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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 253

Updated on April 22, 2019

Many Moons Ago

Well, not that long, actually, since I taught school . . . I think I retired in 2011, maybe 2012 . . . anyway, when I was a teacher, I had a tendency to teach by the Socratic Method . . . answer questions with questions, basically, spurring the kids on to find their own answers with me helping them to navigate towards the answer. It was an effective method for me. I’m not sure the students always enjoyed it, but such is life.

I only mention that because the Mailbag is the exact opposite. I just come out and give you the answers to your questions, or at least I give you my opinion regarding your questions. I’m afraid the Socratic Method wouldn’t work a damn in this case.

Such is life. As long as we are all learning, it’s all good.

Shall we begin!

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room!

Shadow Availability

From Zulma: “Hey, Bill. Hope you're having a good day. Me, not so much. I tried to order your latest 'Shadow' and couldn't. Seems it's only available on amazon.com, not amazon.co.uk. So bummed out. Could you let us know when it will be available? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.”

This one has me confused, Zulma. I just went to my Kindle Direct account and it says it is on sale in the UK. Maybe there was a delay of a few days between publication in the U.S and availability in the UK. Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll delve deeper into the problem . . .and thank you for trying and being so loyal to the series.

And for those of you asking about the ebook version of “The Magician’s Shadow,” I wish I had a date for you, but I don’t. I have a programming problem with the upload, for whatever reason, and so far I haven’t devoted the time it would take to fix that problem. All I can tell you is I’m working on it slowly.

Planning the Ending

From Liz: “Once again, thanks for your interesting and helpful input, Bill. How much of a role does planning play in the ending of a book? I used to think that the end or conclusion drew all the strands of a plot together.”

God, Liz, all my warts are going to be revealed if people keep asking me questions about writing novels. Truth is I do very little planning regarding plot and the ending of a book. I’m just not a traditional type of writer.

I start with an idea. I take that idea and write an opening chapter. By the time I finish the opening chapter the storyline basically comes to me. If not I just wait. It sits in my subconscious and eventually works out. I know, I know, it’s a bizarre way to write a novel, but it’s my way and it’s worked, now, for seven novels, so what can I tell you other than hooray for me.

As for the ending that, too, comes to me about midway through the writing of the book. I think, by that time, it is only natural that the ending will tie together all strands of the book. That is always the goal but again, I do it instinctively without too much conscious thought.

Oddly, or not so, only my first novel provided any challenge regarding an ending. I didn’t have a clue how I was going to end that novel until I was almost done with it. One night about ten o’clock I called up Bev and shouted “I know how I’m going to end it,” and that was that.

Sigh! I am so weird!

My words of advice for you: do as the pros suggest and not how I do. My path is a frightening one and it may only work for me.

My childhood home is the source of many memories
My childhood home is the source of many memories

Personal Experience Percentage

Again From Liz: “How much would you say writing is based on personal experience and observation? How much depends on research?”

Gosh, Liz, in my case, I would say it depends on the novel. In my novel “Resurrecting Tobias,” over 75% of it was based on personal experience. With the Shadow series, maybe 50%, maybe less. And with “The 12/59 Shuttle,” I might say between 50% and 75%. It’s hard to say, for sure, because six of my seven novels are paranormal in nature, and I’ve never had a paranormal experience, but almost all of the locations in the novels are locations I’ve visited or lived in, and other experiences in the novels are experiences I’ve had, so, well, there you go.

And the new novel I just started, “A Time and Place,” is probably 90% if not more.

I don’t know about other writers. I really don’t. What I do seems natural to do, but maybe to other novel writers it is not.

Again, it works for me, so there you go!

Does Evil Exist?

From Phillip: “Your Shadow series is based upon the existence of Evil . . . an actual entity which is Evil, and not just an evil person. Is this something you personally believe in, or is that just your active imagination?”

Phillip, I can say this about Evil: I don’t deny the possibility, just like I don’t deny the possibility of a God existing. What I do find interesting is the number of Christians who have told me they don’t believe in an Evil existing. Oddly, it seems to me that the Devil is mentioned in the Bible, and who is the Devil other than the personification of Evil? I think people have a hard time accepting the possibility of an actual Evil walking among us because that is way too frightening to consider. It’s easier to discuss evil in the abstract, like “Ted Bundy did evil things,” and not that Ted Bundy may have been the Devil in disguise.

