ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 149

Updated on May 8, 2017

Happy May to You All

And as the rain falls on our urban farm, I welcome you back to the Mail Room. Evidently we had our two days of spring and now winter has returned. The old joke, “if you don’t like the weather, stick around five minutes” certainly applies this spring in western Washington.

I’m starting to sound like I’m obsessed with the weather. Heaven forbid!

But I am obsessed with writing, evidently, and proud of it, so let’s talk about my obsession, shall we?

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

SERIALS

From Lawrence: “Dickens wrote twenty novels, almost all were serialised in newspapers before they were in print, apparently he would change the characters as people commented on them! Maybe that could be a question, how do you feel about serializing a novel, and how much should we leave out?”

Lawrence, I feel fantastic about serializing novels, which makes sense since I’m currently working on the fourth in my paranormal-thriller Shadow series. Do some research on this and you’ll find the pros agree that sales are generally higher for serial novels rather than stand-alone novels, so there you go, the pros agree with me.

My work is done!

AMATEUR VS PRO

From Eric: “Most wonderful on this May Day and International Workers Day to hear you are overloaded with work. And this brings me to a question that only an expert like you can answer. Are "amateur" writers in general as good as professional writers. What I mean is; does the impetus to write as a full time job make writers better? Your case exempt as you clearly write for passion and the money falls into place. Maybe I am asking if I turned pro, do you think it would make me better at writing? I could do it for that reason, but not for the money as my impetus in that regard is sorely lacking.”

Eric, I waited to answer this one for a couple days because I was hung up on the term “turned pro.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, and I’m really not sure what an amateur writer is. To me, I guess, we could differentiate “amateurs” from “professionals” by using “making an income” the sole criteria but see, that doesn’t work for me. I know quite a few writers who don’t make money and who are, in my opinion, pros all the way, and I know some writers who make money who really suck at writing. LOL So where does that leave us?

To me, the key factor in determining amateur vs pro is the same as the factor separating novice and journeyman craftsman, and that factor is experience based on working on your craft. I’m a big believer in the 10,000 hour rule in determining a high level of proficiency at something. Don’t get hung up on the precise number 10,000, but rather concentrate on the “experience” factor.

To answer your question, I don’t think the impetus to write as a full-time job makes a writer better; I think the drive to become the best writer possible is the determining factor.

But hell, Eric, what do I really know?

All but one done on CreateSpace
All but one done on CreateSpace | Source

Self-Publishng Quandry

From Rasma: “What two sites are best for unsure self-publishers like me? Is it possible to add photos to my poems or will the site tell me this? How do I keep my hand from trembling when I am done and what happens next? How do I let everyone know I have done this and where can they take a look at my creation? You see I have so many more questions and practically no real answers.”

Rasma, I’ve only used two sites, so those are the only two I’m qualified to speak about, and they are CreateSpace and Lulu. I found both to be satisfactory and easy to navigate. I prefer CreateSpace but only because I’ve used them a dozen times now.

Yes you can add photos to your poems, and CreateSpace will take you through that process. Regarding your hands trembling, good luck. LOL A stiff drink might help. How can you let everyone know you have done it? That’s called marketing, and that’s a whole new ballgame. Here’s the deal, Rasma: write the book first, get that traumatic experience out of the way, and then you can concentrate on guerilla marketing.

Good luck! I really hope you do this.

NEW CONTEST

From MizB: “Bill, you know what a "bah, humbug!" I am when it comes to writing contests, however, I just got an email for one that I would like to pass along. The Long Ridge Writers Group is sponsoring a contest for short fiction for children ages 6-8, 750 words max. What makes this different is that after the winners are declared, the group is offering a free webinar to participants to critique their writing. Now that is the way a contest should be conducted. You are the best route I know of to pass this along to other writers. I just hope this isn't deleted as a commercial post. Regardless, feel free to include this in your next writers mailbag (if you choose, no pressure from me, my friend).”

