ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 180

Updated on December 11, 2017

LISTEN!

Can you hear it? Listen closely!

It’s the sound of your next article or book whispering to you.

If you are truly a writer then you hear it . . . “Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep” . . .

Listen closely . . . and . . . then . . . write!

And thank you Dan Fogelberg! May your words live on for all time and inspire many.

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

Walk Away?

From Lawrence: “I can identify with a lot of the stuff here, especially with the 'self doubt' thinking, and the thought of just 'walking away' from the writing. That's what I almost did a few weeks ago. But the stories just wouldn't let me go! It was as if things were 'burning their way out', so I had to find a way of letting the pressure off, and that meant starting another story! Here's my question Bill, does it ever feel that way for you? Or am I really strange?”

Well, Lawrence, you may indeed be strange, but that’s just the burden writers carry around with them daily.

My wife Bev says I speak like I’m writing a story. I’ll see something as we drive to the store, and I’ll give a description of that something like I’m speaking as one of my characters. That happens all the time with me, so if you are strange then I am stranger.

I can’t turn it off, Lawrence, and I suspect all writers say the same thing. A story is percolating in my brain as I type this response to your question. It’s been inside there for a couple weeks now and I’m just waiting for my muse to sort it all out and give me the “go ahead” signal, at which time I’ll write the damned thing.

Strange, yes, but what a great rush!

More on Historical Fiction

From Emese: “I actually have a question about historical fiction, since it came up. Would a novel that is totally fictional, but uses some historical facts, only as background, qualify as historical fiction? The way I see it, the lines are so blurred, it is hard to qualify most works of fiction. Thanks so much, and have a great week.”

Emese, it’s a great question. Literary genres get blurred easily. I’m reminded of that fact every single time I publish a book on Amazon and I’m forced to choose a genre. I always have three or four which I believe apply, but I’m supposed to narrow it down to one.

Regarding your question, in historical fiction, the historical setting must be of primary importance to the story and not just background. In the example you gave, a book of that sort would be fiction, or period fiction, but not historical fiction.

And I fully expect that explanation to be as clear as mud.

Quotations and Italics

From Tim: “Another great Mailbag Bill. In the long distant past I showed a difference in characters speaking using quotations, yet used italics to show difference. Is that a no-no too?”

Tim, there are two answers to this one. You choose which one you like.

If you are just writing for yourself, or for HP, or even to just self-publish on Amazon, it really makes very little difference if you did it that way. As long as it is obvious to the reader who is speaking at any given time, then my opinion is go for it.

The second answer, of course, refers to any attempts to get a publisher to look at that story, in which case you better go with traditional grammar rules regarding quotation marks. I have found that traditional publishers are not too fond of “breaking the grammar rules.”

If you are lucky enough to get a professional, traditional publisher to look at your work, it seems to me it would be worth it to shelve the unconventional and play the grammar game the way traditionalists prefer. By the way, the use of italics in fiction is usually reserved for a thought or reflection, as in I really shouldn’t go into that room, he thought with his hand on the doorknob.

Lincoln Lives!

From William: “Glad to see another Monday and the mailbag. Not that I'd ever want to do it, I don't think it would make a good story at all, but if I wrote a story about Lincoln surviving the gunshot - is that just unacceptable, or is something like that considered something other than historical fiction. Just a thought question. Thanks for another great mailbag!”

William, because, in your example, you are altering history, it would not be historical fiction but yes, it is definitely acceptable. It would just be considered fiction, or possibly fantasy, but not historical fiction. It would also be a very cool premise to play with. Perhaps someday you’ll pick up that particular ball and run with it.

Split-Quotation Marks

From MIzB: “About quotation marks, since I was born, went to school in, and learned about punctuation in the Dark Ages, I would like to point out that I never see split quotations anymore. Sometimes I like to use them and will continue to do so myself, but am I alone? Do you ever see anyone use split quotations in their writing anymore? For example: It's a lovely day," Jim said, "but I would like for it to rain on my garden." (See, I watched the video, and I did punctuate the sentence as I was taught.) This isn't a good example, but as I say, I sometimes find a need for them.”

