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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Twenty-Nine

Updated on January 12, 2015

The Mailbag Is Full This Week

Thanks to one person in particular, this is a full installment this week. I’m sitting down a day after my Seattle Seahawks delivered a whoopin’ on Carolina, so I’m smiling and quite pleased with life.

In case you are new to the Mailbag, you ask the questions and I supply the answers as best I can. If I don’t know the answer I’ll either refer you to someone else or I’ll do some research before I answer. For questions asking for my opinion remember, please, that it is simply my opinion. Writing, in many ways, is a purely individual undertaking, and what is true for me may not be true for you.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started, shall we?

The Mailbag is baaaaaack!
The Mailbag is baaaaaack! | Source

Quotation Marks

From Brad: “Now, my next question is about double quotes at the end of a sentence. What is the rule of grammar for where the period is placed in that kind of sentence?”

As a general rule, the punctuation goes inside of the quotation marks, Brad. Here’s an example….

“Are you going out?” he said.

Also, use single quotation marks when there is a quote inside of a quote. If my character is speaking to someone like in the following example:

“I was talking to the clerk and he said, ‘you can’t take it without paying for it,’ and I was shocked he thought I would steal it.”

There are other rules as well, but that covers the two that we most often have to consider when writing fiction.

OUTLINING

From Iris: “You mentioned that you practice free-flow writing often. You've mentioned in other articles that you form an outline for your novels. Do you find that when you begin to flesh in your novel and your writing starts to flow that your outline changes, or do you stay within the confines of your original line of thinking?”

Great question, Iris, but I fear I may have given you the wrong impression. The only outline I do is in my head when I’m writing a novel. I usually begin with an introduction and a general idea of a story. I then determine how I want the story to end.

Knowing that I must provide a spark every 25,000 words, I then determine four main events that will happen (the sparks) that will propel the story…and then I just start writing. I should mention that I also write a biography of my main characters before I begin.

The actual writing of the book, though, is done without a formal outline. I do not recommend this for all writers, but it does work well for me.

Pinpoint your target audience and write to their level
Pinpoint your target audience and write to their level | Source

What Age Group?

From Brad again: “Seriously, my question is at what age group should your writing be directed, say in the case of an adult mystery?”

This seems like such a simplistic question at first glance, but it really is something worth considering before you sit down to write a short story or novel. Who are you writing for? What is your target audience? You need to consider that carefully before you go too far.

The other problem is that within your target audience is a wide range of learning levels. I can say I’m writing to the 25-50 age group, but within that age group is quite an array of intellectual levels. I, personally, do not believe in writing down to the lowest level, so I try to write to the middle of that intellectual grouping. Being too erudite will lose the lower three-fourths. Being too simplistic will bore the upper-fourth.

Does that make sense?

Listen to people and pay attention to their speech patterns
Listen to people and pay attention to their speech patterns | Source

VERNACULAR

Another question from Brad:

“In writing scene, Alancaster149 made a comment that using the vernacular didn't work all the time, but I thought average language was appropriate for the piece. She as mentioned in your hub doesn't have enough context for me to know whether it was appropriate to use the way people talk. When people talk, they are fast and loose with grammar, and repetition of words falls like raindrops in a heavy shower.

So maybe in a future hub, you can give the pro and con of using the vernacular.

In addition, he also suggested dropping the -ing.

I really don't understand either of these comments, as I don't know much about writing fiction. That doesn't mean that I don't want to learn more about it.”

Thanks, Brad! I might add that Brad has never written fiction. He’s a nonfiction kind of guy, but he is a curious sort who wants to learn, and I love that about him.

As for his first question, the answer is a bit tricky. When we develop characters, we want them to sound lifelike and real so yes, we want to change their speech patterns and their vernacular to distinguish one from the other. The main problem, as I see it, is when an author plays fast and loose with the language. If I’m writing a short story, I don’t want my writing to reach “street level,” but there may be times when I want one of my characters to do so.

The second part of Brad’s question refers to passive vs active voice, and it is something I am constantly aware of since I have a nasty habit of slipping into passive voice.

In a sentence with active voice, the subject of the sentence comes before the verb, and the object of the sentence come after the verb. “The dog ate his food” is an example of active voice because the dog is the subject, he comes before the verb, and the object, food, comes after the verb.

