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The Writers Mailbag: Installment 202

Updated on May 14, 2018

Hopelessly Behind

It’s not an excuse. More like an explanation. I’m buried in farm work and farmers market stuff, and my correspondence, and comments on the writings of others, and my creative writing…they have all suffered because of it.

So I’m apologizing to you all. I still try to stop by and comment on your blogs and articles, but it is getting increasingly more difficult to stay current. I feel like I’m cheating on you. Lol

Anyway, tuck that apology to bed, and let’s get on with this week’s questions.

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

Making Dialect Flow

From Eric: “Bill I kinda like them articles/books where dat dar accent/dialect floats right in. Sometimes hard to follow. I am thinking you used it in "when the corn died" and some others.Like that train one with the "Momma" in da Bayou. Now I just did a couple of words there. What are the rules and how do you make it just flow?”

Eric, I’m fixin’ to tell ya I y’ll just hold on to yrr britches!

Here’s the thing, Eric: I don’t know if you can make certain dialects “flow.” Some are melodic by their very nature. Others are cumbersome on the best days.

What are the rules to using authentic dialect? This is just my opinion, of course, but to me it seems that authentic dialects are fine as long as they do not distract from the story. The story will always be the main concern. If you get so carried away with your dialects that you actually detract from the story you are telling, you are causing a mortal sin of writing.

Remember that dialects are only natural to the people who speak them. If your book or story is written for the general public, your dialects can become cumbersome at best. I’m thinking of Gaelic now. It’s a charming language with various dialects, but if I had to read large sections of a book with a character speaking Gaelic, I’d go nuts and toss the book away.

Just sayin’

These people my family, had a Midwest dialect and yes, there is a Midwest dialect. :)
These people my family, had a Midwest dialect and yes, there is a Midwest dialect. :) | Source


From Bill: “Semantics: I upload my files to Create Space, whereas you download your files to Create Space. What say you? Is there a right or wrong way of expression? With a smile... ;-)”

Well according to some of my readers there is a big difference, and that difference is spelled out in my technology dictionary: “Uploading is when a user copies a file from his computer to another location, and downloading is when a user copies a file to his computer from another source.”

Amazon Marketing Services

From Lawrence: “Regarding Marketing, I'd agree with you, and I'm slowly galvanising myself into doing that, one other thing I'm looking at is Amazon Marketing Services, actually, maybe that's a question for you, Have you used it? or something similar?”

I have not used it, Lawrence. I’m pretty cheap that way, but I also have this ingrained distrust of large corporations, and few are larger than Amazon.

I’m going to answer this question by winging it. I could look up customer reviews but honestly, are those real customers and are their reviews legit? I don’t have much trust in anything I read online, so I have some serious doubts about any reviews I read.

I’m sure Amazon Marketing Services can do some good. Is it worth the cost? That’s your call! I personally wouldn’t spend the money. Money is too hard to come by for me to spend it on a service I can provide myself if I really want to. The Amazon program is a luxury I can’t afford, plus it offers me zero control of what is actually happening, and I like being in control.

I know that isn’t helpful, Lawrence, but it is how I feel. Truth be told, I hardly do any active marketing for my books. I prefer to write. I have no illusions about becoming a best-selling author. In fact, one of my taglines on a poster I printed up calls me “the greatest unknown author,” and a part of me is fine with that description. I write because I love writing. I don’t lose much sleep over the numbers of people who are reading my books, so it would never dawn on me to use Amazon’s services.

Does anyone else have some actual information about this topic???? Any of our readers????

Formatting Book Interior

From Nikki: “Thanks Bill for your detailed answer,, I wrongly used it, there are many companies over internet which you can hire to upload your book on CreatSpace and to print it in paperback as Amazon isn’t doing interior anymore, it’s giving options to download fomatted template and then write in Microsoft Word, so I contacted one of the book formatting company which seemed alright. But as you’re saying that self- publishing is better and easy. Can you please explain how to do interior of the book please?”

One of my followers recommended Frostbite Publishing, so I looked them up and by golly, they will actually format your book, the interior, so it is ready to publish through CreateSpace and/or Amazon. Seems like a pretty good deal for those who have the money for that service.

How does one format the interior of the book?

If you use Word, and I do, there are countless videos on YouTube which can explain much better than I can, but I also recommend a book I happen to own, a great resource which will take you step by step through the formatting process. Pick up a copy of if by following this link. Nikki, it really is an invaluable book to own for self-publishing. I highly recommend it.

My final novel will be about this young lady...may she rest in peace!
My final novel will be about this young lady...may she rest in peace! | Source

My Final Novel

From Ann: “Question: If someone told you that you could only write one more novel/story/article, what would you write, or at least what genre would you write?”

Well shoot, Ann, I’d write that best-seller that is still inside of me. LOL

Seriously, I’ve thought about this. I’m almost seventy, and I can tell that my mind isn’t as sharp as it once was. How many more books do I have in me before the mind deteriorates to the point where my creative words are no longer worth reading? So the one book I truly want to write, the one which sits in the shadows waiting for me to find the time, has a working title of “A Time and Place.” It’s a coming-of-age, loss-of-innocence story about growing up in the late 50’s and early 60’s, roughly based on my childhood and the disappearance of a young girl named Ann Marie Burr. If I write it well it would be a marvelous book. I hope that book is written soon.

And I Hope

And I hope that all of you, one day, write that one great book you have inside of you, and I hope that after writing it you can sit back, give yourself a pat on the back, and really feel good about your accomplishment.

That’s it for this week. Remember that what you do, as a writer, is important. Treat your talent as the rare gift that it is.

Peace and blessings to you all!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


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