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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Sixty-Four

Updated on September 14, 2015

Last Minute Farming Chores

We are experiencing the last nice weather of summer here in the northwest, so I’ve been busy taking care of the urban farm and making it ready for winter. That means less writing for the time being but no worries. Once the winter rains arrive I’ll have more than enough time to catch up on writing projects. It’s all about priorities, isn’t it?

One priority that will not be shelved for a later date is the Mailbag, so without further delay, here it is.

The Mailbag returns
The Mailbag returns | Source

Too Ambitious?

From Faith: “I've been thinking of something way out of my norm in writing, but just do not know how my followers will take to it or even if I could pull it off. However, it has been my experience that to stretch our writing to something out of our norm, is most exhilarating and satisfying, especially when well-received. However, if we never try, how will we ever know? Maybe that is what I have been missing and why I haven't published in a bit. A while back I participated in a challenge to write fiction but a bit on the dark side, and I was surprised how easily it flowed and how well-received it was by those who read. It still was uniquely my style though, which I think is key.

What I have in mind is quite ambitious, at least to me, in that it is something I have never attempted and may totally throw off my readers a bit or surprise them. Anyway, I love C. S. Lewis and his Screwtape Letters, which to me is brilliant. I am just really asking for your opinion as I am not sure how it would be a question for writers in general, but maybe it is. If I were to attempt to write something from the point of view of "Faith Reaper" but then add in the point of view of, let's say, an "anti-Faith Reaper" : ) ... or the darker side as some sort of devil's advocate type persona, do you think that is too ambitious of a project (not to copy Lewis)? I do understand it must be well done to be effective in what it is I am attempting to convey in the message. In the meantime, I will attempt to finish what I have written in my usual manner.”

Faith, did you just ask me if that’s too ambitious for a writer? LOL I don’t believe there are limitations on a writer. We are armed with our imaginations and a desire to spread our wings. How could there be a limitation?

As for your readers and followers, if they truly care about you growing as a writer, they will take this all very well and encourage you. I’ve written about the dark side many times and my followers hung in there while I stretched my artistic reach. They’ll do the same with you. Now you’ve piqued my curiosity. I can’t wait to see this new project of yours.

I paid for this one
I paid for this one | Source

Book Covers

From Robert: “Hey, Bill, can you tell me how to make a book cover for an ebook?”

Robert….NO….I can’t!

How’s that for brutal honesty?

I’m technologically stunted, my friend. My brain shuts down when faced with this stuff. For my first two novels I paid to have covers made. I simply couldn’t do it. I know there are many, many templates available online. I know you can make your own using Photo Shop. You can even make one using MS Word. Unfortunately, I can’t do it so I have no business trying to tell you how to do it. I have two ebooks ready to go and no covers for either of them, so they remain in my files awaiting covers.

I feel your pain.

I’m sure some of our readers will have valuable suggestions so let’s wait for them, okay?

Fear of Copyright Infringement

From Brenda: “I had a friend read the first three chapters of my new novel and she commented that it was very similar to a novel written by James Patterson, even though, I swear, I’ve never read James Patterson. Is this something to be concerned with? What if I wrote the entire book and then was sued for plagiarism?”

Brenda, don’t sweat it.

Listen, with all of the millions of books written and published, it is practically impossible to come up with a new idea or unique plot. The chances are far greater that just about any book written is “like” some other book written, and copyright infringement and plagiarism are very, very hard to prove. You would have to literally copy complete passages from another book for it to be proven. Ask anyone who is a fan of mysteries and they will tell you that most plots of most mysteries are similar to hundreds of others that have been written. That’s just the way it is. Keep writing your novel and don’t worry about it.

Saying Bev is as pretty as a picture is lazy writing
Saying Bev is as pretty as a picture is lazy writing | Source

CLICHES

From Mandi: “I’ve read that we shouldn’t use clichés in dialogue, but I guess my question is why? We all use clichés in our everyday speech, so why shouldn’t our characters use them?”

Mandi, this is one of those rules that isn’t really a rule. It’s true that we all use clichés in our everyday language. Cliches are part of our language. It’s also true that we want our characters to sound as authentic as possible. Thus, logically, we should have our characters speak with clichés.

But….

While using clichés occasionally in dialogue is acceptable, most writing instructors will tell you that using them too often is lazy writing. If you’re looking for logic there you won’t find it, but having said that I happen to agree with that school of thought. Creative writers should be creative, and the use of too many clichés is not creative at all. That’s the best explanation I can give you and I know it isn’t perfect.