Well there you go, folks! Miz B has just pointed you in the direction. Check it out. MizB is one of the more reliable people I know online, so if she recommends this contest it must be a dandy.

I believe in raising the bar, not lowering it.
I believe in raising the bar, not lowering it. | Source

Old English

From Patti: “I have this idea for a novel in my head, set back in Victorian England. I’m debating whether the dialogue in that novel needs to be authentic for the time, or if I can use language more easily understood in today’s world. What do you think?”

This is a tough one, Patti. The purists will say you need to be true to the times, and I’m 75-25 in favor of that way of thinking. The only reason I hesitate is because you run the risk of turning off many of today’s readers if the language is too hard to understand.

Still, and I mean this seriously, I’m tired of this tendency we have, in the U.S. and in other countries, of dumbing things down to meet the current level of learning. I would rather lose readers and be true to the times than bastardize it to gain a few more readers. It will be interesting to see how others feel about this topic, so I’ll turn it over to everyone else. I’m fully aware, as an old teacher, that I have some biases about learning . .. I believe in teaching up to a higher level rather than teaching down to the level of the underachievers.

THAT’S ALL WE HAVE

It’s been a total enjoyment for me, as always. The questions are always great, and I love that this series is still popular after almost three years. Keep ‘em coming!

Another old-timer, Rolly, left HubPages last week. It saddens me when that happens. I don’t blame the writers. I understand why they do it. I do blame HubPages for not doing more to make veteran writers feel wanted on this site. There are a lot of writers who have given a great deal, for mere peanuts in pay, and helped to form a very welcoming and interactive community; it seems the least HP could do is make those writers feel welcomed, but evidently that is asking too much.

Anyway, Rolly, you will be missed on this site. We are poorer because of his leaving us. You can find Rolly at his new website, Fireside With Rolly. I have no doubt that you will be welcomed if you stop by. The fire is always blazing.

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I know I shouldn't obsess over the weather, but with two small kids I have to check the weather daily to know how they should dress. You'd think by May we'd be able to wear more seasonally appropriate clothes. But all weekend it was overcast, rainy and chilly and today even though the sun is finally shining was only 40 degrees 8 am. So ready for warmer temperatures and spring to once and for all find us now in all honesty. That said though still happy for sunshine today if nothing else. Happy Monday and thank you always for the awesome writing advice here :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Same here, Janine. I've lived her all my life and this is the worst winter I've seen for damp and dreary. It hit sixty yesterday and it was like eighty for most people. LOL Well, despite the weather, I wish for you a fantastic week!

    • simplehappylife profile image

      SA Williams 2 weeks ago from Earth

      wish I could send some of our good weather to you :) we have nice cool mornings (around high 50's - 60's) then low to mid 80's in the late afternoon

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Thank you for mentioning Rolly, he is a very good man and I signed up at his website quicker than rain comes to Olympia.

      Obsession over the weather is fun, I bet against my little weather prediction app all the time.

      I just loved the question and answer from Patti. I like nothing better than to set off on the adventure of a novel that requires I have my dictionary in my other hand.

      Thanks for giving me the courage to jump out of the nest.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hi Bill - The trembling hand question is the toughest. Here at HP the audience is very forgiving, so there is that to consider.

      The old English vs modern language is an interesting question. I don't see it as dumbing down, though it could be. It is more like a foreign language. Then and now. Anyone else hear a new slang word used and have to go do research to find out what it means?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Beautiful weather here at the moment, Bill :) Great questions this week. As far as Eric's. The difference between professional and amateur at anything used to be paid or unpaid, but you can't really go on that anymore. Take the Olympic Games for example. That used to be just for amateur athletes but now they have professional tennis players etc competing and even the so called successful amateurs make a fortune from advertising. I think being paid for writing as a freelancer sometimes stifles your freedom of expression and ties you into certain types of writing or content. So in a way, I think many "amateur" writers can be "better." Thanks to MizB for sharing that contest..I will check it out.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Bill, I always enjoy your mailbag hub series. It's inspirational and insightful. And yes, I agree with you on this crazy weather we're having for spring these days. I do have a question to ask you for next week's mailbag. What are great websites to get sourced photos for our articles? It seems to be my downfall, when my hubs are declined for niches.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 weeks ago

