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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Thirty-Three

Updated on February 9, 2015

Here We Go Again

Instead of the questions slowing down in number they are actually increasing, and that means this series continues to live far beyond my expectations. Good news for us all!

You know how this works by now, but I’ll repeat it for the newcomers. You ask questions about writing in the comment section below, and I’ll answer them the following Monday in the new installment of the Mailbag. It just couldn’t be any easier, could it?

Let’s get started with a question about SEO and keywords.

Welcome to the Mailbag
Welcome to the Mailbag | Source

Seo Articles

From MizB: “It's the SEO friendly articles that confuse me. What are some of the subjects of interest that people read?”

Well MizB, you’ve come to the right place.

The Top Five SEO Google search topics are as follows:

  • Technology (iPhones, Androids, iPads, etc.
  • World Events
  • Celebrities (no shocker here)
  • Sports and National Events (again, no shocker about sports)
  • Regional news results

Now, those are rather broad brush strokes. Getting down to the basics, you are safe writing about how to make money, how to save money, newest trends, how to articles, crafts, how to repair items….these topics never go out of style and are always near the top of the search engine search lists.

Or you can be like me and not give a damn about it all.

Travel articles are always popular
Travel articles are always popular | Source

Number of Protagonists

From Jo: “Okay, my question for you is...when you formulate your characters in any given story. Could a person have up to three protagonists?

The reason I ask, is if the three characters are part of a "gang" in a story.

And I wish to build on each of the character separately, yet convey that all three are equally disturbing when together. Would this make sense? And I don't want to mess with the flow.”

Great question, Jo, and it makes perfect sense. I have read a number of excellent novels that had more than one protagonist, so I know it can be done by a gifted writer. Be forewarned, though, that the more protagonists you have the harder your job will be as a writer. Building character profiles for three bad guys is three times harder than for one (how’s that for logical?), and teaming them together into a disturbing entity, while at the same time giving them individuality, is not an easy task….but it can be, and has been, done in the past, so I know you can do it.

Talking animals can have great appeal to readers of all ages
Talking animals can have great appeal to readers of all ages | Source

Animal Stories

From PS: “How can I write a story about animals that will have an appeal to a wide audience? It is quite factual actually. Would having the ‘animals’ speak make it unappealing to our age group do you think?”

PS, if it was good enough for George Orwell when he wrote “Animal Farm,” then it’s good enough for you.

Do I think having animals speak will make it unappealing to our age group? Not at all! A while back I wrote several short stories called “The Chicken Chronicles,” and in those stories my chickens talked. Those stories were loved by quite a few of my followers, so I know there are many out there who could care less if the animals are doing the talking.

The bottom line is this: if it is good writing, people will respond favorably. Quite frankly, I would much rather listen to my chickens talk than some people I know. Just sayin’

Flash Fiction

From Maria: “What are the requirements for flash fiction? I’m a little confused about the length.”

Well you aren’t the only one who is confused, Maria. Seriously, it seems to depend on the site you are writing for, or the contest you are entering. I’ve seen flash fiction requirements of no more than 350 words. I’ve seen other requirements of no more than one-thousand.

Flash fiction began to gain popularity in the 1990s, and it has really picked up steam in the past few years….but seriously, there was a thing called “Aesop’s Fables” written a few years before that, and to my way of thinking, that was flash fiction.

Whatever you choose to call it, and whatever the word requirements are, it is not as easy to do as it may sound. Writing a complete story in so few words is very difficult. Let me alter that last statement a bit: writing a good, complete story in so few words is very difficult.

My last novel was 130,000 words
My last novel was 130,000 words | Source

Length of a Novel

From Patrick: “How long should a novel be? Are there certain requirements?”

This is a tough question to answer. Generally speaking, and please pay close attention to the word “generally,” a novel is considered a work of fiction between 60,000-100,000 words. Less than that and you have a novella; more than that and you have an epic.

The industry average seems to be around 75,000. Most publishers and agents won’t touch something longer than 120,000 words unless it is written by an established and best-selling author. I suspect this has more to do with printing costs than it does quality of work.

