The Writer's Mailbag: installment Ninety-Six

Welcome Back

Thanks for joining me for another installment of the Mailbag.

You know, I’ve said this many times, but let me say it once again….I love the writer’s community found at HubPages. I’ve also said I’m not terribly in love with the HP site, but I stay here and I thrive because of my fellow writers here. I love the support we give each other and I love the friendships formed.

As many of you know, I am busy writing a series of novellas called “The Billy the Kid Chronicles,” all of which are self-published. That self-publishing would not be possible if it were not for a friend of mine here at HP by the name of Mike Friedman. Many of you know him as MCKBIRDMKS on HP. Anyway, Mike does the covers for my novellas and novels and I am so very appreciative of his work and his giving nature.

Having said that, I think it would be fantastic if you took a look at his latest book, and if you are in need of a cover for your own self-publishing, you might drop him a line. I’ve found his prices very reasonable. You can buy his book by clicking on the ad to the right.

Thanks Mike!

Now let’s get on with the Mailbag!

The Mail Room
The Mail Room | Source

Character Personalities

From Linda: “Good morning Bill. I have a question for your consideration. Of all of the stories you have shared with us on HP, my favorite is "When the Corn Died" with the Harper family. The dialogue you create for them sounds so very authentic and comfortable--they are real people to me. So that brings me to the question--When you create characters for a story do you first consider what their personalities will be like before you begin to write, or do they develop along the way? As I write this I am thinking specifically of Tolkien. He went so far in his story telling that before he began he drew a map of Middle Earth and created a language for the inhabitants. He worked on making Endor a real place before he began telling the tale.

“Another question--when you write, does the story move the characters or do the characters move the story?”

And good morning to you, Linda! Two fine questions deserving two fine answers. Let’s hope I have them in me.

When I create characters, I write a basic outline of their character traits and physical description. Then I write a short back story about them…where they came from, important events in their lives, that sort of thing. After that I turn them loose in the story and they develop more as the story develops. Really, if you think about it, that’s how we all develop. We all have some back story from our earlier lives, and we all grow and further develop as we get older and we experience more life. So, in other words, I’m just letting my characters grow up naturally without too much interference from me.

Now on to your second question: I begin with a basic outline of the story in my head….or you could call it a storyline if you prefer. I know basically what I want to happen, and I have a notion of what is going to drive the story along and of course, how it will end. After that I turn the characters loose and let them get from Point A, the beginning, to Point Z, the conclusion, in their own way. In other words, my stories are always character-driven.

As an example, two of my novels began as writing exercises. I wrote a creative opening paragraph and the character kidnapped the story from that point.

Good-paying Editing Jobs

From MizB: “I have a question. Is there a market for freelance editors, and where would one look for people who need, perhaps I should say be willing to pay, good editors? Writers are a dime a dozen, but good ones are not. I think good editors are probably even more rare, and I am a very good one. I would like to get something besides volunteer work lined up before I retire.”

MizB, I feel your pain, but I don’t think you’ll like my answer.

Finding good-paying freelance gigs is not as easy as simply going to a specific site and grabbing them up. They are out there, but it takes time and persistence to find them and then get hired for them.

My suggestion takes time: Establish yourself in the writing community. Build an online social platform. Get the word out that you are an editor. Have business cards printed. Write articles about editing. Establish yourself as an editing expert…..all of these things take time but, in the long run, they will free you from the content mills and make you decent money.

Sorry, no quick fixes this time. And I know you know most of this if not all of it already.

Fresh As a Daisy

From Ann: “My question: How do you stay as fresh as a daisy in your writing even though you've written several series and a few novels? It's not easy to stay upbeat and maintain the quality of work so what's your secret?!”

Ann, I’m laughing. I’m not sure if I have a secret. I absolutely love writing. I adore the process. I am thrilled that my creativity has an outlet and all these silly little notions packed into my brain from sixty-seven years of observing can escape on paper.