This is all just conjecture on my part. I have no clue; none of us do; but I think it’s a fascinating topic, and my books reflect my fascination with it.

Thanks for the question. It gave me one more opportunity to hawk my new book, “The Magician’s Shadow.”

Is there Evil out there?
Is there Evil out there?

A Suggestion From Zulma

Zulma also asked me if I’ve ever thought of writing my memoirs as a way of passing down my legacy to my family.

The answer is no, I haven’t. I’ve put so much of my life into my novels that I guess I figure it’s all there for all to see, but Zulma was having none of that excuse.

Truth is, I think I’ve gone almost my entire life convinced that I’m just not that special and not terribly interesting. Certainly no more so than any other person walking this planet, so why would I bother writing memoirs which would only serve to help people fall asleep at night?

And Zulma was having none of that as well.

So I will say this: I will consider it, if for no other reason than I respect Zulma and find her to be an intelligent and insightful human being. Oddly, I have always thought people to be fascinating, and I’ve always believed there is a great story in every human being . . .but evidently not in me.

What can I tell ya? I’m a complicated man!

Wrap It Up

Way too much talk about me in this issue. I would apologize but then I’m not the one asking the questions. I just go where you point me.

Have a great week, my friends! As long as we are all learning, it’s all good!

2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      10 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the kind words, Genna....and I completely agree with you about education. Teaching to the test has greatly harmed the system and our children.

      Blessings always my friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      11 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill. I bet you were a wonderful teacher. And I think teaching the Socratic method has been too much missing in our curriculum these days, along with performance assessment and stimulating quantitative and critical thinking. Education seems to have morphed into a "teaching to the test" scenario.

      On writing from personal experience...I think we "write what we know" or have learned and observed about human nature; then we may have to research those details that surround or impact our characters and their lives.

      I always enjoy your Mailbag installments, Bill -- a pleasure to read.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, Bev is fine, and Bev wants me to write the memoir. It will be a challenge but what is life if not a challenge?

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 weeks ago from london

      Funny at times and the memoir thing has come up again. Did I hear you say that Bev was happy for you to write it? how's Bev?

      Yes, there are formats and then there is spontaneity, perhaps you belong to the second with a pinch of the first, like me. Lol.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Blessings always, Miebakagh!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, your style is your style. Never, and I mean never, try to be someone else.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      It is out of touch for me to copy others. Bill makes the issue more confident.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm glad you are so honest about your own style of writing and not lecture us on how to write. Because of your honest admission, I, then, have more confidence on how I go about my own writing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Zulma!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Bill. I feel very honoured.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Nah, Zulma, I think I'll go with you....you and Bev were the little thorns which would not go away.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      You're very welcome, Bill. Here's a tissue for you.

      While I appreciate the gesture, the dedication should be to those who made you who you are today, not the person who nagged you into it. lol

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I have tears in my eyes on this Sunday morning. Not much I can say about your kindness other than thank you.

      I have started the memoirs. :) It will be dedicated to you.

      bill

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      3 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, noted please.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Bill.

      First off, thanks for looking into the 'Shadows' issue. I've had another look, and it is now available. I guess there was a delay. At any rate, I've added it to my shopping list.

      Secondly, as for writing your memoirs, obviously, it's your call. I imagine you've been so busy living your life you've never stood back to really look at it. Here's what I see.

      You had a less than idyllic start in life. You were put up for adoption as an infant, passed around various foster homes for nine months. You were declared blind, making placement even more difficult. Then you found your forever family and through their love and nurturing, you regained your sight and grew to be a healthy child. You not only survived, but you also thrived.

      You led what many would consider an idyllic childhood. You had two parents who instilled in you self-respect and a work ethic that drives

      you still today. You grew up in a community where people looked out for each other. You had friends, went to school, played baseball. A real 'Leave it to Beaver' existence. There were setbacks to be sure, but with the love and support of your family, rose above them. You were fortunate enough to go to college at a time when it meant something. Your horizons broadened beyond your backyard, and though you butted heads with your Dad, you always knew the love was there.

