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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Sixty-Seven

Updated on October 5, 2015

Ho Hum, It’s Back Again

I’m being facetious about the ho-hum business. I’m amazed this series keeps humming along, and as it grows so, too, does the readership. At this point it is a self-sustaining entity that rarely requires fine-tuning by me. I just love it!

Thanks in advance to all of you who asked questions this week. Let’s get going with a good question about total focus.

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

Total Immersion in Writing

From Ann: “A question: Do you get so immersed in your writing that you have no idea how long you've been sitting there at the keyboard?”

This will be an easy question to answer….YES!

Truthfully it doesn’t happen often but it does happen, and it is almost always when I’m working on a novel. I say it doesn’t happen often because even when working on a novel I am rarely in the zone with words flowing like manna from the heavens, but when it does happen it is amazing to witness. All outside influences are forgotten; it’s just me and my story.

Maybe my book can help you

Ebooks By Installment

From Brian: “Question: Would it be feasible and cost-effective to self-publish a novel in parts in imitation of Charles Dickens?

Google on:

Dickens serial fiction OR novels OR publication

The Project Boz website says, "Most of Dickens’s novels were published in twenty stand-alone monthly parts. Each number or installment (after the first two installments of his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, when Dickens and his publishers were still experimenting with the form) contained exactly 32 pages of text, along with two engraved illustrations; each installment also contained 16 or more pages of advertising. These serial parts cost only a shilling. The final installment cost two shillings, and was a double one, including a more generous amount of text, four illustrations (including an engraved title page and frontispiece), and front matter--preface, dedication, table of contents, a list of illustrations, and so forth."

“So why not publish a novel as a series of short ebooks of a few chapters each? I'm not sure about advertising or about illustrations or about subscriptions. As a customer, I would want it to be easy, simple, inexpensive, and convenient to obtain and pay for each part and to have the option of canceling my subscription at any time before getting the last part.”

Brian, you always ask the most fascinating questions. Why not is my answer!

I remember back to the golden age of pulp fiction and dime novels. Short novels, really shorter than a novella, were published regularly and they sold quite well. We got away from that for a few decades but I think we are returning to that style again. People seem to have less time to read…attention spans are shorter…and I think short ebooks that sell for ninety-nine cents each would do well if they were chapters or a continuing story.

So yes, Brian, why not indeed!

My theory on writing: good writing will sell if properly marketed. Hell, bad writing sells if properly marketed. J There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Are we insignificant as writers? We are, after all, just one of 7.3 billion
Are we insignificant as writers? We are, after all, just one of 7.3 billion | Source

INSIGNIFICANCE

From Aliswell: “Hi Bill, Long time No Communicate. I have returned to Hub Pages and You in particular, to try and get any answers to my dilemma.

My dilemma, as it appears to me... as if "me" is in anyway the slightest best indicator of reality...is that I can't make myself believe that my tiny contribution of words to the World would...Make any difference to Anybody???

For me to even contemplate writing as a possible new life experience, I think I have to get beyond the extreme mental block of not believing my almost infintestibly small contribution would be of any real positive contribution to anything.

Thanks for Any and All Feedback!!”

Allen, I hear you! What do we have now, seven-point-three billion people in the world? What possible difference can one writer make? We are all just a pimple on the elephant’s butt, so to speak. I honestly don’t know of a writer who hasn’t felt like you feel. I am not downplaying your feelings at all. I think they are valid and I totally understand them.

But…..

Here’s what I had to come to grips with when I felt as you do….if I make a difference in one life….if I cause one person to feel something significant….if my words move one person to tears or laughter or an “ah-ha” moment, then isn’t that worth the effort? Isn’t one genuine moment of human connection worth the time?

I think it is. It is the human connection nature of writing that draws me to it. It is knowing that someone, somewhere, will read my words today, or tomorrow, or fifty years from now, and be moved by them, that really excites me. My words are immortal and by extension, then, so am I.

How cool is that?

I was the dorky, uncool kid in the school gym during the dance, never noticed, never talked to. Imagine that kid now writing things that have an impact on lives. It is truly mind-blowing to me.