I never thought of myself as a creative person. Truthfully! I just felt like an outsider who was always observing people and life, an awkward and shy person on the periphery of life, just outside the circle of cool kids, always hurrying to catch up to the latest trends. I guess what I’m saying is sooner or later, all that observation had to be released. My brain was on overload and I had to dump some data….and writing has allowed me to dump in a satisfying way.

My biggest problem is I have too many ideas. I have three novels that need to be written, and two short story series that don’t seem to want to die, and my God, Ann, I’m not getting any younger, so hurry I must!

Fresh as a daisy? I sure don’t feel fresh. LOL

Don't rush when painting a scene
Don't rush when painting a scene | Source

Painting the Scene

From Brian: “I like your visceral reaction advice. When you write the first draft of a scene, do you imagine the dominant emotions of the scene at the same time you imagine the action and as you develop the scene do you intentionally evoke those emotions, as an integral part of the scene? Or do you just write what happened according to your imagination and trust that that will evoke appropriate emotions without your consciously focusing on them? Or other? Do you outline or rough sketch a scene first—Lear wanders about a heath in a thunderstorm, yelling at the wind about his daughters— and then imagine and color-in the emotions through choices of words, images, and figures of speech? Or do you develop a scene from a central mix of emotions—Lear feels distressed, guilty, and betrayed, and it is all more than he can take and keep his sanity; what's a scene that would express that? Or? And how do you discern if the feelings of a scene ring true?”

Brian, this is one of the greatest questions ever asked on the Mailbag. This deserves an article in response, but I don’t have the time.

When I write a scene I write the action of the scene first. My first draft is all about telling the story and establishing the rhythm of the story. There is no editing done and there is no foo-foo added. As they once said on Dragnet, “just the facts, ma’am.”

My second draft is all about evoking emotions. That’s when I ask myself “how would the characters feel if faced with this situation?” That’s when I use the senses to help the readers feel what the characters are feeling.

I know others who do the exact opposite. What can I tell you? My way is always best! LOL

More on Freelancing

From Denise: “I just love the content mill comments. You make great points and as a freelance artist, I suffer some of the same problems. There are places to go where you can get jobs but they pay peanuts or less but when you are desperate enough and if your name/brand isn't established, it's what you do. Plus I find that the economy hasn't really caught up to the creative crafts yet. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the arts still suffering even though they say the economy is doing better? I know many galleries that have closed and artist who are finding their job flow still drying up. Maybe we are the last to "recover" after drastic cut-back events. Maybe you could save this one for the next mailbag...”

Denise, you aren’t wrong at all.

The funny thing about the poor pay from content mills? We only have ourselves, as writers, to blame. If all writers out there refused to write for peanuts, better pay would be offered. Simple truth of supply and demand.

But the economy and fate dictate the play we are in, so many struggling writers have to work for peanuts and yes, the Arts are lagging far behind as the economy recovers. Look no further than the schools for proof of that. Funding for the Arts in education is always one of the first funds to be cut from the budget….parents demand better test scores in math and science, budgets are written in response to that demand and the Arts become after-school programs run by volunteers.

Supply and demand!

The magic will arrive when the magic arrives
The magic will arrive when the magic arrives | Source

Looking for the Magic to Return

From Kailey: “I used to be able to write at the computer for hours, unaware of how much time was passing. Now, it's more sporadic, even when I have an outline. Do you have any advice to get that back?”

Kailey, I’ve got nothing!

How’s that for honesty? LOL It may not be the honesty you wanted but there you go.

I don’t think one can force creativity. I think it’s either there or it’s not, and trying to force it is a complete waste of time.

Go out and experience more life. Go live! Try new experiences. In other words, get away from forced creativity and I’m willing to bet creativity will return on its own accord.

Turns out I did have something!

Wanna hear a story? Sure you do! In high school and college I was a pitcher for our baseball teams. My junior year in college I "threw out my shoulder," which is a nice way of saying I tore the shit out of some ligaments. After the injury I couldn't throw a baseball ten feet, let alone throw hard from the pitcher's mound.

For two years I didn't throw a baseball at all. This was back in the days when they didn't operate on the shoulder for an injury like that...they just let nature take its course. After two years I started playing again and I could throw harder than before the injury.

