ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Seventy-One

Updated on November 2, 2015

Let the Games Begin

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all back to Installment Seventy-One of the Mailbag. After the deluge we had this past weekend I am quite happy to shoulder the bag and deliver the mail today. Anything to get me out of the house. The constant pitter-patter of raindrops was driving me bananas, and that’s not a pretty sight.

Let’s get started with a discussion about pen names.

The Mailbag has returned
The Mailbag has returned | Source

Lessons I Have Learned as a Writer

Pen Names

From Bill:

“I'm not sure if there will be a mailbag his week or not. I certainly hope there is so don't feel you have to respond, but I do have a question about pen names. When I wrote my first fiction book, I considered using a pen name, but then I figured I spent all those hours, days, months, and yes, years to complete it. Why shouldn't I use my given name? The question is, is there a practical reason to use a pen name other than marketing purposes? Thanks.”

Bill, honestly, I can’t think of one. LOL I’ve wondered about this often…let me go do some research on this and I’ll be right back.

Okay, I’m back. As near as I can figure from what I’ve read, the three main reasons to use a pen name are 1) to protect your real identity, 2) to separate your books into different genres, and 3) because you simply don’t like your real name. I’m sure there are others but those keep coming up when I do research about it. I understand the first, I guess…and the second makes a certain amount of sense. For example, if you have made your bones writing mysteries and you suddenly have a hankering to write a romance novel, I can see where using a pen name might be a good idea. Third, if your real name is “Poophead” that might not be the name you want on your novels. J

Bottom line: there are a great many successful authors, past and present, who do this, so obviously it hasn’t hurt them

There are three subplots in my novel. Hopefully they all strengthen the main plot
There are three subplots in my novel. Hopefully they all strengthen the main plot | Source

SUBPLOTS

From Brad: “I have one for the mailbag.

Subplots!

How important do you think that subplots are to make a fiction story popular?

If we take out the subplots in most stories that use them, would the readers balk?

My wife who is the Reader, yes Captial R. loves them. And I the Non reader, Capital N think they are for most cases a waste of time. I would prefer to have a prologue, than a running inserted into the plot regression subplot.

So am I once again, the one percenter on this one? When do you think that the subplot became popular?

I have seen the subplot in various strengths on TV shows and movies, but I don't know how common it is in books.

The subplot that I am talking about is not the kind where the writer is telling one story, but the reader is supposed to know that the real story should be understood from it.

I never did well in school with those stories.”

Brad, it’s a very good question. I do see the value in using subplots, but only if the subplots help to strengthen the main plot. That should always be the purpose of a subplot, by the way. If a subplot is inserted into a story just for the hell of it then it’s a complete waste of time. I’ve seen many a writer insert a love affair into a mystery, and we have to follow along as the affair unfolds, but it really has nothing to do with the plot and in fact does not strengthen the plot. In other words, there was no practical reason for it other than to satisfy those who enjoy their gratuitous sex in written form.

I think you’ll find most writers agree with my answer. A good subplot is like a signpost leading you to the conclusion. It is not a detour but rather a guiding light….and I hope that makes sense. It’s true in good television series and good movies as well.

Fun Writing

From Eric: “Life sure is good Bill. And your articles make it a good dose even better. Do I need to write in other genres to get better? Do ya think that maybe we have to be complete in our writing? And on a different slant to the same arena of thought, my stuff is brutally gut wrenching to write. I don't want to not write but legal briefs and sermons are hard on me, in a way. Can you suggest other writing that may just be fun, if you know what I mean. Am I whining?”

Last question first, Eric: no, you are not whining.

Do you need to write in different genres to improve? This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I think writing in different genres does help us to improve our craft, just as any writing practice does, but I don’t see going overboard on it. I will occasionally try a different genre in my short stories and even articles simply because I’m trying to spread my wings and fly. I also do it because I think it helps to define my writing voice but then any writing will help me to do that. In other words, practice makes perfect.

I understand completely about certain topics being gut-wrenching. Try writing nonsense for a break. I did that with my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle from Yesterday to Today.” It was originally just a writing exercise and ended up being a novel.

Great questions, my friend.

Beware of too much street slang
Beware of too much street slang | Source

I tried to keep street slang to a minimum in my latest novel

Street Slang

From Zulma: “Regarding Blond Logic's questions about made-up words, is it possible to use too much street slang in an effort to establish a time period? My son was recently playing a video game set in a Washington state university circa 2015. The characters used so much slang I wanted scream at the screen 'Yes, you're young, modern-day college students! I get it! Can we please move on with the story now.' I'm not sure if it was my inner critic or old age talking. I have no qualms with slang, but it rankles me when someone makes up a word and then tries to play it off as street talk when the real reason is they don't know the proper word to use. Any thoughts on the matter would most welcomed.”

