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The Writer's Mailbag: Installment One-Hundred and Two

Updated on June 13, 2016

Thank You so Much, My Friends

You know, it really is pretty remarkable. I’ve been doing this series for over one-hundred weeks and if my math is correct, we are very close to two years…and there are many of you who have read and commented on every single one of these, and I find that unbelievable.

Thank you is not enough, but it’s all I have. If you’re ever in Olympia, Washington, I expect you to stop by our little urban farm and I’ll fix you lunch.

Enough of the mushy stuff. Let’s get to it!

YOUNG WRITERS

From Faith: “Hey, being you were a school teacher, what can you offer to help prepare young minds to appreciate writing, now and for the rest of their lives?”

Faith, that’s a question I’ve answered at many parent/teacher conferences.

My first word of advice is to read. Kids need to read to appreciate writing. I don’t care if they read nothing but comic books; they need to read.

My second piece of advice is that writing should be fun. Never force a child to write. Good writing is a passion that wells from the depths of a writer’s soul, and that can’t be coerced. If you are a parent, expose your child to beautiful writing, and I’m not talking about Shakespeare or Browning….instead, show them the wonders of Dr. Seuss…..move them up the ladder to Silverstein…..the classics are all well and good, but a young child can never appreciate them.

Thirdly, take a would-be writer out in nature and let them learn to listen to their senses…..what does that mountain look like? What does that spring feel like? What do those flowers smell like? Writing is a sharing of senses and emotions.

Fourth, allow your child to toss away all the rules and simply write. They will be taught grammar in school, but grammar is just a minor part of writing. I’m a huge believer in free-form writing. Give that kid a pen and turn them loose with no rules to bind them.

And I’ve rambled on enough. Thanks for the question, Faith!

Welcome to the Mail Room!
Welcome to the Mail Room! | Source

Searching for Helpful Writing Websites

From Tarunponders: “Another question which emerges out of the above which probably you can answer in 102 is - Are their websites where one can get his writing skills tested/assessed by experts. I am sure HP is also a great place to hone up ones skills as one is surrounded by literary prowess all around but are their others?”

Tarunponders, there are many such websites. Just about any writer forum will provide expert feedback as long as you are willing to do the same for the other writers in that forum. Here are a few:

http://www.writingforums.com/

http://www.writersbeat.com/

http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/

Just do a Google search for “writers forum” and you’ll find more….or….start your own, in your hometown, or online….it’s easy to do and you might prefer having some say in the way your forum is operated.

These three writers have broken many writing rules and will continue to do so.
These three writers have broken many writing rules and will continue to do so. | Source

Giving Up

From Beth: “Why do you suppose so many would-be writers throw in the towel and give up?”

I don’t even know where to start with this question, Beth. It seems to me the reasons for quitting are as numerous as the number of would-be writers out there.

Discouragement? Lack of support? Not being realistic in goals? Not really understanding what it takes to be a writer? Not having the skill to be a writer? A changing literary scene and atmosphere?Not having the time to be a writer? Low self-esteem? No marketing skills? All of these are valid reasons and I’m sure there are some reading this right now who are nodding their heads because one of those reasons applies to them.

I used to think it was sad that people gave up….now I just figure it’s the natural order of things, like Darwinism for writers!

BROKEN RULES

From AK: “I was reading a novel the other day, and the writer shattered just about every grammatical rule I’ve ever learned, but it was so effective I couldn’t put the book down. What do you say about that? Deliberately breaking rules?”

I say if you are writing fiction then you’re nutso if you don’t break a few rules.

How’s that for clear?

Listen, answer this question: what is the opposite of creativity?

If you answered structure then you win an imaginary stuffed animal and thanks for playing our game. LOL

And structure comes from a set of rules.

Ergo, the exact opposite of creativity is a set of established rules.

Creative writers….writers of novels and short stories and poetry….they should break the rules. Do I think all writers should go out there and deliberately misspell every word? Of course not, but I do think the English language gives us wonderful tools to experiment with so we can find out own voice and rhythm, and as writers we would be foolish not to use those tools.