      Bill, thank you for including my tip in this week's mailbag. A new email from Long Ridge that said anyone not entering the contest could participate in the webinar for only $7, and they are willing to critique your writing. Contest participants still participate free. Our writers looking for someone to critique their work may be interested in this. Of course bear in mind that this is a writing school and they are looking for new students. I haven't taken any of their classes, but I have bought some writing books from them.

      Good mailbag this week. Tell Rasma she isn't the only one whose hand shakes when she pushes that button. LOL

      Love to all my fellow writers, and especially you, my friend Bill.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      G'morning!

      Re: Self Publishing Quandary. As you note, Createspace can handle photos and images. However, they must be high resolution images or they'll look like junk.

      Also, if the self publishing platform is an e-platform (such as Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing), there may be specific photo handling issues to be addressed. For example, if using KDP, text wrapping is a no-no. Sure, maybe the system could handle it. But how it shows up on the e-reader could be a nightmare. Always preview and proof both print and digital books BEFORE hitting publish.

      And with that, I'll use an "old English" Shakespearean sign off...

      "Enjoyeth thy day!"

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 2 weeks ago from Fresno CA

      Hi Bill,

      I loved your answers concerning amateur vs pro. Artists have the same trouble. We are called amateur if we make less than a certain dollar amount and not the hours/years of experience we have put into the craft, which is the real criteria in my opinion. So it seems logical that writers should be treated the same way. Great mailbag as always.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Denise. Those who would call us amateurs know nothing about the craft, and I have to always remind myself of that fact.

      Thank you and blessings always, my friend

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And there we go...Heidi has spoken and the truth reigns supreme in the Mail Room! :)

      Thanks as always my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, you are very welcome, and thank you for the update. Get that shaky hand under control and push that button!!!! :)

      Blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting question, Kristen, one never asked before...thanks and I'll tackle it next Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, John! It's a tough question for sure...in the end, all I am is a writer, and I'll leave my categorizing to someone else. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting perspective, Mike, and I understand where you're coming from. Thanks for that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Always my pleasure, Eric, and I appreciate the great question....I knew I could count on my friends to give their input.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 weeks ago from SW England

      Another wonderful mailbag, bill! I totally agree with you on the period language thing but it's a difficult one because of that 'turn-off' factor you mention. I also agree about the dumbing down.

      I think it's more about finding a way to get across the 'level' and mood of the language of the time, depending on the class of the character, and getting the atmosphere of those times, more than the actual words. Throwing in a few words which are understandable (and Victorian English is not that far off ours) would help and other words can be explained by clever use of description or dialogue. It's more the 'style' of language of those times than a totally different vocabulary. Does that make sense?

      The sun is shining and we have a deep blue sky here in Burnham-on-Sea - the world is wonderful in my peaceful little corner of Somerset!

      Have delicious day, bill!

      Ann

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! So, you got the return of winter again, lol? We went through the same thing early last week, 70's and then 30's. But now it is back to the "seasonal" 60's. Hopefully that was our last hurrah with winter! Great questions and answers, as usual. Keep on keeping on!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 weeks ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Patti's question is an interesting one. I don't know which country she is in but even the language of today in the UK is so different from American English. Try watching some of their soap operas set in the east end of London. Plus the further north you go, you need a translator.

      When I went there in the mid-80s, I moved to a mining town in the midlands. I couldn't understand a thing they were saying.

      Pride & Prejudice and Zombies have opened the floodgates to a new genre of 'anything goes'. Perhaps two books one in 'authentic English' and one in modern English.

