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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 217

Updated on August 20, 2018

Six Weeks to Go

It’s hard to believe we have done eighteen weeks of the farmers market, and there are only six weeks to go, but the calendar doesn’t lie, and I find it all bittersweet. I love the market, and being a part of its growth, but once it ends I can return to my novels, something I have sorely missed and thus, the mixed feelings.

Until September 27th, however, it will just be the Mailbag from me, so thanks for being here. Let’s find out what our peers want to know this week.

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

New Paragraphs

From Eric: “I was just working on a normal piece and the paragraph seemed wrong. Kind of like how and when to use commas. What is you best test for breaking it up into paragraphs?”

Eric, this is one many beginners stumble over. Thankfully the rules are pretty clear on new paragraphs. There is a bit of wiggle room but not much.

Three times you definitely should start a new paragraph:

  • When you start a new topic
  • When you change time or location
  • When a new character speaks.

In addition, you might want to start a new paragraph when:

  • You want to emphasize something for dramatic effect, or
  • To break up a long speech by one of your characters.

I will add one more to the mix: when it just feels right for the flow of the story!

Pretty simple, right?

Understanding Similes

From Mary: “Regarding similies, how do you know your audience will understand it? Nowadays, especially for online writers, the audience is international and people may not have the same frame of reference.”

Mary, you are absolutely correct in your statement. You do have to be careful with similes for exactly that reason. Will you ever completely know that your simile will be understood by your entire audience? No! You just roll the dice, use common sense, and go for it. If I tell you it was hot yesterday, hot like my Aunt Martha’s tamales, I feel pretty safe in my supposition that everyone will know what that means, because everyone has had spicy food before. If, however, I used a regional simile, like it was “hot like a SeaHawk Sea Gal”, my meaning might be lost on many.

Give it some thought before committing.

Would all of these people understand a simile used?  That is the goal!
Would all of these people understand a simile used? That is the goal! | Source

Protocol for Using Comments

From Rodric: “Now, I have taken you lead as I have read you Mailbags. I want to use comments from readers in my own series. Now, I am not trying to take your mailbag idea hook and sinker. I like the concept of using comments in articles. Is there some ethical concern I should consider while doing this? I am not using names and none of the comments in my first article are from within the last five years. Is it public domain since it is on a public forum? I would not use comments from other people's articles without get permission first out of respect. But is that even necessary because this is a public forum? Sorry for the long post and litany of questions. These are not introspective questions. I look forward to your advice.”

Interesting questions for sure, Rodric.

I made it known early on that if someone asked a question in their comments, that question could show up in the Mailbag. That seems to have worked these past four years. On several occasions I’ve had people ask me not to use their questions in the Mailbag and I have honored that request.

I do think, as a general word of advice, if you are going to mention names, it is a good idea to get permission. Yes, this is public domain, but there are also hurt feelings to consider, and who knows what is hurtful to one and not hurtful to another?

Unless you have a series like this one, where it is assumed that any question asked will be used in the future, I think getting permission is best. Why risk it?

One way around it, however, is to simply change the name of the person who asked the question. Just use a fictional name and all is forgiven.

Pre-Planning a Book

From Linda: “I have a question about "planning" a story. I know that you have a thought, an idea of a story line, but then do you just let your Muse take you from beginning to end without a plan, or do you take the time to organize your thoughts? In English comp we were always required to create an outline before we started writing. When you start, do you know what the end will be (and how you will get there) or does the story unfold and reveal itself to you as you write?”

Linda, I was raised by nuns in Catholic school, and they must all be rolling over in their graves and weeping because of the way I “plan” a story, as in no plan. I was taught to outline, just as you were, and I promptly tossed that instruction to the side of the road, right next to the day-old carcass of a too-slow raccoon.

I don’t outline! I never will outline! No, there is nothing wrong with outlining. I highly recommend it for people who need it, but evidently my muse finds outlines to be insulting.

