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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Fifty-Nine

Updated on August 10, 2015

A Random Observation

Is it my imagination, or do the summer months move by faster than the winter months? How is that possible?

I’m being facetious for those of you who feel the need to actually answer that question. Honestly, I’m sitting in my studio this Friday morning and feeling a bit silly, so you reap the benefits.

Let’s get to it. We have a bunch of questions and I need to make up some wildly intelligent-sounding answers.

The Mailbag is back!
The Mailbag is back! | Source
Who is telling your story determines first, second or third person voice
Who is telling your story determines first, second or third person voice | Source

First, Second and Third Person

From Melissa: “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?”

Melissa, the key to this question is the request to simplify the explanation. J Let me try.

First person uses pronouns like “I” and “we.”

Second person uses pronouns like “you” and “yours.”

Third person uses pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they.”

First and third person are used quite often in fiction. Second person is rarely used.

Simple?

Silly Nonsense

From Eric: “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?”

Actually, Eric, my very first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” was about as frilly farty and silly fiddle faddle as you could ever hope to read. It was 250 pages of nonsense with a story tossed in for good measure. I wrote quite a few “funny” hubs for HubPages back in the early days. Since then my muse has had other plans for me.

SEX

How’s that for a subheading? Get your attention?

From Buildreps: “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?”

What an interesting question, Buildreps! From some of the biographies I’ve read, wisdom has nothing to do with any decisions regarding the writing. I don’t have many facts to work from here, but unauthorized biographies are written quite often, and in most cases, a public figure is considered exactly that…public….so most anything goes. Slander has to be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, and rarely is. So, if that’s what you are asking, I say be as truthful as possible and go for it.

My reminders and prompts have to be right in front of me for me to remember
My reminders and prompts have to be right in front of me for me to remember | Source

ORGANIZATION

From Liz: “Meanwhile--a new question has occurred to me:

I am either terribly over-organized to the point of OCD, or totally unorganized; there seems to be no happy medium.

So, I wonder, what method do you use to file writing ideas for the future? Notebooks? File cabinet full of scraps of paper? Post-it notes all over the desk?

My failing with file cabinets is that either every item has its own category, resulting in umpteen files with a single paper, or a lot of things filed under "misc." which ends up being the biggest folder.

In neither case am I easily able to find what I'm looking for. Notebook? Yeah..but what page is it on?”

Liz, I was laughing when I read this question, because I’ve tried all the methods you mentioned and they all failed miserably.

For me to organize something in a worthwhile manner, that something must be close by where I will see it. For this writer, out of sight definitely means out of mind. I tried post-it notes but they unstuck, fell to the floor and were forgotten. I tried file folders but those failed because they required me to actually look inside the folder for the idea. LOL

The only thing that has worked for me consistently is to write the idea in the form of an article title and then I save it on my computer desktop where I’ll see it daily. All of my article ideas are staring me in the face as online folders when I turn my computer on. They are actually the first thing I see every morning. Every other day or so, I open each one of them to remind myself what that idea was about. Maybe I’ll write a sentence or two under the title to clarify my idea. That way I’m not stuck with just a meaningless title.

In over four years of writing that’s the only thing that has worked for me.

Freelance Jobs

From Kailey: “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?”

Kailey, you may not like my answer. I’m as shy as the next writer, and I understand your desire to not seem like you are selling something, but the truth of the matter is you are selling if you are a freelance writer. I happen to have a little background about you, and I know you long to be a full-time writer and to get away from those retail jobs. If that is your goal then the sooner you embrace the marketing of your skills the better.

There are many sites that advertise freelance jobs. Follow this link and you’ll find quite a few of them. I don’t know anything about where you live, but you might also try approaching local businesses and introducing yourself as a freelance writer. Get to know the owners, explain what you can do for their business, that sort of thing.

Or you can email me and I’ll give you some more ideas.

The Winning Formula

From Brad: “The bottom line is that they all for the most part follow the knee jerk patterns. This is especially true in the drama field. I can only dispense reality when I feel that the show is comedy infused drama.

I don't know the warping of reality exists in the fiction book world, although I suspect that it must, as writing is writing. Maybe that could be a mailbag question.”

Brad is talking about the “winning formula” that seems to exist in film and literature, and how so many directors, screenwriters and authors follow that formula at the expense of true artistic creativity. It’s an interesting point and I happen to agree with him. Traditional publishers have to be very careful where they allocate their funds, so most times they will only take a chance on an established writer who writes pablum for the masses. The true mavericks in the industry will find a tough road ahead of them for sure. The same can be said about film. Indie movie-makers rarely make big bucks, but their movies can rarely be accused of being “mainstream.” Sadly, in the Arts, “mainstream” sells and “norm-busting” doesn’t.

