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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Forty-Four

Updated on April 27, 2015

April Comes to an End

Welcome back to the Mailbag! I thought I’d mention the months just in case you’re like me and have a hard time keeping track of time. Since I left the public specter I honestly don’t know the date on most days. Sad but true. I am a perfect example of tunnel-vision. I have a goal and that’s all I think about during the writing week….well, that and feeding all the critters and keeping my wife happy.

Enough from me. We’ve got some great questions and they demand answers as April comes to an end.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Hurt Feelings

From Ann: “Question: Why is it that some people take kind, constructive criticism badly (even in a private email) and others welcome it? I'm happy to take suggestions and comments on errors, from other writers, as long as they're not rude. Isn't that one of the reasons we're here?”

It’s an interesting question, Ann, and I’m not sure I have a comprehensive answer for you because, well, humans are complicated.

I do think that, as a collective group, writers tend to be an insecure lot. Egos are fragile, and any sort of constructive criticism is taken, by some, as an attack on their writing abilities. Not all, mind you, but enough to say that with some confidence. I’ve had the same thing happen to me. I privately emailed a writer and told them about a couple of misspellings. The writer was hurt and annoyed and told me so. Lesson learned by me. Not everyone wants constructive criticism. I don’t understand it but I suppose it’s not necessary for me to understand.

I want to grow and I appreciate criticism as long as it is given in a respectful manner. If it is delivered rudely then my claws come out.

Self-publishing Companies

From Mary: “ I was looking on the Internet at agents and publishers and lo and behold a day later I got a call from a self-publishing agency. Of course they were interested in my novel, but I still haven't checked their rates. He said they offer editing services for an additional fee, but, their publishing service includes a team that will review my novel before publishing, a marketing service, etc., etc. Do you think this is on the up and up?”

Mary, it is quite common and without knowing the name of the company you mentioned, I suspect it is on the up-and-up. Most self-publishing agencies offer a variety of packages with a variety of services. Be forewarned, though: those services do not come cheaply. Make sure you know what you are signing up for before you hand over a credit card.

If in doubt, check with the writing community and get recommendations for companies. There are quite a few of these companies popping up now, so I would recommend asking around and finding out what others have done and what services they have paid for.

First person is most comfortable for me
First person is most comfortable for me | Source

First or Third Person?

From Craftdrawer: “Here is a question you may be able to help me with. Several books recently self-published on Amazon Kindle have the writer writing in the first person (Ex: Colleen Hoover) I thought that when writing a book or story it was typically written in the 3rd person. Do you know the rules to this and what is the best way to write?”

Craftdrawer, interesting question and a good one. First, there are no rules regarding first or third person. I’ve read a great many novels written in first person. My novels are written in first person. The advantage of first person is it gives the author a chance to explain in detail what is happening inside the head of the protagonist….his/her thoughts, beliefs, whatever. Third person gives those same opportunities, but not on such a personal level as first person.

If you’re just going to tell a story and you are not into the touchy-feely, philosophical nature of man and his actions, then third person is probably the way you’ll want to go.

But there are no rules and either one is acceptable. As a matter of fact, many authors will bounce between the two in the same novel, and that is also acceptable.

Chapter Subheadings

From Sha: “Hey, Bill! I'm back because I have a question. I was going to wait to ask Janet Reid, but I'm not close enough to completion, so I'm posing my question to you.

How do you feel about subheading chapters?

On one hand I think they act as a spoiler alert; the reader knows what to expect. On the other hand, I feel they can push the reader forward. Say the reader has read 100 pages and wants to stop. Giving a hint of what is to come may propel the reader to move forward.

Then again, from a publishing standpoint, will naming chapters mean a table of contents needs to be added to the novel? I can see it in a non-fiction novel or a how-to type book, but I don't expect to see a table of contents in a fiction novel. You don't want a reader to pick and choose. Rather, you want him to read from cover to cover.”

Sha, this is another example of the great questions I receive each week on the Mailbag.

I’ve seen it done both ways, obviously. In all honesty, I’ve never understood the need for subheadings in chapters of a novel. It seems to me to be a matter of personal preference. I suppose your explanation is as good as any, something of a spoiler alert, or a teaser, but I really see no point in it and I don’t do it.

Having said all that, I’ve seen it done in quite a few novels, some by very good authors, and I have never seen a table of contents along with it. You can read into that what you will.

Different characters....different voices
Different characters....different voices | Source

Your Sneaky Voice

From Zulma: Can your voice change when writing dialogue for your characters? I think it should because your character is not you. Do you think that subconsciously your true voice slips in?