Zulma, the answer is yes!

Next question?

No, seriously, of course it is possible to use too much street slang. The thing about street slang, and the over-use of it, is that it is damaging in a number of ways. One, it pretty much limits your target audience. You can fool all of the people some of the time but…… . The other thing that comes to mind is that too much street slang hinders the story, and the story should always be the primary focus. Yes, it’s great to be authentic, but not at the expense of the flow of the story….the rhythm.

One of my favorite authors, James Lee Burke, sets many of his stories in New Iberia, Louisiana, and although he does sprinkle the occasional “Cajun” slang, it’s just enough to add local flavor to the novel without drowning it in tedious but authentic words.

Does that answer your question?

Author’s Note

I’m just filling in to reach 1,250 words, so bear with me. J Anything to make HP happy.

I read a fascinating book the other day about self-publishing called “Write, Publish, Repeat.” It was the most realistic appraisal of self-publishing I have read, written by a trio of writers who have seen it all in the ebook industry and lived to tell about it AND flourish. Pick it up at the library if you get the chance.

The main point they make, though, is that ebooks are really a numbers game. Very few authors make any real money with their first ebook. Oh sure, they will sell some to family and friends, but the sales well dries up pretty quickly after that. Same is true with their second and third books. Their answer to this dilemma is to keep writing and keep publishing. Think of it as building your writing platform one novel at a time, and each novel adds a bit to that platform and a bit to your residual income. Forget about dreams of a best-seller and concentrate on writing a number of so-so sellers…they all add up over time.

Just something to think about.

Have a great week and the Mailbag will return next week.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 19 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks for the comment on my question.

      In reading it, I came off kind of harsh on the subplot being a waste of time, but many of them just distract me from the main plot and that is what I am interested in the story.

      Again, my wife strongly disagrees with me, but in the nicest way.

      I respect her choices, but they differ from mine.

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, you are welcome. Actually what you said right here was my main point: if a subplot distracts from the story then it shouldn't be there. So we are in total agreement.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 19 months ago from New York, New York

      Always love your advice and that last section making HP happy just made me giggle this Monday morning! Happy Monday, my friend ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Janine. Just having a little fun on this rainy Monday. Happy Monday to you and have a terrific week.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 19 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Thanks again, and I hope that some of your readers will also share their thoughts on Subplots.

      BTW, are subplots like those in movies as common in books?

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 19 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I have read "Write, Publish, Repeat" and I found it really instructional. Of course, in the e-book world, it helps if your books are in a series, then they really build on each other (theoretically). As you found out last week, I have a pen name myself (don't out me!) and my main reason was #1, protecting identity. I don't really think that I would develop some rabid fan base of stalkers, but I do need to keep my work separate from day job, so I figured it was best for me. That said, if you ever do have that "block-buster" book, it won't take people that long to figure out your true identity...But hey, if it worked for Samuel Clemens...

      Have a great week!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It looks like the questions are coming hick and fast now, Bill. Where would we be without our weekly "mailbag" fix?

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 19 months ago from Arizona

      cannot believe you have reached 71 and still going...always something new in all of the arts. Writing is always in the back of my mind. I do kind of blow with the wind...Doing some new things of course.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 19 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      After an author decides to use his or her real name rather than a pen name, then what factors go into deciding which form of the real name to use? Why did you decide to use William D. Holland on your novels and Bill Holland on HubPages rather than William Holland, Will Holland, Billy Holland, William Dwight [or whatever] Holland, W. D. Holland, or some other variant? My birth certificate name is Brian James Scott Leekley. If I finish a novel, should my byline be Brian Leekley, B. Leekley, B. S. Leekley, Brian Scott Leekley, Brian S. Leekley, B. J. Leekley, Brian James Leekley, Brian James Scott Leekley, B. J. Scott Leekley, or some other variant? Should I go by numerology? By what sounds most highfalutin? By what I use on official papers, such as income tax forms? By how I sign checks or credit card purchases? By how I sign informal letters and emails? Should I take a poll? Should I go by a snap impulse? Should I pray for inspiration? Should I ask my wife? Or? Will it make a difference in sales, other factors being favorable?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, I have a tendency to stick with good writers, so I don't see it very often. It's only when I try out new writers and occasionally come upon one who never learned this lesson.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, all great points and I thank you for them. Good point about writing a series and it makes great sense.

