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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Eight

Updated on August 1, 2016

And Another Greeting to You All

It must have been the 4th of July holiday that affected the Mailbag a few weeks back, because since then we have been overflowing with questions. Good news for all of us because I love this series. The questions always challenge me and it’s been my experience that growth comes with challenge.

So let’s start growing!

HOW LONG?

From Louise: “I was wondering though how long should it take to roughly write a novel and how long should a novel be I have written about ten or more novels as I like to call them but I'm not really sure if they are do you want to take a look at them?”

Louise, to answer your second question first, the definition of a novel, as used by most publishing firms, is a manuscript between 70,000 and 100,000 words. That is, of course, a pretty subjective range, but you can use that as a general guideline.

How long to write a novel? That’s purely up to the writer. It takes as long as it takes. For me, the whole process takes about six months. I’ve known writers who have taken several years to write a novel. Again, it takes what it takes. Never judge your progress by the progress of other writers. It’s your book and it will be finished when you declare it finished.

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

Everything I know about writing

COMMAS

From Venkatachari M: “I got one doubt regarding the usage of the comma when listing some items. Why should you put a comma even while you are adding "and" before the last item? For eg., books, novels, novellas, essays, and short stories. Is the comma necessary before 'and' in this sentence?”

Venkatachari M, you just asked for clarification regarding a matter many writers are confused about. What you are referring to is called a “serial comma,” and whether it should be used before the conjunctions “and” and “or.” Not all writing style books agree with this, but most will tell you the best course of action is to always use the serial comma before the final conjunction. Logically it is not always necessary, but in highly technical language, like legal language, it is most definitely needed for clarification.

Best bet, to keep everyone happy, use that comma!

COMPETITION

From Chitrangada: "Aren't other writers and authors your Allies and not your competition? I would be glad if you include your views regarding this in the next installment of this wonderful series.”

My friend, you raise an interesting question, and it is a subject matter I have considered often and mentioned often.

None of you are my competition, and I am not your competition. I believe that strongly. Rather than competition, I look at all of my peers as my allies. We serious writers are a very select group. We understand each other with regards to writing much better, even, than spouses and other family members. We should support each other and aid each other in every way possible, sharing each other’s works, answering each other’s questions….we are a brotherhood, in my mind.

There is a big market out there with literally billions of readers who can purchase books and read articles. I could sell a million books and not once infringe upon your ability to sell a book. It is silly to think otherwise.

What we should do is encourage each other to become the best writers we can be, to raise the level of quality in writing, and by doing so, to raise the literacy rate of our countries. By doing that, we all benefit.

Three writers....three friends....no competition
Three writers....three friends....no competition | Source

Illustrations in Novels

From Venkatachari M: “I have got one more question for your mailbag. Do writers add images also in novels and books to illustrate or enrich some incidents or circumstances?”

I have seen illustrations in novels, for sure. It is not the norm but I have seen it. I think, most often, images are used in science fiction and fantasy novels because those two genres deal with a reality we are not accustomed to seeing in the real world. And of course, non-fiction books use illustrations quite often and it is much more the norm.

Is there an unwritten rule that says no illustrations in a novel? Of course not! I would suspect we don’t see them often because they would add to the cost of the printing, even though that additional cost would be minimal. Besides, a good writer should be able to paint a picture with words, so illustrations really shouldn’t be necessary when a good craftsman is doing his or her job.

WRITERS GROUPS

From Ann: “How would you start up a writing group within your community? Having found like-minded people, how would you structure the meetings? In fact, maybe that's worth a hub...?!”

A hub indeed, Ann, and honestly, I don’t remember if I wrote one on this topic. If not, shame on me, because it’s a good one.

Listen, not everyone will want to be in a writing group. I get that, believe me. I’m a recluse when it comes to writing. Heck, for life in general, I’m often reclusive, now that I think about it. Still, the benefits of a writing group are many and I believe it is well-worth the effort to form one or join one.

How do you start one up? Advertise, of course. I guess I would start at the library and then move on to independent bookstores in my area, put up a poster and see if I get any response. I could also go to the local colleges and universities to spread the word, and of course social media. Maybe some of our readers have other suggestions.