The same sentence written in passive voice would look a bit different. “The food was eaten by the dog,” is an example of passive voice. The subject and the object are the same, but in this case the object came before the verb.

I can hear some of you saying, “WHO CARES?” and I understand you to a certain extent…but….

For the most part, “passive voice” writing is wordier, and writing instructors warn against unnecessary wordiness. Also, beginning with the subject sounds more direct and dramatic. Thirdly, passive voice construction raises issues of accountability and can be confusing.

I hope that helps, Brad. I could actually write an entire article about active vs passive, and maybe I will in a few weeks.

The Ebook Rants of Bill Holland

From Nancy: “You seem to be a bit down on the ebook industry. Can you tell me why?”

Okay, you asked for it, Nancy, so boy oh boy, are you ever going to get it.

The good news is that anyone can publish a book because of the ebook industry. The bad news is that anyone can publish a book.

My concern is that the literary field is getting watered down by too much production. Think of it like Supply and Demand. If too much of a product is made, eventually the price will go down for that product. In my view, too many ebooks are being published, and that detracts from the “value” of those books.

I hold the art of writing at a very high level of admiration. It is a craft, and that means it should represent excellence. I think it’s kind of wonderful that some grandfather in Topeka can write his memoirs about life on a wheat farm, but if his writing skills are negligible, then how does that raise the bar in literature?

There were more books written last year, 2014, than ever before in the history of the world, and yet the average monetary return on each book was lower than at any time in history. In other words, because of ebooks, everyone wins and everyone loses.

More Next Week

Heck, as long as Brad keeps following this series, I’ll always have something to write about. Just kidding, Brad. I greatly appreciate the questions, from Brad and the others, so keep them coming and I’ll keep those answers coming as well.

Have a marvelous week of writing and I’ll see you down the road.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      Great questions from Brad this week and thanks always Bill for giving us all your great advice on this and more. Happy Monday and have a great week ahead, too!! :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      As always I was glued to the screen (ok, no wise remarks about that !!! I KNOW you) as I read this. These questions were 'spot on' this week and the answers I will take under advisement. I like reading these as I feel I am, in a sense, picking your brain (no, no...I know that is another one).

      The only little bit of whatever I might add is...so grandpa writers his memoirs and they do not raise the bar of excellence in literature....but his writings may give others like him perhaps the impetus to write theirs..and who knows where that may lead...

      Keep on keeping on, bill

      happi Monday Angels and many blessings are on the way.

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

      Thank you, Janine, for always being here. Happy Monday to you too.

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

      PS, you are right of course, about grandpa....and I'm all for that scenario....but....and there's always a butt, isn't there? LOL

      Have a superb week my friend, and thank you for being in my corner.

      blessings and hugs taking I-80 your way.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I don't think you'll ever run out of questions, bill, so I hope you're planning on great longevity because we're all relying on you!

      I'm worried about the standard, too. Most here on hubpages write really well but sometimes I cringe when reading a hub that's not up to scratch (and I'm not talking about those whose language is not English). Surely, it only takes a little checking, or vetting by someone else or.... , let's just say there are ways. Your standard just keeps on up to the next level; outstanding and astounding, or even..... you've got it ... Brilliant!

      The vernacular is always a tricky one. Authentic or understandable?! Try writing in pure 'Geordie' and you'll know what I mean (my favourite in case anyone takes offence!).

      Ann :))

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

      Thank you, Ann, and good morning to you. "Geordie" ????? I'm not familiar with that, but it had me laughing for some reason. :) As a teacher, you know...our job was always to raise the standard of learning. I see no reason to stop now.

      Happy Monday, Ann, and an explanation of Geordie would be appreciated.

      bill

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I never fail to learn something when I visit, today it is passive and active voice, something I never thought about before. Thank you again..

    • profile image

      missirupp 2 years ago

      I still love the advice that a spark is there around every 25,000 words. It's a good practical guide for writers.

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

      Thank you Ruby! That is my biggest downfall. I am constantly catching myself falling into passive voice.

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

      Thank you missirupp...it is a nice guideline to use to keep that story flowing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Geordie is the local dialect of Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, an industrial city on the River Tyne in North Yorkshire. My grandfather was a Tynesider and I was happy to listen to his musical lilt for hours.

      Expressions like (phonetic spelling): 'Why-aye' (Oh, yes) and 'Gannin awa' (Going away) spring to mind. My heart skips when I hear it!

