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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Nine

Updated on August 25, 2014

Welcome Back

You asked for it and I am delivering.

Welcome back to the ninth installment of the Writer’s Mailbag. I’m enjoying it, you’re enjoying it, the whole darned world is enjoying it. Hey, a guy has a right to dream.

Do I need to explain how this works? You ask questions and I attempt to answer them. I will give you the straight skinny as I know it….the nitty gritty…right from the horse’s mouth (or the other end of the horse).

Send your questions to my email address at holland1145@yahoo.com, or to my website at www.williamdhollandauthor.com, or leave them in the comment section below. I’ll answer them in the next installment.

Now you know the instructions. Let’s do this thing.

Before submitting....edit!
Before submitting....edit! | Source

What to Do Before Submitting an Article

From Michael: “ One day there would be more information of kind , completing in of my need toward "how" and "what" one have to have before sending out an article.”

Thank you, Michael my friend. I’m not sure where you intend to send your article. Online? Magazines? Without that information, I can only give a very broad answer.

Before any article is submitted anywhere, it needs to be edited. Nothing spells doom and disaster like poor grammar. You might get away with poor grammar on a site like Bubblews, but if you are submitting to a serious writing site, then grammar is the starting point.

Most of us don’t have our own personal editor, but we do have relatives and friends who can do the same job of an editor. Read your article to them. Have them read it out loud so you can hear how it sounds. Then make your corrections.

If you are submitting to an online site, then consider adding some window-dressing to the article i.e. photos, sidebars, links, etc.

And if you are submitting to a magazine, you’ll need to send a query to the magazine editor asking for permission to submit.

That is a nutshell answer to a complicated question.

The World of Ebooks

Sally asks: “I am delighted to see others expressing an interest in e-books and I would love to read more about your approach to writing them.”

This, again, is a bit of a complicated question and probably deserves its own separate article. However, Sally asked for my approach, so that gives me some leeway in answering.

One of the reasons I write for the site HubPages is to build my writing platform. Once I have constructed a sizable platform, I take articles about the same topic and combine them into an ebook. I happen to know that Sally writes craft articles about wet-felting. Don’t ask me what that is, but Sally not only knows but is quite good at it. Sally, I would suggest taking twenty of your articles, making each one a chapter in an ebook, then write an introduction and a conclusion and you have your ebook ready to go for publication.

Of course, you then have to format it for Kindle or whatever other formatting you choose, but that is how I approach ebooks. I’ve already written the articles. Why would I want to write more articles if I don’t have to?

I’ve done this on three different occasions, and although none of my ebooks met with resounding acclaim, the process was an easy one.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Melissa asks: “If someone is not a freelancer writer, is there a benefit of having a blog? Would you be better off waiting until you had a book published before creating an author website?”

My online friends have the greatest questions. Melissa has been so loyal, and her questions are always well-worth considering and definitely answering.

This is a two-parter and most of the answer is subjective. If you are not a freelance writer, is there a benefit in having a blog? I can’t think of a single one, other than the fact that blogging is a bit more personal and you might enjoy the layback atmosphere of blogging.

Would you be better off waiting until you had a book published before creating an author website? I don’t believe so. If you plan on writing a book, I would start that website as soon as possible. Websites establish you as a serious writer. They also are a way of gathering followers before the book is published. I would suggest to anyone even considering writing a book that they add a website to their platform as soon as possible.

Stuck in the Middle with You

When you are stuck in a book, walk away from it
When you are stuck in a book, walk away from it | Source

Stuck in the Middle with You

Does anyone remember that song? Stealers Wheel, I believe, with Gerry Rafferty…who cares, right? See, you not only get answers to your writing questions, but you also get music trivia tossed in for free. How great is that?

Here’s a question from Jen:

Any tips for if you're stuck in the muck of the middle?

She’s talking about writing a book, folks, and not wading through the Everglades.

This just happened to me, so the timing of Jen’s question is good. I was sailing along with my newest novel, about two months and 35,000 words into it, and I hit a mental roadblock. Maybe a bit of that roadblock was psychological as well, because I didn’t take a break after finishing my previous novel. Whatever the case was, I hit a brick wall and could not write an intelligent word in this new book.

What did I do?

I walked away from it for a week.

My mind needed a break, so I gave it one, and after that week there was, once again, clarity of thought and purpose. The other suggestion I would give is to outline your book in advance. I know this works for many writers, so that when they get stuck they can go to their outline for guidance. Others, and I have done this myself, find a trusted friend and sit down with them. The writer will give a brief synopsis of the book, and then read what they have written to date. The friend, then, will make suggestions. This worked like magic on my last novel, Resurrecting Tobias.


