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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred

Updated on May 30, 2016

Let’s Do a Happy Dance, Shall We?

Why not, right? I mean, it’s not like this is a life-altering accomplishment but still, one-hundred is a pretty cool number, right?

So congratulations and thanks to all of you who kept this series alive through your great questions and loyal reading…..and enough of that mushy stuff…let’s get it on!

SUFFOCATION

From Tarunponders: “So thanks indeed for that. Coming back to the Mailbag, As a writer I too feel suffocated because of certain concerns that either hamper my progress or kill my writer's ego and I wanted to put them across to you to find some gasping breath. So how do I go about this one? If I have followed your mailbags correctly then I believe the next one up is #99 right? So what should I do to get my question featured in that one or is it that I have to wait as there is already a wait-list or something. Lastly, Where should I send my question/s to?”

We start with a nice, easy pitch for me to swing at. Tarunponders, you can add your questions to the comment section below or you can email them to me at holland1145@yahoo.com. And it’s just that simple, my friend.

And he did follow these instructions earlier in the week, and his first question will appear next week. Stay tuned!

Welcome to the Mailbag!
Welcome to the Mailbag! | Source

What I know about writing

Emotional Attachment to Characters


From Lawrence: “One question I've got is you mentioned that in the first draft you get the story down and then go back with the emotional content. I found recently that by the end of the first draft I was 'in touch' with the characters emotionally and when I went back to do the re-write if was actually hard not to put too much of the emotional stuff into the beginning of the story as I wanted that to 'unfold' as the story progresses, ever have that problem? Just curious to see how others deal with the situation!.”

It’s a great question, Lawrence. For me it’s a conscious effort. With emotional output, I want my characters to introduce it slowly, over the span of several chapters, and I have to constantly remind myself to do that. Of course, there are some characters, like say an evil person, who can be emotionally unstable from the first chapter, but the main characters, for me, have to take it slow, and my job is to remember that as I go along. Since I don’t do outlines this really is a conscious effort….but maybe a brief outline of sorts would help you to stay on task regarding emotions?

EMAIL MARKETING

From Mary: “A question for next week's mailbag. What are your thoughts on email marketing for writers. I know you have covered FB, do you feel this is too aggressive or just good marketing?”

Mary, my friend Heidi will weigh in on this in her comments, so check back and see what she says. For me it’s too much and the last thing I want to do is too much marketing and yes, I believe it’s possible to market your book too much. ( sorry, Heidi)

And then we have the question ….. is it effective? I delete 99% of the emails I receive and I delete 100% of all marketing emails I receive. I’m tired of everyone trying to sell me something online. And I suspect a great many people feel the same way I do. So I don’t do it!

Characters show their emotional side throughout the book and not all at once
Characters show their emotional side throughout the book and not all at once | Source

Search Engine Searches

From Eric: “I was just wondering if the "How to" articles are still the most fancied by search engines.”

Eric, it’s hard to find a definitive source for an answer to this question. I can tell you that the top two topics on Twitter and Facebook are music and television. Celebrities are easily the number one topic trending on Google.

“How to” articles will always be popular. In a society where the majority of drivers do not know how to change a tire on their vehicle, “how to” will always have a place in our google-driven hearts.

But if you want to guarantee a chance at success, write articles about music, celebrities or television. We modern families love our music, television and celebrities.

REPETITION

From Linda: “My question is about repetition--using the same word in a paragraph (or page) again and again. If done properly it can have a dramatic effect. However, that is usually not what those guilty of the crime were striving for. More often than not I see things written that are simply lazy. Am I being too critical, or do you wish that every author had a Roget's Thesaurus and knew how to use it. What are your thoughts on this, and is there a guideline or rule of thumb?”

Linda, welcome to one of my pet peeves.

I told this story once before but it is worth repeating. I was at the grocery store a few months ago and there was a book display there for a local mystery writer. Since I love mysteries and I love to support local writers, I picked the book up and started reading the first page.

In the first two paragraphs the author had started six sentences with the word “she.”

Gag me with a spoon! That, my friends, is lazy writing. It was not done for effect. It was done because she either didn’t know any better or she didn’t care.