      Great questions.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information, Mary, and I thank you for it and totally agree. I love British tv and movies, but I do struggle at times, especially if they speak quickly. I love Adele but can't understand half of what she says in an interview.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, if I could find a place that had seasonal 60s all year long I would move there. That is perfect weather for this old man.

      Happy Monday and thank you, Melissa!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure. I'm glad I can ask you a question finally.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 weeks ago from Europe

      I think most of us are obsesses with the weather. We had some awful cold days here in Holland, and were afraid that Global Warming suddenly left us. Hopefully will some extra CO2 restore the weather next week. Thanks for your inspiring mailbag as always, Bill!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 2 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Bill. The sun's shining here in PA - just saying. Thanks for another week of great questions and terrific answers. Thanks for letting us know about Rolly, too. I'll visit him there and warm up by the fire!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm sure, Bill, that Rolly will appreciate the visit . . . as I do every single time you stop by. I'll be over to your place shortly to get my religion education fix.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, if it weren't so sad it would be funny, what you wrote about CO2. Yes, no worries, it will warm up.

      Thanks as always, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And a good question it was, Kristen. It already generated an answer via email, and I'll share it with you on Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it makes perfect sense, and as always you explained it much better than I could. Thank you!

      As for your perfect weather, I am appropriately jealous. I really don't like hot weather but my goodness, is it asking too much for something in the 60's range? I don't think that is being too greedy or needy, do you? :)

      Enjoy your day in Somerset, wherever that might be. :) I'm woefully ignorant about England geography.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      SA, that's just cruel. LOL It's always nice having you visit. Thank you and enjoy that damned sunshine!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 weeks ago from SW England

      Shame on you, bill! Somerset is the first of the south-western counties. My hubs have shown you where we are in relation to the rest of England - you just haven't been paying attention. Could try harder!

      We now have a perfect sunset starting - always wondrous over our section of coastline. Just thought I'd increase the jealousy.

      Enjoy!

      Ann

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      "I’m tired of this tendency we have, in the U.S. and in other countries, of dumbing things down . . ." Me too. These days, anything goes for grammar and spelling because the standard of excellence has been removed. If Patti were to use the language appropriate to the era in her novel, readers could enjoy a lesson in vocabulary, idioms and more.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 weeks ago from london

      Thanks Bill.

      All great questions.

      I feel that the writer needs to be passionate and in love with his craft. Some background in what I call 'form' or 'structure' is necessary, but experience is a supreme teacher as you so rightly pointed out. Will is paramount and practice essential.

      Some amateurs are better than pro's by definition, but yes, they have the experience. The great Cuban boxer Teofilo Stephenson never turned pro due to principles, but he was awesome! I have a friend who is as fast as Carlos Santana or John Mc Cloghlin, but he just sits in the background, plays in pubs and so forth.

      Remember my unknown poet? He was totally awesome!! 'Nuff of my rambling. Really just supporting what you said.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, we could fill volumes with the amount of information I once knew but have forgotten. It just might be a fascinating read. LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! It's nice to know someone who agrees with me. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 weeks ago from USA

      On the Victorian English dialogue I'd lean towards using some of their dialogue but not going crazy so that it annoys or alienates the reader.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 weeks ago

      Sadly, way too many wonderful writers have left hubpages. If this continues, I just can't imagine what this site will become.

    • simplehappylife profile image

      SA Williams 2 weeks ago from Earth

      LOL, I'm Sorry! :) Will do ;) lol

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Bill, I hold onto myself in most my writings. But with short story "fiction" and poetry I tend to let go and be either myself in another time or some kind of one different than me.