Comprehend?

At one time or another, during my teaching career, I taught non-fiction writing and creative writing. I would grade grammar for the non-fiction. I would never grade grammar for fiction. They are two different ponies in parallel races and that, my friends, was a metaphor.

Vulgar language for effect and realism in this novel
Vulgar language for effect and realism in this novel | Source

Vulgar Language

From Betsy: “What do you think of the use of vulgar language in writing? Is it really necessary for some writers to use cuss words in every sentence? It seems to me that some writers use vulgar language for its shock value or because they are trying to mask the fact that they really aren’t that good at writing.”

Well Betsy, let nobody ever tell you that you don’t say what you mean. LOL

Writers of fiction are imitators and chroniclers of real life. I can’t get through a day without hearing someone cuss. It’s not that I hang out with vulgar people. I can go to the grocery store and I’ll hear someone cuss. I can walk down the street and I’ll hear ten cuss words.

So if I’m writing a novel, it seems to me to be a bit unrealistic if none of my characters say cuss words. I guess it’s possible, but it’s highly unlikely….unless you’re writing a science fiction about visitors from another planet who don’t know shit about shit.

And I agree with you, Betsy, that some writers use it too often. I don’t know their motivation in doing so, but there are times when it is overdone for sure, like watching a comic doing stand-up who says the “f” word every other word….what’s the point?

I’m no delicate flower. I can cuss like a sailor when the situation calls for it, but I only use cuss words in dialogue when I think it fits the character or is needed for emphasis, and I think that’s a decent guide for any writer to use.

And We Are Done for Another Week

Two more to go and we’ll have been doing this for two solid years. Like I said earlier, pretty remarkable!

I’m still working to perfect my podcasting talents.

And the newest “Billy the Kid Chronicles,” never before seen on HP, will be published this week….the title is “Home is a Dangerous Place” and it will be available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Thanks to all and have a superb week!

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Very good advice for writers. I would just add to write with passion. When you have passion on any topic, that will come through in your writing and it will get the attention. Part of my writing is to influence public opinion. I want to make a difference and share my knowledge and wisdom.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you again for your valuable input into helping me become better at this craft.

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 10 months ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      I love the line "I used to think it was sad that people gave up….now I just figure it’s the natural order of things, like Darwinism for writers!" Funny, but depressing!

      I like what you said about "vulgar language." It does seem strange not to have it come up at some point. I think it's fine if some writers prefer not to use it, but I don't know why some are so against others using it.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 10 months ago from New York, New York

      You know I would so take you up on your lunch offer if we lived closer, but still always enjoy your advice here on my Monday mornings and will have to settle for that at the very least. Happy Monday, Bill and wishing you a lovely week ahead now!! :)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great addition Jackclee...thank you for mentioning that.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's really my pleasure, Eric, but thank you for your kind words.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, good morning and thanks for your thoughts. Hey, we're renting a room if you're interested. We could have some great late-night conversation. :)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Any old time for that lunch, Janine. Heck, I'll even buy for your little girls. LOL Happy Monday my friend.

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 10 months ago from jakarta

      Your advices continues to inspire. I love the idea of breaking the rules when writing, although I wonder if Hubpages will condone? Keep up the great work you are doing for the writer's community. There are times when I don't write on Hubpages for months all together, and I must say that you are the reason I keep coming back and start writing again. Thank you for the inspiration and guidance.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 10 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I have to agree with you about the use of cuss words in writing. But I have to say, I still use them in science fiction. I think they're even more necessary in science fiction, sometimes.

      If I'm already expecting readers to swallow a bunch of things that aren't real that are absolutely necessary to the plot, the last thing I should be doing is adding unnecessary unbelievable elements. And the idea of grown-ass men saying golly gee when faced with imminent death is pretty gosh darned unbelievable.