I begin with an idea. Almost all of my books begin with a creative writing exercise, some scene in my mind which is screaming to get out. The story unravels from there and no, I have no clue what the ending will be when I start writing. That usually reveals itself to me about halfway through the book.

And no, I do not recommend my approach to anyone else.

So take that, Sister Margaret!

Practically no planning went into any of my books
Practically no planning went into any of my books | Source

Hp Edits

From Ann: “Talking of HP rules - you will be able to see, even across the pond, steam coming out of the top of my head and from my ears as I'm still trying to calm down after 2 days of HP still editing a hub of mine. They have so far completely messed up and I can't even get into the hub whilst they're doing so! I've emailed them but no answer as yet. They've completely changed the geography of Norfolk! What are they playing at? (That is not a question for your mailbag unless you want it to be!) It's so frustrating, I won't have much of my already short hair left if they take any longer.”

Ann, I gave up a long time ago trying to figure out HP and their rules. I don’t blame you at all for being upset. This is a writer thing that only writers will understand. Our writings are personal. They are a part of who we are, our babies if you will, and when someone starts messing around with our personal creations, it naturally upsets us. I guess one could say we give permission to HP to do so by publishing on their site, but I don’t like it one bit and I’m not surprised it has upset you. It seems to me to be a violation of sorts.

As for recourse, there is none that I can see and that, too, annoys the hell out of me.

As a side-note, for those of you paying attention, Ann probably knows more about grammar than any five HP editors combined, which just adds to the ridiculousness of it all.

How Are Books Printed

From Venkatachari M: “I want to know how they publish the books. Rather, to be specific, how do they print the books? Through ordinary printing press or any computerized techniques in operation? I hope you might have visited some printing establishments and so can answer my question. Thanks, in advance.”

It’s an interesting question, Venkatachari M. Gone are the days of typesetting. Can you imagine how laborious that once was, setting type for every single letter in a manuscript? My God that must have taken a long time to do.

Today we have computers doing the job that was done by skilled compositors back in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Back then, a skilled compositor could assemble about 2,000 characters on a printing press in an hour. Today a computer can do that in about two seconds.

I have not visited a printing establishment so I have not seen the process in person, but I suspect there is very little to the process. A computerized manuscript is simply downloaded onto a computerized template and is instantaneously printed. Today more pages are printed in an hour than were printed in a year in the 15th Century, and we owe it all to the continual march forward of technology.

Switching Styles

From Rinita: “My question is - how does one effectively switch between writing styles? My own style is deeply influenced by English classics that I devour through most of my reading time. More passive voice, old language, and long sentences being some of the characteristics. When I write for myself, I am content with this style because it gives me a feeling of words freely flowing like an unbridled horse galloping through the woods. However, when I write for customers, or article sites, they usually prefer a contemporary approach with short sentences and catchy, modern words. When I switch to this style, I am never satisfied with my writing, even if they are. So I would appreciate if you have any wise words on how to switch between styles, and still turn out quality work.”

Thanks for the question, Rinita. A similar question was asked about a month ago about switching voices when writing; my answer is the same.

I must do this daily as I switch from my freelance, ghostwriting blog job, to my creative work, and for me the solution is twofold:

  • I take a ten minute break between the end of one style and the beginning of another, and
  • I read previous work done creatively before starting in on creative writing, thus subconsciously putting myself into that creative style.

I’m not sure if that will work for you, but it has always been helpful for me. It is much easier to make the switch the longer you work at this writing game. There seems to be some sort of mental trap door which will open up into a new style upon demand, and close out the other style, but that trap door only works properly with practice.

Great Questions This Week

Man, that was fun! After four years I still love the Mailbag. Thanks to you all who asked questions, and thanks to you all who continue to support the Mailbag week in and week out.

What do you say? Same time next week?

I look forward to it!

2018 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And I thank you, Devika!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and most useful to us. I have lots to edit on my hubs.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Lawrence. I guess I'll never be a planner and I'm fine with that.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      5 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Your farmers markets may be coming to a close, but ours are just starting!

