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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 201

Updated on May 7, 2018

Big or Small, We Do Them All

Some weeks are like that . . . very few questions, a very small Mailbag . . . like this week!

Other weeks the bag is splitting its seams it is so jam-packed with mail.

We do them all! This will be one week where you can read it quickly and then move on to something else.

It’s all good! I’m busy . . . you’re busy . . . and none of us has the time for fluff for fluff’s sake.

Let’s get this done and then go enjoy the rest of the day.

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

Do I Get Criticism?

From Eric: “I haven't looked for it. Do you have unfriendlies comment on your work. I get helpful criticism but what about down deep nasty? Do you ignore it or do you contemplate it, what effect does it have on you?”

Oh my, yes, Eric, I get criticism. Truth be told, not as much as a lot of people, but then I stay away from controversial topics. I just got one a couple weeks ago, and that was one of the few times I did not ignore it. Usually I just thank them for their comment, but that time I actually engaged, briefly, and then moved on.

I’m not like a lot of folks here on HP. I’m only here to support writers and to help them be better writers. I don’t care about their political leanings, or if they are Catholic or atheist, and I really don’t care what their convictions are about abortion, immigration reform, or any other social agenda. I’m just here to become a better writer and to help others do the same. For whatever reason, that annoyed one guy a couple weeks ago. Too bad, so sad. My job is not to keep him happy. My job is to be the best person I can be. Period!

A few years ago I did an article about child abuse on an Indian Reservation in North Dakota. I received a death threat for that one. Does that qualify as criticism? LOL

Does negativity affect me? It affects everyone, doesn’t it? That’s why I don’t hang with negative people. I don’t have time for dark clouds overhead. Life is too short, and much too precious, for me to spend time with naysayers and bitchy people.

End of my rant!

This is for those who love to criticize!
This is for those who love to criticize! | Source

Footnotes in Fiction?

From William: “Bill, I'm working on a new story and have done research on the topic that I'd like to include in the story. Is it ever proper to use footnotes in fiction for the purpose of crediting sources? If not, how is it best handled?”

Great question, William!

Footnotes in fiction? Rarely if ever!

Good writers include research in their fiction through good writing. Michener was a genius at it. Bruce Catton was entertaining but always informative. It is quite possible to incorporate research in the prose, but it takes practice.

If you want to make note of where research came from, you can do that at the end of the book in some section like EDITOR’S NOTES, or ADDENDUM, but I would stay away from footnotes.

Publisher or No Publisher

From Nikki: “I’ve a question, is it worth hiring a publishing company to get your first book published or it’s better to just write it in Word Doc and upload it on CreateSpace? Which one works the best? it’s fine with me to get the answer in 201th mailbag next week.”

Nikki, the wording of your question is a bit tricky. By “hiring a publishing company,” do you mean a traditional publisher like Penguin? If so, they hire you; it’s not a matter of you hiring them.

If you are talking about paying Amazon experts to download your book for you, I wouldn’t do it. It is much too easy to download a book on CreateSpace. Why spend money to have someone else do it?

Or perhaps I am completely missing your point on this question.

One other note: in today’s world of self-publishing, I’m not sure there is a “better way.” It is a dog-eat-dog world today in the publishing and writing arena. The best you can hope for is to write a quality book and, after publishing, you feel good about your efforts.

Best wishes to you always!

All published through CreateSpace/Amazon
All published through CreateSpace/Amazon | Source

And That’s All

A little over 700 words. Heck, HP will frown on this one. Now ask me if I care what HP thinks. LOL

Have a great week and thanks, as always, for being here.

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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