      Thanks for another amusing and insightful read.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 10 months ago

      I love your advice to young writers. Actually, it also applies to new writers of any age.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Suraj, that is so kind of you to say. Thank you.....carry on, my friend. We need more writers in this world.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Kylyssa, thanks so much for your thoughts....golly gee, you are right on! LOL

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      Great advice for encouraging youngins to write.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Great questions and answers again Bill. I especially found your advice on "broken rules" to be interesting and spot on, especially how you graded creative fiction and non-fiction differently.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Pop!

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! That's a subject I feel strongly about.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, John! What happened to your new one....;no longer published is what I was told.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      I think cussing is acceptable if it makes the character seem more real. For instance, a gang-banger who says 'F***' is certainly more believable than one who says 'Oh fudge'. As for vulgar language in descriptive text, I don't see the need for it. With so many wonderful words in our language, why limit yourself to something so common?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It says too much was considered duplicate. I had the words of a poem by another poet, as an inspiration, included, so I had to delete that and resubmit for publishing. Now I will have to reshare when it gets published again.

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      Louise Barraco 10 months ago from Ontario

      Such good advice I am so glad you are keeping the mailbag going it is so helpful for us writers

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      Larry Rankin 10 months ago from Oklahoma

      Another great mailbag.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 months ago from london

      Another superb mailbag. I really enjoyed reading in so many places, about your attraction to creativity; to free-form. I've never done a course nor would I want to do one. I like bending the rules!

      Most great writers are like this. Emily Dickenson being a classic example. Shakespeare is given credit for creating many new words.

      So right on Bro! I'm with you. Much love.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Zulma. Thank you! I always feel better when you agree with me. :)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sorry about that, John....HP is becoming annoying at best. I won't say what I think of its worst. :)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Louise! I appreciate those kind words.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks to the questions, Larry, and people like you who keep showing up.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Right on indeed, Manatita...thanks for your thoughts and blessings to you this week.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 10 months ago from Iowa

      Wow. Hard to believe you are coming up on two years with this great series. It seems like just yesterday. :) Way to go!

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      mpropp 10 months ago

      Happy Monday Bill! Wow, almost 2 years...where does the time go? I kind of thought I'd be a little further along in my writing journey than I am...but thank goodness YOU are reliable! I can always count on getting excellent information and interesting discussions from this series. Have a great week!

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 10 months ago from Minnesota

      Happy Monday Bill! I hope this comment isn't a repeat, but I seem to have had a computer glitch of some sort and I don't think my original comment got posted. I just wanted to say "wow, 2 years have gone by fast!" I thought I'd be a little further along with my own writing journey but thank goodness at least YOU are reliable! I can always count on this series to share good advice and spawn interesting discussions.

      Have a great week!

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      Linda Lum 10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, as I read this I found myself nodding my head again and again in agreement.

      Reading is so very important. I read to both of my daughters (long after they could read on their own). My younger daughter loves books and every weekend we would go to the library and load up a sackful.

      Breaking the rules--I say rules shmules. The best authors write the way that people actually talk. As for cussing--yes, we all do it but I have run into some people who drop an f-bomb in every sentence. I can only assume that they have limited vocabularies and are sadly under-educated. I think the same could be said for an author who relies on offensive language. It's a crutch and shows a lack of imagination.

      Thanks for #102. Any plans for the 2-year anniversary?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      You mentioned some good ideas here. I never thought about going to a writing forum for ideas. I stay away from forums that love to criticize poetry. You are still going strong. Good for you. Thanks my friend..

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      Donna Brown 10 months ago from Alton, Missouri

      HI Bill, concerning the question about cussing, I think the answer to that question (like many in writing) has to do with your audience. If your audience is children, nix to cussing. If it is an audience that generally frowns on cussing--like some religious groups, again, nix the cussing.