MizB, it’s a great example and I, for one, use them all the time, in my novels and even in my content writing for customers. When I write press releases for companies I often make up quotes from the company’s owner, and I use split-quotations often while doing that. It’s a bit odd, in my humble opinion, that writers have gotten away from split quotations. Perhaps they don’t know how to properly punctuate them and so avoid them. Whatever the case may be, I think they are highly effective and I would love to see them make a comeback.

SIMILES

From Adam: “Do you think it’s possible to overdo the use of similes? I was reading a story the other day and the author had seven similes in a story of 2,000 words. I thought that was a bit much.”

You and me both, Adam! That’s like an old hound with too many fleas to scratch. Get it? I used a simile to answer your question. LOL I amuse myself quite often.

The answer is yes, Adam. Overusing anything like that is a waste of effort and space. In fact, I think things like similes, metaphors, or analogies are most effective when used sparingly. Unless you are the author of “Animal Farm,” and then all bets are off.

Like an ink spot on an artist's canvas, the lake sat peacefully under the summer sky . . . simile
Like an ink spot on an artist's canvas, the lake sat peacefully under the summer sky . . . simile | Source

Formatting Problems

From Joy: “I'm formatting my first book for CreateSpace and having a difficult time with it. I'm told that 6X9 is the best size for a novel, but none of the word processing programs I've tried have that size, nor do any of them have a custom size that works. I have finally resorted to Word Online. It has the custom size, but appears to lack the full editing functions of Word or Open Office. BTW all my sources are free versions. Maybe that's the problem. I'm hoping to make enough money from this book and a couple of others to upgrade my software. I'm considering paying to have it formatted just to get it done. The final option is to go with CreateSpace's template, but I am not sure what form the original must be in to use that. Any suggestions from you or your readers would be welcome. Happy Holidays.”

Joy, I’m happy to report there is no problem; if your manuscript is on a Word Doc then you can easily format that doc to a 6x9 format. On the Word Doc, go to Page Layout on the overhead menu….then go to page setup….then paper tab….on that tab, set the “width” to 6 and the “height” to 9 and save.

Problem solved!

Now, if you used anything other than Word I’m stumped, but I’ve done this countless times with Word and it works perfectly for the Createspace download.

Okay?

Seat of the Pants

From Lawrence: “Maybe that's a question for the mailbag, "What are the advantages of writing a first draft over 'writing by the seat of the pants?"

Lawrence, thanks for the question but it has me a little confused. Are you using “first draft” to mean an edited draft? That’s the only way I can spin this question. I think the advantage is this: if it works for you, that’s an advantage. I’m not a guy who advocates only one way to write a novel. I don’t do any editing or correcting on my first drafts, and in fact I have no outline when I write nor do I have any clue where the novel is going when I start. That system and approach works for me but for others it would drive them nuts.

So do what works for you and be happy that some approach, orthodox or unorthodox, works for you.

So many voices to listen to
So many voices to listen to | Source

Back to the Voices

They are calling to me and since I have no more questions to answer, it is time to go listen attentively.

Can you hear them? Listen closely! Give your muse the freedom she needs.

And then write!

Have a great week!

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree with you, Lawrence! The past is only important if we learn from it.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      I never thought I was good enough until I said "Stuff it, I'm going to anyway"

      It's not what we did, it didn't do in the past that's important, we can't change that, but what we do from today on, that's important!

      Keep it up, and write those stories.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a shame, Peggy! I always wanted to be a writer, and waited until I was sixty to pursue it. I keep thinking of all the books I could have written if time hadn't been lost.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      It is interesting to me that some writers, you included, just write by the seat of their pants. Ideas surface as you write. I guess all that is needed is some type of starting point. A friend of mine always told me that she wanted to write children's books but she never started one. Now she is gone so that opportunity died with her. That is a shame.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence! I love that there are other writers who sort of wing it with regards to a novel. I was beginning to feel a bit weird.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      So sorry it's taken me so long to get here, and thank you for the answers to the questions.

      So, I'm not the 'strangest' on the block then! Actually I've kind of battled through the angst a bit and started writing again, I've also had some really good feedback from people who read the novels, and that's always good!