More Next Week

Well, I’ve had fun. I hope you have as well. I hate to pick up my marbles and leave so quickly, but time is moving much faster than normal and I’m running out of it, and once you run out of time, well, I guess you’re dead, right?

See, Eric, I can be silly.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 22 months ago from Arizona

      I always enjoy reading Monday's mailbox. Always great questions and for me even though presently not writing I think these ideas often apply to other arts..like mine is painting. Soon to hit 60th mailbox..congrats on that Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, Carol, that many of these questions apply to the other Arts as well, and I also greatly enjoy your visits every Monday. I hope you are well. Thank you for always being here.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 22 months ago from Europe

      I have fun too in reading this weekly returning mailbox. Your steadiness is quite unbelievable. Thanks for answering this question, Bill!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 22 months ago from Central Florida

      I love your method of keeping your writing ideas in front of you. I never thought of putting folders on my desktop. However, I'm not sure it would work for me. About the only time I pay attention to what's on my desktop is when I see it getting too full of crap, then I start deleting.

      I have a ton of stickies lining my desktop monitor and desk hutch, but most of them are reminders, not ideas. What works for me is jotting down the idea (I, too, sometimes begin with a headline) on a separate piece of paper, then put it in a file folder marked "writing ideas". It sits in a slotted thingie on my desk, so it's always in my face - peripherally, anyway.

      I think it's about time I pull that folder out of its slot and expand on one of those ideas, dontcha think?

      Another great installment, Bill. BTW, I absolutely loved The 12/59 Shuttle. It was very entertaining and had my attention for a day and a half until I finished it. It's one of those can't-put-it-down books.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 22 months ago from Singapore

      Adding to the answer to Liz's question: I use this facility known as Evernote. It helps me to file my ideas for the future. It stores a writer's favorite web clippings.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Buildreps. Thank you for taking the time to visit. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Sha. Like all of my work, I would probably write it differently now, but I'm proud of it because it was my first. It gave me the confidence to move on and write more books. I'm glad you liked it. It was a ton of fun writing it.

      Thanks for sharing your organization method. If it works for you then that's all that really matters. Maybe it would work for others as well. That's what this Mailbag series is all about.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Michelle. I appreciate it.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 22 months ago from Chicago Area

      OMG, I'm responding to the Mailbag on, dare I say it, its post date! Woohoo! And so much to chat about...

      1st, 2nd & 3rd Person: True, fiction is primarily in 1st & 3rd. But nonfiction, especially how-to, is very often written in the 2nd since many authors in this arena want to be seen as a trusted advisor speaking directly to the reader.

      Organization vs OCD: Over organizing can be a great excuse not to write. And it feels like you're working. Yes, there is a difference between "busyness" and "business."

      Freelance and Finance: Yep, if you're a freelancer, you're selling something... or you're just running a charity. But even charities need money. :) I'm curious how the questioner makes money from students. Tutor? Writer for hire? (I hope not!) And targeting the college market is a whole 'nother tough kettle o' fish. Egad! Okay, I better sign off before I start wandering down that marketing rabbit hole.

      Happy Monday!

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      Marlene Bertrand 22 months ago from Northern California, USA

      Hahahahaha! I like Eric's question. I have to say, you do really well with silly, frilly, farty! It's always a joy to read the work that comes from catering to that mood. Excellent mailbag... as always.

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      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      Bill you are most amazing! The way you answer questions is always to the point and always gives something to think about.

      Your idea of leaving your unfinished articles on the desktop must be genius, because we're all loving it. What better way to remind ourselves we need to finish something!

      I hope the Mailbag goes on until you're too old to remember where the computer is!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Heidi, I don't know what to say? You're here in real time. LOL Thanks for your insights, as always. Great line about over-organizing feeling like working. So very true. I've seen it in my own household, but don't tell Bev I said that. LOL

      Happy Monday Heidi!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marlene. I haven't done silly frilly farty in a long time. Maybe it's time, eh? :)

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you are too funny. Honestly, the desk top idea was given to me by Bev several years ago...of course, she doesn't use it. LOL Anyway, thank you, and I hope that moment doesn't come very soon...now, where did I put that computer???? LOL

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Straight to business Bill -- other than sending you a check for $100 and asking you to mail me a copy, what is your preferred method for me to purchase your book: The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today? Remember I am spending hard earned money, it is tough breaking into my son's piggy bank and explaining the IOU is painstaking.