Zulma, you must be peeking over my shoulder while I work on my latest novel.

Most definitely, your writing voice should change when writing dialogue for characters. How boring would it be if all the characters sounded the same? It does not have to be a major change in voice but it should be distinctive enough to set the characters apart. I remember one character in the “Longmire” series who never used contractions. That may not seem like a big deal but it is very noticeable once you’ve read a few pages of dialogue.

The second part of your question is very true. I catch myself subconsciously writing my own voice into dialogue, and I do it quite often. Thank God for edits and beta readers. I think this is one of the most natural things for a writer to do, a quagmire that is easy to step into and difficult to get out of. Hopefully questions like this one will raise awareness and keep some writer from making the same mistake.

Weren’t Those Great Questions?

Well I think they were. You guys and gals are getting smarter with each week and I love it.

So, if you have a question, add it to your comment below, and I’ll answer it next Monday, same time, same place. In the meantime, enjoy your writing. Remember to make it special. Remember it is part of your legacy and will live on long after you have died.

Dazzle us all with your words!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Great questions and answers as always, Bill. And by the way, I also like you with the date now that I am not teaching. Just yesterday, I had to ask Kevin what the date was when I was writing a check out. So, definitely can relate to that and more here. My apply Monday now, my friend ;)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday Bill,

      I am enjoying a long weekend and have today off, and I told myself that I would try to beat Janine here this lovely morning LOL.

      These are indeed great questions! In fact, they may be the best in one Writer's Mailbag yet, which is wonderful being this insightful series has been going on for months.

      Shoot, if I have a typo or other glaring grammatical error, I would expect my fellow writers and friends to let me know, as you have indicated here, and the sooner the better.

      I do hope Mary finds the best of the best publishers for her book. It is a gem in the works.

      Oh, I am so glad someone asked about the first and third person, and it seems you provided the most rationale answer in my mind.

      I love your "Sneaky Voice" section. So true, our sneaky voice must come out in dialogue.

      I am helping "Tess" out at her café as she hopes to open for lunch this day : ) ...

      I know I probably did not beat Janine due to my lengthy commenting here. Oh, well, maybe I came in second?

      Peace and blessings always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. It was so weird at first, not knowing the date. My life revolved around the date for years. Now it's kind of nice. :) Have a wonderful week, dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you came in a very close second. Nice job, my friend. :) I'm just grateful you took the time to visit on your day off, so thank you. Have a wonderful day off. Spring is here and oh, how I love the warmer weather. :)

      Blessings always

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very interesting and enlightening. It seems it might be a healthy sign that writers slip into their own voice. One would not want to get too lost into the mind of the writing, they might not come back.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for answering my question, Bill. I'll remove all the subheads from The Gifts of Faith. I think doing so will keep the mystery alive. I don't want my readers knowing what to expect from each chapter. I think the element of surprise is much more satisfying for a reader. I know it is for me. I love those 'I didn't see that coming!' moments in any novel.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      The questions were all great. I especially appreciate the one concerning first and third person. Personally, I enjoy first person, and it's nice to know that I am in good company.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Eric, that's always a danger to be aware of. It hasn't happened to me yet...good thing since my main character is a vigilante killer. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Me too, Sha. I'm open for debate but I simply don't see the advantage in using them.

      Thanks for being here and Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Pop. I didn't realize it until I looked back...most of my favorite mystery writers write in first person. Go figure! :) Thanks my friend.

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hmm... "contacted by a self publishing agency." That's almost an oxymoron. Preying on a budding self published author's vanity? ("Ooo, they recognized my work!") Wise advice to check out costs before committing.

      Happy last week of April!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      These are many questions I would have asked as well. Very useful. I agree with breakfastpop, I prefer first person both for writing and reading.

      Hope life is treating you well up there . Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Heidi. They are everywhere and they are preying. I've been getting their ads now for four years...they all promise immortality...at a steep cost, of course. :)

      Thank you my friend.

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 2 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      Hi Bill, Thanks for this edition of the Writer's Mailbag.

      I wanted to "pipe in" about the self publishing scenario. As a writer who has over 50 books self published, I have discovered many things that can help. First, I never pay the company to edit. I use my own, and it is much less expensive.

      I only use the self publishing company to print, ie publish the book. That is all. They make there profits with orders.