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      William Leverne Smith 10 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Is it possible... that this was the 'best' mailbag yet? Thank you so much, for your interest and determination, along with all your readers!! Couldn't stop. I really liked the answers to the first young writers question... get out and observe the world around you! ;-)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Deb! It's been great fun and evidently it ain't over yet.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, that's me, Mr. Reliable. Just wind me up and I keep playing the same tune over and over and over and over.....LOL

      And you've been here throughout. Thank you my friend.

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      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Almost two year, huh Bill. The train keeps rolling. Just an added website for Tarunponders - I've found writing.com to be helpful. It may be worth checking out although I don't visit it much. Until 103 . . .

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thanks for your thoughts on the cussing matter. As for an anniversary, I think I'll keep writing in celebration. I know, not very imaginative, but there you go.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, thank you. I stay away from forums as well. There are some nasty people lurking in the shadows at those things.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great thoughts, Donna. Thanks for adding to the conversation, which is what the Mailbag is all about.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Bill, I guess it's possible. LOL Thank you so much and Happy Monday to you.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, I flat out know I responded to your comment already...what the heck is wrong with HP today? Oh well, thank you once again.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill...good tip on writing.com....much-appreciated, my friend.

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      Denise McGill 10 months ago from Fresno CA

      My friend, another awesome and interesting mailbag. I really love the "breaking the rules" question. My husband writes a blog and is often criticized for his use of a 3rd person narrative as well as many grammatical rule-breaking. But his pieces are so creative and engaging and his point is so profound that most people overlook the rule-breaking. However, there are always one or two Nazi grammar school teachers in the crowd that love to point out his mistakes and then accuse him of not achieving a high school diploma. It is as if they have never heard of creative writing and artistic license. Also, I loved the teaching young writers question, because I am an advocate of getting more children interested in reading. Artistically, I have created several poster ads for it. I personally love reading and wish more children knew the joy of reading novels. I loved the answer you gave with Dr Seuss and Silverstein. Perfect! As always! Also, I hate too much cussing in a book even though I know that in real life people talk like that. Sometimes it just offends my senses. When I homeschooled my children, I wanted to expose them to as many great writers as I could, including Steinbeck. I wanted them to read Of Mice and Men but the language is so foul that I decided it would be better if I read it aloud to them, "cleaning up" the language but leaving, uhm beeps, so they knew there were words there that I preferred not to read aloud. They got the story without all the four letter words but they are smart kids and knew basically what expletive was substituted there. What else can a mother do? They were exposed to the real thing soon enough. No need to read more about it. I like your answer in that some people do talk that way, but no need to have it in every other word in every other sentence. Overkill in my book.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 10 months ago from Chicago Area

      Happy Mailbag Monday, Billybuc!

      Re: Young Writers. True, you cannot be a writer without being a reader. Goes for adults, too (they're even worse at the reading habit).

      Re: Giving Up or Growing Up? Agreed, the reasons people abandon writing pursuits are as varied as can be. But some of them should give up. Seriously. Some have romantic notions about what it means to be a writer and I think they're the ones that give up quickest. Better that they grow up, own up to the fact that a writing career isn't for them and explore other avenues for their energies. Who knows? They might even find their writing niche that way.

      Re: Broken Rules. Rules (grammar, punctuation, etc.) should be broken only when doing so enhances the story or message. "Breaking the rules" can be a convenient excuse for slipshod work. ("I was just breaking the rules for effect." Not!)

      Re: Cussing. I agree that use of swearing and cussing in dialogue can define characters or make passages more "real." Overuse, though, waters down the effect. Sometimes use of vulgar language is part of a cultural norm or a sign of how comfortable someone is in an environment. I'd often rather have someone cuss than constantly apologize with "pardon my French." Shows they don't know me well enough. ;)

      Hope you have a week that doesn't cause you to cuss!

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      Barb Johnson 10 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      An uplifting mailbag Bill. I hope this installment breaks a shackle or two from any discouraged, lied to and ready to give up writers. Have a great week!