      I think what I meant by the 'writing by the first draft' is that you get an idea and 'run with it', you sketch it out and then write the draft as opposed to just sitting and writing.

      Actually today my daughter and I just sat and watched Daniel Radcliffe (Of Harry Potter fame) interviewing JK Rowling and he was asking her about the writing process.

      She actually admitted that although she had a rough idea of where she wanted the stories to go, she just 'let the pen do the writing' and literally let it take her where it would!

      It was very interesting as she talked about writing for the sake of the story, and not thinking too much about the readers!

      Thanks again for the answers.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dee! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 months ago

      Interesting questions here today. Always a good read when I stop in here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Bill! I don't know what I would do without you and the rest of the HP community.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      10 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Yet another great week for the mailbag. What a streak you have here, 180 and counting. Don’t know what HP’s would do without you. Onward to 200. Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I love you reading them, Kari, so thank you.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 months ago from Ohio

      I love reading your "Mailbags". I always learn something. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maybe, MizB, when I'm on my last leg, I'll finally talk normally. LOL Then again, I doubt it.

      Mild here, no rain in December, very strange.

      Peace my friend. Thank you for always being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no doubt you'll work it out, Rasma, and it will be fantastic when you do.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      10 months ago from Beautiful South

      Really good questions this week Bill. Sorry I'm late getting around to reading it. Thanks for using my question. I'm glad to know that you are a fan of split quotations too.

      Bev's description of the way you talk made me laugh. My husband says it takes me 1,000 words to describe a dormer on a house, so I think he means the same thing. LOL

      I believe that there are some of us whose minds simply will not turn off. We are born storytellers and we have no worry about writing or finding subject matter. It is our calling just as some people are scientists or medical doctors. I believe you just said that you write by the seat of your pants and edit later. I also write by the seat of my pants, but being an editor, I do edit before I'm finished if I see something I don't like. Then I go back and refine the language and even do rewrites if something doesn't fit.

      It's gotten cold here this week. I may have to light the heating stove soon. We don't have central heat anymore because it doesn't work in our house. Have a good week and keep warm, my friend.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      10 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Another informative mailbag. Yes, I am still heading toward sel-publishing but still with worries. Will be happy when it all works out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the encouragement, Anusha! Hopefully I'll find the time to do so.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I try, Devika! I try! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! I love the Mailbag as much as everyone else.

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 

      10 months ago from Delhi, India

      Two more interesting quotation mark related questions, and another Historical Fiction related question. The more I follow your mailbags Bill, the stronger my belief gets, that cataloging these will help not just the newcomers but even those who asked the questions in the first place. After all, they can re-read, re-refer the wealth of information, and check out the additions, the updates if any that are made week after week. We could have categories like -- technical issues (the formatting problem, and solution with Word), Deciding the Genre, Grammar and then sub-categories to further arrange and make the navigation smooth. :)

      Google will love it too, and I think they will be uber-successful in all ways.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      In every mailbag you taught us your best clues and ideas.

    • profile image

      DDE 

      10 months ago

      You have created endless mailbags and always to the point with an informative layout. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Linda! It was all really an accident, but I'm so happy it took on a life of its own.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do care, Lori, so thank you! I just think it's sad when a book that needs the light of day is not published. I'm happy to hear you will publish yours. Thank you always!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I think the big thinkers in the literary world set out to confuse us all, and they succeeded. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is my pleasure, Verlie! Thank you for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I love having you here, Dora, so thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita! I'm sure there is no medal forthcoming,, but it's a nice thought.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh great, Brian, another genre. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for agreeing with me, Zulma! I always feel better when you do. :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is yet another interesting and informative edition of the mailbag. You've created a great series, Bill.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      10 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Bill, I just want to say thank you for the impact you've had on my life as a writer (and so many others). I'm determined because of you and a couple of other close hub friends to make my current story (still in progress) into a book. But you've made your impact by sharing your knowledge and experience, as well as not knowing an answer and admitting it, but most of all you've been an encourager and that you care so much so blatantly obvious. God bless you.

