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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Fifty-Eight

Updated on August 3, 2015

And Here We Go Again

The Mailbag is back and the questions are better than ever. I am convinced I have the smartest followers at HubPages, so a round of applause to all of you who keep me on my toes and make me plumb the depths of my experience.

Let’s get started with a question from Suraj.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

SUCCESS

From Suraj: “Which brings me to my question: How long did it take you to be this successful as a hubber, and earn a decent income from it?”

Thank you very much, Suraj! That’s two questions and they are both very nebulous. Let me explain.

The first asks how long it took me to be successful at HP. What do you mean by successful? I’m fairly well-known, and that took me about six months of constantly reading and commenting and posting. For me, though, success came after I posted my first hub. That was a huge step for me. I had no confidence in myself as a writer, so taking that first step was a very successful event.

Then you asked me about a decent income and three and a half years after the fact, I can honestly say I still haven’t done that. I earned my first payout in two months if I remember correctly. I had payouts every month after that for almost three years and then Google pulled the rug out from under me. Now my earnings don’t make a payout each month….it takes two months for me to earn over fifty dollars. I didn’t do anything differently. The only things that changed were Google and HP. I’ve written over 1,000 hubs….maybe we should go back to the successful question. LOL

Series Writing

From Ann: “A question for you: Do you think that writing a series becomes tedious after a while (talking about mine, not yours!); tedious to write as well as tedious to read? If we vary it enough, finish it when we run out of content or interest, is that acceptable? How can you tell when others have had enough (people are kind here, they tell you nice things whatever)?

I seem to have asked more than one question there, sorry. I'll leave it to you to sort it out, I'm nice like that!”

Ann, consider it sorted out.

I don’t know that I can answer this question for anyone but me. I love the characters I currently have in my “Shadows” thriller series. I think if the day comes when those characters are tedious I’ll pull the plug on it. I write because I enjoy writing. If my writing detracts from that enjoyment, I better change or quit writing.

I’ve seen this happen to other famous writers. James Lee Burke is still going strong with his Dave Robicheax novels and they still seem fresh and engaging after over twenty novels. I think his enjoyment of that series shows in his writing. On the other hand, the guy who wrote the Spenser novels (what was his name? Robert Parker), I think his books became stale after a decade or so. It seemed to me that he was just going through the motions to make more money. Now that may not be fair but it’s what I felt when reading him. I think he should have stopped after the first twenty. J

I think you are the author. It is acceptable to end your series when you feel it should end. Yes people are nice here at HP. I love their encouragement and kind words, but the final decision will always rest on my shoulders.

Google Rights

Again from Ann: “I have another question regarding Google. I had an email from them regarding EU rules for end-users' rights and cookies. Do you know anything about that? I didn't understand a word of it and now I'm worried I'm not doing things correctly. It makes me wary of publishing anything anymore!”

I had to do some research on this one, Ann, and since I don’t talk computer geek stuff, it was not easy. There have been several rulings of late by the EU in an attempt to protect the privacy of internet users (end users). Since Google is like the internet god of gods, the EU went after them first. Bottom line: there are links and cookies that contain your personal information which you can request be removed to protect your privacy.

Some of my distractions
Some of my distractions | Source

DISTRACTIONS

From Paula: “My main "issue" currently is that as much as I want to jump feet first into writing a few new hubs, I have to be rigid with my time. Until I complete a home project or 2 that NEED to be done....I can't justify sitting at the keyboard.

There ya go.....is this a dilemma or what? Work on my project while begrudging I have no time to write.....OR......Try to write while the project is gnawing at the back of my mind??? What do you do in this case Oh Teacher-teacher?”

Sis, I already answered this on the Hub, but for the sake of others I’ll repeat it. In the question you said home projects that NEED to be done. There’s your answer. The writing will be waiting for you when the projects are done and the summer turns to fall and the darkness comes sooner. To borrow from Nike, just do it!

Uninvited Characters

From Dora: “What if midway through the storybook plot, another character besides the original protagonist emerges into the feature role? Is there a law against that? I've seen it in sitcoms, but is it allowed in literary fiction (or non-fiction for that matter)?”

Dora, thanks for an interesting question. The answer I’m going to give you is simply my opinion. You asked if it was allowed in literary fiction. If I’ve learned one thing about fiction it’s that everything is “allowed.” The writing gods smile on creativity and frown on rules.

The second part of my answer is this: I believe in allowing the characters to tell the story. If you have a new protagonist who is asserting his/her will on the story, then allow them to do that. It’s obviously what your muse wants, and I try to never argue with my muse.