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 10 months ago from Norfolk

      Loved the question about encouraging young writers. This is a subject which really interests me. Have a great week Billy.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, thanks for great input. I appreciate your share and the experience...all great points, my friend.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, as always, right on! I knew you'd be weighing in shortly and you didn't disappoint. Thank you and have a great week of work.

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      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, in case you are interested, my hub "No More Unicorns" is now up and running. Cheers.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

      Hi Bill,

      I left a nice comment just a minute ago, and it went away to be approved I hope?

      Blessings

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      You motivate me to follow through with the idea of a summer reading project for my after-schoolers. Thanks for the well-thought out responses to the good questions.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 10 months ago from Europe

      As always, that was awesome to read, Bill! Thanks for the inspiring moments.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very helpful and instructive mailbag. It is a good guidance to the writers. I found some of the points applying to me. Like the lack of skill and the lack of marketing. I have to go a long way to get through all this. Thanks for your always helping tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Babby! I hope the same. We need more good writers.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, as an old teacher, it is definitely something that interests me. Thanks for being here.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks John! I'll be there shortly.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I think it came up yesterday, didn't it? Shoot....I'll have to go check on it. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, Dora! Thank you and good luck with that reading program.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Buildreps...thank you, sir!

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, a long journey begins with a single step...you will make it with perseverance and desire, my friend.

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      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      Bill, I loved your answer to Faith on how to inspire reading and writing in young children. My youngest had his own library card at age 5, but I guess that’s not too unusual today. BTW, I have a Silverstein book, Everything on It, on my desk at work. I don’t think one ever gets too old for Shel Silverstein.

      Some folks give up on writing because they lack talent and education. They should give up. I don’t have the talent and ability to be a nuclear physicist, so why should I put other people through the torture of my trying to be one?

      I’m not a prude, so I have nothing against cussing when it adds realism to the work, but the “F” word every three words, even in a gangsta story can become distracting from the storyline. I say use it judiciously and when the situation may call for it.

      Breaking the rules depends on why and how a writer would do that. I had a college professor who insisted that one must use a transition between every paragraph. As a result, he could have made a prison break read like a society tea party. The total adherence to that rule made his own writing appear juvenile. I do agree that sometimes a person breaks the rules because he or she doesn’t know any better, and it shows in poor writing. Another great one, my friend, keep ‘er going.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thanks for your input. I agree about the cussing. Too much and I find it distracting and insulting and believe me, I'm no prude. After awhile it just seems like lazy writing to me.

      Love your take on some people lacking the talent and education. Very true, my friend.

      Happy Tuesday to you!

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 10 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      I have just been able to latch on here and reading your recommendations now. Thanks indeed for sharing those links out here. As a writer I have always believed that if your work gets critiqued then its the best reward you can ever get and these forums prove to be a step in that direction so thanks again for sharing these. I too am getting excited to see you celebrate the second anniversary so to say of the Mailbag series. Its a great discipline on your part to keep this going week on week for 102 weeks. I am looking forward to when you strike 108 as that number is considered lucky for us Indians. Keep writing and lending us your wings to fly.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tarun, I did not know that about the number 108. Fantastic news, my friend. I look forward to hitting that milestone. Thank you and blessings to you always.

    • Tarunponders profile image

      Tarun Chhauda 10 months ago from Roorkee, India

      Hi Bill,

      It is actually the total number of beads in a garland that we Indians (mainly hindus) use to chant on the Gods name and thats what makes it auspicious besides the other views that surround it. So 108 is also considered sacred for us. I am looking forward to that too. Cheers!

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Tarun! Very interesting information, my friend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 10 months ago from Dubai

      Great answers and another valuable installment of the Writer's Mailbag. Hope it keeps going on.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 10 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill. I liked Faith's question and your answer. I could not agree with you more.

      On another note, you have mentioned a podcast. It occurred to me that many of us here on Hubpages took a shot at recording our work on Soundcloud. That did not last long, but there are hours of recordings available for such use as a podcast. I am pretty sure no one would object to donating their work.

