The Noble Pen for June 7, 2012

Next Noble Pen Meeting

June 7th, 2012 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The controversy over ebook pricing continues.


Lynda survived a frustrating week in her new publishing job without killing anyone.  That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.  Her rebuttal to Stephen Bloom was published by the Atlantic Monthly and is available from their archive.  (Sorry we weren’t timely in linking that.)

Ciuin already has her next submission done.  Her academic writing has had its ups and downs.  She suspects the down may be from writing more than the instructor wanted.

Tyree has a new story published in Sam’s Dot electronic magazine, Fifth Di.


For homework this week, read Tyree’s article on What Editors Want and if possible, watch the movie Medicine Man.  He is going to relate them as an educational exercise this week and wants us to see the movie first.  Please bring to the meeting a list of the conflicts between the two main characters and a list of the characteristics (foibles) that make them human.

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A couple weeks ago we featured tools to help you develop the story.  This week, I have been using Pro Writing Aid, a free on-line proofreading tool.  It will identify over-used words, sentences of monotonously same length or excessive length, cliches, repeated phrases, alliteration, and other things you may want to consider changing.  It also highlights dialog tags so you can see at a glance what you used.

It helped me a lot, but became tedious after I changed the major offenses.  My biggest complaint is that it reports too much.  I even tried a better writer’s material with the same result.  The highlighting of repeated common 2-word phrases, 2-word alliterations, etc. (like “to town” or “an apple”) results in clutter that hides the things I want to find and change.  The homonym finder is a nice idea but appears to have no context sensitivity so you see ALL of them.

Does anyone have comments on similar tools?

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“It’s commonplace to nitpick on minor faults. But to actually improve on those minor faults – that’s just tedious.”  ~Benson Bruno

Yesterday Mr. Hall wrote that the printer’s proof-reader was improving my punctuation for me, & I telegraphed orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray. ~Mark Twain 1889

Upcoming Schedule

June 7th

Tyree (rescheduled material from last week)
Educational: see above for homework

June 14th


June 21st

Open slot

June 28th

Open slots

Keep Writing,