Avoiding Obsession

From Eric: “Bill how do you keep from falling into that mindset where you become a bit obsessed and always are thinking about how you could write something about something? It seems like it might prevent one from staying in the here and now.”

Eric, I’ve been there, done that and I ain’t returning. J Seriously, I have known writers like that. I might have been one at one time. How does one keep from falling into that mindset? I obviously have no idea since I lost perspective at one time. Luckily I have some friends and loved ones who pointed it out…so perhaps that’s the answer. Surround yourself with people you trust, people you listen to, and people you value.

"The people waiting for the train" is an example o active voice.
"The people waiting for the train" is an example o active voice. | Source

Active and Passive Voices

From Faith: “Thank you for sharing your insight here as always. Oh, here's a whacky question for you ...I have been reading about writing in the active and passive voice. From what I have read it is best to write in the active voice so that readers feel more a part of the story. Is it possible to write in the active voice when referring to the past LOL? If that question doesn't fly, how about sharing your thoughts on writing in the active and passive voice. Or a big flat-out NO will do.”

Faith, I would never say no to you.

Writing in the passive voice is one of my biggest problems as a writer. For whatever reason, I slip into passive voice without even thinking about it and then don’t even notice that I’ve done it.

Is it possible to write in active voice when referring to the past? Most definitely. Active voice means that in a sentence, the subject is doing the action. In the sentence “The dog bit the man,” the subject is the dog and he is doing the biting. If I switched that to passive it would read “The man was bitten by the dog.”

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with passive voice. It’s simply not as concise as active voice.

More Next Week

This Mailbag is overflowing so let’s deliver it. The other questions I have will have to wait until next week. Thank you to all who asked. If I didn’t get to your question rest assured I will next Monday.

Have a great week!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 24 months ago from New York, New York

      I actually just researched the EU Cookie Law for a client and friend this past week. I will be sharing what I found soon in an article on my design site and also how to implement on websites both Blogger and Wordpress if this helps. So stay tuned and thanks as always for sharing all your knowledge here with us, too. Happy Monday, Bill! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It wouldn't be Monday without a visit from Janine. Good morning, Janine, and thank you as always. I look forward to your article and the clarity it will bring. Happy Monday my friend.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 24 months ago from Brookings, SD

      All good stuff, once again. I appreciate your take on "success" here on HubPages. Individual success is defined by individual purpose. If I was here to make money... well, then I wouldn't be here; I'd be somewhere else, making money. Some authors have been able to build up a phenomenal income through HubPages, and that's impressive because the amount of effort it takes is impressive. For others (like me) who are just here to dabble and share in community, the earnings are a nice side effect, but they're not the point of being here. Thanks for writing. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Serenity! My feelings exactly. I love the fact that I don't feel any pressure to make money here. This is my safe and relaxing place and I love it here.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 24 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      More good stuff, Bill. It keeps us going. Thank you sharing your vast knowledge with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Bill. It really is my pleasure. Happy Monday to you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 24 months ago

      The questions are wonderful and the answers are spot on. I have advice for Paula, just write!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 24 months ago from Singapore

      I like the idea of keeping grounded. It's too easy to fall into the same mindset because you are too used to a niche, etc. Thanks for the advice!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pop! I'm sure Paula will receive your advice and I know for a fact i appreciate your visits.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! I always appreciate you being here.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      All good question and answer again this week, Bill. In regard to if a series can become tedious and how long it should be kept going. I agree with you that it's up to the author to decide. If they start to become bored with the serie it' probably time to end it. This series is still going strong.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 24 months ago from Bend, OR

      Your love of writing is inspirational. Reading this has motivated me to start another Hub. My sons can't understand why I'm doing this when I make no money. Hopefully, I'm teaching them that writing is its own reward (oh no, I think I just used one of those cliches that the woman in the video said to avoid)! Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John! You bring up a good point about writing a series, and the day this series becomes boring to me is the day it will end.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      letstalkabouteduc, thank you for stopping by. I do love writing. I think what we do is important. Look at the madness in the world today. Writers counteract that madness by bringing the beauty of words into the world. Yes, I think what we do is very important.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 24 months ago from Norfolk

      Hello Billy,

      How one is measures one's own success is an interesting question. My own motivation to write on this site was two-fold. First I wanted to satisfy a long-held ambition to write and the need to earn a residual income from it. I was so lucky that I discovered that I was able to use a creative art form which I love doing to achieve similar success. Of course, the downside has been the financial outlay and the long hours spent to create the tutorials but none of it has been in vain. I am just so grateful that I did not have to write 1000 hubs to do it. I am still focusing on getting to my first 100:)

      As regards the Cookie Policy, my webmaster sent me a link to some free code which I was able to insert into my own site. If it would help, I can email it to you.