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      10 months ago from Hollister, MO

      So interesting there is so much confusion on 'historical fiction' - I supposed I was confused at one, point as well.

      Great mailbag...so enjoy every single one!! ;-)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      10 months ago from Canada

      Hey Bill, Just wanted to jump on the mailbag wagon, and say what a great venue you've created for writer's. Thanks!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Just relishing the company of these serious writers who ask the questions and the more serious writer who answers them. Love my Monday writer's class aka mailbag. Thanks, everyone.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      Bill, I like your graveyard voices. I can hear them. Lol.

      Like you, I not only do split quotations, but I see them in books. They are not dead, yet. So carry on Miz.

      Twenty to go and counting, I believe. You deserve a medal for each hundred. Perhaps the Gods at Hub Pages will take note. Magnificent work!!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      10 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I asked Google and learned that a novel in which Lincoln survives being shot would be in the "altered history fiction" genre.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Totally agree with you, Bill, on overusing similes. I suspect there are some who believe it makes them appear brilliant. If their goal was to leave readers giggling after reading, then they are brilliant, indeed. If it wasn't well...it's just embarrassing.

      It's coming up for 10 o'clock. I'm going to read for a bit before bed. I'll catch you later.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Dale! Have fun with those lively conversations!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's too bad, Joy! Yes, I suspect it has everything to do with the Asian version. I've done this sixteen times now and never had a problem. Sorry about that!

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      10 months ago from The High Seas

      This was good. The videos about writing punctuation will spark some lively conversation between myself and my friends I am sure!

    • profile image

      Joy 

      10 months ago

      Actually, Bill I tried that. Word Online has the page layout option to customize for 6X9, but there are a few glitches where it messes up other parts of the page layout. I have an older version of Word on my old computer, but it doesn't have custom sizing. I suspect it may have something to do with Asian version of the software. OpenOffice is supposed to have that feature, too, and it doesn't have it.

      At any rate, I did get it to resize on WordOnline, it's just really funky. It feels more like a 1980s version of Word. It has all kinds of little annoying things like having pages in the middle of a document that don't have the same margins as the rest of the document in edit version, but looks ok in reader view. So, I guess I can save it as a pdf from there.

      Maybe all this is moot point now, but if it helps someone else, it's all good.

      My best advice. If you are moving to Asia, get your computer and all your software in an English speaking country before you come.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I just can't do it. It's not in me to take a day off. How about this: I'll write it prior to Christmas and then just post it on the Monday...that way I'm only working about five minutes. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, I don't know what to tell ya. Bev notices it right off and quite frankly I find it a bit unsettling. LOL Thanks for that suggestion on CreateSpace. I suspect you are correct.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, in just 2 weeks it will be Christmas Day. You have my permission (and you know what that's worth) to take that day off and turn in your assignment on the 26th. How's that for a gift?

      I always look forward to your mailbag. Always great questions (you have an eclectic group of followers) and even better answers.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      10 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - In reference to the formatting question, I would guess that you can paste a text file right into the Createspace template.

      There are a lot of good questions again this week.

      You talk like a novel? That must be very entertaining. I might try that at the next Sunday dinner.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I can't imagine you or your muse being gagged. Rip that thing off your mouth and let's get busy. :) Happy Monday, Mary!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi! That would make one hell of a novel for sure. Maybe someone will be motivated to write it.

      Happy Monday my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My dog too, Frank. We both better answer that calling. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that, Dennis, and I completely agree with your instructor. I've been told my writing voice is unique; to me it's the way I speak and completely normal for me.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Clive! I appreciate that very much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Emese! Thank you for asking and for being here.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I greatly appreciate your kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, that is a tough one, one I'm going to give some thought. I struggle with ego and always have...I'll get back to you next Monday. Thanks my friend.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      10 months ago from Brazil

      Another interesting mailbag this week. I think William has got a story on his hands.

      I think someone has gagged my muse, or perhaps she has left town.

      Have a wonderful week.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      10 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Monday!

      Re: Lincoln Lives. Being an Illinoisan, I certainly wonder what would have happened if Honest Abe had survived... or just decided to stay home and chill that April night. You're right, it's not historical fiction, but a fantasy that some of us would be curious to read.