      From college, you built a life of your own. You married, had a good career, made money, had a lovely house. You lived The American Dream until alcoholism overtook you and turned it into a nightmare. You lost everything you worked for and, very nearly, your life. Many would have given up and yielded to the inevitable, but you fought back. You refused to take another step on the road to damnation. Like a phoenix, you rose from the ashes of your old life and began building a new one. And now, here you are, a beloved husband and father, a respected authour and a gentleman farmer.

      Your life is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit, a story of loss, hope, love, redemption and triumph. People need to hear this story. They need someone to point to and say, 'This guy's been to hell and back. And he's doing just fine. And he did it without riches and powerful friends. If he can do that, maybe I can too.'

      Bill, do you truly not understand how inspirational your life is? Frankly, I think you would be doing a disservice to us all if you kept this to yourself. So, therefore, I say again: Write the story. If not for the masses, then for your family. A reminder of the kind of steel they are forged from.

      Have a good day, Bill.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It is completely my pleasure, Ruby,but thank you for the kind words.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Venkatachari M! Have a wonderful weekend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      I think it's wonderful that anyone can write a book that others want to read. I have never had that desire, but I love to write. I also think it is wonderful that writers trust you enough to ask for writing directions, and the best part is you help them. Thank you Bill..

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank you, Bill, for clarifying my point. I actually didn't think of the book cover while commenting there. Book covers are somewhat problematic often. I used KDP's own cover designs for my book.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nithya! I now have a title, so that's a start, right?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, that happens quite often with me on HP. I try real hard not to take it personally. lol It is,after all, all about me, he said with a wink.

      Thanks for hanging in there. I love all discussions about the paranormal.....someone is watching! :)

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Devika! I appreciate your kind words of support.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting thoughts on evil, Bill. Thanks for sharing them. Food for thought for sure.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Tamara, Thanks so much.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. The problem is in the uploading of the book cover, which has to be JPEG and not PDF...for some reason it is not accepting my JPEG and I don't know why. I'll try again this weekend when I have more time.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, for sure. I immediately thought of my childhood when I saw your little house. :)

      bill

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      3 weeks ago from Dubai

      I second Zulma you should write your memoirs, it would be great. Another great Writer’s Mailbag, interesting and informative.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You are never late, Chitrangada Sharan. Thank you for the visit.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Bill!

      Sorry to be late in reading this installment. Great questions and answers, an enriching one, not only about writing, but also about life.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      3 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      Bill, it's happened again. I read this mailbag and commented, but my comment disappeared and it said it would have to be approved by you. I don't see it anywhere. I forgot what I said, but I did mention that I'd like to take you on a paranormal trip with me (since I've been studying the paranormal since 1976), and Poof! it was gone into the ethers. Oh well, I guess the PTB didn't like that idea. So let's just forget that one. I signed out and signed in again before I commented this time, so maybe it will stick.

      Beautiful days this week, but the weather is turning on us tonight. More storms and flash flooding. Enjoy your sunshine, my friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have personal experiences to share with my faithful readers and friends. I always learn from your useful hubs and you have kept up to date with each mailbag. A positive attitude toward writing

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Without personal experiences I would have nothing to write about. I will only write a travel article if I have personally experienced it. As for evil, tough question. Part of me thinks we are all born with nothing but goodness, and any evil is either acquired or forced upon us. Have a great week.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Jankowska 

      4 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      I just downloaded the sample of Book 1 :)

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting questions in this episode. Your replies and opinions are very nice.

      I am confused at that problem with the uploading program of your e-book. You have to upload the word file or PDF file and it automatically picks it up. I recently edited my Economics book and uploaded the same file for both e-book format and paperback format. It is now in good form.

      I hope you enjoyed those Easter holidays pleasantly.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Tamara yes, it is a series of five novels published through Amazon...paranormal thrillers, all.

      And I love weeping willows. I spent many a summer afternoon laying under that tree thinking about life.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 weeks ago from SW England

      By the way, now I see why you said my little house reminds you of your childhood home. Red bricks and all!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And thank you for sharing, Miebakagh! I appreciate your thoughts always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John, and I'm leaning in that direction regarding evil.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Well there you go, Heidi. I did not really know the difference between the two. Thanks for the clarification. Memoir it is, then!