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      Michael Milec 10 months ago

      Yeah Bill my friend, you might have seen nodding my head as well of shaking my head shortly after as I continued reading, yet better equipped to survive...

      Blessing and peace.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you so very much.

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      Bill 10 months ago

      Mike, thanks for the heads up about Soundcloud. I've never heard of it but I'll look into it.....again, thanks for all you do.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I thank you! Have a blessed weekend!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton

      Yeah, Faith had a good question on young writers.. enjoyed your reply.. 102 and still awesome for me.. love the mailbag.. happy father's day my friend

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 10 months ago from SW England

      Faith's question was a goody and your answer was a goody too. Inspiration and gentle guidance can make excellent writers and, what's more important, can get children reading more and more. I've done all you suggest with dyslexic students and if they can do it, anyone can! They didn't care about grammar and spelling - it was a release for them to be told not to worry, just to get ideas down on paper. And how brilliant their ideas were!

      I also agree with your grading of non-fiction but not fiction - to do so only deters creativity and they're concentrating on the rules rather than the ideas and the choice of words.

      Congrats on your ability to give us all excellent advice, in a way which criticises no-one and helps everyone.

      Congrats too on this series which looks like it will run and run... until you're 77 and beyond!

      Ann :)

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Father's Day, Frank, and thanks a bunch.

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      Dianna Mendez 10 months ago

      Your advice to young writers is excellent. Give them a pen and let them create! Another wonderful letter from the master.

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      Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

      Happy Father's Day, Bill,

      Thought I'd check back in and see if my initial comment ever showed up, but guess not. Well, it was a good one anyway LOL. I'm a busy woman so if the first one doesn't take, not sure if I can get back right away. Have had a lovely long weekend with the grandchildren up.

      Thank you for answering my question and I'm happy everyone thought it to be a good one at least, and your answer as well. The other questions are quite good too.

      I hope you have a great week ahead.

      Blessings always

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL Ann! You aren't going to let me forget that 77 reference, are you?

      I'm so busy I couldn't post the Mailbag today....but it will be out tomorrow, for sure, and I thank you for sharing some time with me to comment on this. Have a wonderful first week of summer.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Far from the master, Dee, but thank you so much.

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's been happening a lot lately, Faith, and I have no answer for it. Me thinks HP has some programming problems, but thank you for trying again...have a great first week of summer, and blessings always.

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      Deb Hirt 10 months ago

      Creativity hold no bounds. Even though there are some that swear in their material, or anything else one doesn't care for, it is in one's memory, is it not? It's just like effective advertising. It's something that the public won't forget.

      I once had a teacher in high school that taught a creative writing class. I remember the A that she gave me with the notation to write reality. Excuse me?

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      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Deb, I'm not sure I even understand what that teacher was trying to say. Too funny!

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      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago

      Bill

      First of all congratulations on reaching a milestone and still growing. That's awesome.

      So much in this one I'm not sure where to begin, I'd agree with you about the use of coarse language, I had a long hard think about it writing the 'Sting' novel but the truth was without some it just wouldn't have been 'real'

      I think that as writers we can have a positive influence and can try to keep the bad language down but we've got to stay 'real' with it and that can be hard.

      My thoughts anyway

      Lawrence

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate your thought, Lawrence, and I completely agree with them. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

      bill

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      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm one who was nodding my head, Bill. I haven't quit writing, I'm just taking a break and using my time not spent at work to give myself a break - and it feels good. When I'm good and replenished, I'll be back in the creative saddle. That's a promise.

      I love your response to the cussing question, too. Life is not pristine, nor is our language. Sometimes a cuss word fits better than than the immaculate alternative. In fact, one word that comes to mind (and I use often) is quite versatile: it can be a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. How many other words in the English language can boast that? :-)

      Excellent mailbag this week. New faces and new questions. How *&@^ing cool is that?

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      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is very friggin' cool, Sha! LOL Great comment. My goodness, my family wouldn't recognize me if I wasn't embellishing with cuss words.

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