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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment Twenty-Seven

Updated on December 29, 2014

Welcome Back

I hope this finds you well-rested after a busy holiday week filled with love and friendship. It’s that time again where you ask the questions and I fumble with the answers. We have a full mailbag this week, so let’s get to it. We’ll begin with a great question from my friend Brian.

Welcome back to the Writer's Mailbag
Welcome back to the Writer's Mailbag | Source

The Second Draft

From Brian: “Have you already explained why the second draft is likely to be significantly longer than the first draft of a novel?”

I have explained it, Brian, but I’ll be happy to do it again.

Remember, these are just my thoughts, based on how I write a novel. Nothing more and nothing less.

When I write my first draft, I simply write the bare bones of the story. I don’t like to edit during this draft. I prefer free-flowing story-telling during this stage of the process. I usually end up with about ¾ of the novel written during this first draft.

The second draft, for me, is about detail. This is where I “flesh out” my characters and give them depth. This is where I paint my scenes and make them “real,” and this is where I tie up all loose ends that were left frayed and blowing in the wind earlier. When I’m all done, I usually have added another twenty or twenty-five thousand words.

Compromising Beliefs for Views

From John: “One question I have. Do you think writers should compromise their beliefs and opinions to please a majority of their readers and not alienate a certain percentage? For instance if you write about politics or religion, unless you can write from a totally independent viewpoint, you are sure to sacrifice or risk losing 50 percent of your readers. Also subjects like climate change. If you feel strongly one way or another it is difficult to write from a neutral position. Should you hold faithfully to your beliefs and just focus on attracting readers that agree with your point of view? Maybe it's best just to avoid controversial subjects completely. Happy festive season to you and Bev.”

This is such a great question, and I’m willing to bet it is an inner-battle most writers fight.

The question asks for my opinion, so that’s what you’ll get.

I don’t think a writer should ever compromise beliefs or opinions in order to gain more views and please the majority of readers. Yes, you risk the possibility of alienating readers, but at the end of the day, you’ll sleep better knowing you were true to yourself.

I’ll tell you a secret: no matter what you write about, and no matter what your viewpoint is, you will always alienate someone, so why worry about it?

The flip side of this question is this: if your goal is to increase online views, and thus make a passive income, then you probably can’t afford to alienate too many people with your viewpoints. Such is the nature of the online game, so you’ll have to choose whether to be true to your heart or sacrifice a little bit of self-esteem for a few more dollars each month.

I know which one I choose.

Don't give up before the miracle happens
Don't give up before the miracle happens | Source

Giving Up

From Mary: “What would you say to the writer who is ready to give up? How does a person maintain a positive attitude after a solid year of no victories as a writer?”

What would I say to that person?

One year? Really? You thought you would find success in a year?

Listen…..I know this is a tough gig. I know how discouraging it can be, especially if you haven’t received any pats on the head lately. I’ve been at it for three years and still have not found what I consider to be success.

What would I say? Don’t give up! Improve your writing skills. Don’t give up! Increase your networking efforts. Don’t give up! Work harder and smarter.

I find great comfort in knowing that many of the greatest writers of all-time labored in obscurity for five or more years. I also find that many writers today have very unrealistic expectations when it comes to writing. Blame it on ebooks or online writing in general. Whatever the reason for it, there is an increasing number of writers who believe they can find fame quickly, and when they don’t find that fame they can’t understand what went wrong.

Pay your dues, put in the time, and don’t give up!

NOVELLAS

From Eric: “What is the best way to attract a publisher’s attention with a novella?”

Eric, I’m going to tell you what I’ve been told by agents and publishers, and that is that novellas are a tough sell. They are not cost-effect to publish and they are not long enough for serious readers who purchase books.

So the answer to your question is that there is no best way to attract an agent or publisher with your novella. Make it the best novella you can possibly write and then good luck, and I don’t mean that in a nasty way.

In order to have a realistic shot at getting a novella published, you either need to increase your word count and make it a novel, or you need to publish it as an ebook. I’m not saying it is impossible to interest an agent or publisher in a novella, but I am saying the odds are horrible.