      Hope you're enjoying your holidays so far. Cheers!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      10 months ago from Shelton

      again I feel that I took something away.. something positive from your mail bag Billy buc.. The smiles in a piece of writing.. I don't think I've ever seen that .. only when the smile is speaking and the words are in a balloon.. good answer to that question anyhow.. oh wait... I hear voices too.. shhhh.. oh no that's my dog.. he wants to go out...LOL happy Monday

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 

      10 months ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      These were great questions and of course, super and insightful answers.

      Your first answer reminded me of an impactful letter writing course I was enrolled in during the early seventies while working in an office environment. Back in those days I had a dictaphone and would rattle off one letter after another that went to our steno pool. Naturally, my dictation was sterile and became quite repititious.

      Well, the instructor in my letter writing course changed the way I write and it has lasted a lifetime. She had the class do exercises in writing the way we speak...even in a business environment. I found her techniques earth shattering for me.

      It is a freeing experience to write as though you are having a conversation with the reader. After practicing this art form for 45-years, I honestly can't write any other way.

      Thanks again, Bill for another wonderful article.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      10 months ago from Jamaica

      Great QandA Billy...The Expert Writer Teacher.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      Emese Fromm 

      10 months ago from The Desert

      Thank you for your answer, Bill. It makes sense, sheds some light on the classification of works in the literary genres.

      Great mailbox, as always.

      Have a great week of writing.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      These mailbags are ever growingly interesting and entertaining also. They provide so much useful information through questions and answers. Each question is great and the answers are the best ones suiting to the situations.

      Really a marvelous one this time also. Thanks for continuing these beautiful sequences.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Another great one Bill. This series actually made a difference in how I start my week. Now I get some inspiration and always something that helps me either today or a month from now. And there is that community feeling so at least on Monday morning I can say that I am not isolating ;-)

      I was stymied on how to show who was speaking. My son helped me out, insisting that I review Frost and Edgars works. I settled on a book by bestselling authors which was a bestseller itself. I followed that format to the T.

      Then our publisher editor here on HP decided that their style was better and changed my article. So instead of calling people pinheads I just surrendered, what the heck.

      So Bill how do you deal with the egos of others? Do you have a way to protect your muse in such circumstances?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is very nice of you, Nikki! thank you very much and many blessings to you as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday Melissa! Have a great week and enjoy that winter weather. LOL

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I wish that for you as well, Mary! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you always Chitranga Sharan! Blessings to you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Flourish! It's a great premise for a novel.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      10 months ago from London

      Thanks for sharing another marvellous episode of mailbag Bill,,It’s really great to read you mails on beginning of week and it’s an amazing start of the week.

      I enjoyed all the mails so much.

      Many Blessings.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Lots of great questions in this week's mailbag. Historical fiction, alternative fiction, etc. can get very confusing to label, but sure is fun to read.

      Have a great and productive week!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It's always good to know of the things writers face before publication. I wish one day, I, too, would be on the same boat.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      10 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for sharing another interesting Q-A session.

      I liked the first question and your response to it. I believe that a writer’s mind is always busy, thinking of a story, or a character.

      Have a great week!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      10 months ago from USA

      William’s idea about Lincoln surviving the gunshot is an awesome one. He should go for it.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for sharing that, Kristen. That's what I love about the Mailbag: we all share with each other our knowledge.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally! I shall, and I hope the same for you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine! Have a superior Monday!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      10 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great mailbag as always Bill. Very useful and informative. I prefer working with Scrivener these days and would highly recommend it to everyone. You just need 40 dollars to pay for the license. And Pages is also a good WP software too.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      10 months ago from Norfolk

      I sure can relate to not 'turning it off'. Sometimes this writing lark makes one feel as if the lifeblood is being sucked out of you. Strange that it wakes me up the minute my head hits the pillow..... I hope you have a great week Billy.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      10 months ago from New York, New York

      I love this and am listening and will be also writing more today, as well as this week, too. Happy Monday now to you, too Bill :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)