There will come a time when the best you can do with a story is recycle it
There will come a time when the best you can do with a story is recycle it | Source

Time to Move On

From Zulma: “I've just scrapped my 2nd attempt at writing the first chapter of my book. I'm going to try again today and hope it's 3rd time lucky. Does that happen to you? Do you carry on beating what may be a dead horse or do you just walk away and say 'Screw it.' How do you know when it's time to give up and move on?”

Zulma is an American living in Europe, and I can always tell that because her east coast vernacular sneaks in occasionally…..”screw it”…..I’m laughing as I write this, so thank you Zulma.

The answer is yes. I’ve had several “screw it” moments, the most memorable being when I started writing my first novel in my “Shadows” series, namely “Shadows Kill.” I was ten-thousand words into the book when I said “screw it” and erased them all. It just wasn’t there. I wasn’t feeling it, and perhaps that’s the answer to your second question, how do we know. I just knew. It just didn’t feel right. I knew what I wanted to accomplish and after ten-thousand words it wasn’t there. The characters were bland, they were dissatisfied with their performance to that point, and they were whispering to me that it was all a bunch of rubbish.

So I deleted it all.

I think that decision is a personal one, but I don’t think it’s subjective. I think it is based on some very real objective factors that only we and our muses are aware of.

How was that for a nebulous answer?

SATISFACTION

From Faith: “What do you think is necessary to reach that oh-so-satisfying conclusion in a novel? Many times, I know for me it happens when a writer builds up the series of scenes that show how the hero is applying what he’s learned.”

Faith, what an interesting question. The way it’s worded I think you’re asking about satisfaction for the reader and not the writer. If that’s so, it seems to me to be completely subjective. When I was younger I wanted closure in a novel. I’m not sure that’s true now. I don’t particularly care if boy gets girl or bad guy is killed in the end. I simply want an ending that ties up all loose ends and leaves me wanting more.

I’ve said before that I read novels to be moved emotionally. I need that fix when I’m reading. I need to laugh, or cry, or be angry. If the writer has done that, and done it in a cohesive manner, then I’m pretty satisfied. But again, I’m sure others will have different answers and that’s as it should be.

One More from Eric

I wasn’t going to add any more, but Eric’s question had me laughing:

“Now I got this buddy who has fired me up to compile my Sunday Sermons into a book. There are a million things to be done -- see my problem? My experience in life tells me that I need a plan. You have done this so I ask you. Should I make up a plan that looks like a Pro Football pre-game plan (game plan) or should I make up a plan that looks like an initial public offering (IPO or Business Plan)? And of course the sister question; should it be chronological or more fluid? If you tell me to do what works best for me, I will cry because how the hell should I know.”

Eric, my friend, you are too funny. Who is that idiotic buddy who is pestering you about making a book? Oh, wait, it’s me!!!!

Follow this suggestion…..K.I.S.S…..don’t over-think it, Eric. Chronological doesn’t make sense….if you want to group them, do it maybe by theme. Make a table of contents….oh, hell, I’ll just walk you through it if you email me.

Sixty-seven down and Waiting for Next Week

It’s been fun, so let’s do it again next week. I’ll be standing on the street corner of my imagination with a pile of Mailbox flyers, handing them out for free, so wave me down if you see me and I’ll give you the latest copy.

Until then, have a great week of writing. What you are doing is unique, stamped with your own personal touch, the most rare commodity in the world, so treat it like the treasure it is.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 21 months ago from New York, New York

      As always great advice, Bill and like you yes I have totally gotten immersed in my writing in the past and am sure I will once again soon. Just is the nature of the beast, but definitely is fun and exciting when it happens. Happy Monday and thank you always for all your wisdom here!! ;)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it is the nature of the beast and damn if I don't love that beast. :) Happy Monday dear friend. Thank you!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 21 months ago

      When I am writing and I feel totally immersed and impassioned, time flies by and I just can't account for its passage. It is one of the best feelings in the world. I also believe that every single one of us who writes makes an enormous contribution to the world.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 21 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Wow, lots of questions this week....really interesting. In regards to the Dickens installments question, I personally enjoy the serials because I can read them in short amounts of time (like a lunch hour). The serials are also really popular on Amazon, usually sold at 99 cents and then bundled together, once there are 3-5 of them, and sold for like 2.99 (that gets all the people who don't want to wait for each installment).

      Hope you have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, I know the feeling and it is one of the best for sure...and thank you for mentioning the contribution we make to the world...it's important to remember.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, thanks for the information...great stuff and I didn't know that about Amazon. Very cool!