Go out and take photos of real people
Go out and take photos of real people | Source

Character Description

From Candace: “I’m having trouble describing the physical attributes of my main characters. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve?”

Before I answer this question, let me just say that describing a character is not as easy as it may sound. We see people every single day, but rarely are we called upon to describe someone in-depth, and I think this is a talent that requires constant practice.

Grab a camera and go shoot some pics of people on the street. Get a nice sampling of ten or fifteen different specimens, and then come home and try to describe those people. Be as specific as possible and try to capture, in words, every nook and cranny, mound and straightaway. Don’t be satisfied in saying that the woman’s hair was brown. Find a way to describe that brown. Don’t say she was slightly overweight, or very skinny; instead, use this beautiful language to find new ways to describe her weight. Was her hair the color of dishwater, or did it shimmer in the sunlight. Was she as lithe as a Nutcracker dancer or as husky as the Nutcracker backstage crew?

Practice, practice, and then practice some more.

Inside the Brain of an Agent

From Julia: “I’m frustrated. I’ve sent out hundreds of query letters, and I keep getting rejected by form letters. I don’t know what agents want, and I don’t know how to find out what they want. Can you give me some help?

Well, Julia, I feel your pain. I really do.

I’m not sure there is a good answer to your question. Hitting the jackpot with a query letter is an exact science and it is a roll of the dice with a bunch of luck mixed in. Your letter has to be read by exactly the right person at the right time, with the stars all aligned perfectly.

I would suggest that you read as many articles as possible about how to write a good query letter. Once you’ve done that, I would suggest that you read some blogs written by agents to get a feel for how they think. There is one agent I follow religiously. Her name is Janet Reid, and I have found her to be brutally honest but also very helpful. You can find her by following this link.

That’s All for This Week

Keep those great questions coming and I’ll keep answering them. In the meantime, have a great week of writing, and Happy New Year to you all. Let’s make 2015 a stupendous year of writing.

2014 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

      As always huge thank you for answering all of our questions and also wishing you a great week of writing ahead, as well as a Happy and blessed 2015, too!!

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

      Thank you Janine! Happy Monday and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      I have a favorite author and she has a series with characters I absolutely love. SHe has written about 4 novellas along the way--depicting specific events. I did read them--but honestly once I get engrossed in a book I want more. Just my opinion. I am working on second draft for my first book. It is a lot of discipline to write everyday. I make it a point to do this even if it is only 15 minutes (on days I just don't want to).

      Anyway wishing you and your family a wonderful 2015 with lots more books from you Bill.

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

      Thanks for sharing that, Carol. I have read a couple novellas and I was left with the same feeling...where's the rest of it? LOL

      Happy New Year my friend, and thank you for your loyal friendship.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Always interesting to read these question and answer sessions. I am sure they will all come in useful when I finally decide to write 'that book'.

      I hope you and yours have a terrific New Year, may it be filled with love, good heath and lots of happy times.

      Sally

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Great questions this week, Bill.

      The other day I read something very interesting about character descriptions that made sense to me. The author said it's not necessary to describe your characters' physical appearance. More important is to have the reader conjure up his/her appearance based on actions, reactions, and dialog. This really made sense to me. How many times have you known someone quite well over the phone (clients, associates, etc.) yet never met them? Then when you do, they look nothing like you imagined. You paint a picture based on voice, inflections, humor, etc. I don't think I've ever met someone that I've had a professional relationship with over the phone, who looked they way I imagined.

      Sometimes it's best to let imagination do the work.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      You always make things clearer for me. The query letter has always made me uptight! Up, useful, interesting and awesome.

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

      Thank you Sally, and I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.

      bill

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

      Interesting approach, Sha. I'll have to think about that as I contemplate my next character. Thanks for sharing that.

      Have a great week my friend. It's a normal work week for me and I am grateful for it.

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

      I'm glad to hear that, breakfastpop. Thanks for being here. Have a great week.

    • Ericdierker profile image

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

      Fantastic, what great morsels of knowledge. I learned a lot today teach!