      For so many of us housewives school is starting up and with the little ones off to live their own lives without us, ingrates probably won't even miss us, it is a good time to jump start our writing. Can you give us any motivation to help get us off the couch watching soaps and eating bon bons? I would so much like to be a writer and not just an ornament for my spouse to show off at mixers. As you can see I am covering up my fears by joking and being flippant. What if I commit and just cannot cut the mustard? I don't suppose you can be successful and keep your writing a secret?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, there are times I don't know if you are being serious or not. My wife said the same thing to me this weekend. LOL I wanted to say it to someone else. Give me your address and I'll send you a copy of my book...no charge. I don't want you breaking into the piggy bank. As for your second question, stay tuned. Monday is nearer than you think. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Bill!

      While my husband is resting from knee surgery, I thought I would pop in early this Monday day ... hahaha that Eric is a hoot and you're response is too. Smiles are always good on Mondays especially.

      Oh, great minds think alike, for I, too, pop a title in Word and any ideas I have at the time for future reference, except your great mind finishes them up ... : ( I have about eight ready to finish up, and I pray no one forgets about me while my finishing up muse takes her sweet time to return, the sooner the better!

      Hey, what do you think are the most common obstacles every writer faces? Again, not sure this question is worthy of esteemed recognition in the famed Monday Mailbag series.

      Blessings and peace always

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      breakfastpop 22 months ago

      As always, I appreciate your knowledge, insight, sense of humor and support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Theresa, you crack me up. Esteemed and famed series??? Are you thinking of some other series? LOL

      I'll answer your EXCELLENT question next week. In the meantime, continue with your nursing duties and thank you for being a friend.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pop. That means a lot to me.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

      Oops, "your" response ...

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 22 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Two comments on organization: I like your approach. Second, agree with comment... don't spend time on it... Write! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oopsy daisy! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great, Bill! I see we agree totally. Thanks, my friend, and i'll be by your homestead shortly.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 22 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, another wonderful sweetener to cheer up a gloomy Monday and what a beauty! Those questions just keep coming and you always rise to the occasion, seasoned trooper that you are. :) As always, useful and really interesting. I have to toddle off to amazon to order Oriana Fallaci's book as mentioned in the video. Take care now, my best always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, it's always good to see you. I hope that book is a good one. Let me know. I'll let you test drive it first before I buy it. :) Happy Monday my friend.

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      Linda Lum 22 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, you cracked me up today. Never thought I would see the words "wildly-intelligent" and "frilly farty" used in the same Hub. Thanks for a great start to the week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, all the credit goes to Eric, but thank you. We try to please all levels of the community with these Mailbags. LOL

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I always learn something new from reading your hubs. Using the desktop for storing article ideas is something I never thought about. I saw on the morning news that it is no longer cool to use lol instead they said to use he he...

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Another masterpiece, bill! I like Eric's description of you - seems to fit the bill!

      Question: You are good at humour in writing. Can you give us an example of taking one sentence and giving it a serious slant, then a humorous one? I'm just interested in how you tackle humour, or (as I suspect) is it just an innate talent?

      Have a mischievous Monday, bill.

      Ann

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      Barb Johnson 22 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Was anxious to pop in and get some Monday fuel. Great simple organization idea! I really needed it. What good are 100's of ideas all over the place if you can't see them to use them. This will work for me. Thanks, Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, there I am again, not cool! LOL I don't think you can teach this old dog new tricks, but I guess we can hope.

      Thank you dear friend. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      "fit the bill"....did you really say that, Ann? :)

      Talk about putting pressure on me. Now I won't be able to be funny, which really is an answer all by itself. Stay tuned till next Monday and I'll see what I can come up with.

      Have a superb week, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear it, Babby! What's mine is yours and I hope it works out well for you. Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Nicely done Bill! I find it difficult to write in the first person--somehow I get all mired up in it

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 22 months ago from south Florida

      I was a serious writer for most of my life,

      Working with others who were going through strife.

      Now I have broken with tradition;

      Silly, frilly and farty are my mission.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 22 months ago from SW England

      Yes! It wasn't intentional, the keyboard just took over; not usually so corny, ha ha!

      Ann :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 22 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Thanks, Bill, for that reply. My husband (a former computer-industry worker) scolds me for having too many folders, claiming that's a good place for viruses to hide. Egads!

      However, I guess I could add a single "writing ideas" folder to my desktop, front and center, with a single MSWord document inside containing the various prompts. ;-) Thanks for that idea. ATM I have them in the back of a small notebook which also contains books and movies people have recommended, and quotations I like. My daughter came and helped me organize that one, telling me I was "banned from using post-it notes." LOL they were everywhere! But, inside the little notebook as you say is "out of sight, out of mind." Hee hee

      BTW--I agree with you: summer is my favorite season and seems to last the least amount of time...already the daylight hours are shrinking, and we are heading toward the dreary days of winter...(at least I'm glad I don't live in Alaska at that time of year!)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! 1st person is my favorite. Funny how we are all so different and yet the same.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Howling, drbj....howling!!!!