      Ann

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

      Thank you, Ann! I knew I could count on you. Kind of like Brooklynese here in the States. :)

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      You're welcome!

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 2 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I saw the "Writes Mailbag" coming through Hubpages since a while. What a great way to help people with writing questions or problems! So many things to learn!

      I will come back eventually in Hubpages but I am still building my strength back and I put the energy I have on my websites first.

      Happy New Year and Happy writing, Bill!

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

      Thank you Joelle. I hope that strength returns soon. You are missed.

      Happy New Year to you, my friend, and blessings always.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good questions by Brad, Nancy and Iris, and great answers from you Bill. I bet you never expected this series to be so popular. Well done again.

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

      John, I had no clue. This was going to be, maybe, a five-part series. No way it would last this long. Just goes to show you how much I really know. :) And it continues because of people like you, so thank you.

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

      John, I had no clue. This was going to be, maybe, a five-part series. No way it would last this long. Just goes to show you how much I really know. :) And it continues because of people like you, so thank you.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      Thanks for answering all my questions.

      I knew the rule about the punctuation in the quotes, but logically it seemed that the punctuation should be at the end, after the quotes. Too many years writing software!

      Thanks for the examples and explanation of the vernacular. When I wrote that impromptu scene, I was thinking that with no other characters involved, this would be the voice of what the character was thinking. Would I use that approach for a totally different scene, I don't really know how I would see it.

      Remember, my rule is that any mistakes I may make become part of my style. lol

      As I learn more from your hubs, my style could find its way of the back roads of writing into the sphere of the popular writers. Or it could take a tangential curve as it approaches the sphere.

      Not reading fiction puts me at a disadvantage because many of the words are not used in the technical writing that I have done in the computer field. Words like, erudite, pedestrian, and vernacular are highly unlikely to be found in technical writing, unless someone is critiquing it, and even then I don't see it as appropriate.

      So, just to see if I correctly understand the examples you gave here on passive, and active voice.

      passive

      I was walking through the forest, and to my amazement I.....

      active

      The forest was all around as I walked toward the west.

      The active approach seems awkward for me.

      Thanks again.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I often find myself falling into the passive voice trap. I have to catch myself. I don't even understand how or why I do so; after all, I don't speak passively.

      Another bad habit I have is beginning a sentence with 'as', which naturally morphs into passive voice. Thankfully, the writing coach I was working with a while back has helped me recognize the pattern, so I'm more conscious of it and re-word my sentence when I see myself making that faux pas.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      First, thank you Brad for keeping Bill writing this series :)

      More great information to tuck into our little writer brains. Passive voice is just too much work for me. Though my English professor once told me when I write to just say, "put out the light" rather than "extinguish the illumination"...his words, not mine... to make his point.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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

      Brad, you got them backwards...the first is active and the second is passive. Subject before verb...active!

      Thanks for all the great questions. You single-handed kept me in business this week.

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

      It is so easy to do, Sha. My editor automatically looks for it now in my writing...it's that common with my writing. Nasty habit for sure.

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

      Mary, thank you...we can complicate things, can't we, and often it is because of our desire to appear erudite. LOL

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Well I think that the active and passive are understood by me. Although I am not totally certain. But for sure you raised my awareness of the issue.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Great job again. Your answers about grammar and the art of writing are very helpful. I liked your comments about ebooks. In traditional publishing, there was an expert to decide if the work was good and editors to fix the slip-ups. Maybe some good books slipped through the cracks, but the ones that got published were well done. I also liked your advice on dialogue. I was in a critique group, and in one person's book all the characters sounded the same. My suggestion was that I should be able to tell which character is talking even without attribution because it sounded like him. For instance, one character is always joking, another is long-winded, another is a know-it-all, etc. This is overly general, but I think it is helpful if when you do that character bio (another good idea), you include his speech patterns. Voted up and shared.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      Can you diagram the syntax for those two sentences to see where I lost it.

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, if you are still confused, then you are among many. :) Thanks for being here....remember, subject before verb...active!