Too Preachy

From Rachael: “I have a tendency, from time to time, to sound too preachy in my novels. How do I avoid this? I don’t want to sound like I’m standing at a pulpit delivering a sermon.”

Rachael, welcome to my world. I fall into this same trap.

Preachiness (is that even a word?) happens usually when a writer feels strongly about a topic, like say abortion or gun control or whatever. If not careful the writer will begin expounding his/her views through the disguise of the characters. Too much of it and the novel bogs down and becomes about as exciting as a slug race.

Here’s the thing to remember, and it’s the thing every fiction writer should remember whenever they sit down to write….show, don’t tell. If you have a point you want to make then use the English language to paint a scene that gets your point across. Instead of saying you think abortion is evil, describe a fetus after termination. Now that would be a powerful message without ever mentioning the message.

Make sense? And no, I’m not making a statement one way or another about abortion. I just used that as an example, so calm down.

Great Questions Once Again

Well that’s not a shocker, is it? We always get great questions at the Mailbag. Thanks to all who asked questions this week and I’ll see you same time, same place next week. In the meantime, there is a storm bearing down on us, due Tuesday, so I’ve got some more work to do. Have a great week.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 20 months ago from New York, New York

      So many more great questions and answers, especially your take on never being too ambitious as writers. Thanks, as always Bill and wishing you a splendid week ahead now!! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and I wish you a happy and productive week as well.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 20 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Faith's ambitious writing project sounds interesting.

      About preachy writing, I do not agree at all with Ayn Rand's opinions, but she was adept at preaching them in entertaining stories. Same goes for Edward Abbey. A classic example of a preachy yet entertaining story is Pilgrim's Progress by Bunyan.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that, Brian. No doubt it is possible to make preachy interesting, but for sure it is very difficult to do.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 20 months ago

      I enjoyed the question from Faith Reaper. When I get sick of politics, I will want to and have to stretch my wings.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 20 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Good questions and of course good answers. I hope that the mailbag is never empty. And, by the way, I'm waiting for Faith's first chapter. Sounds great. Have a good day on the farm.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You and me both, Pop! Thanks for stopping by. It's always a pleasure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Linda. Faith gave us a good teaser. I think we're all looking forward to more.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 20 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Interesting questions and answers as usual. I don't have any skills at creating covers either, but a lot of sites offer pre-made covers for pretty cheap (under $100). I've even had a cover created through Fivver (which can be hit or miss).

      Now a question for you: If you reach the point where you can't find an agent or publisher for your book would you self-publish? And if you're answer is yes, would you consider enrolling it in Kindle Scout first? If you haven't heard of it, please check it out. With your fan base, I believe that you would have a really good chance at this! Even if you don't get selected, it helps get the word out about your release.

      https://kindlescout.amazon.com/

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, good morning and Happy Monday to you. Thanks for the question. Stay tuned for the answer...and thanks for the suggestions about book covers.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      I love your frankness and your honesty when you can't answer someone's question. It makes you human and I do wonder sometimes! No, just kidding....

      I do so agree with you in your answer to Faith. We'll all support her and give our honest appraisals, I'm sure. One reason why your mailbag is so popular and successful, I think, is because it sums up the whole community here - helpful, supportive, educative and all dished up with sympathy and humour.

      Have a monumental Monday and a wizard week, bill.

      Ann

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 20 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I'm getting lazy with my words because I'm running out of words to say how much I value these mailbags. I'm just going to say... Awesome!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 20 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Ayn Rand wrote a fifty page 'speech' that clears the way for the rest of us on the subject of 'Preachiness'

      I share your interest in seeing Faith explore new frontiers in her writing. Her writing is leading here somewhere.

      I can help Robert with an eBook cover.

      You certainly have your work cut out for you with this mailbag exercise.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I never said it though I planned to, so "Congratulations" on your two well-deserved Hubbie Awards! Here you are still being the Most Helpful with your honest answers. You're a blessing to know and read.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, thank you! At first I thought you wished me a "lizard week. " LOL I don't know where my mind was at that point, but thanks for the wish, and I wish you a "wizard week" as well, my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, there's nothing lazy about you and thank you for the awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mike. I'll pass your offer along to Robert if he doesn't see it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really do appreciate that, Dora, so thank you very much.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 20 months ago from United States

      You sure have pointed out some valid queries that all authors are anxious about...copyright issues and that ebook cover...gosh! that has been on my mind too!