      Have a super week my friend and thanks for always visiting me on Mondays.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 21 months ago from Orange County California

      Bill

      The Entertainment field is brutal, one wonders how anyone gets to the top or the bottom of the top. It is so subjective, and relies on connections rather than talent.

      My wife who has a beautiful voice, both musically, as a Soprano, and talking tried to do voice overs about ten years ago. It was filled with competition, and that made it cheap for the clients. They could get literally hundreds of VO people to do their work for under a hundred dollars. It is a scam, but if you want something badly enough, you still try. We gave up after five years.

      Also, in the course of that time, we also met a lot of authors peddling their books at the fairs. We were trying to get the audio book of their books.

      In the VO field the big bucks, or any kind of accumulation of bucks goes to the recognized actors, and new voices don't have a chance. My wife is a people person, and good at her current field. In fact, she excels in it.

      But, she couldn't sell herself on her biggest attribute, her voice.

      This is just reality, and it is like trying to make a living on hub pages.

      Sorry for the reality check.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      Great one, bill, and I love your comment at the end; I can just see you on that street corner!

      Thanks for answering my question. I find that when I'm immersed, then I have no idea whether I've been at the computer for hours or seconds... then I get into trouble because I haven't done whatever else it was that required some attention! Do I care? Not often... No that's not entirely true but you know what I mean. I can't shake off the writing if all my ideas aren't delivered to the page, because I can't rely on my memory!

      I thought my series of 'Take a Word' would be easy... ha! I'm stuck on one now - story or poem? soft or hard? funny or serious? I have the ideas so there's no writer's block, I just can't decide on which idea! Silly isn't it? I shouldn't be complaining about too many ideas. Anyway, rambling again... I'm off to finish it, come hell or high water, so if you hear the bubbling sounds you'll know I've gone under, one way or the other!

      Have a multiplicatory marvellous Monday, bill!

      Ann :))

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 21 months ago from Iowa

      "Holy S**t Batman"!!! Bill, I thank you for your Kind and On Point words this morning! I got on a recently published Hub very early and after reading the Gobbely Gook that I had written, simply apologized to everyone who had wasted their time reading it and closed it!

      Unfortunately, I am going through the conflicting scenarios of writing for 'just the sake' of it and trying to recover some sense of purpose since forced retirement (forced as in I'm too Damn Old for anyone to hire me anymore). You have the Gift of communicating with words that make the reader want to read more. I believe your gift has inspired me and I just have to get my 'Mr. Brain Maze' to make some permanent decision about my Writing Thing???

    • louise-barraco profile image

      Louise Barraco 21 months ago from Ontario

      Awesome advice I wasn't going to write today or blog anyway but I think I might continue writing my novel that's been a year in the making. Thanks for such an amazing post

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 21 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, another great one. I especially liked the segment on "Satisfaction." Too many times I have read a novel, loved it to the next to the last chapter, and then find that everything falls apart. Sometimes it seems that the author is too hurried to bring everything to a neat and tidy conclusion, and I'm left feeling unsatisfied (like being with a lover with premature issues). One of the best books I have ever read is the Giver by Lois Lawry. What made that one so great? The ending was ambiguous.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 21 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Great questions this week. Especially loved the Dickens one, now, there's a question:)

      Have a great week Billy,

      Sally.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, your reality check isn't anything I didn't know already. It's necessary to understand this. I love people going after their dreams but I also think it's important that they understand the rules of the game. Everything you said is true.

      And still we keep trying. :)

      Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I'll be laughing about multiplicatory marvelous the rest of the day.

      I'm working on ending my short story about the train trips and I have too many endings to choose from. Quite a dilemma...so I understand what you are talking about.

      No surprise that I should understand you. :)

      Thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, I'm glad if something I said helped. I don't like to see writers feel the way you felt...we do our best...we keep pouring out the words...somewhere out there those words are meaningful. I have to believe that or there would be no point in it all.

      Head up my friend. Write with maximum effort and then move on to the next.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Louise, you are very welcome. Thanks for the kind words and good luck with that novel.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, I love it...a lover with premature issues! That is a classic line. LOL Have a great day and thanks for making my day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, something to think about for sure...for all of us.