      Thanks my friend and Happy Monday to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John? Where would I be? What would I do on Mondays if I didn't have the Mailbag? :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of course you're doing new things, Carol. Grass won't grow under your feet, my friend.

      Thanks for stopping by. It's always good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you've got me laughing this morning. Way too many choices....way too many. I'll give you my thoughts in a week. It will take me that long to sort through all the options you've presented. :)

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 19 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Glad to see the Mailbag continue. Of course, I knew it would! Thanks again for another informative Monday, my friend!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 19 months ago

      Bill, Brad, I think I can explain subplots. Having originally come from broadcasting, I think that subplots in TV shows originated as time fillers. Any of us radio on-air people sure do know what filling time is all about. OMG, 3 minutes to kill – talk a little and grab a couple of PSAs (public service announcements). I see so many shows today that have a nit-wit subplot that can be explained only as a filler. Good examples are Hawaii Five-O and NCIS Los Angeles. Most of their plots probably would fill only about 2/3 of the time without inserting a subplot filler. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both those shows, but their motive is easy for a broadcaster to see through. Watch and see what I mean. Then somewhere the novel writer picked up on this and decided to include it. What a pity.

      I love what Brian has to say, and he has some good points. Brian, personally I don’t like the use of initials, so whatever you choose, please don’t use an initial. I really like your name. My favorite is Brian Scott Leekley. It sounds like a genre is just waiting for it.

      Bill this is your best mailbag yet. It ought to get the juices rolling. Have a great rest of the week, my friend.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 19 months ago from Orange County California

      Thank you Mizbejabbers for that information. I like the concept of filler, as it equates for dilution of a product. I feed wild birds that are in our backyard, and sometimes, I am forced to get the sunflower seeds that contain fillet, because they were out of the pure sunflower oil seeds, and the next day, the sunflower seeds are gone, but the fillet is still there. This is how I usually feel about subplots.

      Especially, in TV shows like Flash, and the Arrow, which regress back and forth through time.

      I never thought of subplots as Filler, I wonder if that will make me more tolerant, or more critical of them.

      Thanks again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! It was a good week of questions and I continue to enjoy this series. Glad you do as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, it's always a pleasure hearing from you. Thanks for your input on the subplot question. I always listen to the voice of experience, and hey, even Brad is listening to you. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Good discussion, Brad. I love this Mailbag series because of discussions like this one. Thank you!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 19 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I agree, Bill... the comments by and with Brad were very valuable this week. Good variety in the mailbag again. Neat! Thank you for your continued attention to each of these areas!! ;-)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Very helpful with your tips on writing. I like it when a writer uses his/ her name instead of a pin name.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Bill, but thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Ruby, but there are quite a few who don't for a variety of reasons....some we don't even realize. :) I'll have a story for you on Wednesday. I think you'll like it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 19 months ago from Central Florida

      This series always elicits a response to one of the questions from me. I hope you don't mind, Bill.

      Eric's question had my mind ticking. I believe a writer should write whatever comes to his/her mind. That's the beauty of being a contributing writer on HP. We're not held to genres. We're "free to fly".

      However, although I believe challenging yourself to write outside your comfort zone is a good exercise, it's not necessary. You should write what comes naturally.

      I've only posted 146 hubs in four years, but they range from poetry, to product reviews, to how to rank with Google, to short stories, music themed articles, responses to writing challenges and more. But they were inspired - not forced. That's the key to being a happy writer. Every writer needs to be true to himself.

      I found when I tried to write for a living I was "arguing with a signboard that I painted myself". It didn't work. My muse got frustrated, pissed, and forsook me until I came to my senses.

      If writing sermons and/or non-fiction is your thing, do it. If you get bored with it, close your eyes and let your muse take over. Listen to her. It's her voice you're bringing to the world. Give her her say.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 19 months ago

      Very few first books make any significant money however they are published. I say, just keep writing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sha. It's always interesting to hear what other writers think about our craft. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm with you, Pop! I think I'll do exactly that, my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 19 months ago

      Thanks, Bill.

      @ Brad: Having been there and needed filler for air time, actually I laugh about them. I hope you see the humor in them, too.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 19 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great advice in your author's note. It's the patience or lack of it that gets to many of us. You give really wise counsel.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 19 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      Your series always gets me thinking...I look forward to the variety of questions offered by the community.