Do You Hate a Character?

Flourish asks: Bill, have you ever had a character you intensely disliked but which was integral to the story? Why did you dislike him/her? Did you seek to change him/her as a part of the story?

Wow! My followers are reading my mind. Now that is frightening, for me and for them.

This very situation is happening in my new novel, Shadows Kill. I have a serial killer in this book, and he is evil personified. Think Hannibal Lecter on crack. Think your worst nightmare rolled up into a living being. I hate this guy. He makes my skin crawl. He is fully capable of smiling at you and then defiling your body…and he is necessary to the book and I would never think to change him.

This is my first experience creating a character who makes my skin crawl, and it is an unsettling experience.

And I think that’s a good thing for me as a writer.


Thank you for joining me in the mailroom
Thank you for joining me in the mailroom | Source

Until Next Week

Thanks so much to those who asked questions, and to all of you for stopping by the mailroom to read my answers. I hope that if you have a question about writing you will let me know. This series can only survive if you participate.

Have a great week of writing my friends.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, that is music to my ears. Thank you my friend and Happy Sunday to you.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I am so thankful for your sharing. I know I've said it over and over but as I am defining my writing style the value is priceless.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I will remember that, although I have no plans of ever interviewing one. :) Thanks and have a great weekend at Boomer Lake.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It i wise to take a break between late projects to let one's mind clear. As you have seen, you will be forced to do it. The only thing worse about writing about a serial killer is interviewing one. And I'm not kidding, as you literally have to get inside their heads. Don't ever make the mistake of letting them inside yours, as it will be used against you to manipulate you and scare you to the end of your life...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you stuff4kids....greatly appreciated.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Inspiring, interesting and generous to a fault as ever - another triumph, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You bet, vkwok! Thank you as always and aloha!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for once again giving us great advice, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I'm so happy that you liked it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cecile! All is well here. I hope the same it true for you. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another interesting and useful installment of your Writer's Mailbag, Bill. Thanks for sharing it.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Hi Billybuc:

      So happy to see that you are up to installment nine of your series. Continue the good work!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Liz. There is something strangely gratifying in creating a monster like that. :) Thanks for making me feel like I'm not too terribly sick. LOL

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Enjoyed this hub a lot. It was funny about the question regarding hating a character. In my most recent book, Occupational Hazard, the serial killer is so convincing, I had to hate him...but I do enjoy reading his dialogue (just as I enjoyed writing it)!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, Michelle, it does not come out coherently that first time.....sometimes not even the second time. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith and good morning. It's a lovely late summer day here, and the internet finally came back on and I can now do my work. I'll do my mail route later in the day. :) I really do appreciate you my friend. Thank you and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, considering English is not your native language, I think you do remarkably well. Thank you for being here and I'm glad you found it helpful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you truthfornow. I consider that a huge compliment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do, bethperry, and you are welcome here. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, there is no need to unpublish from HP. I haven't in two years and never received a duplication notice. Either it doesn't matter or HPs duplication tools aren't working. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill...If I had access to a river, I'd go fishing. :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      It's important to read and edit before you submit anything. We write what is in our heads, so it does not come out coherently the first time. Sage advice!!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Morning Bill,

      Thought I would start out here fresh. I agree that it is beneficial to all to take a bit of a break and refuel our weary brains to begin anew. Oh, all stories need a despicable character to hate. In a political thriller, there are too many to hate, I am finding out. LOL

      Your mailbag was certainly once again filled with great questions and you have once again provided great answers. I can picture you as one of those mail persons on your walk abouts (as the aussies say) delivering your helpful advice. I love that photo of you when you are out about walking in your community ... that one came to my mind as you love to greet people.

      Have a wonderful day.

      Blessings and hugs

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliantly written.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      billy, when I read the initial articles I had written I feel how bad my English had been. I am still improvising. The hints you gave about writing an eBook is something I had been searching for. No one had made it so simple as you. Thank you.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 3 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You are much more entertaining than Dear Abby ever was - and a bit more useful too! Enjoyable read.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      Whoa, awesome! You have a writers advise column!!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      When you compile a group of your HubPages articles into an e-book about a topic, do you first unpublish those articles from HubPages? If you do, how do you decide when an article would do better in an e-book than on HubPages? If you do not, how can you have the same article in two places online at the same time—HubPages and wherever you post your e-book, such as at Amazon Kindle e-books?