      Thanks once again for bringing answers to novice people like me :)

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 20 months ago from New Jersey

      These are great questions! I definitely relate with Rachael. She is preaching to the "afraid to be preachy" choir! ;) I think you are right, Bill. I try to use "show, don't tell" when I re-read my first draft of "I just told people what they should think which doesn't prove anything." I'm sure you have met those people, as I have, who can debate either side of any argument, even though they 'do' feel strongly one way. Maybe, we should all aim to be capable of doing that, so it's easier to explain our own opinions.

      Another great article! I will miss your break from writing, but look forward to these mailbags!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 20 months ago from Iowa

      My take on Mandi's question is that using cliches in dialogue would be just fine as a character trait - a character who speaks in cliches - with the other characters reacting accordingly. Otherwise, as you said, a cliche creeping in here and there would be okay but would be viewed as lazy writing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's my pleasure, Ruchira, and I appreciate you being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, thanks....and I love your suggestion to debate either side of any argument. Not an easy thing to do but very beneficial I would think.

      Not much of a break at HP...it's more a break from my novel-writing...that has suffered the past two months for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thanks for your take. It's an interesting dilemma and sort of a double standard, truthfully. We all speak in cliches so why shouldn't our characters, but agents and publishers hate seeing them....so there you go. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is great. I can't wait for Faith to write her ' something out of her norm ' Is this a good place to come and learn? Yes! Thanks Bill.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      As always, very helpful information.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 20 months ago from SW England

      It's all these fairies around here, getting into my head!

      Ann :)

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      William Kovacic 20 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Well Bill, more information to file away - or use immediately. Thanks again for your bravery and knowledge in tackling these questions!

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      William Leverne Smith 20 months ago from Hollister, MO

      "Show, don't tell" is really basic to good writing. I know I constantly need reminding... and still fail as much as win. Thanks for slipping it it, as another necessary reminder!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I know I learn here so I'm grateful as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! I appreciate it as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I figured as much, Ann. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. Bravery? I'm just stumbling along hoping I don't make a fool of myself, but I thank you for the compliment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Bill. Truthfully I think you are very good at "showing" and not "telling."

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 20 months ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      Great responses as always. I appreciate your candor and honesty. This is one of the reasons why you ARE and ALL-AROUND Great Hubber of any year. Faith (Theresa), I would and will love to read anything you write. Like you, I was unsure how others would take my recent attempt at "spreading my wings" as Bill says. Afterwards, especially since I had not published in awhile, the feeling was such one of relief.

      Blessings to All,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kim! I try to be honest in my responses. There is a great deal about the writing business I do not know, and I'll let you know when those moments arrive....and we'll all learn together. :)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 20 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Some great questions this week. As usual you give honest and to the point answers.

      We are starting to get a little taste of fall here also, my favorite time of the year. Unfortunately winter follows, my least favorite season. Enjoy the nice weather while it lasts and have a great week.

    • Emese Fromm profile image

      EmeseRéka 20 months ago from The Desert

      Hi, Bill; thank you for sharing your wisdom here; though I haven't been commenting in a while now (for som reason even when I try my comments end up not going anywhere; my computer is having major issues); I still read all of your hubs, and I have to say I am learning from them. Congratulations on both Hubbie awards, very well deserved! You definitely are the most helpful to everyone. Have a great week!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      Batten down the hatches, Bill! I just talked to a friend of mine who lives in Maine. He's been getting his home and property ready for the winter since spring. Living in Florida, I don't have to do that, so I forget what people who have actual seasons go through.

      Anyway, very interesting mailbag this week. Like you, I look forward to Faith's project. She's got my interest piqued!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 20 months ago from southern USA

      Oh, my! I am feeling the pressure now LOL ... thank you, Bill, as always for your encouragement to all writers to stretch our writing to write in genres unknown. I have been thinking on this project for quite some time, but having to muster up the courage to proceed. Well, I think I have enough encouragement here from all to go forward (thank you), and I hope I do not disappoint ...If so, then it will just be back to the drawing board.

      Now, I am reading that question about copyright infringement ...LOL ...I am not intending to copy C.S. Lewis but just to do my own take on it from the persona of "Faith Reaper" and then the so-called attempt at having "Faith Reaper" being swayed to go to the dark side or not. But, you know me, I can't leave it in the dark, as I am a child of the light. I am hoping to develop a series from idea, but we'll see.

      Another wonderful Monday Mailbag, full of great questions and insightful answers, as always.

      Hmm, wonder what an anti-"Faith Reaper" looks like : )

      Peace and blessings

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 20 months ago

      Wow , Bill

      the further we go

      the questions are bolder

      your answers firmer

      inducing writers uncompromisingly wiser

      ( us, me too ?!)