So the real answer is there is no answer. I always hesitate to answer this question when I hear it, because I shudder to think that writers would alter their story to meet some word requirement. Tell your story. Tell it as well as you possibly can. If it’s a great story, and the stars are perfectly aligned, then you’ll find an agent or publisher to take it on.

Breaking the Rules

From Audra: “How does a writer know when to break grammatical rules?”

This is a really great question and I’m not sure I can give you a really great answer. There are no rules about breaking rules when writing. There are no guidelines. A writer knows when to break a rule because it feels right to the flow of the story.

I was reading a novel by Lawrence Block the other day, and the novel was progressing in a normal manner, and the writer’s voice and style hadn’t changed at all, when suddenly, halfway through Chapter Nineteen, Block had his character start telling the story in free-flow, rambling verse. It was almost shocking to read it, but in the context of the story, and at that specific moment, it was the right thing to do. This rambling, punctuation-free paragraph perfectly reflected the frustration that the main character was feeling at the time. It was like someone bringing a machine gun to a paint-ball competition, but it worked.

Sometimes we just need to stop writing and rest our brains
Sometimes we just need to stop writing and rest our brains | Source

Walking Away

From Janet: “Have you ever hit a mental roadblock and you just couldn’t write another word? What do you do when that happens?”

The timing for this question is perfect because, for the first time in my writing career, it happened to me last week.

I suspect it happened because of a number of factors. Over the past three years I’ve written 940 articles for HubPages and three novels. I sensed I was growing weary. The creativity was still there but I was just brain-tired. The weather sucked and I had no desire to continue. What did I do?

I gave myself permission to walk away from it all and take a much-needed rest. I took care of my customers because, after all, I need the money, but the creative writing was put on hold for three days. I didn’t even try to write an article. I did no editing on my latest novel. I just rested my brain and lo and behold, it worked. By Friday I was feeling fine again, and as this new week begins I am rested, fresh and eager to take on new projects.

Give yourself permission to rest when it is needed.

More Next Week, Good Lord Willin and the Creek Don’t Rise

Around here, there is a very real possibility of that creek rising with all the rain we’ve been getting, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to soldier through it and do another Mailbag, so I’ll see you all next week. Thanks for the great questions, and I look forward to more of them during the week.

Have a great week of writing!

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I'm laughing. That's the key, of course, to make it blatantly obvious. Otherwise people just think you are a horrible writer. LOL Thank you and Happy Weekend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I found the question about breaking the grammar rules very interesting. I have often wondered that too and find myself sometimes breaking them for fun, but trying to make the errors blatantly obvious. Interesting hub Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, my problem is turning off those juices so I can enjoy the rest of life. LOL Thank you my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      More wonderful topics as always. It is always good to keep those creative juices flowing, which we must all strive for from time to time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear it, vkwok. Thank you!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I learn something new with every hub! Thanks!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, good to have you back with a vengeance. Thank you! The rest did the trick. My fingers are flying over the keys and the creativity is chomping at the bit. Look out, world!!!!

      Sleep well my friend.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Really good questions and, of course, brilliant answers this week.

      As far as breaking the rules, as long as the writing's wonderful, I couldn't care less either - and that's from someone who's a stickler for rules generally! What a funny old business writing is.

      Even the greats need some rest then, bill?! I'm not surprised, though, that you were word-weary. It must take a load of energy to produce your output regularly. Got to give yourself a treat once in a while!

      My excuse for 3 days off is the grandchildren. Back with a vengeance now though; that's when I've had a good, long sleep!

      Have a great Wednesday pm, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, I think it all depends on the source you use for information. Most sources I've read are a bit cloudy when it comes to a definition of flash fiction, but I'm willing to go with yours. :) Thanks, buddy.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      another valuable installment my mailbag friend.. I particularly enjoyed the flash fiction reply .. just one thing maybe im wrong but I thought “Aesop’s Fables " were shorts told by slaves.. that have morals to the story and flash was just dramatic shorts.. if im wrong then wow.. I need to keep reading these mailbags.. keep them up my friend

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will do, Lea, when that time comes...and I have no idea when it will be. Hopefully some agent will fall in love with it.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yes, DO keep me posted, and I want to be first in line to purchase the finished product. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Lea. I will seek an agent for "Shadows Kill" as soon as the final edits are made to it. It should be an interesting journey for sure, and I'll keep you posted as I take that journey. I appreciate you more than you know.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Hello dear friend Billy Buc, so glad you took a much needed break. Voted up, useful and awesome...I think it is wonderful you are allowing questions, you have no idea what a great help they are, even if some questions are repeated...because it is so easy to forget important information - at least in my case. Sometimes my brain feels just FRIED when I read or write.