      Do I have a license to become a crazed man? May I enjoy a voyage into someone else? Do not worry about appearances. I lost that claim decades ago.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 weeks ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Dickens's serializing his novels was a different concept from writing a novel series. In the latter concept, the author writes two or more novels with recurring characters and conntinuing, or at least interconnected, plots. What Dickens did was publish each of his novels (I forget if there were exceptions) "in parts", a small section of the novel at a time. This is comparable to the old-time movie serials. I don't know if Dickens ever did this in a magazine. Mostly or entirely, the parts were published as separate monograph, tall, thin publications bound in printed, illustrated, paper wrappers. I had opportunities to see examples when I was an antiquarian bookseller, such as when I browsed book fairs of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. To see examples, go to Google Images and search on: Dickens parts Oliver OR Copperfield OR Expectations. When Dickens finished a novel, his publisher would publish it as a complete novel in choices of cloth or leather covers. Fans who had collected the parts could take them to a local bookbinder and have them bound into a book. Within my living memory, magazines, such as Saturday Evening Post, would sometimes publish a novel a little at a time ("serialize" it) before it was published as a book. I wonder if these days someone with a Dickensian talent could successfully serialize a novel in progress in ebook format, or as a sequence of hubs?

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      A great mailbag as always with good questions. Your answers regarding serials and using of old English are quite interesting and appealing. Thanks for providing your valuable opinions.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I tried to get here earlier, but it's been a bit of a hectic day, still, I really appreciate what you said about the serial novel.

      Guess I should start number three in the series soon then! Lol

      Interesting what Patti asked as we're reading a couple of Victorian novels as a family at the moment, and the descriptions Dickens uses have us in stitches. Just be aware that the meanings of some words have changed.

      Now I suppose I should get on with writing number three!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I do believe you should continue, Lawrence. You have an entertaining serial going there; no reason in the world for stopping now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Venkatachari M, for always being here. You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, thanks for the clarification. i suspect that sort of "serialization" wouldn't work in today's world...possibly if the writer was extremely well-known it would have a chance, but for us grunts, I don't think it would work at all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Go for it, Eric! Fiction allows you to be anyone you want....LOL...I look forward to your next journey into the unknown and unchained.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      See ya later, SA! Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I can't either, Pop, and it bothers me greatly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That would be my choice as well, Flourish! Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      All great examples, Manatita...and I do remember Stephenson. Great boxer for sure. Thanks for the memories on that one. I watched many of his fights when I was younger.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 weeks ago from Dubai

      Another interesting and informative writer's mailbag. As you say the drive to become the best writer possible is the determining factor to differentiate an amateur from a pro.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      As we live fairly close to each other I would say a hearty amen to the weather in our fair state. I went to the tulips in Skagit Valley last week. We got there about 9:00 am. The weather was very chilly (probably high 50's) and a light drizzle at times. We went to Laconnor for lunch. Overcast and chilly. Then we got in the car to go home about 2ish. Literally within minutes the sun came out and it was 74 degrees. The next day we had those amazing thunder storms. Today is lovely. Go figure.

      I have a friend who published through CreateSpace with photos using photo lab. They tried to make the photos look artsy. The photo I submitted was unrecognizable. I was bummed because the author included some of my story in the book and the photo was meant to be a powerful illustration of it. I would advise if you are going to submit an image don't do anything artsy with it and yes, a very good resolution.

      The pro or amateur thing is difficult indeed. I have not yet published anything in the way of a book except some poems in an anthology from Creative Exiles, and except on hubpages and another few sites. I feel like a professional I guess in that I have grown so much that people have been responding so well to what I write. If five people comment on my work at how much it touched them or how meaningful, or informative and helpful, or how entertaining it is (provided it was meant to be entertaining, lol) I feel satisfied I did what I set out to do. I write a lot. Almost every day and though I am getting many more payouts at HP, I'm not making a living, but that is not what being a professional is in my book, though getting more would be more than welcome. I've been doing this thing for many years and it is my greatest passion in life outside of my personal passions (family, faith). I hope that didn't sound like bragging. I have a long long way to go but I am seeing more fruit from my labor than at any other time. You, Bill, have been very helpful to me and others by your honest comments and critiques. Best wishes for your next endeavor.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, thank you for your thoughts and in-depth analysis. No, you didn't sound like bragging at all...you sounded like you were giving an honest appraisal of your situation and your work. Nothing wrong with that at all in my opinion.