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

      I'm glad to hear it, Eric. Thanks my friend and Happy Monday to you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you speak specifically to me on two of these issues. (1) I am also concerned about beliefs versus views and I'd rather hold back some thoughts instead of offending; but as you ask, "why worry" when we sometimes offend without even trying. (2) I learned what I did not know before about the publisher's attitude to novellas. Very helpful as always.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, so glad to see you back. You took a few days off--and a well-deserved rest it was. Thank you for your insights this week. Personally, I don't think one should write to "not offend". If you stifle your beliefs how can your words ring true? Writing has to come from the heart.

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

      Dora, I'm glad it was helpful. Don't hold back. Speak what is in your heart and let the chips fall where they will.

      Thank you and Happy New Year.

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

      Linda, I did take five days off. I haven't done that in three years, and it felt good. I'm ready to go now, so bring on 2015. Thank you and i hope you always do speak from your heart.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! Speaking of Janet Reid, I also follow her email/blog. Last week I saw a query question that sounded very familiar! I was wondering how you felt about her response? Will it change your plans on writing the series? Or will you consider formatting differently?

      Hope you have a wonderful and successful 2015!

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

      Melissa, I'm surprised you saw my query and knew it was me. LOL Thanks! Yes, I'll format differently. The responses and comments were very helpful, but I knew they would be on Janet's site. Thanks for reading that, and for being here, and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thanks Bill for continuing the series. I am thankful for Candace's question as it makes perfect sense of how to describe characters. Also I found hope in your reflection of putting in work and not giving up as success is personal and takes time. Have a great week and see you in 2015!!

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

      Thank you Michelle. Giving up is not an option, my friend, and I know there is no give up in you.

      Happy New Year, Michelle!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great mailbag! Totally agree on not compromising beliefs or opinions. I must be true to myself... or I come off a totally fake. By the way, I endorse Janet Reid recommendations, as well. Again, thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Good advice as always. I especially focused on the part about alienating readers with views on social issues. I figure some will not like you for it, but others will like you all the more for it. To Thine Own Self Be True. Voted up.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      Another interesting mailbag, Bill. TYVM and Happy New Year to you and your family. :)

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

      Thank you Bill. It's always a pleasure hearing from you. Happy New Year my friend.

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

      Catherine, there will always be someone who disagrees....that's just life. Writers need thick skins. :) Thanks for the visit and Happy New Year to you.

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

      Thank you Rachael, and Happy New Year to you and your family as well.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I, like Catherine, keyed in on the readership/alienation question. She summed it up nicely.

      I'm also interested in the agent's blog. Thanks for that tip!!!

      You are awesome-you know, just in case you weren't sure. :)

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      "I don't think a writer should ever compromise their beliefs or opinions..." that is your greatest statement! to be continued, the phone just rang :)

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Do I really have to comment on the query letter bit? Okay, I will. For all the frustrated writers out there, the rule of thumb for direct mail (which would be physical query letters) is about 1-2% response. Note it's the word "response," not "sale." Closing rates of response-to-sale vary widely (and can be ridiculously low as well). Painfully, billybuc, as you suggest, it's a numbers and time game.

      Happy Successful New Year!

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Another very useful hub. I can see why publishers aren't particularly excited about novellas, from a writer's point of view, a short novel would be a great vehicle for a writing debut. As a reader, once I get my teeth into a good story I want to savor it and make it last. About alienating readers, I say be true to yourself, when we believe in what we say, there will always be like-minded people who will gladly follow. Great Q & A session, very informative. I wish you, Bev and the family a very Happy new Year.

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

      Iris, thank you...and I wasn't sure at all. :) I hope you enjoy Janet Reid. She is a straight-shooter.

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

      Thank you Lea. I don't do much of that kind of writing anymore. Headed off in different directions and interests....but if a writer is going to tackle controversy, then it has to be from the heart, no punches held back.

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

      Heidi, if I didn't scare them off with my article, you sure as hell did with your statistics. LOL Happy New Year my friend.

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

      Thank you Jo. I'm not a big fan of novellas, mainly because I want a good book to last longer. I don't want to read a good book in two sittings. LOL Selfish I know.