      I assume you are seeking an agent for Shadows Kill...BILL: 17 PAGES LEFT TO GO! I am on the edge of my seat. THIS is definitely your genre! I will finish it today...then give me a day or two to recover! I will be in touch this week. Again I thank you so much for allowing me to read this...I have talked so much about it to my sister that SHE wants to read it! I told her, "I cannot put it down and I can't wait to go back to it!"

      Anyway, thank you for this very informational and helpful hub...I always look forward to seeing them and reading them. God bless, Sparklea :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that's fantastic, Dora. I'm glad someone covered your question. Thank you for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I love this series too.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Somebody asked one of my questions this week. Thanks for all the answers.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and useful edition of the Writer's Mailbag, as always, Bill. It's a great series!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Kailey. I'm glad these helped. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      These questions not only worked perfectly for things going on in your life, but for my own questions, too. I laughed after reading question 7 since I know you were having some difficulty with that, recently! As was I! Personally, I found the first question the most helpful. I was confused about that. So, thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Faith. I just needed a break. The weather wasn't helping my state of mind one bit. Now the sun has returned and with it my desire to write once again.

      have a superb week, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Aesta...I do appreciate your loyalty.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will, Manatita, and thanks for the hub as reference.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful Monday mailbag once again! Wow, this could go on forever at this rate.

      I thought you went missing for a few days last week. I kept clicking on your profile and no new hub! Good for you for taking a break. It didn't take long for your brain cells to become rejuvenated to our benefit.

      Blessings always

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I can only thank God we have someone writing like you do here in HP. your responses are succinct. I will definitely read all the hubs in the series.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      You definitely can do this Bro, like you can poems and sometimes do as couplets in your prose. So exquisite! Flash Fictions are like mini short stories. Start strong, maintain momentum with imagery or flow (pace).

      You will have a plot but go quickly through it while giving it life also. Finish strong and in a way that makes sense and summarises your story. I did this with about 600 words, then added biblical verses not only to please the Hub monitors but to add beauty. So necessary! So it finishes with about 750 words. See what you think: https://hubpages.com/literature/Free-at-Last-A-Sto...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, oddly I have never tried flash fiction, but I think I will soon. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Ruby. This is just how I was raised, my friend. It comes naturally thanks to my parents.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Great response to nice questions, Bill. I quite like flash fiction, but then I grew up telling stories. Great fun. Peace.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I'm always interested in your answers to writer's questions. You give so freely of your time. Thank you...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Jo. If they are getting better it's only because the questions are improving. I'm just along for the ride.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I read it and love it. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you would think I would know that by now, but somehow I forgot. :) I never claimed to be bright.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, you!...Writers block? Go on... pull the other one. :)

      Thanks for another phenomenal mailbag, with some very useful Q&A, this just keep getting better.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Animal stories are a challenge if you try to write from the viewpoint of the animal, but they're fun to write. I just published one.

      Good stuff as always, Bill!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      As always, such good advice. I find that taking breaks is an excellent solution to avoiding brain block.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Jen. I worked in the garden and went for a long drive..that's all it took. When in doubt, walk away and regroup.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Melissa. It actually wasn't writer's block. I had a ton of ideas to write about...I just didn't want to write. LOL Have a great week and stay warm.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I was SHOCKED to read that you finally had your first case of the dreaded "Writers Block". I'm very happy to hear that it cleared up quickly and it sounds like you are back to full speed ahead. I've heard it happens to even the best writers, and now I have proof!

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Frankly I don't know how you don't get burned out more often. Sometimes some fresh air and a walk is all that's needed to find that spark. Being out in nature helps me to refocus.

      I'm glad you got your groove back. Do you need a cheering squad? You've got hundreds of them here. Go Bill, go! You're on the right track, just stick to the plan.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Another week when the comments are fascinating...