      Have a great week. Love, Maria

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 19 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great week for the mailbag Bill. So nice to see this continuing along for over 70 weeks now. Have a great week and I look forward to installment 72.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 19 months ago from Nibiru

      nice one, gonna see what your blogs about billy the kid!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks again, MizB!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Dora, that you find this helpful. Thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. I love this series. I always learn something new from the questions.

      Have a terrific week yourself.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! It's lasted much longer than I ever dreamed; that's for sure.

      Have a terrific week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Clive. I'll see you over there.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 19 months ago from london

      Thanks Bill, we are getting closer to the Goal. Well done!

      I used Manatita in my first book, because it's a spiritual name; it's a spiritual book and I'm known in spiritual circles by that name. More importantly, it's my Soul's name, that is to say, it reflects my Soul propensities or potential. It was given to me by SriChinmoy in 1989, and it means: Beyond the Mind; in the Heart of our Lord Beloved Supreme.

      In short, I'm a Heart person, rather than an intellectual, analysing kind. Fits me well. Continue ...continue.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 19 months ago from South Africa

      Billybuc, I always enjoy reading your thoughts about the issues in the world of writers. Perhaps because we are on the same page. I use my maiden name for the simple reason that my ex-husband, whose surname I still have, made no contribution to the existence or developement of my talent. To the contrary... So, by using my maiden name I pay tribute to my parents. Thanks again for an insightful read :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, it most definitely fits you well. Thanks for explaining your process in choosing your pen name. That helps.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, I love that reason for your pen name/real name...perfect reason and explanation. Thank you!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 19 months ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks, Bill. It's good to know it's not just me. Regarding subplots, not only should they support the main plot, I think they're a good way to create the world your characters live in. They help show your character's motivation and these minor characters can help shed light on certain matters the main character may not be aware of or is reticent to speak about it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, you are absolutely correct, but that comes as no surprise to me. :) Thanks for mentioning that. I wish I had earlier. :) Have a great day/afternoon/evening

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 19 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I like what you said about subplots. They should add to the main plot rather than merely serve as an extra form of entertainment. It's obvious when writers understand that and when they don't. We can see that happening with certain movies and television for sure!

      I love the street slang question! I've definitely had those moments when reading or watching something that exaggerates the language of the type of characters the story is capturing, and wondered, "Who do these people think they're fooling?"

      The Author's Note you made is interesting. Thank you for the tip!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 19 months ago from Shelton

      I agree with you on the hard work and that pen names lessons the credence.. Cstein.. that author just uses one name... LOL hey bill I think you meant to say there might not be a mail bag this week.. or did you mean his week.. and who is his? LOL kidding your first sentence.. way up there.. and happy 71st hope there is more to come.. at least past George Burns age..:)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 19 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Great questions this week. Deftly fielded. Anytime I forced a story, it showed in the low comment turnout I received. So, the message to me is not to force a story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Kailey! Glad you liked this installment and glad I'm not the only one who is fed up with worthless subplots. :) I hope your week is a good one.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, don't confuse me like that. I'm old and I can't follow along with a little sarcasm. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good point, Mike! Very good point indeed.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great point on subplots. My daughter once asked me about Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" I wove in the subplot that he worked for a wicked queen in Scandinavia, made him get up early in a cold castle and it killed him. She looked at me like I was nuts -tying that in with the concept of proof of existence. The subplot was to show you no longer cogito when dead.

      Seriously on Mechanics of HP and transference. I think I made a mistake and put my best drafts of my sermons in the HP editions. I mean I corrected/edited them while publishing. Now in trying to compile for a collection book style publication what should I do mechanically.

      And do you think a book of short essays should have pictures?

      Well off to write something less serious thanks to your advice.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Pen names are sometimes used simply to hide an identity, especially if the content could be considered offensive or racy. A pen name is also useful if it better reflects a genre, like Max Brand (or another western writer whose pen name escapes me).

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 19 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Keep the great advice coming. Always learn and pick-up something new from your mailbag.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, great questions. Unfortunately, you have to wait a week for some great answers. :) Love the "cogito ergo sum" story.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Will. I wish I hadn't used billybuc when I first started out. I'm still paying for that mistake. :) Good to see you...thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma! You are always appreciated.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 19 months ago from Texas

      Bill, thank you for your advice, it is always appreciated. You never let us down.

      Blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Shyron! Thank you for always being here.

      Blessings to you and yours, now and forever

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 19 months ago from south Florida

      Your Answers, Bill, are always professional and knowledgeable but now I detect that even the Questions are more realistic and intentional. Way to go!