I don’t know if there is a guideline or rule of thumb out there, but I have my own: don’t use the same word twice in a paragraph. I’m not talking about words like “and” or “the,” of course. I’m talking about “he looked out over the beautiful field and saw many beautiful things.” For the love of God, a writer can do better than that, can’t they?

I actually get upset when I’m talking about this topic, so I better stop now.

Too Much of a Good Thing

From Kailey: “The question from John makes sense. You bring up a good point. Even if you look at the issues going on right now with YouTube, you will see how uploading too often can lead to subscriber loss. Would you say that's a similar problem?”

Kailey, I think we all suffer from input overload. There was a movie a couple decades ago, and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it, but it had a line in it: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” That’s how I feel about too much of a good thing…..and here’s my thought on it….if I have to constantly remind my readers and friends that I’ve written a book….if I have to slap them alongside the head fifty times to get their attention….then either they don’t care or my writing sucks! Either way I lose.

My job is to become the best writer possible. After that I have to believe that my writing will sell because of word of mouth and some well-placed advertising on my part. Gorilla marketing my Facebook friends will not get the job done and may, in fact, have the opposite effect.

Allow your characters to grow slowly
Allow your characters to grow slowly | Source

Human Experience

From Buildreps: “I want to toss in a question for this anniversary. Yeah, I do! Here it comes: "Hey Billybuc, I am so happy to have you on Hubpages. I'm not always reading every post of you on HP, so please forgive me for this. But I believe I haven't missed much installments. And I love your Billy the Kid series very much as well. The question is this: What do you think about this quote of Teilhard de Jardin? "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." What do you think? Is there an answer to this question? And how does your answer relate to your work as a writer?"

Good God, Buildreps! What a question!!!!!

Let me preface my answer with this….I rarely, if ever, talk about religion online. I don’t care to share my religious beliefs with others and I really don’t care what their beliefs are. However, your question doesn’t speak of religion per se but really about the very nature of our existence.

I do believe we are more than our corporeal selves. I do believe there is more to life than just this journey on earth so yes, I believe we spiritual beings are having a portion of our existence here on earth as humans and there is more to come. Can I prove that? No! Do I care to try and prove it? No! It’s just my reflection and I don’t much care if anyone else believes it.

I find it interesting that we humans are so fearful of death. Either I’m right, and we move on to another realm of existence after we die, or there is nothingness. Either one sounds okay to me. LOL

How does that belief relate to my work as a writer? I think it’s only natural that my beliefs manifest themselves in my writings. Several of my main characters have been philosophical men, men who spend their spare time thinking of heavy, weighty matters such as your question, just as I do. On a related path, if I truly do believe I’m a spiritual being, which I do, then that calls on me to raise my game a bit and not be such a classless bore, don’t you think? I need to live up to my spiritual nature or at least try to do so, and quit settling for actions consistent with cave men.

And I need to elevate my writing so it reflects the efforts of a spiritual being.

Just one man’s opinion!

And That Is a Wrap!

I had so much fun with the first one-hundred I want to keep this going.

How about you? Do you think we should do this again next week?

If so, ask questions! That’s how this works.

Thanks again to you all. I couldn’t have done it without you.

And yes, I’m still working on my first Mailbag Podcast. It’s coming, I promise!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 14 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations billybuc for the 100th installment! Really it needs celebrations. Amazing series and I enjoyed reading it. So useful and informative.

      It is so good to know that you are continuing this helpful series. It has and will help writers , the beginners as well as the existing ones.

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with everyone!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 14 months ago from New York, New York

      Yay to 100 and seriously love that this series has made it this far and definitely would love to see it continue here. Happy Monday and Happy Memorial Day now, Bill!! :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 14 months ago from london

      You made me laugh, Bill, with this repetition thing. Some are lazy, yes. Some just don't know. But yes, I know what you and Linda mean.

      This one made me laugh again, the religious question or was it? Ha ha. What a great answer!

      So Bro, why don't I be different! Why don't I do the first thing last? Congratulations on achieving your first milestone in the Mailbag series! Live on! Forward! Much Love, Bro. Now I'll post your salutation Hub. Stay tuned!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Bill, I could not sleep late on this memory day. I just take grandpa's sacrifice to peace and freedom a bit to caviler as I have never been called to battle.