There's a message in there for you if you look hard enough.

Two Questions from Mary

From Mary: “I have a couple of questions for a future mailbag. Do you ask for help in your writing from Bev or other people? For example ' as black as an ex-lover’s heart' do you bounce various ideas between yourselves to see which is better? Also you have mentioned that you take a voice recorder to hear the way people speak. Do you ever use one to dictate stories for later typing? I know Barbara Cartland (romance writer) used one. Apparently this helped her to write 23 novels in a year!”

Hi Mary! Thanks for the questions.

I rarely ask for help in my writing. Bev is a busy person and she just doesn’t have the time to help me with this. Having said that, I was writing a new introduction for a new novella the other day, and we collaborated on it, but that is very rare. It’s too bad, too, because between the two of us, Bev is easily the most creative. She’s a great idea person.

Do I dictate stories? Never! If I have an idea for a story I go to the computer and I start a new document with a title and perhaps an opening paragraph. Then I’ll save that and return to it when I have time.

Here’s an interesting fact about me: I’m not terribly creative when I’m doing other things. Ideas don’t spring into my head while I’m walking around, but observations are made and the incubation process begins….then when I’m at the computer later, that incubation process will hatch ideas and stories.

That’s All

To quote Bernie Sanders, this Mailbag was HUUUUUUUUUGE! Thanks so much for the questions. I hope the answers were satisfactory.

Don’t forget to buy Mike’s book. He’s a good guy, a very talented writer and, well, he’s my friend.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

More by this Author

Comments 76 comments

Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 5 months ago from New York, New York

Loved that this Mailbag was huge and truly filled with great questions and answers, as well. Happy Monday and thank you Bill for always being so kind and generous with your advice and friendship! :)

cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 5 months ago from Alton, Missouri

Hi Bill, in response to your answer to Kailey's questions I agree! Getting away from the writing for a while and living life is exactly what needs to be done to not only bring back the magic, but like the six million dollar man, it can come back even better, stronger, and faster!

This time of year, spring, is the time of new beginnings and I love getting energy from the energy of the season. The magic is there. We just have to enjoy it!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Janine! This bag was overflowing this week. I hope it continues.

Happy Monday my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

For sure, Donna! I'm listening to the quail chirp as the sun rises and it is a great day for being energized.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Bill. What a bunch of tough questions. Each writer approaches their responsibility to their craft with such care. Brian's question shows so much thought has been given to the process. Myself, the process is more like catching a 'notion' and trying to get it into a corral. The first draft, is normally the only draft.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Mike, I agree with you about Brian....his questions always show so much insight into this craft. Blows my mind. I just sit down and write and hope for the best. LOL Thanks for your thoughts and friendship, buddy.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago

Bill, thanks for the answer, and you're right, I don't particularly like it. Wouldn't it be nice if there were agencies we could go to for writing and editing jobs? Somebody ought to start one. I didn't know if ELance took in editors, too. Maybe I should ask. I think I've already explained why I asked this question, so writers should be warned about publishers who promise to furnish editors, even as part of the contract. I think I smell a lawsuit.

Different strokes for different folks. I do my best planning when I'm doing mindless work like washing dishes or the laundry. Then when I sit down at the computer to put it on "paper," I look at that screen and something else comes out, same characters, different rendition, and I'm not satisfied and try to remember the original dialog with myself. I've been thinking about carrying around a voice-activated recorder to record my thoughts.

Anyway, great mailbag today, so have a good rest of the week.

DDE profile image

DDE 5 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Number ninety six and you have created another informative and unique hub. I learned from you hubs and appreciate the well-written hubs.

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 5 months ago

Bill, thank you for answering my questions. I noticed a trend in the mailbag this week--for months you have been delighting us with stories, amazing serialized stories. You are so darned good at it--and everyone is wondering "How do you DO that?!" Although I doubt I will ever write a fictional story (the closest I ever get to drama is rescuing a broken emulsion), I am fascinated by the process.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 months ago

I always learn something when I read this series. When I give up politics, all I have learned from you will come in handy. Thanks for everything you do.

PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 5 months ago from Fresno CA

Great answers! Thanks for including mine. I appreciate the affirmation.



billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

MizB, thanks for sharing your process with us. Sorry my answer wasn't more uplifting but this freelance thing is getting tougher and tougher. Three years ago it wasn't like this. Now? Good luck finding something that actually pays worth a darn.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you very much, DDE! I'm just an old guy tossing out his thoughts, hoping someone finds value in them.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

I really appreciate that, Linda! I really don't know how I do what I do, but I'm very grateful that I have the ability.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Pop, you giving up politics? It ain't going to happen, my friend, and we are all better because of it.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 5 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Thanks for your reply to my question. That's how I've done it, too--except the time I left out step 2 and a book editor asked, where are the emotions? And thanks for all the other good advice and recommendations and sharing of techniques and practices.

mpropp profile image

mpropp 5 months ago from Minnesota

Happy Monday! I think this was the most stuffed mailbag I've seen! Lots of great questions. In regards to the freelance editors, if they are talking about editing novels I highly recommend they sign up on kboards. They let you post under their yellow pages, but then if you post on the writer's cafe and let people know--well, there are a LOT of people looking for editors at reasonable prices. And if you give samples or do a few people and get their recommendations, it will have a snowball affect.

Have a great week!

Lea Tartanian 5 months ago

Bill I continue to be amazed at the questions and answers in your mail bag. Have you ever thought of writing a book titled THE MAILBAG? You could take all these questions and your answers and just put them into a book for other people to read who have missed these posts. Really I think it would make a great book and be a wonderful Guide for writers. God bless always Sparklea /Lea

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks for the question, Denise. I appreciate your following.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Brian, it was my pleasure. Thanks for a wonderful question.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

There you go, Melissa! I knew someone would have some words of wisdom about the editing jobs. Thanks for tossing that out and Happy Monday to you. This was the largest Mailbag ever...very cool!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Lea, we'll just put that suggestion in line with the other eighty ideas I have. LOL Seriously, thank you! The Mailbag will actually be the name of the podcasts I'm going to do in about a month...and we'll include questions in that podcast each week. Exciting stuff, at least to me.

Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 5 months ago from Europe

Good morning, Bill. That was a full mailbag with so many interesting questions and answers. As always, I enjoyed reading this awesome series of you very much. Looking forward to the podcast thing!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

I agree with you about getting out and experiencing life away from the computer. You couldn't hook up with a better man than Mike. Thanks for all you do.....

Homeplace Series profile image

Homeplace Series 5 months ago from Hollister, MO

Another outstanding mailbag. Love your comments on character development. BTW, you are still a youngster... I'm ten years older, still going strong... so will you... lots of time to get those novels and other stories written and shared... your track record is great... just keep it up. What fun! ;-)

MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 months ago from The Caribbean

I'm stuck on Linda's question and your answer to her. The sense of urgency you describe is what I also feel, but just can't get to a schedule which will allow me the time I'd like to give to my writing. Just have to try harder; age is not on my side either. Thank you for sharing.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Boy, Bill! You did such a good job of not spilling any mail from the over- packed bag. Another bunch of good questions and answers to file away! Thanks, for another good week.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Buildreps. This was a full one. I think the largest ever, which is good news for this series.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Ruby. Now you know one of my secrets....I hang with quality people.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks for the encouragement, Bill. I'm feeling younger already thanks to you. LOL

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

It will happen, Dora, when you are ready for it to happen. Be patient with yourself.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Bill. This bag was so full my muscles were sore from carrying it around. LOL

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 5 months ago from USA

Huge indeed, with terrific questions about the writing process. I especially liked the specific questions about action v. characters and how scenes unfold from imagination to written product.

heidithorne profile image

heidithorne 5 months ago from Chicago Area

Happy Monday!

Re: Good Editors. Gotta market yourself same as the writers do. Because I take a caring and consulting approach with the writers I serve in an editing role, I have a difficult time reducing my rates. I've listed my editing services on a freelance site. But with my rates, it'll be unlikely I'll get much work through it. Networking works better for me.