      I know some writers plan their novels meticulously, but I just can't, I've often no idea what is going to happen next and find myself going in directions I never thought of, is that strange?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you very much, Alyssa!

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      5 months ago from Ohio

      What a fascinating mailbag this week! :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Monday, Genna! God bless those nuns! lol I guess they served a purpose, but I can't think of it right now.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It was my pleasure, Nithya! Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope you had fun, Ann!

      bill

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent article. I had to chuckle over your response to Linda about pre-planning a book. (We must have attended the same Catholic school.) I never outline as this can put me in handcuffs. There may be the seed of an idea with some basic themes, but my characters often take the story to places I didn't anticipate. Happy Sunday.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 months ago from Dubai

      Interesting and informative mailbag. Got to know about starting paragraphs. Thank you for sharing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 months ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill, you too! I'm off on a 'Gromit' statue trail tomorrow and, guess what? It's going to pelt down with rain all day! It'll still be fun with the grandchildren.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Have a great weekend, Ann!

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 months ago from SW England

      I totally agree about the differences in editors as I've had discrepancies several times - a standard is a must, as Bill says.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, Flourish..downright blunt I have become.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, let me know when you figure it out. In the meantime, you ask, I answer, and we will keep on keeping on.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sparrow! As always, it is a pleasure hearing from you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Elf, at least you got an answer, and it was a positive experience. I'm happy to hear that; thanks for sharing that for us all.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 months ago from USA

      Bill, the older I get the more direct and to-the-point I get as well.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      Because I know you respond to all comments I almost feel guilty writing another one, almost. I look forward to the next mailbag. I am glad that my questions have made it into the posts. I feel my celebrity grow, or my ignorance show. I haven't figured out the difference yet.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 

      6 months ago

      Wow! Sir Billy you've published 9 books, you are cool :) As always your article is interesting and good information :) Thank you :)

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      6 months ago from Canada

      AN awesome read as always. I've had an interesting chat or two with the HP editors. I finally got a straight answer from one about an article I'd submitted, re-edited and re-submitted a couple of times (one of my top for reads) and was finally informed it needed better pictures. Could have saved me several months of grief if they'd said so right away, but at last a sensible person finally pulled it from the edit queues and was able to help. And she was awesome! My experience has been fairly positive so far.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, your point is exactly my point regarding HP edits...there should be a standard used by all editors on this site, and writers should be knowledgeable regarding that standard. I can certainly understand why so many are frustrated with the edits.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I'm glad that simile was lost on you; it perfectly illustrates my point.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll tackle that question in the Mailbag, Rodric. It is a question that has value for most writers/bloggers, so you are not alone in that way. Let me see what I can come up with, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I don't blame you at all for being unhappy about the HP meddling. I'm not sure what their goal is other than to increase SEO value, which is in direct opposition to good writing. I choose not to even look at their edits simply because I would be livid every single day.

      Thanks, as always, for your input. Since you are a professional writer with considerable skill, your viewpoints are valuable for all.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I agree, we can all learn from this series. I know I do each and every week.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Jo, I have never missed a week. I suspect if I do miss a week, you all have something to be concerned about.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...point taken, Brian! I love it! Thanks for the chuckle.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The history of printing, Peggy, is right up your alley. It would make a fascinating article, don't you think?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll gladly accept that simile, Manatita! Thank you, sir, and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Gently...I like that, Flourish. I'll leave the gentleness to Ann. I'm afraid I don't do gentle well in these matters.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M! I suspect the ultimate answer to your question about cost is simply a marketing and economic one...they are in business to make money.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love that you wouldn't let HP off the hook, Ann! They really should know better but then, after all, they are simply humans like we are...that's as much slack as I'm willing to give them, however. :) The clouds have returned here, and much cooler today. Thankful is the word of the day.

      bill

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      6 months ago from Tennessee

      There is something very comforting about seeing your mailbags every week. So predictable--like the sun coming up every morning. Have you ever missed a week?