      Have a wonderful week Billy.

      Sally.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 24 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Interesting questions; good, honest answers.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 24 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I really enjoyed this hub, but I think the best part is the response you gave to letstalkabouteduc--"writers counteract the madness (in the world) by bringing the beauty of words into the world." Wow, my friend!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 24 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Loved the questions, especially about the passive vs active voice. I will confess I get that confused myself. I also get the first person, second person, third person and all their variations entirely confused! Do you know of any simple way to summarize each style of writing?

      Have a wonderful week!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 24 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A wonderful new addition to a superlative series. I just paused to consider: “Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

      I gather an almost sense of urgency from this. And that is good. In all your writing you exude a sense of personal responsibility and integrity. It seems like it could become burdensome. Do you ever just get all frilly farty and write all silly fiddle faddle nonsense just to cut loose?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 24 months ago from Oklahoma

      Always enlightening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally! It's always interesting to hear what the motivation was for other writers. I'm glad you're here and I'm sure glad it didn't take you 1,000 articles like it did me. :) Heck, Sally, I would have been happy with HP after one article.

      As for the Cookie Policy, if anyone is interested they can reach you through HP. Thanks for the offer.

      Happy Monday to you

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Brian! I aim to please.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Linda. I believe that. I believe what we do is very important.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa and Happy Monday to you. I can definitely do that, in next week's installment. Thanks for the question.

      Have a super week!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Eric, that's the best laugh I've had today. Thank you for that. I'll have an answer for you next week, but the abridged version of it is yes. Thanks, buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry! I appreciate you always stopping by.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 24 months ago

      Thanks Bill Sir for yet another guiding hub. I appreciate your honest approach towards the realities of life. Your success and earning instances are quite inspiring.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you m abdullah javed....it's always a pleasure having you stop by, my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 24 months ago from Central Florida

      Great questions once again!

      I fall into the passive voice trap myself. I didn't realize I was doing it until I took a fiction writing course. Now I'm more aware and try to catch myself.

      Question: (she asks sarcastically) Why do we have those parts of speech if we're not to use them?

      We're having a rainy Monday here. But rainy days and Mondays don't get me down as long as I have The Writer's Mailbag to brighten my day! :-)

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 24 months ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      I have problems with the old passive and active voices too - I think it's just something most of us do naturally. When we're talking to someone, we don't usually worry about that stuff, but writing isn't just putting on paper what people say to each other. Anyway, it's something else I'll have to work at.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...great one, Sha! Thank God for the Carpenters on days like today. We continue to have more heat than we ever bargained for.

      Parts of speech were made to be butchered by you and me. It's as simple as that. LOL

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      FatBoyThin, you and me both. This is a mistake that seems to come naturally to me. Evidently the nuns didn't teach me well enough...or I was sleeping during that class. LOL Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Sandra Eastman 24 months ago

      Since my medical set back earlier in the year I been trying to play catch up and concentrate on marketing my books. Haven't had much time for playing with hubs or reading them. I do try to read all of your mail bags as I learn something new from them all the times. I wish hubs could produce a good income but alas they just don't right now. I've been advertising on FB and doing my own personal blog and find that brings more traffic in a heartbeat than Hub Pages. Wish I could write simply for pleasure but it doesn't pay the bills. Thank you for all your great advice. It has been a joy to have met you.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 24 months ago from Europe

      Hey Bill, that were a lot of Q&A's again! I'd like to toss in a new question as well, that might make some readers blush. Let's consider a biography of a man written in the third person. How far would it be wise to go in details regarding the fact that sex plays an important role in the forces that are drawing on the man's fate?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, thanks for answering my question. I also learn from your answers to other questions. You're such a kind big brother here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sandra and the feeling is mutual. I have great empathy for those who need the supplemental income from HP. I've written about it often, how I wish HP would loosen the purse strings a bit and share the profits...but it doesn't appear to be happening. Good luck to you with that blog and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, what an interesting question. Luckily I have a week to consider it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks Dora. I try, and I enjoy all my little brothers and sisters.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 24 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Bill, I appreciate your definition of success here on HP. A good start publishing hubs was a milestone in my life. That is what has made today possible.