      Thank you for making my day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are clever even when you are not trying to be. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I lived in Alaska for a year and believe me, it is much worse than you can imagine. Oddly, I found the 24 hours of daylight harder to get used to. :) Oh well, I never have to do it again.

      Thank you and you are very welcome for the reply. Sorry I lost it the first time.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 22 months ago from New Jersey

      I love the organization question and answer! I am sure so many of us relate. Thank you for sharing your method. I think I'll try that for the times of day I'm home.

      Thank you for explaining the freelance situation. It makes sense. I will check out the link and report back!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 22 months ago from Oakley, CA

      I would love the 24-hours of daylight! I thrive on the sunlight. And no, it would not interfere with my sleep: if I'm tired enough, I can fall asleep on the beach at high noon. Darkness not required. ;-) (But I wouldn't like the temperatures. Summers don't get very warm there.)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, where I was, I was hard-pressed to find anything I really liked about Alaska. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, it's always my pleasure. Thank you very much for always finding the time to visit. I appreciate you.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 22 months ago from Massachusetts

      Another great week Bill. Sure does seem like the days go by quicker in summer than they do in winter. I just don't seem to have time to get anything done this summer. Great questions and answers, have a wonderful week.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thoroughly enjoyed this. If your summer is speeding by its because ours is on its way :)

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Bill. I hope you know how much you are appreciated in Olympia, Washington

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence! We're sending it your way on a wing and a prayer. :)

      bill

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 22 months ago from The Caribbean

      I especially like the organization section. Thanks for the answers in all the other sections as well. Great series!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

      I've just realized that frilly fatty is kinda my thing. Omg. Oh, well.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 22 months ago

      Hi Bill.

      Every-time, no exception this time your answers do open another treasures - door for me, not previously knowing they exist.

      'Awesome.'

      Good night my friend.

      PS

      Not imaginary more than real advantage of 'aging.' Summer months - all seasons months move faster and seemingly short of hours due to accumulated wisdom and knowledge we want to implement right now...

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      William Kovacic 22 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Happy Tuesday Bill,

      Yes - Tuesday. Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity. So thanks for making my Monday on Tuesday. It doesn't really matter what day it is if you're looking for wildly intelligent material. Just go to the mailbag!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Lawrence!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora! I hope you found something here of use to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Flourish, I love Eric's phrase...I'll be using it from now on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Michael my friend. Accumulated wisdom and knowledge.....yes, and it is wonderful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you, Bill, and Happy Tuesday to you as well.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 22 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks for addressing my comment on knee jerk writing.

      I liked the question about how to catalog story ideas, at least that is what I made of it.

      It seems that using the computer search functions would make that task easier.

      I generate a list of keywords that would cover the broad idea, and then include a sub more detail of the idea.

      drama

      mystery

      who dunnit

      working title

      plot

      subplot

      Title: Deadlock in Congress

      Plot: Members of the US Congress are randomly found dead and there appears to be nothing to tie them together.

      Sub Plot: There doesn't seem to be any connection or motive on the members that were found dead. When the story opens, the seventh congressmen is found dead, this time it was a junior senator from Florida. The other six were from different states and mixed party members, with five of them being representative and one senator.

      Is it political, personal, foreign based, unknown individuals. Is it coming from inside the government, or from somewhere that is tied to the government, or a plot against the government, or even some powerful individual of groups. It is not clear whether these were natural, or intentional deaths, or even whether they could have been suicides, homicides, or outright murders.

      Who is capable of finding the reason for these deaths, and can solve this mystery.? The difficulty here is that none of these death occurred in Washington DC. These deaths have occurred over the last year, and we are not sure if there is even a reason to connect these deaths making it a national matter.

      These tags can be put in a simple table in Word. Then they can be easily sorted by tag.

      In addition, a search function in word or any text editor could find all the occurrences of any word or phrase. The key is to put it into one big file, and let the commuter do the heavy lifting.

      Just the way that I organize most of the things I have to keep track of both personal and business.

      BTW, did I make you curious about the story? Surprisingly, as I created the dummy plot, I wondered where it would go. I can only say that it is not a copy of anything that I have ever seen or read. Maybe there is a simple reason for that, as it should probably never see life in the printed world, or should it?

      Time for my medication.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 22 months ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for the simple answer to my question! I honestly can't imagine how a fiction book would be written in second person....