    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Lots of good advise, as noted by the comments. The one that struck me was the "walk away for a week" when stuck. For sure! Also, and perhaps in addition, go for a walk. Most of my best ideas come during my walks... and they at least get my ideas flowing, good or bad. Another great mailbag! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good point, torrs. You can never have enough traffic and your platform can never be too big. Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Abby! It's' always nice to have a new visitor to the mail room. :)

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      Tori Canonge 3 years ago from California

      Always a pleasure to read your tips! I started my own blog a little over a month ago and I'm glad I did! It adds more diversity to your portfolio to have a website and it's an extra way to get traffic. Looking forward to your next edition!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great tips, Bill! Now, I'll have to catch up on your others in this series. Love it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I like your thoughts on hated characters, and I tend to agree with that. Might as well have the ultimate in contrasting emotions to really draw a reader in. Thank you for mentioning that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, those writers who listen to you are listening to the voice of experience, and that is always the wisest voice. Thank you.

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Do I really need to say it? I will. Great job!

      I enjoyed your response to the question about hating a character. Almost every book I've ever read had at least one character I hated because they weren't a nice person. My simple opinion is every story should have a character most people will hate. I think it helps to get people's emotions bouncing all over the place and can make a story more exciting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, another separate domain. As much as it pains me to say this, publishers and agents do not take HP too seriously. :) Thanks for the great question...I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Another great read Billy. We suggest to every new, soon to be author, to sign up for hubpages while their manuscript goes through the editing, formatting and typesetting process. Funny that some writers seem to think that they must first have published a book before they start working on a author's platform.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      You said, " I would suggest to anyone even considering writing a book that they add a website to their platform as soon as possible". Since I'm already on HubPages with a profile page do you count that or are you referring to a completely separate domain of my own? As always, another helpful article. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Bill, and I thank you sir! Enjoy your week as well.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Another great installment Bill, keep them coming. This series is clearly a winner and I think we are having as much fun reading it as you are having writing it. Have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, Kathryn, good to see you my friend. Thanks for stopping by. I, too, love this series. I certainly get some interesting questions.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      This is a very interesting series, and I love how you answer each question.

      Thanks for being such a wonderful teacher by answering such questions when asked.

      Have a wonderful day, and I look forward to the next installment of this series!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Kaili! I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Kaili Bisson 3 years ago from Canada

      bookmarking this one too...thanks billy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perhaps, Audrey, that character is speaking to you and telling you to leave them the hell alone. LOL Thanks for sharing that...misery loves company in this case. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you are, Dora, as I am of yours. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Sally.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jaye. He is the biggest challenge I have had as a writer, and that's what I wanted him to be. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thanks, Ruby. Did I say tomorrow? it will be Wednesday. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Interesting Bill! In my second novel I started with a character that I too really hated and then I found that I wanted to redeem him somehow. As I started doing that, I found that the plot started to stall out--and that is where I am right now with it--glad to see that I am not the only one who can hate a character!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the insights and nurture your provide through your answers. You're a writer's writer and I'm a fan.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Thank you Billy, that is very kind of you.

      Sally

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Hi, Bill - This week's mailbag yielded very interesting questions, as well as interesting and informative answers. I especially liked your answer about the character who makes your skin crawl. Even though you detest this character for his depravity, his sick mind and evil actions provide valuable grist for your writing mill. From the peeks you've given us of your book-in-progress, I predict it is going to be a huge success as a thriller. (The best thrillers make us shudder when we read them, don't they?)

      Voted Up++ and shared

      Jaye

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh goodie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sadly, Sis, I do remember that damn show. LOL....I do not, however, have the sweater, but I do remember his song "The Bluest Skies You'll Ever See are in Seattle." So sad. :)

      Have a great week, Sis!

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      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Of course you remember "The Perry Como Show." ( as all those before the Boomer generation say, "WHO the hell is Perry Como??")

      "Letters, we get letters...we get stacks and stacks of letters....." Tell me you still have your Perry Como sweater.

      Anyway bro....that song goes thru my silly head every time you write one of these articles. (I need to go back to work full-time....fill up some of the empty space)

      As you know, your fellow hubbers are most grateful that you share the extremely educational and very helpful info that you so generously provide. You are the MAN!......Up+++pinned

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi, Sally, and you are very welcome. You can do both you know. Go to CreateSpace and you can download your manuscript and they will print it on demand...for a fee of course. It is completely free to do so.