    • Robert Beyer profile image

      Robert Beyer 24 months ago from Seattle, Washington

      Bill,

      I appreciate the video you added this week. I struggle with passive sentences and the video helped me a lot.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Chris. I think all too often writers measure success by dollars earned, and I think that's an injustice and a sure recipe for disappointment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Robert, I'm glad the video helped. I think many of us struggle with active and passive.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 24 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Another great read... and love the comments you've received, as always. It is fascinating how we do all hang each others words. What a fun community. Thank you, so much, for bringing us together for this session each week. Cathartic... is that the word. Perhaps! ;-)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 24 months ago from Oakley, CA

      {{pout}} I did not see an answer to my question. I did not realize I had posed such a poser! HA ;-)

      I'll check back next week. But meanwhile, many thanks for all the time you take to help everyone! You are a gentleman and a scholar!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, it not only is a word, but it is applicable and I thank you for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Liz, I hate to admit that, but I missed your question. Fire it at me again and I'll include it next Monday...I promise. Sorry about that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I found out what happened. When I was copying and pasting the different sections in this hub, I skipped right over yours. LOL I'm so sorry. I'll include it next week for sure.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 24 months ago from SW England

      Thanks, bill, for answering my question. I think it's partly a confidence thing when one is writing a series of hubs or books; as long as you believe in it 100% then it'll work.

      You had some fascinating questions this week. I especially like the one from Eric. I'm guilty of doing that far too much; I have to tell myself that the computer will still be there in a few hours and that I have to get other things done!

      Been a bit of a manic Monday today; hope yours is marvellous as usual, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you! It's been a good day. Not so hot and for that I'm grateful. I was able to do some work outside without worrying about heat stroke. :) Thanks again for the question. In the end, we have to listen to our own hearts in our writing. If we don't know when enough is enough, I'm not sure we should be writing. :)

      Happy Week to you

      bill

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 24 months ago from Southern Illinois

      What is EU? Thank's for helping us spread our wing's..My opinion about a series, if it's really good I never tire of reading...

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 24 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great week for the Mailbag. Great questions and great answers. Have a wonderful week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I may be mistaken, but I believe it stands for European Union. :) I hope you never get tired of reading this series. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a lot, Bill, and I hope your week is a winner as well.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 24 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Just a note to let you know that I'm still enjoying this series, Bill. You provide a lot of useful suggestions!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I really do appreciate you always being here.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 24 months ago from southern USA

      Wow, Bill, this week's question are awesome! I always learn something here.

      Well, there you go with a great example of writing in the active voice in the past tense ...LOL, see there, I knew I asked the right person to explain it in terms we all get right away! Thank you, dear Bill.

      I get it now and it actually makes so much sense, since you've explained it.

      Bless you, dear heart

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 24 months ago from New Jersey

      Thought-provoking questions and answers as always, my friend! Avoiding obsession sounds like my last question!

      I can't remember if I asked you before, but is there a secret to getting jobs as a freelance writer/editor without coming across like we're just selling something?

      I did put up flyers, before the summer, and I'll make sure new ones go up in time for fall so the students in my area 'may' finally come to me for help, and my flyers 'are' aimed towards helping them, but is there a more successful way to go about this that's still subtle?

      Thank you!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 24 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I will never get tired of reading this series, You help so many with your knowledge.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Theresa! It actually gets a bit more complicated, but that's the simple answer and simple is what I was feeling at the moment. :) Have a superb day.

      Hugs and blessings coming your way

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, screw subtle! LOL I'll answer next Monday. I actually wrote a hub on this, but it would take you forever to find it among my others. Thanks for a really good question. I'll try to have a really good answer for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate that, Ruby! Thank you so much.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 24 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Thanks Bill! More good stuff to think about and chew on.

    • Danny Cabaniss profile image

      Danny Cabaniss 24 months ago from Shawnee, Oklahoma

      Good explanation of passive and active voice. There is a place for the passive voice, but, as you and others said, we slip into it more than we realize, and more than is necessary. As you said, the active voice is more concise, and it is stronger, more fluid, more lively. The active voice helps the writer develop rhythm.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Babby! thank you for stopping by and chewing on it. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It does for sure, Danny. Any good editor will point it out immediately, or we can just learn as we go for however long it takes for us to break the habit. Thanks for sharing those points.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 24 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Your success has been amazing and it's inspiring. You are correct that success began from the very first hub. I've been looking back at my own hubs from when I began here in January and noticed huge changes. It's thrilling to see the evolution throughout the articles. Did you witness similar changes in your writing from your very first hub to 1,000+ hubs later.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 24 months ago from south Florida

      Your faithful readers, Bill, never seem to fail to come up with interesting questions for you to answer. And you manage to find interesting answers for them every time. I admire your knowledge, your willingness to share what you know and above all ... your honesty. So there!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 24 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Another interesting question and answers session which I enjoy going through and also learn something in the process.