      Happy New Year, Jo!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      “As husky as the Nutcracker backstage crew.” Bill, I love it. Very clever, I would have never thought of that. Some thoughts on neutrality: It is a must for a news reporter or one writing technical articles, but not for other writers, but the writer’s thoughts should be in line with the market you wish to reach. I don’t believe I would submit a pro-choice article to Catholic Weekly or a politically liberal article to American Spectator. Some of the best traffic I see on HP are the ones who stir up controversy.

      Bill, everyone wants to be known as the author of the great novel, but if a writer really wants to become known, I recommend getting a job in the publishing industry. I know several newspaper reporters who have gone on to publish books from the experience they gained learning writing skills and how to flush out sources. Very few people can become recognized writers from sitting at a computer – unless they have a greater than average control of language and a fantastic imagination, then they may succeed at sci-fi fantasy. Hope you and Bev had a great Christmas. Great article, voted up++

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      I liked one answer so much that I have included part of your answer here:

      "Your letter has to be read by exactly the right person at the right time, with the stars all aligned perfectly."-Bill Holland. Made me laugh, Bro. Very profound, though.

      Great answers as usual and I note you chucked in a bit of compromise here, as regards a question in a subtle or writers way. Good on you.

      Well, Bro, a lot of repeats I suspect, until I fly to Heidleberg on Wednesday, God's willing, so here's to a wonderful 2015, to you, Bev and all your near and dear ones. Peace.

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

      MizB, great thoughts, especially about becoming a member of the publishing industry. Thanks for sharing that, and Happy New Year to you and Mr. B.

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

      Manatita, if I made you laugh then my work is done here. :) Have a safe trip to Heidleberg and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have difficulty in describing my characters too, I like your idea about taking pictures of people, then describing every little detail about them..Happy New Year!!

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      bradmasterOCcal 2 years ago from Orange County California

      billybuc

      For a future mailbag

      Are there different rules of grammar for writing fiction versus non fiction?

      Happy New Year to you, early.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      No one wants a novella, so flesh it out to at least 70,000 words. In the novel business, more is better, as long as it's really good reading.

      Another keeper, Bill.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Thank you again Bill, another mailbag packed with gems we all need. Incidentally - I was just reading the Vic Writer's Mag where a playwright also comments on characters - here's her response - from mags, newspapers etc, cut out people who you decide look like your characters - name them and stick them above your desk. Similar to your answer! Best wishes to you and yours for 2015 - Maj

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great advice as always. Do people still write query letters? I did for my first novel, but when I joined Robin in his publishing company, writers would just turn up mostly through email. Wish you a great 2015 with lots of success. ( which you have achieved already.)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      As always great advice from a wonderful writer and where better to find that great advice. I hope that 2015 brings you many great things Billy. Lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great questions and answers. I love particularly your answer to John's question. I would find it almost undoable to write on something objectively that I felt strongly for or against. As you pointed out, there is always going to be people who are uninterested or offended by what you've written, no matter your position, even neutral. I don't like horror novels. I don't care what perspective the writer has, it is a genre I do not like and would not even pick up a book in that genre. If I read a novel I want perspective, not neutrality. If writing non-fiction there are times I want a neutral position but they are rare. I have done news writing a bit and I think there are times in that setting to write objectively. Good installment billy dear.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great questions this week Bill, especially the one about "compromising beliefs for views"..haha just joking. I love your answer because it confirms how I feel "I’ll tell you a secret: no matter what you write about, and no matter what your viewpoint is, you will always alienate someone, so why worry about it?" I have never compromised my beliefs to and I doubt I ever will. The question about "what agents want" was answered perfectly, as was Mary's about "giving up." You always inspire and encourage Bill, thanks again.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you for sharing another useful hub in this great series!

      'Compromising beliefs over views', caught my attention. As usual your answers are quite appealing, something we all can relate to.

      Wish you a very happy and prosperous new year!

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

      Thank you Ruby! I hope this little tip helps. Happy New Year my friend.

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

      Oh my, Brad, yes there are. I wonder how long an answer to give. Stay tuned for next Monday, thank you, and Happy New Year.

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

      Will, I think it's kind of sad, but true. A writer is better off making it longer. Thanks for your input and Happy New Year to you, my friend.

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

      Maj, I like that suggestions. Thanks for sharing it. I just might try that when I have forgotten my camera.