      And finally I can say to you Happy Spring!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Shannon! Zulma is a not-too-subtle prodder, I'm afraid. You will all be happy to know I have chosen a title for it....And the Blind Shall See.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you made me laugh.Happy BBQing! Have the best week ever, my friend.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! It will be, if I allow it. The same to you always.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Disney business trip? Look at you, Janine, all corporate. How far you have come since you first joined HP. You go, girl!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      And Linda, that's a great place to begin from....thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Embrace life indeed, Flourish! Great mantra for today!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always baffled me as well, Lori, but what do I know? I'm just a chicken farmer in Olympia!

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Jankowska 

      4 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      Hello! What is the Shadow Series? Did you write this series, Bill? I have a Kindle.

      Also, your childhood home is lovely. I remember my childhood home had Weeping Willow trees out in the front yard. Thus, these specific trees make me feel nostalgic whenever I see them.

      Hugs,

      Tamara

      P.S. Thank you for Friendship Request on Facebook. I am not on there terribly often, but I do enjoy posting about my wonderful Heroes! They deserve great recognition.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Melissa! I will try to take care of that as soon as possible.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Hi, Bill, I have noted your mindset on the beginning and end of a story. I think it is best that it comes naturally at the moment or by inspiration. Whatever, the case, a happy or nice ending that reflects the story is best. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, from the snippets I have read about your life, woven into your hubs and articles, I am sure it is interesting enough for a memoir or bibliography. Mine, not so much lol. Evil does exist..I am certain of that. I don't even need to question it. Have a great week.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      4 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Easter Mailbag Monday! (It appears you have not taken off for the holiday.)

      Re: Memoirs. I'm like you in that I cannot even imagine anyone thinking my life is interesting enough to write a whole darn book about. True, I've used anecdotes from my life and career in much of my writing to illustrate, emphasize, or prove a point. That's usually interesting.

      Re: Memoirs versus Biography. On a related note, many authors get confused between memoirs and biographies. Biographies are historical, meaning that they're basically a recounting of events, usually compiled with research (if not an autobiography). Memoirs typically infuse a theme or meaning in the events, and may not be a full timeline. So if the goal is merely historical legacy for either family or public consumption, then a biography is a strong choice. But if the goal is to communicate with your audience about the significance of events, then it's more of a memoir. Authors often mash up the two, making a mess for their readers.

      Well, spring has finally sprung (we think) here in Chicago. Make it a great week!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      4 weeks ago from Texas

      Good for Zulma. I think your memoirs would be very interesting to read. There are ver few people who would have a boring story to tell, and those people probably just don't know how to tell a tale in an interesting manner. Even straight forward and honest can be interesting. Your story is Rich. We can tell from what you've shared here.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      I don't like to think about evil existing. After watching the Exorcist, it scared the livin' daylights out of me. I have the book upstairs, but I don't think I will ever read it. Perhaps I'll throw it on the BBQ.

      Glad to see that Zulma wasn't going to let you off the hook so easily.

      Have a great week.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The nature of evil is a very thought-provoking topic. I hope the week ahead is a good one for you, Bill.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      4 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Sorry, this is on the later side this Monday. But first hoping you had a wonderful Easter this past weekend. And second spring break for my kiddos here this week. Plus leaving for my Disney business trip next week. So, definitely that kind of Monday and week ahead for me as I try to spend as much time with my girls while they are off, but also get ahead for before go away, too. But Happy Monday and week ahead now, too :)

    • profile image

      Linda Lewark 

      4 weeks ago

      Being a new writer, I am writing what I know.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      Because there is always at least a nugget of personal experience in one’s writing it is all the more reason to go out and explore the world and have different experiences. Embrace life.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great installment.

      I would have to say a good majority of my fiction is based on real-life situations. They always say, write what you know, although I think it is not entirely necessary.

      I was baffled by your comment about Christians not believing in evil because you are right that it is a pretty straight forward in the Bible that it does exist. It makes me wonder what they mean by saying they are Christians. Some think if they believe in some generic God they are Christian but have never cracked open a Bible or have a relationship with Christ. Personally, I don't see how anyone can not believe in evil when you look at Hitler, ISIS etc.