      Another was to "take a break" is to several projects available, and move between them. Or, just physically take a walk. I also think it is the time of year. I've had several "pause" periods on recent weeks!

      Thanks for another good mailbag of questions and answers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All great points, Brian, and yes, I suspect she meant antagonists....and I'm glad you caught it because it slipped right by me. :)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All excellent answers.

      I wonder if Jo's question about "protagonists" (good guys, heroes) was really about "antagonists" (bad guys, villains), since ze used words like "gang" and "disturbing"? Anyway, there can be more than one of either or both. Examples: movie FARGO (pair of villains); BONNIE AND CLYDE (pair of villains or anti-heroes); THREE MUSKATEERS (three heroes); movie MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (seven heroes).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, you really get flack about your crafting articles? I'm sorry to hear that. i think they are well-written, and I don't have a crafty bone in my body.

      Oh well, if you are annoying some writers you must be doing something right.

      Carry on my friend, and Happy Monday to you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Catherine. That one just came to me in a "flash." :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brad, persistence is an admirable quality. I'll have to start working on the Shadow. As of yet, none exists.

      As for you practicing your writing here, feel free to continue. I love it, quite frankly, which might tell you how lonely I am during the day. LOL I'm kidding. I do enjoy reading your thoughts, so carry on.

      Just stay away from future tests in Greek. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They really are, Eric, so I choose not to read them. :) Thanks my friend.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      Glad to find you rested this Monday. Also glad to know that I am pretty safe writing my crafting articles even if they come under so much flack by top notch writers here:) I really can't wait though - to really get my teeth into some 'proper' writing as they say around here.

      The chooks are looking good.

      Useful one as always Billy, thank you.

      Sally

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Very good point about Aesop's Fables being he first flash fiction. Your advice to writers is excellent as always. Voted up.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      John Wayne, She wore a yellow ribbon 1952

      Old movies on TV

      As for writer's block, I compare it to blanking out on final exams. I remember taking a chemistry exam in college. I thought that I had studied for the exam, and it was a five detailed question test, and you had to answer four of them.

      I looked at the first question, and I thought I was taking an exam in Greek. Well, I only had to answer four questions, so onto the next question. This one was probably in French, I don't understand French or Greek. The next three questions were in other foreign languages, I am guessing because reading them brought no information to my brain.

      It was a three hour exam, and I sat for half of that time looking for the Rosetta stone. Then as if a fog was clearing, I started to see the first question actually looking like it was written in English. Like the rays of the Sun warming you up as you lie on the sand at the beach, my brain had that same energy. I answered that question, and moved onto the next one, only to find that the Sun had not peered through that part of the beach, and the sand was cold. Sitting and staring at that question for a very uncomfortable time, and then I felt the Sun starting to shine and once again I answered the question. This sequence happened two more times, and then I turned in my test paper and went home.

      This must have been a form of writer's block, but I didn't have days, weeks or any extended period of time to break it. I truly don't know how I did it.

      I always like to take the opportunity to try my writing when I comment on your hubs. It just happens, I don't force it.

      BTW

      I liked the picture of Tobias here, and I would have also like to have seen the Shadow.

      Sorry, but I am persistent by nature.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, PS. I know you can do it. It's a great angle to write from, and when done well is quite effective.

      blessings boomeranging their way back to you

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissae, I totally agree with you. There is a lot more freedom in writing fiction, and some characters need to break the grammar rules in their speech....and sentence fragments can be very useful.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, the bottom line is you are the writer, and if you need three then you will make it work....nobody else can make that decision for you. So carry on and thank you for the question.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I've seen it done and done effectively, but it takes one hell of a writer to pull it off....you'll notice I don't even try. LOL Thank you...I read a hub recently where the writer continually said "I were".....I was screaming at the computer by the time I finished her article. I'm surprised it hasn't been chosen for HOTD. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'll answer your question now and also next Monday. It is highly recommended that you seek out an agent and let them find a publisher for you. That's not to say it is impossible to do it the other way, but your odds greatly increase by sending queries to agents rather than publishers. :

      But then obviously, you knew that. :)

      Have a superb Monday, my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, it's a general guideline. Don't panic. I have always believed that good writing tosses away rules, so keep doing what you are doing and don't you dare end your story until it is ready to end.