      The only major advantage to ebooks is that sites like Kindle will distribute them for you online. If you print copies then the distribution problem is yours. :)

      Thanks for a great question. Since I've done both, if you want to ask more questions privately and not wait a week for an answer, then email me at holland1145@yahoo.com and I'll get back to you with an answer.

      bill

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello Billy

      Thank you for including a question of mine, which does lead me to ask who owns the rights to a kindle book? Is it a necessary requirement to own a kindle before you can successfully write an e-book?

      There has been some controversy recently about people having purchased e-books from Amazon, only to have them wiped from their kindle because they have supposedly contravened an Amazon ruling. This is not related to the above question but I found it interesting all the same. Perhaps the idea of my writing a wet felting book which I can hold in my hands has a little more appeal. I like nothing better than having lovely crisp paper pages to turn:)

      Best wishes

      Sally

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good suggestion, Deb, and I thank you. Good luck with that book.

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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Good advice as always. In further response to Melissa's question, I am looking at my blog as a way to develop content for the nonfiction book I plan eventually to write. In fact, I just picked up a book called "How to Blog a Book," which I am using for ideas.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Frank. I'm enjoying this series much more than I thought I would.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I suspect that is the case, but I'll give it a try to find out if I'm right.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anything I can do, Ann, to make you all feel at home. :)

      bill

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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      again billybuc, your mailbag has proven to be a useful tool.. got a lot out of the ebook segment voted up and useful :)

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Ref your answer to Melissa: I'm reading a JK Rowling under a different name and it's not very good; nothing like the Harry Potter standard. I guess some authors just have one great idea and once it's done it's done. I'd give her one more chance though! Ann

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      My memoir's more on a theme which brings in a few of the family. I was more inclined to the chronological approach too, then it became a bit like 'throw up all the cards and see where they land'! I'll get my head round it eventually. Thanks for your input.

      Your tutor group's posh, scones as well eh?! Brilliant!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Melissa, and it's a great question. I just picked up a book by J.K. Rowlins under her pen name....I'll answer next week, okay? Have a great week.

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      Melissa Propp 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for answering all our questions Bill! You are an invaluable resource to all of us...I've got another question for you. What do you think of pen names? If you were to write your first book using a pen name, would you carry through with that pen name on your authors website?

      I'm just curious, as I've been reading a lot about various writers who started off with pen names (mostly self-publishing).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true mdscoggins. We have to listen to our own muse, and when the muse is on vacation we need to do the same. :)

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      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you :) Taking a break when hitting a road block really helps. Also taking advantage of creativity when in the moment.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, behave yourself please. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mari! I can't wait to find out how it ends. LOL

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Anita! I'm enjoying the interaction.

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      You're so diplomatic :)

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      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      The title alone for your next book is engaging. Can't wait to read it!

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      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Great idea for a hub series!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rachael. I think your granddaughter is your best resource. Kids know so much more about this tech stuff, and I gladly turn over the reins to anyone young who can do what I cannot. Best wishes on your project.

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      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Bill. I have been sitting on the pot about this one for a few months. I have turned away from the "charge" services because we are talking about a very small calibre of writing here with my HubPages biographies. Anyone can write them and only a very small niche of people actually read them. If it was worth it in proceeds, I'd pay someone in a minute. I have a granddaughter who has idle hands and I'm thinking of tapping her genius. I only thought of it over vacation time, but wanted to check with you first in case there was an obvious resource I was overlooking in your articles. Thanks for your honest answer.

      PS I don't think you could ever let anyone down, because you did answer honestly that you pay someone. That was helpful to know.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Rhonda, not you too! LOL Just one more thing to add to my to do list. :) I swear, I need to be two people. I just can't get everything done that I want to accomplish.

      Thank you for the kind words my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. I really appreciate you asking a question so I had something to do. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, DJ, and I really do think that is the best approach. Our minds just get too jumbled from time to time, and we need to reboot and let them relax.

      You are a good friend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Wednesday's hub is for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Rachael, am I ever going to let you down this time. I don't understand the formatting either. I have someone else do it for me. A good friend formats because I am quite literally a crazy person when I try. Not very much help to you, I know, but it's the truth. If you want my friend to help you she would be glad to, but she charges. :)

      Sorry I couldn't help more.

      bill

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      poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Wow. I am like so behind here. This is great. I love the idea, like an online advice column for the writer want to be. I have to go back and start from the beginning to see all the questions that I have missed. Bill, you need to start thinking about a talk show my friend. :)

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for including my question, Bill. I'm glad to see your series is working so well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, welcome to our little chat group this morning. I saved you a seat and even added a cushion for you. Tea is served my friend...do you want a scone to go with that?