      Blessed writing my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Bill. We have to pay for enjoying fall, don't we? You more than us for sure.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Emese, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you always reading my hubs. That means a lot to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, we've had mild winters for two years. I suspect our luck can't last much longer. :) Thanks for the visit and have a great Tuesday.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 20 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Great to see your take on these thoughtful questions, dear Bill.

      I believe Faith's project will be awesome and also look forward to checking it out.

      All the best with your winterizing.

      Love, Maria

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed all these questions Bill. I can't wait to see what Faith Reaper comes up with. We all need to try and extend ourselves with our writing. I can't work out how to do an eBook cover either, but I am going to watch that video you included now. Rachael's question about sounding too "preachy" is a good one too and so is your answer. Great stuff.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I can definitely say you have built anticipation to a fever pitch. We are all looking forward to this anti-Faith...not that there is anything wrong with the real one. :) Thanks for the question and good luck on this new project.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend yes, you too. :) Thanks for the visit. You are always welcome here, my friend.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. Faith has certainly stirred some interest in this new project.

      Hugs and love on this chilly Tuesday morning,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! My life would become easier if I ever learned how to do those ebook covers. Sigh! Too late to teach an old dog new tricks? I hope not. :)

      bill

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 20 months ago from south Florida

      You did not disappoint, Bill. These are more great answers to thoughtful questions. I believe I will give a shout-out not only to you but to those who took the time and energy to fashion them. Bravo, you-all.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 20 months ago

      interesting marathon going

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you drbj.....this series seems to have a life of its own. I'm just driving this bus and they all give me directions for the destination.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is a marathon, isn't it, Sujaya? Thank you!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

      wow it's like a home run chase number 64.. I love it.. It's sad that Carl Malone the Mail man passed away.. but I hope that doesn't slow your roll here... I love the brutal honesty .. in the cover design question LOL awesome as ever

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I was sorry to hear about Malone....a condition he wasn't even aware of evidently, or didn't think was that serious. Anyway, thank you...the mail will go on without THE MAILMAN...it is always delivered, my friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 20 months ago

      Faith Reaper’s idea is a great one, and I'm glad you told her to go for it. I read a lot of sci-fi fantasy books that are written on that premise. I love your mailbags because they sometimes contain new ideas that you are passing along. Good luck with the ebook covers to you and to Robert.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Miz B.....the book cover problem is just a minor flea bite...I'll figure it out eventually. I'm glad you enjoyed this installment. Have a superb Wednesday.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 20 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Hi Bill! Our summer has just about closed down here too. It's been raining for days. Been busy stocking up, planning winterization and other necessary things. Will have more time for writing soon.

      Interesting mailbag. I'm intrigued with Faith's project. I think our best writing emerges from stretching and leaping. As far as book covers go, there are too many resources available for me to stress out with that. Getting the writing, rewrites and more rewrites done is quite enough. Thanks Bill!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 20 months ago from london

      Another one well done, Bill. Felt rather short, I was just getting warmed up. He he. Perhaps Rachel may wish to look at my answers in Q and E's, although I won't necessarily recommend it for the faint-hearted or those who are easily bruised.

      The point here is to be all inclusive, and be guided by Love. Write like a servant, or someone who has something to share, while at the same time leaving many windows in the Heart. Adjust, adapt; accommodate.

      All for Rachel, Bro. You are excellent at this. Hope it helps. Much Love.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Babby! Good luck on those winterization projects...I'm knee-deep in them myself. Hoping the weather holds out a few more weeks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, you said a mouthful...adjust, adapt, accommodate. Well said my friend, and blessings to you always.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 20 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      Another interesting mailbag.

      I haven't seen the book cover for Shadows Kill.

      Even though you can't do your own book covers,, you must have some idea about what is on it.

      Maybe, a well lit room with just the hand sticking out of a shadow that has evidently covered a body with the exception of a hand.

      Perhaps a three sequence shadow movement ending with the exposed hand. The sequence would be something like the one on the Tobias cover.

      just a thought

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And a good thought, Brad. As soon as I figure out how to actually make a cover I'll give your suggestions serious consideration. In the meantime, the cover will be a work in progress within my mind. :)

      Thank you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 20 months ago from southern USA

      Hahah, Dear Bill, I am so happy you think there is nothing wrong with the real "Faith Reaper" and I must add that I am still going to be myself as "Faith Reaper" but I will introduce a couple of "characters" who are no doubt anti-Faith Reaper : ) ...to be continued.

      In the meantime, I am praying so hard for your and everyone's safety with the storm heading to the Pacific coast. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers always.