      Happy New Year my friend.

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

      Nadine, they do indeed...by the thousands monthly. I wish it were not so. :) Thank you and Happy New Year to you and Robin!

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

      Thank you, Eddy. I hope 2015 is the year we all find great success.

      Much love from Olympia

      billy

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

      Thank you, Lori, and I agree with everything you said...although I do read an occasional horror novel...maybe one per year.

      Happy New Year dear friend.

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

      Thank you John! I'm glad you agreed with my answers. I always feel better when I know other good writers agree. :) Happy New Year my friend.

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

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan. I always appreciate you stopping by. Happy New Year!

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      I am back! Regarding your statement about writers compromising on their beliefs or opinions, that is your best statement in this wonderful hub. What is right is right, what is truth in that writer's opinion is truth. The key, in my humble opinion, is the use of tact and diplomacy. I also loved your suggestion to take your camera and photograph people.

      Then writing descriptions of those people. I never would have thought of that. I am amazed at the number of installments and questions you have presented. Maybe you could put all this in another book...it would be a 'writer's bible'....You are amazing. God bless, picking up my grandson Steven to see the third installment of the Hobbit. Sparklea

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

      Lea, one of these days, I'll put that book together....good Lord willin' of course. :) Thank you and yes, tact and diplomacy are important. I hope you enjoyed the movie. Bev loved it.

      blessings and love always

      bill

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Always useful and lots to ponder on from you thank you.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Good to read your Monday offering (on Tuesday but there you go!). The quiet in between Christmas and New Year gives me some time to catch up.

      I feel that when writing about contentious issues, we as writers should put forward the balance between arguments, treat each viewpoint with respect, then voice our own opinion as just that. To me, that marks respect and still retains the freedom of speech. There are extremes when one has to stand up for one's beliefs and take the flack that comes; the courage of our convictions should always be evident.

      I hope, as usual, that all the budding writers in the world read this good, straightforward, wise advice of yours.

      Happy Tuesday evening, bill!

      Ann

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

      I'm glad to hear it was useful to you, DDE. Thank you!

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

      Ann, I like your approach to contentious issues. I must might try that. :) Seriously, Happy New Year to you, Ann. You are a gem in my life.

      bill

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for continuing to share your opinions and experiences, Bill. I always learn something new when I read one of your mailbag hubs.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      another one of your helpful bags of advice answers.. et al.. The giving up part really caught my attention.. so glad you addressed it here in mailbag 27.. Happy New Year Friend :)

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

      I'm glad to hear it, Alicia. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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

      Thank you Frank! Giving up is not an option for a true writer. We are driven.

      Happy New Year, buddy!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Some great ideas. Have a great new year.

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

      Thank you Blossom, and Happy New Year to you.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. We were away for the holidays visitng the in-laws (limited internet access) so I am trying to get caught up here. Hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year to you. Another great installment. It's great to see what this series has become.

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

      Thank you Bill. Our holidays were very nice and I hope yours were as well. Now back to business for this writer. Thank you and may 2015 be your best year yet.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I hope Brian and anyone else who was expecting overnight success sticks with it. You have to set short, intermediate, and long-term goals and just keep plugging away at it. It takes commitment and follow through.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi Bill - Another great installment with interesting questions. Truthfully, the part I liked best was reading some of the bogs from the "snarky" agent you recommended. :)

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

      Flourish, you are speaking my language. I have three years into a five year plan and I'm right on course. I don't know any other way to make it in this writing business. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      I think I put a lot of my own views into my writing, and that's never going to change.

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

      vkwok, I thin most fiction writers do that...and I think it's part of our unique "voice." Thanks for your thoughts.

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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      DESCRIPTIONS are the name of the game, from writing to describing for at a restaurant. How to you get that indecisive customer to buy something good that they have never tried, but haven't quite dared? It's by YOU, the seller, and I'll be darned if you can't interest them in your favorites. Go to a restaurant, then see for yourself, the next time. Hopefully, you'll get a good sales person. But what I try to stress, is that if a good description is given, doesn't that entice you more?

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It does indeed, Deb, and you are proving it with your Boomer Lake articles, aren't you?

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