      I can't help but chuckle at Pop's comment.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      4 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I love getting insight into your writing process. Everyone is unique, but it obviously works well for you or you wouldn't have completed so many great novels. I'm one of those stubborn ones holding out for the ebook--but unfortunately it is peak at work, so I couldn't read it quite yet anyway. Still waiting anxiously! :)

      Have a great and productive week!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 weeks ago from SW England

      Any time, bill!

      You too!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, if it's good enough for me well, I should probably just do it. Thanks for the kick in the posterior, delivered with kindness.

      Have a superb week, Ann!

      bill

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL, Pop, you are probably correct!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 weeks ago from SW England

      All humans have a fascinating story, bill, so why not you? From your occasional references to your family and your history, to me it all sounds worth writing about.

      I'm writing bits about me within the diaries I write for my grandchildren, just to give a historical perspective and show them the differences in the generations and the technology etc.

      Great mailbag!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda. The Evil question is fascinating to me. I think it is the personification of the Evil One which many do not want to consider a possibility. That's the stuff of horror movies, and many do not want to believe that kind of horror can exist "in the flesh." I, for one, believe it is definitely possible.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I can see it, Dora, and I am touched by your kind words. Thank you so very much for making my morning a little brighter.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Great last line, Peg...just put it out there and let the readers decide....Amen to that!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      You just summed it up perfectly, Mel. That's exactly how I tackle a novel. Thanks for that summation.

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you about Pamela, Mike, and thanks so much for promoting the cause by purchasing my novel...you are greatly appreciated, buddy, and GREAT COVER!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate that, Sha! I'm afraid I'll always think too lightly about myself. :) But thank you!

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liz! We shall see about that autobiography. It just seems to egotistic to me, but what do I really know?

    • billybuc profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Pamela and yes, you were first. I wish I had a door prize to give you. :) Have a great week, my friend.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      4 weeks ago

      You must have been an excellent teacher. Imagine asking kids to think these days! The parents would probably complain.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Wow, Bill, this mailbag had a slightly different theme from past installments. I'm glad that your method works for you--I'm such a control freak I don't think I could "begin" without knowing what the ending would/could/should be, but that's just me.

      Does evil exist? I absolutely believe in it and am surprised that there could be Christians who do not acknowledge that the Evil One is a reality.

      I look forward to your next book and thanks for another great mailbag today.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, in the general scheme of things, many will consider you just another person; but to the many others who who love you, whose lives you have touched, who have gained inspiration from your pen, your memoir would be a treasure! Can you see my hand over here raised high to second the motion presented by Zulma?

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Insightful glimpse into what makes you tick, Bill. It's always interesting to read about other author's beliefs and thought process and how they weave their experiences into their writing.

      To Pamela, I agree with Mckbirdbks on finishing your work. You never know if you'll be the next Margaret Mitchell or J. K. Rowling. Just put it out there and let the readers decide. :).

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 weeks ago from San Diego California

      I think I'm kind of like you. I use my rough draft kind of as an outline, but written as a story, not an outline. Then the second draft is used to tie up loose ends in continuity, changes to characters, so forth, that occurred as the story matured. On the second draft I will sometimes scrap characters altogether, and increase or diminish others in importance, depending on how everything finally came together in the first draft. Every subsequent draft is just polishing. In this way the task stays fun for me, because I am not a meticulous person. I find outlining tedious. Great mailbag.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      4 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Another mailbag, published and put to bed. To Pamela Oglesby, I recommend finishing her work. Plenty of people read, let them decide if they like the stories or not.

      I received my copy of The Magician's Shadow.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Great variety of questions this week, Bill. The fact that people want to know more about you and how your mind works is a compliment. Take it for what it is, my friend. You're worthy!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      Thanks for your detailed and prompt response to questions raised last week. Thanks also for the insight into your writing methods. I look forward to hearing that your autobiography is in print and hope you can soon iron out the glitches with uploading the ebook version of "The Magician's Shadow".

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Good morning Bill, I am surprised to be first today. Today had some interesting questions. I wrote 2 book a few years back and never wrote an ending. I just didn't think the stories were good enough. LOL.

      I enjoyed your answers to the interesting questions, and I always learn something. Have a good week Bill.

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