      Hugs

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, thank you! Most people in the east and south don't mention our weather out here...the national media doesn't pay much attention to the west coast for some reason...so thank you for caring. We'll do fine, I'm sure. We are pretty used to heavy winds and rain here.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well, well we are getting ready for the winter down here in the Southwestern coastal desert also. In another two months it will be time to bust out the long sleeve T-shirts and maybe find some socks and shoes. Man I miss the seasons. Be happy you've got them.

      Oh boy a mailbag that talked about both limitations and being preachy. Self imposed insecurity issues keep me very limited and writing a sermon quenches my need for preachy. I have to be real careful reading your hubs, they could cause me to grow as a writer and a human ;-) Oh wait they already have.

      Bill how do you fend off this co-dependency between the writer and the audience. You seem to have a good stiff upper lip and a good strong back. But do you find yourself changing what you write in order to please the reader? You seem to have the "brutal honesty" part down. But how do you keep from "watering down" so as not to offend in general? Is it a constant effort to seek the balance.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, you continue to grow as a human. That's just one of the things I like about you.

      As for your question, it's a dandy. I can hardly wait to answer it on Monday. Thanks for making me stretch a bit.

      I'll be by your latest soon.

      bill

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      Linda Crampton 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Once again, I enjoyed reading your weekly mailbag hub, Bill. It's always useful and thought provoking.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 20 months ago from New York

      The best part about the great questions are your great answers Bill. We all need that little nudge to keep us going in the right direction, and you my friend are our nudge!

      Thank you for all you do to help us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I'm glad to hear that.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've been called worse, Mary. I'll take nudge. :) Thank you so much and Happy Weekend to you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 20 months ago from sunny Florida

      The q/a here and in the others of these that I have read provide much food for thought. It is so interesting (yes, that is the word..that tired word) to me to get inside the minds of others as they share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

      Faith's concern about whether her writing would be received well was not surprising, I suppose . However I find it quite a nice change when a writer breaks out of their 'expected' mold and goes in another direction. Some of the most well known writers do that from time to time and I like it.

      So thanks for this forum and for your encouragement to Faith.

      Angels are on the way to you this evening bringing lots of hugs and blessings to you and Bev ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS! Faith's question spoke to many and I'm not surprised at all. We all want acceptance. Changing in mid-stream threatens our comfort zone...not many writers are immune to that.

      blessings and hugs winging your way

      bill

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      Deb Hirt 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Those WERE all great questions and answers this week. By the way, I am anxious to see more of Faith's darker works. I think she has a remarkable talent that she just was a little nervous about allowing to break free. I'm all for her material.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Deb. I think we are all looking forward to that piece of writing.

      Thank you my friend.

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      Heidi Thorne 20 months ago from Chicago Area

      Late to the Mailbag again! Onward...

      RE: Ebook Covers. If you're publishing on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for ebooks, they have a cover creation tool built into the system. If it's like their Createspace Cover Creator (which I'm guessing it is), it's pretty easy to come up with a cover that's, at the bare minimum, acceptable.

      Happy Monday!

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for that, Heidi. I did not know that. If I do it there is no doubt at best it will be acceptable. :)

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      Dianna Mendez 20 months ago

      I'm glad there are no limitations to writing because I have such a vivid imagination on writing themes. Your thoughts on copyrights are so true. Currently, we have several books out there on similar themes. Still, they are all interesting to read.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Dianna. There are not many new topics....same thing, different day, but a new voice makes all the difference in the world.

      Have a wonderful weekend, my friend, and thank you.

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      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Great stuff here. Faith, please write the piece! You've got us all intrigued now so you have to!

      I'd agree with you Bill, Preachy can be interesting but doing it well is hard. Having said that write it anyway, then edit until you're happy with it!

      By the way, today is our first decent day of spring. :-)

      Lawrence

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 20 months ago

      These questions were interesting to me Bill, especially the one about being too preachy. Even though I don't write novels, I tend to think that my instructions in my tutorials can be a bit preachy. I try to tone it down, but I'm not always sure it works.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Happy Spring to you, Lawrence, as fall brings much cooler temps to us. Enjoy the nice weather, my friend, and thank you.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a tough call for any writer, Glimmer. It's good to know that a craft writer feels the same way. Thank you!

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      FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

      Glad the preachiness issue came up. It's a huge turnoff.

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Flourish, and it's something I'm always aware of. Thanks for mentioning that.

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

      Marked this and came back for a refresher. Thanks

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      Bill Holland 19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eric. I'm heading your way to hear the sermon.

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