      Thank you and Happy Monday to you.

      bill

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      William Kovacic 21 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Looking forward to doing it again next week. I always learn something here. Thanks, Bill

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 21 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Thanks, Bill, for answering my question about issuing a novel in parts. Maybe one of these days some writers and some publishers will experiment with the concept.

      I'm looking forward to Eric's book of sermons.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Bill. I always appreciate your visits.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am too, Brian. I think Eric really needs to do that. As for answering your question, it was a fine question and got me thinking. :) Just what I need, another project. LOL Thank you sir!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 21 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I certainly endorse the serial form! Didn't recall that Dickens used it, but that is a pretty good endorsement! I now write my stories on Hubpages in 20 episode groups, and publish as ebooks. Have a half-dozen at this point.

      Also now writing the Friday episodes on my blog (in lieu of a novel), that will be done same way. Readership growing. Readers seem to like the short bursts!. Great Mailbag!! ;-)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 21 months ago

      Great questions again today, Bill. I'm thinking about trying Kindles Singles when and if I ever get the time to write again. No, don't say I can make time because after the mill we get run through, all we at work want to do is go home and flop like rabbit ears. Anyway, I checked it out after someone (was it you?) recommended it and it looks like a likely site for an aspiring writer. A person can get comments and help with his/her writing on the site, as well as publish or purchase short stories, novellas and serial chapters. Sounds like Brian needs to check it out, too.

      I feel Zulma's pain of not being able to get that first chapter down. One of the reasons I haven't gotten back to my novel is because I can't decide on the first chapter either. I really go to town on the rest of the book, but that first chapter is killing me because I can't decide whether to do a prologue or make it a first chapter and move a few years forward in the next. It's historical fiction, so I already know how it's going to end.

      Have a great week my friend.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 21 months ago from london

      Another nice one, Bill, and you ended strongly and funnily with Eric. Great work!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thanks for always being here when writers need an answer. Now get busy writing about characters journey through life. Peace..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I always enjoy hearing from the voice of experience. Thanks for sharing yours. I'll keep it in mind as I have several projects that could benefit from that approach.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing all that, MizB. I wasn't going to say anything about the time predicament. I've mellowed. :) As for Kindle Singles, I don't think I've heard that name...I'll have to do some research on it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Manatita. You are always appreciated, brother.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, thank you and I have two new short story chapters for you...coming this week.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 21 months ago from Iowa

      Thanks for the "Boost Up" Bill... I will keep on Keep'n On!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      For Eric, definitely fluid and not chronological.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Allen!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish. I totally agree.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 21 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      It just occurred to me. It is approaching time for you to produce a TED talk. You have all the material.

      Nice installment.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 21 months ago from United States

      As usual...loved your advise and take on the being involved as a writer. Something written with passion vs something being written just for darn sake...so much difference :)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      All the questions this week made me smile, because they all could have come from me, and I still have more I could ask. I have too many themes running through my head I think, and I can't decide whether to combine them or keep them separate. I think I'll formulate a question.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 21 months ago from Massachusetts

      This is great Bill. Some of the questions are adding a twist of humor now. This was one of my favorite mailbag weeks. It's getting better with time. Have a great week.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Monday, Bill!

      Oh, I love your answer to Aliswell, most likely because I feel the exact same way as you do. If my writing impacts one person, then I am satisfied.

      Speaking of satisfaction ...regarding the conclusion of a novel, yes, I am speaking from the reader's perspective. It is subjective as you state for each of us are satisfied by different things when reading. I'm happy you found my question interesting. Yes, it certainly has to move us in some manner and I think that applies to all of us.

      That Eric is a hoot.

      Peace and blessings always

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 21 months ago from sunny Florida

      Love that answer, bill...if it makes a difference in one life...then do it!!!

      Keep on answering and I will keep on coming back.

      Hoping all is good with you this evening....many blessings and hugs are on the way to you this evening ps

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 21 months ago from New Jersey

      Hi, Bill!

      You answered some great ones, this week!

      I can definitely relate to Allen. Sometimes, I have a lot of writing projects going on and it's why I don't publish any, but other times I just don't write because I feel completely insignificant. Then, inspiration happens and I just go with it, publish another article, and BAM someone is inspired by what I had to say. That's why writers write, I think. Or, why they should.