      Warning: Do not open any mail that looks like a subpoena to appear in court on charges of Libel sent to you by the Poophead's barrister.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...drbj, you do crack me up. Thanks for the warning and the kind words.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 19 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read. I enjoy learning the right way to do things in this ever changing world of writing promotion.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You got that right, Larry. This business is changing rapidly. Thank you!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 19 months ago

      Real pleasure having the Mailbag series continuing and filling 'emptiness', eliminating ignorance in this small space calling my brain. Thank you William D, Holland, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MIchael my friend, it is always a pleasure having you stop by....small space, your brain? I think not. I have seen proof to the contrary. :)

      blessings always

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Useful advice, as always, Bill. I especially like the information that you share in the last section of the hub. This is definitely interesting to think about!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 19 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Useful tips here and as always you share the best.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Alicia. Thank you and Happy Weekend to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      As always, DDE, thank you!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 18 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Here is a question that we can google for the answer, but my question is polling the minds of your readers for their subjective answer.

      If a fiction writer is just starting off, what genre and sub genre would be the most popular, the most financially rewarding etc.

      If I were going to write on fiction, I would write about something that would interest me, rather than what is popular, and that is just me because I always seem to be outside the parade looking in, rather than marching in it.

      I would still be interested in the answer. I will be in the bleachers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Brad. I actually talked about this about six months ago, but I'll do it again just for you. Stay tuned.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 18 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      If you give me tHE MAILBAG NUMBER , I would like to read that one.

      Thanks

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 18 months ago from New York

      Hurray! The mail got through. I'm a little late reading it, but it's always good to know it's there.

      Not only were the questions great, as always, but I loved your tips on "Write, Publish, Repeat". Definitely sounds like a must read. Chances are none of us are going to be wealthy from our writing, but oh the fun we're having.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No sweat, Brad. It would take me too long to find the damn thing. I'll just re-write it for Monday. I can tell you, from memory, that Romance was easily #1.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is fun, isn't it, Mary? There are times I wish I could make just a little bit more money from writing, but in the meantime, I'm having a blast. :)

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 18 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Looking forward to the rest of the list.

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Brad. See you tomorrow!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 18 months ago from SW England

      What great questions this time! Sorry to be late here - life gets in the way sometimes!

      Using slang is like using any accent or dialect words, I think; anything in moderation, like much of life really!

      As for different genres, it's fun to try all sorts merely because if we stretch ourselves we find that other things we thought were off-limits are easier than we imagined. It's satisfying to know we've tried things and can stick with what we prefer or branch out at will.

      Hope your week's been good, bill, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's mailbag.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, it has been one very wet weekend. Our animals are very tired of damp fur and feathers. :)

      All is well with we humans, though, and even the rain shall pass eventually. In other words, life is good.

      Thanks for your thoughts and enjoy the rest of your day.

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 18 months ago from southern USA

      Although I am late for the mail, I am happy the mail is still arriving on time here in this Monday Mailbag series!

      I have never understood using a pen name. Even more confusing to me is ghostwriting. Why would anyone be okay with giving credit to one’s writing to another writer? Is it solely for monetary gain? Maybe you can expound on ghostwriting a bit to help me understand the concept a bit more.

      It’s been raining here for weeks. “Rain, rain, go away!”

      Another wonderful Monday Mailbag, dear Bill. Peace and blessings always

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 18 months ago from Arizona

      As you know I am not writing these days but I always love to see what you have to say. And many things apply to other venues in our lives. I have never understood why some authors use different names for different series they write. WHy not use your given name for everything. It makes sense to me. I guess established writers can do this as people will still buy their books.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, we need the rain to disappear in many areas. We are waterlogged here with more coming. Sigh!

      I'll talk about ghostwriting next Monday. Thank you my dear.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Carol. I guess I understand, in theory, why they use pen names, but it still seems like a large risk to take for an established writer who has a following.....if I ever reach that point I'll let you know. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 18 months ago from USA

      Write, publish, repeat. Yep, we all get better with practice. That's the way to flourish!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish indeed. :) Thanks my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Slang definitely gets old after awhile, especially some of this new stuff. Hopefully, period books won't suffer due to it, or I will personally take my reading to another time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Deb! I don't mind a little bit of it but too much and I shut down.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 17 months ago

      These were questions I found interesting. You always come through for us with the answers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna! I love the questions I receive.

    Click to Rate This Article