The structure of the meeting? It really depends on what you want to accomplish? Do you want critique of current works? Do you just want a safe place where you can share your works? Do you want a working group where members help each other with their writings? The purpose is entirely up to you, but I know this: it is very necessary to decide on the structure and nature of the group and then stick with that structure. Anytime you get a group of people in a room and hope to accomplish something, there is bound to be chaos if there is not structure, so set up the guidelines and then stick with them.

If you feel the need to change things up, then periodically have a meeting where you review the guidelines. At that time you can change up if you feel like it….but I really do think some sort of structure is necessary or it rapidly can become a free-for-all and very little will be accomplished.

I’m not sure that answers your question, but there you have it!

If I do my job well, there is no need for illustrations in my novels.
If I do my job well, there is no need for illustrations in my novels. | Source

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

I just read where Don McLean was arrested, so I’ve been humming that song all morning. See, there was a reason for that subheading!

Great questions and I thank you all, and thanks to those who stopped by to read and comment. Let’s do it again next week, okay?

My latest novella in the Billy the Kid Series, “Breathing Fire on a Cold Winter’s Day,” is now available on Amazon. And I am now beginning my third novel in the “Shadow” series. This one is called “Shadows Over a Hangman’s Noose.”

Have a great week!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 9 months ago from New York, New York

      So happy the questions have been forthcoming and that it was just a glitch with the 4th of July as I do love your advice here and look forward to it on my Monday mornings. That said thanks always and wishing you a lovely week ahead now!! :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A wonderful mailbag, Bill. Glad it is going strong again. Great questions this week. The answers were good too :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And Janine, I so love that you have breakfast with me every Monday. Let's keep up that tradition for many years, my friend.

      Happy Monday to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! Much-appreciated, buddy!

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, I guess I'm feeling a bit loopy this morning. I broke out in laughter when I read your response about commas. Believe it or not, my younger daughter (the journalist) and I have had lengthy discussions about the proper usage of the comma--I worked for the Federal government for 30 years, so I can probably recite the GPO Style Manual from cover to cover. On the other hand, she has the AP Style Manual on a chip in her brain. You think the comma is difficult? Try the comma/semicolon combination.

      OK, I've had some coffee. I'm feeling better now. Glad you had a bountiful mailbag to work with. I'll try to come up with something for you this week (and I promise to not pose any trick questions from the GPO).

    • Eldon Arsenaux profile image

      Eldon Arsenaux 9 months ago from Cooley, Texas

      I agree wholeheartedly that we should create community. Writers are competitive. Writing is a competitive field. There is 'good' and 'bad' writing. But the competition should be based on mutual improvement of the work, not one-ups-manship based on accolades. We can all improve. The path to perfection is an endless venture, after all. Reading your work and advice, Bill, gets writers' gears going in a good direction.

      Thanks for these mailbags. They are definitely appreciated.

      Adios,

      -E.G.A.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, those rules drove me crazy in school, so now I'm a bit of a rebel....one thing I love about fiction is I can toss rules out the window from time to time. The rebel in me loves that. LOL

      Thank you my friend! Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eldon! I appreciate your kind words. I'm as competitive a guy as you'll want to meet. Just watch me play a board game and you'll find that out. But writing....you guys are my friends and family, and all I want to do is see us all succeed.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 9 months ago from Europe

      You helped me out here on the usage of "and". Thanks for that because I was a little confused. I also noticed that you use a comma before "but". I noticed that many writers don't do that. The rules seem to be somewhat fuzzy. Maybe you can keep that as a question when you're somewhat short on questions? Good to see the series continues. Have a great week, Bill!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 9 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I'm always glad to see the mailbag waiting for me when I get into work on Monday morning. I have always been interested in joining a writer's group of some kind, but being an introvert and closet-writer, has hindered my enthusiasm. I do like the idea of joining an online group, where I can be more anonymous. As always your answers give me lots to think about. Have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buildreps, confusiong reigns supreme in the English language. I'll tackle the "buts" next week. Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Melissa. I was talking to my nephew in North Dakota last night and he said severe storms were blowing through. I hope all is well in your neck of the northern woods. :) Happy Monday, Melissa, and thanks.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      The thing about commas, there are rules and style, and both can dictate where one goes. In addition, grammar is not a hard science. There are few rules without exception.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! The trick is to learn those rules and not forget them like I do. Sometimes I think I write fiction because I can break rules of grammar in fiction and it's considered "cool." LOL