      I use Createspace, and I even wrote and published a book about formatting and self publishing. I say be wary of the ones contacting you, because it sounds to me like they may be scavengers.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      The questions just seem to get better and better Bill. I have a question of sorts. Being the hoarder that I am and reluctant to dispose of anything that may have a future use, I still have everything I have ever written. From before computers and the Internet I have lots of handwritten and typed stories, poems etc. many of which I have now refurbished and updated as hubs. Given that your writing skills change and improve over time, do you think it is wise to rework your old writing, or do you think it's better just to file the old stuff away and devote your efforts to creating new current material?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Blond. Life is, indeed, treating me well, and I hope the same for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All great suggestions, Greg, and I agree with you 100%. They are scavengers of sorts....in business to make money, so beware. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, John, thanks for a great question, one I've never been asked. I'll get back to you next Monday my friend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great questions and answers. Writing in the first person definitely gives a wider scope to explain what is going on from the author's point of view, I suppose. Keeping one's voice from slipping into the character is quite tough. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Vellur and Happy Monday to you. I've tried both and I much prefer first person for the reason you just gave.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Really interesting questions/answers this week Bill. I would strongly caution the person who was contacted by a self-publishing agency. I have read way too many horror stories. She should definitely do a google search and make sure they aren't related to Author Solutions...people end up paying $1000's, especially for the "marketing" which doesn't amount to any sales. Ok, off soap box. I also didn't ever think about it, but I guess I've seen books with chapters and no TOC. Probably seen it both ways, but now I will pay attention! Thanks as always for this installment and happy Monday!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill, yep its me just wanted to stop by and get some insightful answering from you to a well chosen selection! All tied together so well.. Hope you are well dear friend. Love to Bev and the ever growing brood.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, thanks for sharing that and good morning to you. I've heard horror stories as well. I just think there are better ways your money can be spent than to pay these companies. I hope people who read this will listen and take that warning to heart.

      Happy Monday to you as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Irish, good to see you dear friend. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well with you and MIck. Drop me a line if you get a chance and catch me up on your life.

      love,

      bill

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Love the Q & A.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I do believe the questions are getting better.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      I love the questions you tackle in your mailbag, Billy. I love your erudite answers even more. Trust me.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Each mailbag is a joy to read. Thanks for effort you put into it! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do trust you, drbj. I trust anyone who uses the word "erudite." ;) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill, and you are most welcome.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      What a great bunch of questions, if I do say so myself. Sha's question hit home. I was wondering if I should keep the subheadings I used in my hubs but you and Sha have solved that dilemma for me.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Mary. I appreciate it and I'm glad we could solve some mysteries for you. :) Have a great week.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great questions and answers Bill. I didn't realize that writers were a touchy bunch :). Goodness, if I make a mistake someone please tell me so I don't look like a fool.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No wonder you and I get along so well, Bill. That's exactly how I feel about it. LOL Thanks for being here, buddy, and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • Phoenix2361 profile image

      Phoenix2361 2 years ago

      Ha-ha. Actually, I'm looking over my own shoulder. I've caught myself a few times giving my voice to a character who would never use the phrasing I use given their upbringing and environment. It is all too easy to fall into that trap. Another reason to put your writing aside when you've finished and revisit it after a few weeks. It's funny/annoying how something you thought was marvellous at the time somehow turned it to something not so marvellous while you were away.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Thanks for the answer, bill.

      Regarding the chapter headings, I think that sometimes they work well if you use them to hint at what might happen but then that can be done equally well by the last sentence of the previous chapter, the 'hook' to keep you reading. It's true they never have a table of contents, except some of the classics, maybe to give you an idea of how the story pans out.

      The best piece of advice here is making sure we have a different 'voice' for each character; essential!

      We have 4 stork nests outside our hotel; it's hard to tear ourselves away for the excursions, they are so entertaining. 4 pairs of storks with an amazing greeting display. They nest atop trees but also have artificial nests on 'poles' as they are the emblem of Alsace and protected (down to 9 pairs at one time!). Just thought I'd add to the jealousy a little more! I can see you turning green.

      Ann :))

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Thanks for the answer, bill.

      Regarding the chapter headings, I think that sometimes they work well if you use them to hint at what might happen but then that can be done equally well by the last sentence of the previous chapter, the 'hook' to keep you reading. It's true they never have a table of contents, except some of the classics, maybe to give you an idea of how the story pans out.

      The best piece of advice here is making sure we have a different 'voice' for each character; essential!

      We have 4 stork nests outside our hotel; it's hard to tear ourselves away for the excursions, they are so entertaining. 4 pairs of storks with an amazing greeting display. They nest atop trees but also have artificial nests on 'poles' as they are the emblem of Alsace and protected (down to 9 pairs at one time!). Just thought I'd add to the jealousy a little more! I can see you turning green.