      Speaking of which, you closed this installment very nicely: "Until then, have a great week of writing. What you are doing is unique, stamped with your own personal touch, the most rare commodity in the world, so treat it like the treasure it is." I love that conclusion. Beautiful. Thank you!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 21 months ago from Georgia

      Hi Bill!

      It's been awhile since I have spent any significant time on HubPages but I am back now. I just had to comment on this because I can SO relate to the first past about being in the zone. That happens to me sometimes and when it does, and I come out of "the zone" and am on such a high. The happiness stays with me for hours afterward!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike! Somehow I think YouTube is more my bag.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great difference for sure, Ruchira. Good writers recognize that fact, as you did. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll be here when you do, Dora. In the meantime, thank you for returning once again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill. This mailbag thing has a life of its own. I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

      Have a dry and peaceful week.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 21 months ago from jakarta

      I envy you. You get bombarded by such intelligent questions. I wish my wife could bombard me with intelligent questions instead of "should I wear the white one or the red one?" Ughh. I hope she is not reading this.

      I can totally identify with the feeling of being inmersed, that feeling is what pushes me to keep writing, for just a moment you are just thr with your art and everything around you disappears. Best feeling in the world. Great work, Bill!!! Keep it coming!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 21 months ago from United Kingdom

      I love this series. You know why? Not just because you provide thoughtful, insightful answer. Not just because you motivate us with your belief in us as talented writers. But because your readership provides us with new avenues to explore e.g. Kindle Singles. I'll be checking that out.

      As for your nebulous answer to my query. Nebulous is good; it's cool. I can fit it into my version of reality no problem. I was still stumbling on my 3rd attempt at Chapter 1 when I decided to take a break. I went back to read two of my favourite books, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.' It was there I found inspiration and was finally able to spit out a chapter I could work with. I think my problem was I was trying to hard to introduce my characters before their time.

      The thing that struck me about these two books is the way characters are introduced. They may appear on the first page, but the authours took their time describing their environments, the events of the time and the characters place therein. This not only tells us how their personalities are shaped but also provides a contrast when ordinary life turns less ordinary.

      So, taking a leaf from these books, (no pun intended...I'm lying, it was totally intended) I am taking my time presenting my characters.

      Lastly, (I promise) we are having a guest speaker tonight at my writers' group. The topic is historical research. I have a question that I will be posing to her, but I'd like to get your take on it. Let's say you're writing about a fictional town that's set in a real area. What's the best way to make that town seem real? Do you research the historical events of that area and allude to them while you write? Or do you state baldly that this thing happened at such and such a time and such and such a place?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, good morning and yes, Eric is a hoot. It's always nice to know someone agrees with me about impacting people with our writing...otherwise a whole lot of writers out there would give up, and we don't want that to happen, now do we? :)

      blessings my friend, now and forever

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      All is well here, PS. We really are blessed. I hope the same for you and your family. Sending hugs and blessings for you and yours, always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Kailey. I do believe that, and I believe we should treat our craft like the gift it is. If all writers did that, imagine the incredible works we would read. :) Have a great Tuesday and thank you my young, wise, passionate friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It really is a remarkable feelings, Karen. Welcome back. It's good to see you. Don't be a stranger for so long next time. Thanks for thinking of me upon your return.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suraj, you had me laughing about your wife. Too funny, my friend. Envy me? I do know this is a great job I have and I love it.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I really wish you and I could have lunch together. I would totally enjoy that meal and the company. You really are a fun and interesting person.

      As for your question, I love it, and there won't be anything nebulous about my answer to it on Monday. Until then, have a brilliant week, and I'm glad you found the inspiration for that opening chapter.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 21 months ago from United Kingdom

      That's so sweet of you to say. Fun and interesting? I've heard interesting before...just before they remember an appointment and leave quickly. I don't mind. I know I'm not run-of-the-mill, and I'm cool with that.

      Although we can't meet for lunch in the real world, we could email each other during lunch. Of course, that would mean postponing my lunch 8 hours to fall in line with your lunch time. Hmm. It seemed like a good idea in my head. :( You have a fab week too Mr. Bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, I had a student once who said something really, really dumb once, and he said "that sounded much smarter in my brain." I get it!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      I always enjoy knowing I'm not alone in this crazy little writing obsession:-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not at all, Larry. There are a lot of us crazies out there doing the same thing.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 21 months ago from south Florida

      Great questions, Bill, and great answers, of course. At this point in my life, like you, it's mostly the 'human connection' producing writing and such that may draw a reader in that continuously draws me back to the drawing board ... I mean, writing board.