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Thank you very much, Bill, for clearing my doubts about commas and illustrations in novels. I have seen illustrations in some. So, I have got that doubt whether it is necessary.

      Regarding the length of novels, I have seen some novels are written even within 40,000 words and are much popular. They are in the lists of novels of great writers and not treated as novellas.

      Your answers are great and I will be waiting for the next week's edition.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 9 months ago from Fresno CA

      You know I find that creatives have a jealous streak that we have to fight to keep under control. We love when one of our peer creatives experiences success but we feel a little green about it too. I know I do. Once a man in my painting class (where I draw all the pictures first and then direct the students how to paint them) sold his painting for $100. He was very happy to sell his work but I was a bit amazed that he failed to mention to the patron that he didn't actually draw the picture, he only painted it. What's worse, I was having trouble getting as much as $10 for mine. That's the day I knew I had to really get control of the green-eyed monster and rejoice in other's successes so that I could rejoice in mine when they came. I think the competition question has validity in that we are all peers, yes, but also creatives who want to succeed as well as see our peers succeed.

      Great mailbag questions.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 9 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I enjoyed the questions, this week. I'm in agreement with you on the groups. Throughout school, if it was a class I excelled in, I ended up doing most of the work; otherwise, only my work was done. I like the idea of groups, but others rarely pull their own weight in the end.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 9 months ago from Dubai

      The commas confuse me at times and as you say I will follow the serial comma before the final conjunction. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, the idea of a novella is fairly new to the writing game. We rarely heard the word fifty years ago. Back then everything was usually classified as either a novel or a short story, so don't be too confused by the classifications. Still, what is most important, is the quality of the writing.

      Thank you for the question and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, I love your honesty, and if we are all honest regarding that topic, we would admit to a degree of jealousy too. I really think it is only natural. We all work so hard at our crafts, and we all want recognition and acclaim, and although we rejoice when others succeed, still, there is that moment when we are silently cussing. LOL

      Blessings, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, I'm afraid I'm not much of a team player. I don't have patience with people who don't carry their own weight, and in every group there is always one such person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Vellur. You are not alone. Rules of grammar confuse most writers from time to time.

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      Barb Johnson 9 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      The Mailbag lives! More good questions in this one. Grammar trips us all up. Can only help to get a refresher from time to time. Thanks Bill. Have a great week.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 9 months ago

      Good friend Bill, did you ever give some great answers to some very good questions this week! I like your answer about the comma, commonly referred to in editing circles as the Oxford comma. Have you ever discussed the sentence “the panda eats shoots and leaves”? There are about five ways to punctuate (or not) that sentence and each has a different meaning. My department has had a lot of fun out of it. By the way, there is a very good book on punctuation, “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” by Lynne Truss. I recommend it very highly to Venkatachari and any other hubber who might like a good book. The other sentence that’s fun is “Let’s eat, Grandma.”

      I’ll ask a question you can answer in the next week's mailbag if you wish. I’ve suggested to the author of the ebook I’m editing that we use an ebook publishing program, and he likes the idea. The book is formatted for the hard copy that he’s already published, and I don’t think it is satisfactory for the ebook, especially because it contains a lot of old photos. In the publication process, a couple of them that contain two or three persons got stretched, and we have people with extra long heads. So, what program would you suggest that would do justice to old black and white photos? Thanks in advance, and I'll be eagerly awaiting your expertise.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 9 months ago from The Caribbean

      Best to you on all your novels. You deserve great success for your passion in writing, teaching (as in these mailbags and other articles) and sharing. God bless you and your efforts.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 9 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday!