      As for the weather, today will be seventy and I'll be manning a booth at the farmers market, so life is good!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate your input on that topic, Vellur...thank you!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      So there has been mention here of readers leaving Hubpages. What are the reasons? Since they put up the niche sites most of my work goes there where I have more readers and more frequent payouts, however measly.

      And where are the people moving on too? Just curious.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      I'm hearing here about many writers leaving HP. What is the primary reason, if I may ask. And where are they going?

      Since they set up the niche sites most of my work is now going there where I get a lot more readers, more positive critiques, and some of my old work as well. I am getting more frequent payouts, however measly. If there are some pitfalls or other issues I'd like to know them and if there are better places to write for I'd also like to know them.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Great mailbag!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. The weather stinks here also. Cloudy, showers, no sun for days. Gee, it was nicer in February than it is now. Another great week for the mailbag. Hard to believe it's coming up on three years. Have a great week.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 2 weeks ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      Odd weather patterns seem to be a stateside event. I live in California, a week ago I was breathing hot air, and this week it changed to cool temperatures. I don't mind the change, but extreme shifts of temperature potentially causes illness. I'm okay so far. Interesting mailbag, Bill. You get writers submitting questions on a wide variety of writing issues.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 2 weeks ago from Chicago, IL

      Another great issue, Bill. The info on the writing contest is fabulous as therev are so few opportunities that encourage young writers. Thanks again for a great series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome,Natalie. Thank you so much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Gilbert, no one is as surprised as I am by the Mailbag.This was supposed to be a one-time issue. LOL Thank you for following along on this journey.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry! As always, you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, let's hope that collectively we all see a break in the weather soon. I need a constant supply of warmth. Thanks my friend and Happy Weekend to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll have an answer for you on Monday in the Mailbag, Lori. Thanks always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Same answer as above. LOL Thanks again, Lori.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 13 days ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thank you so much for the answers Bill. Yes, I am determined to finally do it so most likely I will get it done over the summer. Then it will be ready for Christmas presents. I will let you know of how it goes once I have done it. You spoke of rain but after planting some potatoes early Wednesday morning we woke up to snow. By late afternoon the snow was gone and we stepped back into spring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, Rasma, I will not complain about the weather. You just won the ugly weather award. LOL Best wishes on that book of yours.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 12 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I found the questions from Eric and Patti especially interesting this week. Thanks for sharing your answers to all the questions, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 12 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I appreciate your loyal following and friendship.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 10 days ago from South Africa

      That's a good question: When writing historical novels, should we stick to the language that were spoken at that time? I don't think it is possible. Perhaps rather use current language, but then in accordance with the character's position/status. Or what do I know? Lol!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Martie, you know as much as I do, so thanks for your thoughts, and for being here.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 days ago from United Kingdom

      With regard to Patti's query regarding using Victorian dialect in her novel, Erica Jong wrote a book set in the 16th century and she stuck to the speech of the times pretty well. Admittedly, it was a bit tough at first getting used to the dialogue, but the story was so engrossing I persevered. By Chapter 2 or 3, I became accustomed to the rhythm of the language. I'm glad I stuck it out because it is a rollicking good read. I've read it at least three times and wouldn't mind revisiting it again.

      I think the lesson here is if the storyline is engrossing and the characters engaging enough, the reader will make the effort to acclimate to the language. The name of the book, by the way, is:

      'Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones'

      How's that for a 16th-century type book title? :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 days ago from Olympia, WA

      You can spot 16th Century literature a mile away, Zulma. The title are generally a giveaway, aren't they? LOL Thanks for your thoughts on the dialect.

    Click to Rate This Article