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

      Catherine, you are right on my friend. You just gave some great examples and suggestions. In fact, I think you answered it better than I did. :) No fair! :)

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

      Oh my, Brad, you're asking me to diagram sentences? I haven't had that request since Sr. Mary Elizabeth demanded the same fifty years ago. I'll give it a try in the next mailbag, my friend.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Another brilliant mailbag, thank you Bill and Brad. I have to agree with you on the subject of ebooks, do people actually make money from them? I've downloaded a few to my kindle, utter rubbish. Take care now, my best always. Up and more.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you Bill for another week of great advice. I have went back and forth about the ebook idea myself and I feel there are enough of us out there still that like to hold a book and have all of our past readings displayed on a bookshelf . I will be working on character development and personal vernacular for those characters as I really can see the importance thanks to Brad's question.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      I appreciated the grammar and punctuation question this week. Hope you have a great week Billy.

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, thank you! I guess there are some who make money...it's a world that is so foreign to me that I can't imagine, but the numbers don't lie. There is money to be made in ebooks, but I think it's becoming as difficult as traditional publishing.

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

      Thank you Michelle. It's always good to see you. I still believe that quality will win out. No guarantees, and I know traditional publishing is tough, but write a compelling story and someone will take notice. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting about outlining...For fiction it is too limiting--for non fiction it gives direction to cover all that needs to be covered. The EBook dilemma. Ummmm. As it is cost effective it has brought everyone out of the woodwork to write whatever--and often no editing. I am going to try my first of 12 series this way and see what kind of response I get. some good questions today...

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      You're such a pro at answering these questions. I for one keep learning. Thanks!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

      Bill you need to go to YouTube and try to find the acceptance speech that "Ursula Le Guinn" gave when she accepted a lifetime acheivement award. Incredible lady. Jamie

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      My comments are now in the public domain, billybuc, so use them and elaborate upon them in another mailbag. I'll comment in the form of a question: How can a writer use dialogue to show his character's character?

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

      Thank you, Sally. I appreciate you stopping by, and I hope your week goes smoothly as well.

      bill

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

      Carol, I totally agree with you about outlining. If I ever write that writing book, I'm sure I'll outline that....fiction, no way!

      Good luck with that first installment. I look forward to hearing about it and seeing the results.

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

      I'm glad to hear that, Dora. As long as people get value out of these, I'll keep posting them. Thank you!

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

      Jamie, I'll do that. Thanks for the tip, and have a great week of writing.

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

      Great question, Catherine, and I thank you for it. I'll have your answer next Monday.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      I also learned it in Catholic school.

      They seem to be religious about it. lol

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Loved the mailbag today, Bill. Proper grammar is not my forte, but I still try to follow the rules as best I can. I appreciate your thorough explanations and examples.

      Have a great week!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I too loved the mailbag today! You seem to have boundless energy Bill! Happy Monday to you!

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

      True words, Brad! LOL

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

      Well thank you Melissa. I hope the frozen north is not so frozen this week. Good luck!

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

      Audrey, the day will come when that energy is not nearly so boundless, so I've got to use it while I have it. :) Thank you and Happy Monday to you.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      The "quotation mark" question is one that I used to encounter often when editing submissions from clients. Had one that consistently put all of them outside the quotes. It looks sooooo odd!

      And you know I agree on the ebook controversy. I say do both so you cover all your format bases... and audiences.

      Happy Monday!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Your brief passive v. active was most useful. Look forward to a full article on the subject. Thanks, again, for sharing all you do!! ;-)

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

      Happy Monday, Heidi, and it should come as no surprise that I agree with you on the ebooks. What a shocker, eh?

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

      I'm glad it helped, Bill. Now hopefully I'll remember to post that article on active vs passive. :) Thank you!

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      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Thumbs up and useful! You are the most helpful mentor on the planet. I really enjoy this series.

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

      Thank you Marlene. The response has been unbelievable and I am very grateful.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      Very good questions and answers.

      Really interesting statistics on the ebooks explosion. I never really considered the varying qualities of the books and the saturation and resulting devaluation. Fair and thought invoking point.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Another great edition Bill. Always look forward to the questions and your answers. Keep them coming and have a great week.

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

      Thank you Anna. It was interesting to read that. I guess like anything else, it is always possible to have too much of a good thing.

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

      Thank you, Bill. I will indeed keep them coming and I definitely will have a good week. You do the same.

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, believe it or not, when I awoke this morning I thought to myself "there will be a Writer's Mailbag in my inbox this morning," and it was a happy thought.

      I promise (no fingers crossed) to someday put all of your good advice to use.