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      Barb Johnson 21 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      As expected, another great mailbag! Thanks Bill! I've been pondering the blogging your novel idea for a while. You really do need to put a lot of thought into it. A couple of writers I thought had interesting questions to consider are: Story Coach, Dorit Sasson, who wrote a piece for Huffington post and Rachelle Gardner who opened up the subject on her personal website. They both offer helpful strategies for pulling it off successfully. As Eric mentioned, it really isn't a new idea, just an old idea with a new format.

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree, drbj....I can write bland stuff but then I feel like I'm just going through the motions and mailing it in, so to speak.

      Thanks for being here, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great points, Babby! It's something to think about for sure. It's not something I've ever considered but I am now. :) Thanks for your thoughts.

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      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What amazes me Bill is that the questions just seem to keep getting better and better. I could really relate to most of these, and Eric's was a good laugh. I can't believe you are up to installment 67, that's just crazy...but I look forward to No.100 (coming soon).

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Hopefully, John, #100 is right around the proverbial corner. Thank you for always being here and you are right...these questions are improving in quality with each week.

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      Aliswell 21 months ago from Iowa

      Keep Um' Coming Bill... Got the Guts to go to our Local 'Podunk' Newspaper yesterday, And pleaded my Weak Case that I could maybe perk some Interest in their Readers... If I could write some Articles. Waiting for a reply about some sample stuff I sent them??????

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      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Allen, look at you! Well done, my friend. You took an important step, one few writers will take. Even if you don't get the gig I'm excited for you...this is a huge step.

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      Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

      No need to climb a mountain to get sound answers.. just put up a question... here mailbag central.. It keeps going strong because you don't fail.. and you always deliver... bravo my friend :)

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, thank you so much. I really love this series as much as everyone else. I'm glad it shows.

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      Linda Crampton 20 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I always get some good ideas from your hubs about writing, Bill. Thanks for sharing them.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      And thank you, Alicia. I can always count on you.

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      Mary Craig 20 months ago from New York

      Another interesting installment. It's so hard to decide which is better, the questions or the answers...oh wait, they're both great. It isn't just the subject matter, but the way it is handled and the interplay between questioner and answerer (I know that's not a word, but it fits).

      I'm late this week, but here and loving it.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I do enjoy it, Mary. I hang with the cool kids for the first time in my life. :) Thanks, cool kid. You are appreciated.

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      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I love that you've turned this series into an eBook. It should do well. I'm also tickled that you've decided to offer your knowledge via YouTube tutorials (I learned of your plans from your latest blog post in case your readers are wondering). Way to go, my friend! Please let us know when they're available for viewing.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I will let everyone know as soon as I start filming. The farm keeps derailing my plans. :) Thank you dear friend.

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      Martie Coetser 20 months ago from South Africa

      I love these interesting and most relevant questions as well as your wise and profound answers, billybuc. Writing a novel is a lonely job. I often feel I'm drowning in a see of words.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Martie, that's a pretty good description that most writers can relate to. Thank you for sharing that.

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      Deb Hirt 20 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      The Life at Boomer Lake local column has made it onto Google News twice under birds. The local folks are birding the lake, and it is a beautiful sight to see so many people with a common goal. THIS nerdy kid is a well-known figure, so many folks stop to say hello, find out what I have seen that is noteworthy for the day, and others ask for a preview on what will be in next week's column. I could not be happier, just for that small part of my life, alone.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I think that is so very cool, and I predicted it, I'm happy to say. Well done, you! Bravo!

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      Lawrence Hebb 20 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Loved this one, Anne's situation happens a lot to me, and it's not just with the writing! I get so engrossed in things that the next time I look at the clock it's some unearthly hour of the morning!

      Quite a few hubs I've thought to myself, "I'll just write a few sentences" on a Saturday night and before I know it 2,000 words are on the page and it's 3am Sunday morning!

      I also liked the idea of serializing an ebook. Awesome stuff

      Lawrence

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

      Thanks Lawrence! I think most writers get in that zone where time disappears and we become almost obsessed with what we are writing....what a cool thing that is!

      bill

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