      Raining there, hot here....either way, it is writing weather.

      Great question, but not an easy one. My first inclination is to tell you to go with your gut, but since you are spinning your wheels, maybe that's not the best advice I can give.

      A memoir usually does not cover multiple people and many years...an autobiography does. Whatever....I am leaning toward the chronological approach, but that may be because I prefer that method. That doesn't make it correct.

      I know, I've only added to the confusion. Don't try to thank me. LOL

      Have a stupendous week my friend.

      bill

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Great info, as always, Bill.

      Your despicable character who makes your skin crawl, makes me

      think of a scene that I had to write that was terribly brutal. I put it

      off for a week or so, as I really dreaded writing the scene.

      Like you, I walked away to put some distance between me and the

      task at hand. After about a week, I went back and wrote the scene

      in a few hours. It surely felt good to get that behind me.

      Taking some time away can bring a fresh perspective to the project.

      I appreciate you for taking the time to answer questions.

      Thanks, Bill.

      DJ.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I always find your answers to questions helpful and interesting. Thank's again.

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      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      billybuc, you suggested once that I combine a number of my biographical articles into ebooks and I really want to do that - but I don't understand the formatting process. I wrote all of them in Word, but I'm finding that Word is not acceptable on all ebook platforms. Some are flexible but others are not. A new epublisher will come along with their own requirements for conversion and, for some unbelievable reason, Word is not good enough for them. They want epub(the easiest), or else LIT, LRF, Doc and DOCX, RTF, MOBI, TCR, PDF, PDB, and if there are pictures, then they want you to use a program that supports text and pictures so that there are not two different formats used in one ebook.

      I don't understand the conversion process. I've used CALIBRE and "Online-Convert" to change formatting, but it still gets corrupted so it has to be corrected line by line.

      Is there a special program that will convert the text without jumbling it up or corrupting it so I don't have to sit and retype or copy paste my work into the new formats? I have researched this to death and I don't know whether it is MY mental resistance that roadblocks me or what, but the formatting just doesn't make sense to me. What is ok for one is not ok for another site. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Well, you've done it again of course; another superb writing lesson.

      I did what I promised and actually got down to forming a plan and a start to my book. It's going to be a family memoir. I therefore have a question for you.

      It's based around several family characters, covering a long time-span. I'm going round in circles trying to decide whether to write chronologically, one side of family then the other or just go with a series of photos (of which I have many, thanks to Dad).

      Any suggestions to help my framework, bill? Then I can stop floundering before I tie myself in knots.

      I look forward to your Monday tutor group, sitting around with friends and having a cup of coffee - great! Especially today - it's a Bank Holiday so, true to form, it's bucketing outside and I'm fed up with clearing out drawers and cupboards, so thanks for the distraction.

      Have a wonderful week, bill.

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do know that, Janine, but thanks for reading anyway. It's always nice to have you stop by, as you do daily, and you are greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a stupendous week.

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Always enjoy your answers to other writers and will admit you already know how I feel about blogging and how just love it. So, for that you are totally preaching the choir and then some. Happy Monday again, Bill!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, he is such a horrid man, it is easy to hate him....but he is surprisingly easy to bring alive....and I think he is fueled by my desire to be a good writer. I should be able to do this if I'm any good, so that is the challenge that keeps me going. As for my ebooks. I'll post them in an upcoming article. Thanks dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, John, and that was my hope when I started this series. Glad to know I was right. :) Thanks my friend and have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary! I am a bit surprised that I am enjoying this series so much. Maybe it's because all of you basically write the articles. LOL Have a great week my friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I have a question: where can we find your eBooks? What are the titles?

      I find it interesting you hate your latest lead character. Does that make it difficult to bring him alive? Or is he fueled by your ire and disgust?

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Another batch of great questions and wise answers Bill. If one person has a question they need answered you can be quite sure the same question is on the mind of plenty of others. That's why this series of yours is so successful. Good work once again. Have a great day.

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      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I love having my own tutor Bill. This series is not only helpful but letting people ask questions often has them asking what we would ourselves. Your answers are always to the point and just what we need to here!

      My pleasure to join you in the mailroom and learn.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared and pinned.