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 months ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      What are tamales? Males found at TA truck stops? Ales made in Scotland, land of the tam-o-shanter? Is Aunt Martha's a brand name?

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 months ago from Massachusetts

      Wow Bill, lots of questions this week. Great to see. As always the answers are interesting and helpful. The HP edits questions I found especially interesting. I think it might depend on who is actually doing the edits as I suspect they all have their own process.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      6 months ago from Brazil

      Hi Bill,

      Not coming from your area, your, “hot like a SeaHawk Sea Gal”, was lost on me. I imagine some similes are dated and others which use current references may not make sense in the future.

      Great to see a full mailbag.

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      I promise that I am not trying to hijack your time with The Day the Corn Died stuff but I saw this movie that put me in the mind of the series. I was not as good as what you wrote or in the same vein, for that matter. It was an apocalyptic type thing. The series plays like a movie in my mind and I feel like I know the characters. I am going to have to go back and read it again to scratch my itch.

      Doris and Ann have experienced the same thing that I have over the past 8 years. In fact, in the past two weeks I have written quite a few articles and reformated others. I have learned to navigate the HP waters a bit when it comes to getting things featured. It does come at the cost of my creative freedom here on HP. I don't want to publish anywhere else because am accustomed to writing here. I let all of my blogs fall to ruin because I don't invest my best effort there. I do so here. How do I get my blogs going again? I am afraid that no one will see what I write if I put them there. I have no followers because I have been lazy.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      6 months ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, I don't see my comment at all. I made a correction to it and I think I may have hit the delete button instead of the Post. Oh, well not the first time.

      I'm with Ann. I just had my most prolific hub "deranged" by an editor. I like the way he used more capsules, but I intensely dislike the APA-style captions. Also he made some typos of his own (Being an editor myself, I firmly believe an editor needs a final proofreading by someone else.) His credentials do not include editing. He is a techie trained in SEOs and does know his SEOs. He made my earnest article read like an advertising brochure, the effect I was trying to avoid. Like Ann's complaint, specifically in one instance, he didn't like a descriptive phrase I used so he substituted numbers. The result was that he moved an object about 40 ft, which placed it in a ridiculous position. Should I tell them or should I quietly go in and correct his errors? Mama ain't happy.

      About paragraphing. I believe it is better to keep them short and not ramble on for a country mile. Also, whenever I question where to start a new one, sometimes I rewrite a sentence or rearrange sentences to keep the thoughts in order. When they are short, the author can do a better organization.

      Great mailbag, nice and long with interesting questions and as always, great answers, my friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Bill, I found your mailbag interesting and informative. We can all learn something new, so I think these questions are great for all of the Hubbers. I guess that Hubbers is an appropriate term.

      Thanks for this overview of great questions.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Makes perfect sense to me

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 months ago from United Kingdom

      Do you think all the initiates pick their names from a hat? lol

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Your mailbags are always fun to read. Printing surely has come a long way since the time of hand lettering and illustrated manuscripts. The advance of printing methods also accounts for greater literacy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It truly is, LInda! Now if I can only learn enough of it to function in this new world. :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michael my friend. Idioms...an entire article could be written about idioms.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I appreciate that, Bill! Thank you and Go Cards!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It truly is, Dora! Let's hope one day HP will listen.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike! I appreciate you answering the printing question. I would like to actually see the set-up in action some day.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Tuesday, Melissa! I didn't know you were in the printing business. Duh! How did I miss that information? Oh well, thanks for adding to the conversation. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rodric, first of all, thank you very much for the kind words. I'm just giving back what was freely given to me when I joined HP. Secondly, you had me laughing..."The Corn" is not dead yet. I'll do my best to honor your wish, but it's going to be a few months.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 months ago from london

      Thanks Bill, for yet another wonderful set of questions and answers. I think you are as 'cool' as the air conditioning here in NY on a hot Summers' day. Refreshing, eh? So much for similes.