Re: Freelancing Free Fall. Indeed, the economy has not rebounded (as with previous recessions) to the point where writing or the arts make enough money to make much of a living. There are several factors contributing to this scenario, discussion of which are well beyond the scope of the Mailbag. But, as you note, there are no quick fixes and there are no quick paths to financial success with writing. Supply and demand and survival of the fittest are both at work here.

Only 4 to go to 100. Thanks for making the commitment to our HP community! Have a great week!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 5 months ago from Brazil

Hi Bill,

Thanks for answering my question in this week's mailbag. I am with MzB with regards to ideas springing up whilst doing mindless jobs. It is like an erupting geyser of ideas when I have a rake in my hand. Put me at the computer and's gone.

I agree with your advice about taking a break if the magic is gone.

Hope your week is productive.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Hi Flourish! Good to see you and I thank you for the visit....have a great week!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Heidi, as always, invaluable information from you. Thank you....and I thank you for all my readers, too, since I know they get so much from your business wisdom.

Happy Work Week my friend.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Hi Mary! Thanks....a rake, huh? I'm trying to figure out how you could rake leaves and work a handheld computer at the same time. LOL

Happy Monday to you, Mary!

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Great stuff. You never disappoint Bill. Thanks

rdsparrowriter profile image

rdsparrowriter 5 months ago

Great informations Sir Bill :) I always learn new things by reading your articles :) Stay blessed!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 5 months ago from Brazil

I need to use Barbara Cartland's method and use a voice recorder whilst raking. Who cares if the neighbors think I'm going round the bend, talking to myself.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Eric! I'm just doing my thing and loving every minute of it.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Sparrow and blessings to you, always.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Exactly, Mary! The perfect solution! :)

social thoughts profile image

social thoughts 5 months ago from New Jersey

With MizB, I think most of us are in that boat. Good writers are naturally good editors. It never goes out of style, either. If only it were easier to find work! In relation, I am sure I'm not the only writer constantly receiving negative reactions for being one. We are so essential, yet we suffer. Just last week, another teenaged co-worker could only think of "poetry" as a type of writing that I could be doing. When I told her I write "articles and essays," she replied, "You're an English teacher's dream." I wanted to go off on her, as there is so much more to skilled writers than good grades, but I left her with "That's why I have a bachelor's in English." I wanted to ask, "Who do you think 'really' wrote every book you've read or seen on a shelf?"

I like your response to my question, thank you. The story is a good one. I think all writers experience a block now and then, but panic for fear it'll never cease. I'll try to remember that story, next time!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 months ago from Minnesota

Love Love Love this mailbag series. I like how clearly you answer these questions. Even a much greener writer understands your suggestions. LOL

Always appreciate you sharing your writing process with your friends here. Your the best my friend :)

thetruanttrain profile image

thetruanttrain 5 months ago from Toronto

This is an article from another fellow hubber, perhaps this would be helpful for some of you:

Plus I just wanted to say this is my first time reading The Writers Mailbag-interesting and helpful.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

Bill, I haven't been around as much as usual, but I finally got to read this and I honestly think it is the best mailbag yet. Great questions, perfect answers. Great stuff.

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Just checking in to say HI and hope you're having a great week, Bill.

Great questions, as usual, this week - seems to be a never ending supply.

Love that you are supporting our talented Mike Friedman, who is doing some great book covers for you too!

Love and hugs, Maria

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 5 months ago from southern USA

Dear Bill,

I'm so glad I caught the Monday Mailbag, even though it is Wednesday. I have to agree with John, that this one may be the best one ever! This one is overflowing with great questions and you, one again, have provided great insight to each question with your answers.

I agree with you 100% about our dear writer and friend, Mike. He is one creative and gifted man, who helps so many. I love your covers he's done and I already has his book that was gifted to me. What a gift!