      Re: Competition or Not. While other writers may be competition, I think they are all colleagues. I'm glad to know other writing folk to whom I can refer clients that are not a good fit for me. So let's all play nice.

      Re: Writers Groups. I run a writers networking group that's a chapter of a national association. We run our promotions and RSVP system through Meetup.com. Works pretty well (mostly). Two key issues regarding starting a writers group: 1) Decide whether it's a "craft" group which talks about writing or a "networking" group which talks about the business of writing. 2) Getting attendees can be tough, especially in Meetup type groups where commitment is low and inconsistent.

      Have a great week ahead!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 9 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Interesting questions this week especially about the comma and competition. Honestly I have never viewed any other writer as my competitor. I look to other writers for feedback, to learn, and to improve my writing. Great job, have a great week.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      A lot of good questions this week. Writer's groups, and writer's as competitors, and commas, that is quite a range. I don't view other writer's as competitors. A line from 'The Magnigicent Seven,' -"Who does he compete with?" Answer, "Himself."

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 9 months ago

      Commas are a huge pain in this writer's tush!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Babby and I wish you a productive week as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, honestly, grammar gives me much more trouble now than it once did. I seem to have forgotten a few of the rules. That's probably why I like fiction. LOL People just think it's part of my voice when I butcher a rule.

      Thanks for the great question. We're going to learn together when I find the answer for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless you, Dora, and thank you so very much for the well-wishes. Blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The Pro has spoken! Thank you Heidi and I hope you knock them dead this week in business.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Bill, and that's as it should be, in my humble opinion. Thanks my friend and Happy Tuesday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes, Mike, that's me completely. And you know what? I'll never win that competition. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Pop. I usually go through, on the second edit, and get rid of half of them. LOL

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 9 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks billybuc for including my question in this excellent series.

      I am glad to read your answer which is exactly as I had expected from a generous writer/ person such as you.

      However I want to add that I consider you as an inspiration not only to me but to many others . The HubPages writers are definitely allies and colleagues rather than competitors. I have always found them encouraging and motivating each other . Their only aim is to support each other and that's why I enjoy my time here.

      I enjoyed reading other Q-A as well.

      Thanks and have a good day!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 9 months ago from Norfolk

      Great lot of questions this week Billy.

      Regarding the comma, I have found it a lot easier ever since I downloaded the free Grammarly app. It keeps me on my guard and tells me when a comma is required:)

      Perhaps it might be of assistance to others! Have a great week Billy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chitrangada Sharan, thank you so much for your very kind words. I always try to help others. It's how I was raised, by helpful parents....we give and the rewards come back to us. I know you understand that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestion, Sally. I have not heard of that app but I will be checking it out soon. Thanks again!

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      DDE 9 months ago

      Hi billybuc thank you for a well-advised hub. You answered questions with great knowledge.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      I'm happy plenty of good questions came in for this Monday!

      As far as illustrations in novels, I feel it's best to not have any illustrations because it takes away from the writing and what the reader has in his or her mind's eye after reading. Plus, as you've pointed out, the writer's words should paint the visual in the reader's mind. Along the same lines, whenever I read a novel and then later watch a movie that's been made from the novel, it's just never the same, for I had all the characters in my mind as I see them and when we watch a movie we are seeing the producer's idea of the characters, etc.

      Peace and blessings

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 9 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Does it really help for a writer to have a vivid imagination? Growing up as an only child I developed quite an imagination. When I write about something fictitious or real as I write I can picture everything I write about as if it were in front of me. In fact one of my all time favorite topics is the paranormal and there are times I even scare myself. This brings me to one last question - when you write do you place yourself in the setting you are writing about?

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Hi Bill,

      Well sometimes I find that I can contribute a tiny bit. In the context in which Venkatachari M is using the sentence, I would not include the comma after 'essays.' I cannot think of any situation where one should, even in law, but when they are speaking, then they would normally pause...

      For Chitrangada's question, you and I may be decent humans, but I feel you know that rivalry and competition is difficult to eradicate. I told this beautiful story recently to Surabhi, as she is probably the closest to me in writing styles. It was about two friends. One was crying because his friend's work was better than his. So he sacrificed his own work by throwing it into the sea, so the other could win the competition.