      All's good here with me. I trust that you and Bev are doing great! Peace!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 months ago from USA

      Ann should stick to her guns. Sometimes editors are dead wrong. Gently disabuse them of the notion they always know better.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      6 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and informative mailbag as always.

      Thanks for answering my question. Even though I got a picture of it all with your reply and that comment coming from @mckbirdbks, I wonder why it costs so much high and why can't they (Amazon) provide these prints from all countries and from any region on demand. It needs only the printer for them to install at all those places.

      I have seen those old printing presses as my father himself was a writer and editor of some magazines. He published some books but in another person's name as he was the financer for publishing them.

      I agree with your point regarding Ann's writing talents that those editors can't match her.

      The advice provided regarding new paragraphs is quite excellent.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 months ago from SW England

      Great as always, bill! Thanks for including my rant and you're right that there is really no redress from HP apart from withdrawing. I really couldn't let them get away with the geographical errors, though! Thanks, too, for your lovely comment about grammar - I do make mistakes occasionally but you should have seen theirs! And thanks to the others here who back me up.

      I take some comfort from your answer regarding a plan for a story - my muse takes control too so I feel I'm let off the hook now for not having a clue what the ending might be!

      A dull grey Tuesday here is livened up with your Monday mailbag. Thanks, bill!

      Ann

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The weekly Mailbag is always interesting to read. I especially enjoyed the discussion about printing this week. Modern technology is fascinating.

    • profile image

      Michael Milec 

      6 months ago

      Rather a useful language perfecting, especially in this issue of "mailbag", where both similes and idioms shuffle "some" of audience towards "my sense may be lost in many" sidetrack.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, it's my guess that when they enter training, they are given a list of about twenty names to choose from. LOL Thus the same names are used over and over again. Of course, it may well be there are a lot of Catholic girls names Margaret and I know nothing. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 months ago from United Kingdom

      HP took the liberty of rearranging some photos on one of my hubs. It annoyed me no end as I placed them where they were for a reason: to highlight the passage it above it. One photo is in the wrong place and a caption was inserted under another one for No. Reason. I. Can. Fathom.

      I thought of correcting them but frankly, I don't have the strength. Besides, I have other things to do. I understand how Ann must feel. It really does rankle.

      You had a Sister Margaret too? Is it a prerequisite for Catholic schools to at least one on staff? lol

      Have a great week, Bill.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Nice full mailbag this week. Quite amazing, isn't it! And you always have, or find, a great answer! What a pleasure to read each week. Yes, I'm one who cannot stop using too many !!!!!!! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      6 months ago from The Caribbean

      I can relate to the frustration of HP edits. Hoping that Ann gets through to the editors. It's a trial of patience.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

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

      Hi Bill - Hope all is well. There is a solution for Ann, and the HP interference. That is to take the hub down. Chilly, but effective.

      As for, Venkatachari M question, it is print on demand. The pdf file you provided is loaded into the cue, and a machine will quickly print interior and exterior and bind, one or a hundred copies. Basically a giant color printer.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      6 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Lots of questions this week, always nice to see. My attention was immediately drawn to the print question, as that is the field I work in...Over the years I've watched the printing process switch over from the manual typesetting and printing to all digital. We've definitely come a long way! :)

      Hope you have a great and productive week!

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      6 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

      All the answers are great as usual. I knew the bag would be a bit full this week because of the questions in the comments. I think I like sticking with changing the names when using comments from older articles to create a new one. If it is someone that I know, I can reach out.

      A little praise for you also. I have found more help in your writings than the HP helps! Thanks for doing this work. It is a service that connects readers and writers to each other. You are facilitating the future of HubPages one Mailbag at a time! You need to get a check for that!