      My esteem of you has been raised as you took and handled questions here that made us look inside ourselves. They are high-fluting and ethereal.

      My six year old asked me about anchors. I explained to him how wonderfully you anchor so much of us to writing. With you we fly but are anchored.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      ChitrangaedaSharan, my goal was to help other writers, so thank you for the affirmation and for always being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Memorial Day, Janine, and thank you for being here for 100 installments. You are a wonderful friend.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 14 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      Congratulations my friend on post 100 of The Writer's Mailbag and on Memorial Day no less! Best of luck as it continues toward post 200!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      Congratulations! This series has helped so many people. I think you are truly a good guy.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 14 months ago from Norfolk

      Well done Billy! Another milestone set and reached by you. You really are a very kind man with the patience of Job. Not sure how you did it for one hundred episodes but I never doubted you would. You are,of course, one of those 'special' teachers. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Much love to you, Manatita, and peace always. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, that is so damned nice of you. Thank you for such kind words. Say hi to that boy of yours for me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Donna and Happy Memorial Day to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      See, Pop, even Liberals can be nice guys. LOL Seriously, thank you MY FRIEND!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'm blushing now, so enough of all that. LOL Thank you dear friend. If I'm ever in Norfolk I will be stopping by for a cup of coffee, so plan on it.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

      More sincere congratulations from me, Bill. A century is a huge milestone in any endeavour. So many good questions and answers I can't choose a favourite. It is great to know such a wonderful writer and person and an honour to call you a friend.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, what an amazing milestone indeed. How you have put up with us through 100 of these I'll never know--maybe it's because you are a spiritual being and you know in your heart of hearts that it does get better than this (LOL). Thank you for all of the time you spend with us, your support and guidance. And I thank you for your kind words and encouragement here on HP. Have a wonderful Monday my friend.

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 14 months ago from Ontario

      This is a great milestone and great hub you're mailbags are so helpful for us writers in the world thanks for that

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 14 months ago from southern USA

      Woo hoo, Happy 100th Mailbag, Bill!

      I'm bringing something to put on the grill so we can all relax and enjoy the rest of the day for your perseverance to this wonderful series here. John's comment made me smile for the thought of 100 "years" of the Mailbag would truly be an achievement.

      Wonderful questions posed here in this 100th celebratory hub, and answers too!

      Peace and Blessings to all who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice, and let us all never forget on this Memorial Day and every day

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 14 months ago from Norfolk

      You and Bev are welcome anytime. I am quite sure we can stretch that cuppa to a few slices of homemade chocolate cake. Would love to show you around Norfolk one day.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 14 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      Yay! One-hundred! Congratulations!

      Your response to Eric's question made me smile. I have found that pop culture is the best way to gain an audience--articles such as "The Top 10 Celebrity Dogs." I'm not a fan, personally. That's why when bring it up it involves sociology. I would rather read that.

      I am familiar with that line, but had to google it. It's from "Network." I couldn't agree with you more. I'm guessing it's usually "they don't care." I'm guilty of ranting about how great someone's work is, but rarely receive a response. A sad outcome. I think it's best we focus on our own craft, as you say, rather than spend time seeking approval. We'll never be happy that way. Guerilla Marketing is amazing. Thank you for sharing it. I'm impressed by the creativity!

      The way you answered the question from Buildreps was beautiful. :)

      I hope to see the mailbag continue!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      John, the honor is all mine. Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you for the very kind words. I appreciate them, and you, greatly. Happy Memorial Day to you! Eat hearty!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, Louise!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, that's just like you to bring the meat. LOL Thank you. It's time for me to set the table and get ready for all of you. Hurry now!

      blessings, dear friendd

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, neither Bev nor I are must into traveling, but one place we definitely want to see is your country...so leave the light on for us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, as long as you and others get something out of the Mailbag and find value in it, I'll keep posting it. Thanks for all of your kind words. You would be a fascinating person to sit down and talk to....maybe one day, 'eh?