      Hope you had a great Monday! My whole family is battling a pretty nasty illness so sorry I didn't get to this till Tuesday. Ah well, the week continues on...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, thanks for sharing your method. As for the dummy plot, that's a book I'd read. I shouldn't wish ill of our esteemed members of Congress, but that's one vigilante I could get behind. Just kidding....or was I? :) Thanks my friend. I hope the medication helped.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I'm just grateful you stopped by. Sorry about your family illness...summer is a rotten time to be sick in my opinion. :) Get well soon and thank you.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 22 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      The medication was metaphorical but it couldn't hurt.

      BTW, I tried to make the title as impressive as your "Shadows Kill", but advantage Bill..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I figured it was metaphorical, Brad, but I always find it best to cover all the bases rather than assume. :) I actually liked the title....let's call it a draw on that one.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Bill, very informative article as usual, I always appreciate the lessons learned here, and the questions are great. I guess the only bad question is one that is never asked.

      Thumb-up UAI and shared.

      Blessings as usual my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! I think my followers are getting smarter because the questions are infinitely better as this series progresses.

      Hugs from Olympia

      bill

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Another interesting Q & A. You are generous with the knowledge you have derived along the way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, it's the teacher in me. My only worry is whether I'll start sounding preachy. If that happens be sure and call me on it. :) Thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      Billy thanks again for getting me over the hump with your mailbags.. it wouldn't be a good week if I don't get my dose of your mailbag Q and As voted awesome as per usual :)

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, the thanks go to you. This mailbag wouldn't continue if it weren't for loyal readers like you, so thank you.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 22 months ago

      Yes, I think it’s a rule of nature that the warm months go by faster than the cold ones. After all, cold molasses runs faster than warm molasses. BTW, I nearly froze my Arkansas tail off in Seattle last week. It was 95 in my state when I left and I returned home to 101. Your temps were in the high 60 and low 70s. Glad I took my hoodie, but what with the wind, I wished for a heavier coat.

      Your method of keeping ideas for articles is similar to mine. I have a folder on my computer aptly named “Hubs”. I do the same thing with it. I’ll start an idea and then file it to complete when I have more time. My job as an editor is very demanding, and if I complete one hub every two or three months, I’m really doing fine. Anyway, I also have one file titled “Ideas for hubs” and when I get an idea that I don’t have time to work on, I jot it down on the page. I do go back and complete these as I get time. My hub on Derwydd daffodils sat incomplete in this folder from the winter of 2014 when the flower was so beautiful.

      I love your mailbags. Sometimes I learn something, and when I don’t, it’s fun to compare notes.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's always interesting to read your tips and suggestions and to hear what works for you, Bill. Thanks for another mailbag hub.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I'm trying to figure out how you managed to find temps in the 60s and 70s. We've been in the 80s and 90s all summer. Man alive, was your timing bad or what? LOL

      Thanks for sharing your organizational ideas. We learn from each other. That's the whole point of this series, so I'm grateful that you shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 22 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I always like to read your Mailbag questions & replies. How fortunate we are today that we can write and publish our work and have people read what you wrote almost all within one day! How lonely the world was for writers when there was not internet. Thanks for having people like you and many others who we can learn from to become better writers.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Nadine. Very true. Thank you and I, for one, am very grateful for the internet.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 22 months ago from Oklahoma

      Always educational.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 22 months ago from California

      It's always worth reading your mailbag. Blessings!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 22 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      The filing cabinet of my mind is filling, pieces are coming together, and that makes me very happy. Thanks as always for what you teach.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry, and you are always appreciated.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you tireless. I'm glad you find it so. I hope all is well in your world.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nice image, Deb, and thank you! Enjoy your Sunday!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 22 months ago from Oakley, CA

      There seems to be a catch-22 of "you can't get published (in the traditional print market) without an agent, and an agent isn't interested until you're published...."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, there is definitely a Catch 22....and it can be frustrating beyond belief. :) Good luck to all of us in this new world of publishing.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 22 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill, yes it's your friendly Irish popping up to say I'm here, I've read and I love this weeks installment of mail answered! Simplicity love it the way you keep things easy to understand when writing in first, second or third.

      I have been so busy painting, creating and making it has left little time for other things but never fear you are often in my thoughts and lessons learned from you are transferring into my work .

      Congrats my friend on your well deserved awards from the community even though I know you are not award orientated. You are a wonderful giver to the writing world and it is right that you are given the thumbs up!! Keep well and hugs across the pond.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, as long as you are creating then I am happy. Thank you for sharing this award with me, and reaching across the Pond with hugs and well-wishes. You are never far from my thoughts, dear friend.

      love,

      bill

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