      Linda is right. We have fun when we respond to your writing. We also know that you respond to each of our comments. Seriously, with all the readers you have I am so humbled and thrilled to get a nudge! I have read how much you have written and I know many of the different things you have going on, online at least. Thanks again for being you. You grow writers like you grow your produce. You tend to it until it is done and prepared to do it all over again. Also, I am buttering you up to write one or two (maybe three) more things regarding The Day the Corn Died. I won't mention that, though.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I can't imagine how laborious it was using the old typesetting method. Sheez, that would drive me crazy.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, the readers do all the work, but thank you.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      it would be a fun trip to a publishing business, Shaloo, just to find out.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's purely selfish, Linda! I have too much fun with the Mailbag to give it up.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      it was my pleasure, Rinita! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm happy to hear I've helped you in some way. Fall is rapidly approaching, my friend, so be patient.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I have an uncle (now deceased) who had a printing business back in the day. Now I wish I had asked him about it while he was alive. I'm sure it was laborious, but I do know he loved his work.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 months ago from UK

      Your hub is always one to bookmark and take note of. You cover some interesting questions.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      6 months ago from India

      Now I am really curious to see how the books are printed. Being in newspaper industry for more than a decade, I have seen the whole process from close quarters. But then newspapers and books are two different things. Interesting mailbag as always!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      6 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, all really interesting questions this week. Thanks for squeezing mine in and thank you for the answer. Poor Sister Margaret. I know you love the market, but selfishly I look forward to when you can devote more of your time to writing.

      Everyone who comments here is having so much fun. Thanks for all of the love you share.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      6 months ago

      Thank you, Bill, for including my question. The 10 minute break sounds a good idea, I will try that. The rest of the mailbag was interesting as well.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Pop! I think their only goal is to drive us all nuts.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Heidi! I highly recommend you check out Heidi's article. The lady knows what she is talking about, and her word is gold.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Am glad you're still having fun after 4 years as we do learn so much from your mailbag. I find summer too busy and I look forward to the Fall when I'll find more time for myself. I still remind myself to stick to some form of a writing schedule, a lesson I learned from you, even if the wirting is a bit sporadic. The unfolding of any writing needs a more nurturing environment of peace and quiet.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      6 months ago

      Anne, just write for your audience and stay away from the editors. They have one favorite word, and that is Spammy!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      6 months ago from Chicago Area

      Busy Mailbag this week!

      Re: New Paragraphs... or Breaking Up Is Hard to Do. I recently worked with some manuscripts where the paragraphs droned on for almost an entire page. An entire page! Wow. Needless to say, as editor, I showed no mercy in chopping them up into pieces.

      True, you need to start a new one when a new topic or idea is presented. Unfortunately, newer writers have difficulty drilling down from main topic to subtopics. Thus, they don't know when to break things up.

      Re: How are Books Printed. Since I know a lot of writers are curious about how this works, and because I've purchased commercial printing through my career, I did a whole post a couple years ago on types of book binding to include Print On Demand (POD). It is amazing to see how POD--which Createspace uses--works. Even if you don't look at my post, search on YouTube for videos. You'll have a new appreciation for it.

      Have a terrific week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Different strokes for different folks, William. That's one reason I love writing so much: I don't have to follow the crowd.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Always nice having you stop in, Eric. Next time you bring the donuts, please.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      6 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Looks like the mail was heavy this week, but as always you did a fantastic job of carrying it. I especially liked Linda's question. I always start with a beginning and have the end in mind. It's all the in-between stuff that slows me down. Anyway, thanks for another great mailbag, my friend!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Bill this was great. I am all charged up to spread my wings this week. And I know no matter how bad I do -- I can start over with you next week. I may have a friend in Jesus, but I got a get out of jail free card with you.

      I will be back to view comments and I have question that is there but not quite formulated. Hasta La Vista!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I never care that much that summer is ending, but I know how much you love it, so enjoy those remaining weeks and thanks as always for being here.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 months ago from New York, New York

      Always enjoy Monday Mailbags from you. So that said will definitely be here same time, next week, as well. Also, only a few short weeks left of summer vacation for my girls. So definitely a bittersweet time in general. But still had to stop by to wish you a Happy Monday and week ahead now :)

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