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 14 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks indeed for starting your 100th Mailbag (indeed an exemplary figure by all means) with my concern put at the top. I really appreciate that and look forward to #101 for further guidance. I feel so fortunate to have just started out on HP and found you and John (Jodah) here. I already feel like a family here and can look upto two stalwarts to show me the way here as also in the world of writing and so its a great start for me. Your mailbag series is a great way to connect with you and learn something in return. Once again congratulations on this feat Bill, many would fathom to achieve.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 14 months ago from Europe

      Congratulations with the 100th anniversary of this wonderful series, my friend. I think an amazing achievement. And sorry for that terrible question. :) Great answer. Thanks. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Buildreps, not a terrible question at all. I thought it was a fascinating question. Thank you!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 14 months ago from Brazil

      What an achievement, congratulations on your 100th mailbag.

      Regarding the how to niche I think it is still alive and well, although possibly not as 'trendy' as cute pooches of the rich and famous.

      I look forward to Heidi's answer regarding email marketing. I too find it annoying but it is suppose to be effective.

      I have a question for a future mailbag about editors.

      Are book editors specific to one genre? Also do they charge by the amount of pages, by hour, or perhaps number of rewrites?

      Once again congratulations.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tarunponders, thank you so much. You picked a good one in John...he's a good man and talented writer...and I'm very grateful you are here. I look forward to many years of our friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, you ask the greatest questions. Thank you for your kind words and input, and I'll have an answer for you next Monday in #101.

      Have a superb week!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 14 months ago from Fresno CA

      Congrats! Awesome! I'm looking for the fireworks... Perfect for Memorial day. I too think we are spiritual beings and the human experience is ever going forward. I'm like you, I think. Not afraid to die and see what may be next for us. I also get pretty upset with lazy writers who never bothered to use a Thesaurus... that's not a dinosaur you know... it's a very handy writing tool, so use it. One of my pet peeves as well. Terrific milestone. I am in awe.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, thank you so very much. Don't be in awe...like you said, you're like me, and I'm like you....spiritual beings having a human experience, and I say "Bring it on!"

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 14 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations! That's impressive Bill, but I had no doubt you'd get there. Another week (the 100th week) of great information and questions. Looking forward to 200! Again I say congratulations, but also a big thanks for all you do for this writing community.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you very much but truthfully, it is my pleasure.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 14 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Congratulations on reaching 100! Best wishes for the next hundred! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! I couldn't have done it without you.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      One Hundred. Man, you made it to one hundred. Congratulations Bill.

      About marketing, I think word of mouth is too slow. I promote so many authors. I promote them anywhere that I can think of. "We" don't have marketing firms working for us. I recently saw a firm offering marketing - their charge a mere $995.00 a month. I can't calculate the number of books necessary to sell to make that realistic.

      I also think your friends should review your books on Amazon. They (Amazon) have practically banned me.

      Looking forward to the next one hundred.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I always learn when you write, this time, the word she, I tend to do that too much. Congratulations 100 x many more...

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 14 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Here is the "mad as hell" scene from "Network":

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE

      From Wikipedia, "Network is a 1976 American satirical black comedy-drama film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network...." It's a too true social satire.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 14 months ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations Bill. What a great ride its been. Just think how many people you've helped and how many questions you've answered. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and time.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 14 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Memorial Day Bill! I didn't think I'd get back from my travels in time to make a comment, but traffic wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be...Congrats on the accomplishment of making it to installment 100! I look forward to 101.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      A big congratulations for writing one hundred mailbag hubs, Bill! You've shared a lot of very helpful information in this series.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      Congrats on 100. I wish I had half the consistency you did.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 14 months ago from Georgia

      Congratulations on 100 installments! Quite an impressive collection and a real dedication to the task. You have made a real contribution helping writers who have asked questions ranging from specifically about writing to the philosophic. Well done and take care. Cyndi

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. No doubt that word of mouth is slow....but then many ways of advertising are expensive....and then there's the fact that negative word of mouth is very fast. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby! You have been fantastic about following this series and I appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Brian! I remember watching that movie and loving it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, you've been with me every step of the way and I greatly appreciate it. Thanks my friend from Massachusetts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There you are, Melissa. How dare you go have fun instead of attending this party. LOL

      Seriously, you are here every week and that means the world to me. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I greatly appreciate your loyal following.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, thanks for the kind words.....I'm getting old and running out of time, so my consistency is more like panic. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, thank you very much. I'm just giving back to a site I love.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 14 months ago from Iowa

      Bill, the Gig is NOT Up yet my friend! You have elevated the art of subsequent, progressively more informative, and extremely useful question and answer sessions to the level of Zeus looking down upon us underlings-And giving them his/your Blessings!!