      Ann :))

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I learned a long time ago that feedback is a funny thing. You have to ask permission to give it and then be very diplomatic as to how you deliver it. Some people still don't like it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks especially for your suggestion under "First or Third." I spend time weighing that decision even when writing on HP. Great answers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Zulma. What a difference even a week away from our work can make. It happens all the time to me. Makes me realize I'm not nearly as smart as I'd like to believe. LOL Oh well, good thing is, I never claimed to be brilliant, so I've never lied about it. :) Thanks for weighing in on this and have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, good morning, and thanks for talking about chapter headings a bit. I agree that the same thing can be done at the end of a chapter...the hook. As for the storks....keep it up and I'll stop talking to you. LOL

      Have a wonderful time my adventurous friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and thank you again, Ann! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, they don't, Flourish. I've pretty much stopped giving it unsolicited. Not worth it to me. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dora. First or third...either one works. It all depends on your preference and comfort level.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Great and good morning Bill.

      Precisely as you said " thank God for edits and beta readers" many know what that means. Adding to it, thank God for interesting questions and adequate answers expanding horizon even to ( us) least welcomed on HP. ( Very recently someone is indirectly signaling me that those who do commenting only are not much appreciated. ) In your words, 'thank God'- someone is helping me to reach perfect peace of mind in what "I don't care" means.

      Voted up and useful.

      May God bless and prosper you my friend.

      Goodbye. michael

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Don't know how I managed to do that twice; sorry for taking up all that space. I'll shut up now!

      Ann :D

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent and helpful as usual. Hope things are well with you and Bev and the Menangerie (well, all the animals). :)

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 2 years ago from Missouri

      Good advice. I sometimes change viewpoint characters in a novel, and when I do, one or the other may be in first person. However, I do not mix first and third person in the same chapter. For me, it is disconcerting, and leaves me unsure what is happening.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you always bring a smile to my face with your comments. I thank you for that, and I thank you for your friendship and loyalty. You are greatly appreciated by me.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you have carte blanche on my site. Fill it up any way you feel fit. :0

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Theresa. All is well here and I wish the same for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great thoughts, Linda. I do the same thing. If done right it can be very effective. Thank you!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Bill, some of these remind me of college!

      Constructive criticism is acceptable; just insulting people out of insecurity isn't. It's a shame so many on here criticize because of their own problems. It makes it harder to accept the constructive kind. Your point that each person takes it differently was a good one. :)

      Playing with our writing by changing the point of view to first or third person can improve the piece(s). Your explanation of the difference is amusing! haha

      Another great mailbag!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Billy buc, thanks for another nugget of wisdom in your continuing writer's mailbags. For the life of me I cannot understand why someone would get upset over being informed of a misspelling(s). The person letting he/she know is providing a huge favor because it would look really foolish in the hands of an agent or an editor. I would WANT to be told right away!

      Great answers as always, especially the first/third person question. To be honest I mostly will not buy a book unless written in first person, and I am So glad your novels are written that way. The exception is the Book Thief, not sure if that was written in first person or not. Will have to check, as I did read the book and see the movie.

      Thank you for the time you take to answer all these questions.

      I will be in touch regarding your 5 chapters in the near future. You are one terrific writer. LOVING it. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kailey! I aim for amusing at times. LOL Other times I can't hit amusing with a 2x4. :) Have a great day writing, my young friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lea. I guess I prefer first person over third person. I'm a philosophical sort of writer and I enjoy other writers who are the same...and first person lends itself to that style of writing.

      Enjoy the five chapters. More will be written today and tomorrow and I'm excited to get started.

      bill

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      More good stuff on a Monday. Now, I have a question. A dear friend began writing a book 14 years ago and is now wanting to get serious about it. Revising, editing, and (ultimately) publishing. It is a work of fiction for children. My question is how does one know that their writing (tone, vocabulary, etc.) is suitable for the target audience?