      Still, we are not all Sages. The way of Yoga is that rivalry/competition is important, but only so as to bring out the best in you. So, for example, A Manny Pacquiao may inspire Mayweather to train harder, but the aim in Yoga is always progress ... self-transcendence, not even success or failure, not winning.

      For Ann, I do believe that Jodah has done something similar, so she can ask him, although the question implies that she may wish to start her own. I believe he works with different experts and was able to put a website together doing this. He has even written a Hub about the difficulties. But again, feeding the right questions in a Google search, will tell her how. Local Authorities can help.

      So far so good, Bro. As the New Zealanders would say: Sweet!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you thought so, DDE! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That is a great point, Faith, and thanks for mentioning that. Right on as always, my bright friend.

      blessings always, Faith!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Interesting questions, Rasma, and I thank you for them. Those are firsts for the Mailbag...answers on Monday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, great observations, my friend. I wish I had the time to comment further but with Bev in the hospital, I'm a little short on that commodity. I thank you, my friend, and send blessings to you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      Sorry to hear. My very best best wishes to Bev.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

      Absolutely we are allies. That's what I like about HP.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Flourish, and that's why I'm still here despite the problems with this site.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I am late due to my computer crashing when I was in the process of downloading the new windows 10, why I do not know. I learned from your instruction of the coma usage. I wish I lived close to Ann. I would love to be in a writing group. Why would we need to live close?, couldn't we still write in a group? We could give writing prompts, sounds like fun!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You sure could, Ruby! Start your own online writing group. Many writers do that.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for answering my question, bill. Your point about the guidelines and keeping to structure is valid and most important so thanks for that.

      As for commas before conjunctions, I was taught that there is never a comma before a conjunction because by definition a conjunction 'joins'. However, that is British English rather than American I believe. When all is said and done, as long as the meaning is clear then that's fine isn't it?!

      Some great questions from others in this one and I'm so glad this series is still alive and kicking.

      Sorry to be late to this one; I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with everyone. The house is getting to the 'light at the end of tunnel' point so I'm feeling more optimistic now!

      Have a stupendous Saturday, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Saturday Ann! It's been a long ten days with Bev in the hospital, but she's finally home and perhaps now we can return to normalcy. Crossing my fingers as I write that.

      So glad you see light at the end of that tunnel. Relax and have a wonderful weekend!

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      Great Mailbag, as always.

      To Ann: go to meetup.com. There's you'll find groups in your area and can start your own, as well. Take a look at the site and see how other groups meet and where, schedules, agendas, etc. That would be a good place to start.

      Bill, I'm glad Bev is finally home. Ten days is a long time to spend in a hospital. I hope she's recovering well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that site, Sha! I hope Ann checks back. If not I'll forward it to her....and yes, my friend, ten days seems like an eternity in a hospital. Bev is quite happy today.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      Glad to hear it, Bill.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

      I have been so busy these past few weeks, but not too busy to keep checking the mail... thanks for being almost constant with these installments Billybuc....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, Sha!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Frank, and thank you for being a constant each week.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      A writer's group is a great idea, especially for exchanging ideas, just like a think tank.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb! I think forming a good group is the key, with like-minded people who have the same goals.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 8 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      It's a Sunday morning here is New Zealand, the sun is shining, the house is quiet and I've actually got a few moments to read the mailbag! Wow!

      Really enjoyed these questions and I really related to the one asking 'How long to write a novel?' as I've had to change things a bit with my writing that's meant that I can't write my next one as quickly as I wrote the first.

      Tolkien took 18 years to write the Lord of the Rings so I guess I'm in good company if it takes a while!

      My one question would be how do you keep the inspiration for the stories fresh? I mean when you're in the middle of writing one story and have an idea for another one, do you start it, or do you make a note somewhere and think to come back to it? (and if so how detailed is the 'note'?)

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, it's a wonderful question, but I have to save it for next week. The Mailbag is full for this week. Thanks so much and I promise to lead off with your question next week.

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