      If I were to answer the question asked by Suraj, I would probably say that 'Bill is extremely consistent besides being a good writer. And he does care to read and respond to other fellow writers, in spite of being a celebrated writer himself.'

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh my goodness, Chris, yes! My first two hubs were amateurish to say the least. Really my first fifty or so were below today's standards. So yes, I am sure you have shown great growth. :) Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      So there indeed, drbj. I do not do well with compliments but thank you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you ChitrangadeSharan. I am blessed with online friends such as yourself.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      another well carried out mailbag.. Ann's question and answer intrigued me.. not that the other questions and answers didn't, but for me I got more out of that Q&A then the others.. its just me :) bravo

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 24 months ago from New England

      Hi Bill ~ I enjoyed reading this post in your series...and what a fabulous idea! ~:0)

      It takes me over 2 years to earn a payout these days. So far in my HP history, I've earned 2 whole payouts in almost 6 years. I'll need to find my own hub "serial" to keep me going. LOL. You are definitely an inspiration.

      Recently, my web site with iPage was hacked and taken down, and down went my WP blog, too, which was hosted by them. I've decided to create a new web site with Weebly, and use my old domain as a subdomain, to save money. Just posted its publication on Facebook. I will also publish some of my old WP posts on my (free) SheWrites blog, so they can be seen. Applied to a writer's residency on Whidby Island. If I am offered one, I will be in touch. Won't know until December. In the meantime, I have a garden to rescue from weeds and a novel to write. Have a wonderful week, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it, Frank. Thanks for always being here and Happy Wednesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mama, I'm so sorry to hear about the hacking. What a pain that would be. Sounds like you recovered and have a plan, so that's fantastic. Yes, let me know about Whidby. Maybe we can get together for lunch. Thanks as always and have fun in the garden.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      I'm very interested in learning more about that EU cookie law.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Flourish. I didn't have time to do much research on it. I don't know if similar measures are being taken here in the U.S.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 24 months ago from Chicago Area

      Late to the Mailbag... again! I think this week I'd fall under the "Distractions" topic. I've got a number of new clients and events in the works. So since I always NEED and WANT money, guess that comes first.

      Also, regarding series: I think there can come a point where the series loses steam for both sides of the page or screen, so to speak. Perfect example, too many movie sequels. Case closed.

      Happy Thursday!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 24 months ago from australia

      This was an interesting and informative Mailbag - so much to consider in the writing business - I'm seriously fascinated by character driven books and how they evolve. Usually if I'm into a series I can't wait to discover what the characters are up to, how they've coped etc. Damnation, my lot must be shy and introvert.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words once again, Heidi. Hopefully, most writers are smart enough to know when that time has come.

      Happy Friday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maj, you are too funny! I think the majority of books that we remember fondly are character-driven. I can remember very few plots over the years, but I remember many, many main characters. :) Anyway, have a superb weekend and thank you.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 24 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill. This one is full of interesting questions and enlightened answers. You show so many the way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike. I appreciate it. Have a great weekend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Well, this is good. You cleared up some questions that I never even realized that I had!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 23 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Your mailbag is a very useful writing tool for me. By the way, I find myself writing in the passive voice almost all the time, but rather than stress about it, I write the first draft passively (because it is comfortable to just write the thing) and then I go back and re-write it in the active voice.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago from Texas

      Hi Bill, Marlene is right this is a useful writing tool. I am glad I have your mail bag as reference, for tips that I need, now what I need is an index in your summary so if I need a specific question answered I can just read the summary.

      Stay well

      Blessings always

      Shyron

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great minds think alike, Deb. Glad I could help. Thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do the same thing, Marlene. I'd never get that first draft done if I worried all the time about voice. :) Have a super week and thank you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, if I ever get that ebook written of this series, I'll include an index just for you. :) Thank you as always, my friend.

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Really enjoyed this hub and all the great advice. I have a sort of question but I'm sure I know what you'll say.

      I came up with a plan for a story but some of the gadgets in the story make for Star Trek type stuff (its not a SF story) but the other day checking some info to reply to comments on other hubs I found the gadgets are actually being used and changing the way we understand history!

      I reckon you'll say "WRITE THE DAMN STORY"

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, you've got me laughing. Yes, my friend, that's what I'll say, but I'll say it again on Monday in the Mailbag. LOL Thank you!

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