      Well done my Friend, and may we who follow you, continue to reap the benefits of your craft and soul!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 14 months ago

      Bill, I love Linda’s question! It is one of my pet peeves, too, but it is a difficult thing to master. At least it was for me, and I’m not sure that I have it mastered yet. I love Buildrep’s question although it really isn’t a writer’s question. I think he should write a hub about it.

      Let’s keep the mailbag, ok?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 14 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome! You came to end and with so many good points mentioned. Congratulations and well done on the 100th!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 14 months ago from Chicago Area

      Woohoo! Kudos on your 100th Mailbag! We so appreciate what you do for our community here on HP. Thank you.

      On to today's topics...

      Re: Email Marketing. First, thanks for reaching out to weigh in. I absolutely think email marketing is a necessity for authors, actually anyone serious about business. But as noted on this subject and "over uploading" topic, you can overdo it. Unless there's something super stellar to announce, I've found that once a week for email marketing is a comfortable and productive pace for both readers and email marketers.

      I follow a host of business, bloggers' and writers' email newsletters. The biggest issue with email marketing is consistency. There are two very successful bloggers/authors I love who religiously send something out every week and have been doing it for years. Same day, same time every week. I've followed their lead and do likewise. People learn to expect it and this helps develop reader trust in the sender.

      Email marketing also helps build an author platform. Social media doesn't cut it. Why? Because you don't "own" social media. With frequent policy and algorithm changes, it's difficult to predict and monitor outcomes. As well, social media networks come and go. Popular one day, out of business (or acquired) the next. Your email marketing list is an asset of your writing business.

      Does that address it well enough?

      Again, congrats on this milestone for your work and our community! Have a great (short) post-holiday week!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 14 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      You are inspirational in your drive and dedication.

      Congrats on the success and meaningful contribution this series makes to our community~ all 100 installments.

      Love, Maria

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great questions and great answers. You are very smart and professional in dealing with all kinds of questions so beautifully. The human and spiritual question answered here is too much appealing and compelling. I adore your humanness and spirituality approaches in dealing with everything. Congrats on the success of 100 mailbags.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 13 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      What an educative, wonderful, and colorful series (with the variety of questions thrown in), this has been! Congratulations on this the 100th mailbag, and yes, I hope we are in to read the 200th one down the line. Many thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, thank you my friend. Blessings to you as well. Zeus? Looking down? My goodness, you do wax poetic. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I love this series so yes, we'll keep it going, and thanks for tuning in each week. Happy Wednesday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for always being here, DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, that addresses it perfectly and thank you! I have nothing to add. The voice of experience has spoken.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, love coming your way. Thank you my dear, sweet lady.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Veenkatachari M, thank you for such kind words. You'll never know how much they mean to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope that as well, Rajan! Thank you so much, my friend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations! If there are another hundred mailbags, I will follow. I have learned much from your answers to the questions. Thanks to you and also to the questioners who have often expressed my own curiosity and confusion.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks so much, Dora1 I really do appreciate your loyal following and friendship.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 13 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Congrats on the magic number 1oo. I always read these installments and leave with a head full of some kind of ideas. I will say that it is difficult to stop that repetitive stuff sometimes. However my poetry has helped me there. For instance that line you started - he looked over the beautiful field and saw many things that delight the eyes. Something like that. Then again sometimes I come up against something equally problematic and that is writing an article and actually starting to rhyme sentences when writing and poetry clash.

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      Barb Johnson 13 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Congratulations Bill! Can't believe my timing on your 100th Mailbag Installment after my long absence. As expected, full of meaningful questions and answers.

      For the Mailbag: What are your thoughts on writing through grief? Is it possible to be objective enough to glean good stories from our sometimes tragic situations? Can we ever really distance ourselves enough to tell the story? I have a first draft that's been gathering dust for about six years now because it's still too emotionally raw.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, I can easily see how that would happen. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure you're not the only one to do that, but it's interesting to hear it.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Babby, it's so good to see you again. I hope you're been well and it's good to have you back. Thanks for the question. I'll have an answer for you on Monday.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Nothing to add to this except congratulations on reaching #100.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Zulma! It's a testament to how old I am.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Hmm...I see what you mean. I suppose I could've phrased that better. lol

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, we finally got there, Zulma! LOL Have a great weekend!