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another interesting mailbag hub. The series is providing a lot of useful information!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I've got some very smart followers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, there's a question I've never been asked. Thank you so much for such an interesting question. I'll have your answer on Monday.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I have one more for you. When I talk with friends and tell them a story, I start at the beginning and lay it out chronologically. In much fiction writing, there are flashbacks or a story set within a story. If done well it works. Is there some rule (or magic formula) for using flashbacks and/or knowing when to introduce more characters (a story within a story)?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Billy read this on Monday and it looks like I forgot to comment.. used the mailbag and didn't even tell you I was here.. sorry about that and don't think I don't read and run..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, what a great question, and I just happen to have room in the Mailbag for this Monday. Thanks for that...I'll get back to you shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I appreciate it any old time you stop by. Thanks for your loyal friendship and support.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      TGIF! Actually, I do have a question, which most likely is a simple one for you, and I know it is Friday. I guess I can Google it, but I'd rather hear your take on it. I understand if it is not a question worthy of the Monday Mailbag Series, if not, maybe you can give a quick answer here? A question just popped into my mind, being that I am working on flash fiction and fiction writing at the moment. However, I am a non-fiction writer for the most part. Anyway, to my question: When writing fiction, do you think it takes away from the story to place a disclaimer at the end that the characters depicted in the story are purely fictional and not related to any real person(s) in this life? To me, if it is fiction, then that means it is fiction. However, I know, many writers do take from their life experiences and add that into the character of the fiction character. A lot of times, the writing is so familiar to real life, readers assume the characters are based on real people, when they are not.

      Sorry for the ramble here on Friday!

      Hope you have a blessed weekend ahead. I loved your faded photographs hub, and commented ...

      Bless you

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Faith,

      The Mailbag is full for Monday. I am going to include this in the following week, however. Let's answer it quickly here. I have seen disclaimers in many fiction novels. I guess for legality sake they feel the need to do it. I've never seen one on a short story, though. I guess it doesn't hurt to add one just because of all the legal problems that seem to arise over seemingly insignificant stuff these days.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend, and thank you!

      blessings always

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      There's so much here it's a privilege to keep coming back to the articles you write. There's something different every time and if we take the lessons on-board we come out better writers

      One comment I picked up on is writing in 1st person. One really good example of that writing is the 'Hunger games' trilogy where all three books are from Katniss' perspective.

      I just don't think the books would work as well told any other way

      Superb hub. Please keep it up as we learn so much

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      That is wonderful your Monday Mailbag is already full! I appreciate the quick answer here. I can see possibly putting the disclaimer on a novel, but really not for HP articles, as it seems it would distract from the story. If the article is fiction, then that should speak for itself. However, we all do take characteristic from people in our lives and maybe that is why they seem so true to nature.

      I hope you are enjoying a peaceful weekend so far.

      Blessings

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lawrence, and thanks for the example of first person. Your reason is a great one...it wouldn't work as well in third person. That's the key.

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      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Faith. I would never put it on an article, but maybe that's because if someone sued me they couldn't get anything...no blood from a turnip. LOL

      Have a splendid Sunday!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      A very nice bunch of questions and excellent answers. Carry on, my Friend. Have a pleasant evening.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita! I will, indeed, have a pleasant evening, and I wish you the same.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      More interesting questions Bill. I always think discussions regarding 1st and third person writing are fascinating. Some people get tremendously worked up about it. Re: comments and hurt feelings, I think it's very difficult to write comments online. People take things differently and one wrong word can piss someone off or hurt their feelings.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Did you say I've got a lot to learn?

      Well don't think I'm trying not to learn.

      Since this is the perfect spot to learn....

      Teach me tonight.

      Starting with the A-B-C of it

      Right down to the X-Y-Z of it

      Help me solve the mystery of it.

      Teach me tonight.

      The sky's a blackboard high above you

      And if a shooting star goes by

      I'll use that star to write I love you

      A thousand times across the sky......

      Huh? Oh, scuse me bro....the DeCastro sisters and I were just croonin to one of our favorite OLDIES from '55. It all happened when one of the girls mentioned this awesome "teacher & author" from Hubpages....I told them I KNEW YOU personally and they didn't believe me. Instead of fighting, we just sing.....

      Hope you like it as it plays over & over again in your head for the rest of the day while you're trying to concentrate.....Oops!

      You're the BEST!........UP++++tweeted pinned & sung about!! SIS

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, you are so right about that. I have to be very careful when I make comments and still, even aware of it. I'll hurt feelings occasionally. Hopefully not yours. :)

      Thanks for all the visits today. You are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, you make me laugh. I wonder how many out there have even heard of the DeCastro sisters? Now i'm stuck with that damned song all weekend. Thanks a whole lot you evil woman. LOL

      Have a great weekend. I'll be busy building things in the yard.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      That's what older sisters are for.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I knew I could count on you, Sis!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great material that answered questions that I never even knew I had (but did!).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Deb. I pulled them from your head. Hope it didn't hurt too much. :)

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