowa to be kind. :) I'm really just tossing stuff out and hoping it helps someone. I pick stuff up over the years. Some I use; some I don't. Hopefully it will resonate with other writers and help them improve.

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      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Great advice. Your ideas and hubs always speak truths. Thanks!

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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Up and awesome, as usual! Thank you for all the great ideas and what a lovely treat...Elmore Leonard, Anne Rice and Bill Holland all in one hub! Thank you!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this article, along with the Ann Rice and Bill Holland videos, offer great advice. With the two weeks I have off from my current writing venue, in addition to finishing your book and getting my yardwork started, I will sit down and start working on my novel. I'm beginning to develop the characters in my head. I'm not quite sure from which angle to present the story yet, but that will come the more I develop the characters, I think.

      BTW, your book is brilliant. It's humorous, intriguing, covers the supernatural genre that I so love, and flows well. I banged out over 100 pages yesterday alone.

      For all you hubbers out there, I strongly urge you to buy Bill's book. You won't be sorry - I promise! You'll see a side of him you don't see on HP and will love and respect him even more than you do now!

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      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Great advice for writers. Voted up and shared with followers.

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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Seriously, Bill, I am waiting for your book on writing to come out so I can add it to my collection, along with "On Writing" by Stephen King and "Bird by Bird" by Ann Lamont. Yes, your writing tips are just as good as those great works. You offer some great suggestions here, some that I already use in my own writing and some that I will try. On trying a new genre, I have written exactly one poem since I got out of my creative writing class in college. I published it on Hubpages and, like you, I am astonished by the reception it has received. From what I can tell from my traffic reports, it was picked up by some educator website and used maybe as the basis for a classroom assignment. Anyway, you just never know what trying something new will bring you unless you do it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I am so happy to hear you are not deleting any longer. I think everything we write is valuable. As for fiction on HP....I have some serious disappointments about HP and that is one of them.

      Thank you Julie!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      agapsikap....love your HP name even though I don't have a clue what it means...it's just fun to type it. :) As for the thesaurus, bravo to you. Every writer should have one next to them when they are writing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol my loyal friend, I thank you! I'm just tossing stuff out there in hopes that it can help some people. If it does then the hub is valuable. :)