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      Mel Carriere 13 months ago from San Diego California

      If a fiction writer does not believe in a spiritual side to human existence, then how can he or she appeal to the human soul, which is the ultimate goal of good fiction writing? I believe that consciousness, whatever it is, persists and flows through us all, but that's as far as I'll go because I don't want to get all New-Age and everything.

      I think a problem a lot of writers have is that they don't read. It's impossible to get an intuitive feel for what works without reading the work of those who are good at it.

      Love your stuff. Keep doing the good work.

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      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      Congratulations a hundred fold, bill! It's great that you've had so many questions and that they just keep on coming. The best bit is that you manage to answer them with a fresh approach for each one, even though some are along the same lines (but never the same).

      I hope you do continue with this for as long as you feel like it. I know it's valuable to me to read others' thoughts and your responses, as it helps all of us as writers.

      Having a long weekend's rest (and visitors!). Hope yours is full of zest and zaniness!

      Ann :)

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      FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

      That was one heck of a question by Buildreps about spirituality. I liked your answer. We are more than the daily motions that we go through in life.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      100.. wow and I must congratulate you and me because I commented on every single one so I too will go down in mail bag history.. HA! LOL

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great reflections, Mel...love your statement about the spiritual side, and I happen to agree with you about the writers who do not read....good stuff, buddy, and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my friend, thank you so much. I'll continue it as long as there are questions, so no worries.

      Hotter than Hades here....Bev is sick...the animals are demanding my attention...just another day in Paradise!

      Happy Sunday, Ann!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! That question may be the most unique I've ever had on this series. Made me stop and think a bit.

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes you did, Frank, and I'm so grateful for those comments....I'll put your name down as a contributor when the book comes out. LOL

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      Ann Carr 13 months ago from SW England

      Sorry to hear Bev is sick. Hope that passes quickly. Sunday is turning out fine and, thankfully, we're all well.

      Ann

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      Deb Hirt 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice work to be at number one hundred. I suspect that this can easily continue.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! She's home again today, still sick....sigh!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And continue it does, Deb! Thanks for always being here.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 13 months ago from United Kingdom

      You've always made Bev sound like Wonder Woman so it's hard to believe she can become ill like the rest of us mere mortals. :) Hope she's better soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Still sick today, Zulma, but thank you for the well-wishes.

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      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Firstly absolutely we need this series to keep going! For writers like me who're just starting out it's important that we have a place where we can 'congregate' and share questions.

      By the way thank you for the answer you gave regarding developing your characters emotionally, it was hard knowing what to put in and where to put it but in the end I am pleased with the results that I got.

      Another question is how long do you leave it between finishing one novel and starting the next one? and yes there is another 'Scorpion novel' planned but I might hold off using hubs to serialize it for a while.

      Best regards and hope Bev is feeling better soon.

      Lawrence

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      Louise Barraco 13 months ago from Ontario

      Hey Lawerence I was going to ask that question so Thanks. I love the mailbag bill so I hope it continues I have a question about editing when you write your own novel do you suggest editing it yourself or hiring an editor

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Just goes to show, we 'newbies' have lots of questions and it's nice to come here to be able to ask them

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      Dianna Mendez 13 months ago

      I'm slow to get here but still the warm congratulations are still meaningful. Congrats on your 100th installment of this mailbag series. Repetition -- gotta remember that one!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, thanks for being here and for asking about Bev. She is fine now and life moves forward. As for your question, stay tuned...next Monday!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Louise, good to see you again, and thanks for the question...answer coming next week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again Lawrence!

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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dee, always good to see you, and thank you for your friendship over the years.

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      Shauna L Bowling 13 months ago from Central Florida

      Congrats on 100 installments, Bill! You're going to have to build an annex to your virtual post office to accommodate the next 100. :-)

      BTW, the "I'm mad as hell..." quote is from the movie Network.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha, and thanks for referencing that movie line. The memory ain't what it used to be, my friend.

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