      In the meantime--just wondering about E-books. Are they self-published or do they go through the same process as books produced at a brick-and-mortar publishing house? If there is no editorial process, then that is even one more (and I believe more significant) reason to dislike E-books.

      I feel it is the same with on-line journalism. Anyone can write a blog or harangue over the latest passion. But, are the facts checked? Are there any facts at all, or is there just biased opinion? I mourn the decline of daily newspaper where (I hope) journalistic integrity still exists.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for another helpful edition in your Writer's Mailbag series, Bill. I hope the week ahead is a great one for you.

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

      Linda, as for your question...ebooks are almost always self-published. Does that mean they are edited or not edited? It's up to the author. Some edit their books; many, I am guessing, do not. Great analogy about online journalism, by the way, and I agree with you.

      Thank you! I'm going to borrow your question for next week's mailbag if you don't mind.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You always have something for writers to learn from I admire the great effort you put into your work.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great questions and equally good answers!

      Thanks for some clarifications in punctuation marks as well.

      Another helpful installment! Thanks again!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Tricky one, the e-book thing. Some of us won't make it past traditional Publishers, and so it offers us a chance. Again, some of us need to tear up a few pages, like Bradbury did, and start again.

      Opportunity and quality. Perhaps they should go together. Who knows? Great Hub, Bro.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great questions and answers. E-books are being churned out in great numbers and as you say it will definitely affect the price.

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

      Thank you Alicia and I hope the same for you.

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

      Thank you, DDE, and I admire your work as well.

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

      ChitrangadaSharan, you are very welcome. I appreciate you taking the time to read my work.

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

      Manatita, you are right...it is a tricky call, and I understand the advantage of ebooks for many....thanks for your thoughts, my friend.

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

      Vellur, there is no denying the laws of supply and demand. Hopefully things will balance out in the near future. Thank you!

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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      another worth the stamps mailbag Billybuc...

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

      Thanks Frank. We sell those stamps in bulk. :)

    • amazmerizing profile image

      amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

      Hello... great hub obviously! Love all of the tips... and I feel the same about ebooks... EXACTLY! I like how you break everything down so as to make sense of it... writing is a huge topic. I especially liked the tips on writing for various age groups... i.e. target audience! Thanks so much! Ciao... ;)

    • profile image

      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Hi, Bill! When looking at your titles, they appear to be both a title and subtitle, longer than I knew was possible for the search bots. And wondering, whether the rules have changed and whether I should expand on some of my articles so the essence of the whole article captured to improve readership? Is this a legitimate question?

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

      Thank you amazmerizing. I have a love/hate relationship with ebooks...leaning towards hate. LOL I appreciate you being here.

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

      It is a legitimate question, Diva, but right now I don't have a legitimate answer. LOL I will have by Monday's mailbag, though. Thank you!

    • GAES STEM profile image

      Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies 2 years ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

      Brad was certainly full of questions. He could certainly keep you going for a good long time. Glad you're still getting questions coming in, Bill. Looks like you struck pay dirt on this series!

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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Hey Bill. That was me signed in from another account. :)

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

      Gaes...Flourish....as long as Brad keeps reading and asking, this series will go on living. :) Thanks for all the visits today.

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

      What are you trying to do, Flourish, confuse this old man? :)

    • GAES STEM profile image

      Governor's Academy for Engineering Studies 2 years ago from Chesterfield, Virginia

      Just getting confused myself. Sigh.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand, Flourish! :)

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      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing more about writing, Bill!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always my pleasure, vkwok. Thank you!

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      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Whew, I am finally catching up! Thanks so much for answering my question, Bill. I remember once that you mentioned that "spark" every 25,000. I don't know why but I'm really please to hear that you don't do a formal outline.

      You mentioned in answering Nancy's question about ebooks that writing is a craft. I suppose that's why I was so pleased with your answer to my question. I agree, and it seems fitting to have a vision but not to approach writing a book in a formulaic way.

      I love being around people who love to write!

      Sorry for my delay in reading your installment; I was writing. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cristen, apologies are never necessary. I just appreciate you taking time for snowshoeing to visit me. :) Sorry about your lost phone by the way. I, too, love to spend time with writers, and that's why I remain at HP. So thank you!

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I like this series, because there is always something here for everyone.

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

      That's my hope, Deb, so thank you for saying that. I like it too. :)

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