Blessings and peace always

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Even though I cannot always get to your mailbag on a Monday once I read it through I get some inspiration and ideas and then I can tell how my own week is progressing.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Hi Kailey! it's a tough road we walk...under-appreciated and yet vital to society and the growth of society. I hope one day society will come to realize that fact. Until then, I guess we write because we love to write, and that will have to be enough.

Thank you my friend!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Minnetonka. I always appreciate you finding the time to comment.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thanks for the visit, truanttrain, and for the suggestions.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you John! I'm glad you're back. The questions this week were superb!

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 5 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Amazing questions this week and equally good responses. The mailbags have become a must read for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on so many aspects of writing.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Maria, thanks for checking in. You are correct about Mike....he was a life-saver for me.



billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Faith, I'm trying to get over to your new hub...this morning for sure, I promise.

blessings and hugs heading your way

and thanks


billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Rasma, any old time you stop by is gratifying to me, so thank you very much.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Rasma, your words are words any writer would be proud to receive. I know I am. Thank you sir!

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

Hi Bill!

I believe one of the mantra for success as a writer is, 'To be persistent.' And you are the most appropriate example of that.

Please accept my appreciation.

Coming to my question for the next installment of 'The Writer's Mailbag'---

'How does writing a 'book review' or a 'movie review' help in a writer's career?"

Thanks for this edition of the wonderful series of Questions and Answers!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

ChitrangadaSharan, thank you so much for the kind words and the question. I'll have an answer for you on Monday.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 months ago from Shelton

I have followed every installment.. and even though we've reached 96.. it's still as fresh as a daisy for me Billybuc.. thank you for that..Frank

swalia profile image

swalia 5 months ago

Thank you for the great information and advice! Your mailbags help me learn a lot about writing and self-publishing.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Well thank you for your kindness, Frank, and for following along lo these many months.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

It really is my pleasure, Swalia. Thank you for being here.

annart profile image

annart 5 months ago from SW England

I do exactly the same as you do with a new idea; go to the computer (or notebook if away from the computer), jot down the idea and a few extensions then I can rest easy knowing that my catalyst is there. Great minds, eh? Or is it that fools seldom differ? Definitely the former, well as far as you're concerned anyway!

So good to be back to HP properly and, despite house renovating, I'm determined to publish something soon. 'Take a word' keeps tugging at me so I have to obey!

Have a sumptuous Sunday, bill!

Ann :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Ann, good luck with that house renovation. I do not envy you, but I know it's a labor of love, so there will be many bright spots along the way.

Most definitely great minds! LOL


Deb Hirt 5 months ago

Hot material and great answers to those questions from the recesses of the mind.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Thank you Deb, and the beat goes on.

Lawrence 5 months ago


Three weeks after the event I know, but I do get here eventually. I really enjoyed this mailbag and would be interested in finding more out about Mike and his books but the ad didn't come up on my computer but I'll try the details here,

One question I've got is you mentioned that in the first draft you get the story down and then go back with the emotional content. I found recently that by the end of the first draft I was 'in touch' with the characters emotionally and when I went back to do the re-write if was actually hard not to put too much of the emotional stuff into the beginning of the story as I wanted that to 'unfold' as the story progresses, ever have that problem? Just curious to see how others deal with the situation!.

Great hub


billybuc profile image

billybuc 5 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Lawrence, you are never late to the Mailbag. I just appreciate you stopping by, and great question. I'll have a great answer for you in #100.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 5 months ago from london

Bill, you remind me of Me, a non-conformist, and perhaps most good writers are. You have touched on this before in different ways, but I appreciate and understand your sense of freedom. We do not stifle ourselves. Not too good for the Soul.

Miz may wish to look at She can sign up, put some good articles or samples, post a good resume or profile and see what happens.

Another excellent mailbag. Thanks Bro.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Non Conformist all the way, Manatita, and you may be correct most writers. As for, thank you for that reference.

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 months ago from Central Florida

Excellent mailbag this week, Bill! I don't see the link to Mike's book. Did HP make you take it down or are my eyes failing me?

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 months ago from Olympia, WA Author

Sha, either I forgot to link it or they changed it. They've been doing that of late.

Anyway, thanks, as always, for being such a loyal friend.

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