      Keep on keeping on, DJ, and thank you.

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I especially like the part about proper grammar. Try writing a piece including political speeches, Yikes are they bad.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks, Bill. And I read those stories...love those Chicks.

      So now I know....inquiring minds and all....so I will see what I can do. Love reading these...gives me lots of food to toss around in my headbone.

      Angels are winging their way to you once again ps

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      As an English teacher (that would make me the expert right?), I tell my students that some rules like writing sentence fragments are acceptable if done for emphasis. Also, if a character speaks with bad grammar, then by all means, have him do so in dialogue. But, most rules should not be broken in non-fiction....even the little ones like pronoun/verb agreement. That one is a biggie for me. Easily misspelled words? Nope. Learn to spell them or catch them in revision and editing. Love the article by the way.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      Hello Bill!

      Thank you so much for answering my question! :-) Over the weekend I began to give life to my three protagonists. Two of them are brothers who have abandonment issues. And separately they have a dark side and the inability to handle the abandonment is how they became involved with the gang member who has abuse issues by his father. And that with being forced to live on the streets since 11 yrs old. The gang members took him in and now the third of the group is the leader who draws in the two brothers. It really is working and flowing better than I could of hoped for! Appreciate you, as I feel the three of the gang will ultimately find that it is better to re learn their behaviors instead of allowing the loss and feelings of being unwanted eat away at them. You are the best!

      Shared and up +++

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting about breaking grammar rules. I see it all the time and often makes for more interesting read. However when there are misspellings and flagrant use of was or were that doesn't work. Three protagonists...that is a lot and my feeling is that you really cannot get adequately into three different heads. And to me I want to love the hero of the story and feel good and bad when he or she does.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I have a question for you, but before I get to that I'd like to comment on the grammar question, if you don't mind. Breaking the rules is common when writing fiction, especially in dialog. However, non-fiction should adhere to the rules. An exception would be when quoting someone who is not grammatically correct in their statement.

      Now for my question: would you recommend an author who wants to go the traditional publishing route find an agent to do the legwork and marketing for him/her? Or should they query publishers directly? The reason I ask is I have a client whose novel I'll be editing. She asked me about publishers. I suggested she research agents who are accepting submissions in her genre and checkout their guidelines. I want to make sure I gave her sound advice. When I finish my novel, I will seek agents rather than publishers. What are your thoughts?

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Mailbag Monday is here already?!

      Bill, I must have the attentions span of a gnat.

      A novel should be no more than 120 thousand words??!!

      Did I miss a hint along the way, or possibly a couple of hints?

      Jesus, Joseph and Mary!! Maybe I should just slap a "The End",

      on it and be done.

      "They all lived together happily ever after.

      Or, he killed them all, then turned the gun on himself."

      Great information, as always, my friend.

      "She walked off into the sunset....."

      "He set his sails and watched her until his eyes were crossed. Ta Da!

      "And, then she awoke.......!"

      No?

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pop, in the end, the writer is the one who gets to make that decision. It is, after all, their name on that document. :) Good decision, my friend, and thank you.

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      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I break the rules when I feel like it and it feels right. Once again, billy, up , useful, interesting and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'll be glad to answer that question next MOnday in the mailbag....and we have tons of rain going on here. Despite it all, have a great day.

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      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Here it is Monday. Where did the weekend go? Anyway, as always the mailbag is full of good mail. I did chuckle though as you answered one particular question I've been wondering about and that is the length of a novel. I think you may have answered it once before but it was certainly timely for me right now.

      I guess my next question is can I post my entire novel here on HP, chapter by chapter, or should I cut it off at some point. Hey, is that a mailbag question?

      Voted all the way across. Have a great day. We've got tons of snow going on here, hope you're not getting too wet.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, isn't it amazing that the world didn't come to an end when we decided to take a break? LOL I'm glad I'm back, glad you are back, and Happy Monday to you. Thank you, my friend.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I love that last piece of advice and know you are preaching to the choir about walking away when you need to as I, too, was feeling a bit this way recently and like you know when I did indeed walk away for a bit, I got all these ideas and couldn't stop myself from needing to write and keep writing. Happy Monday, my friend and loving that series is doing so well. Great job!! :)