The Noble Pen for Dec 13, 2012

Next Noble Pen Meeting

December 13th, 2012 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Amazon announces their 2013 Breakthrough Novel contest for manuscripts of 50,000 to 150,000 words.  Submissions must be made between January 14 and 27, following detailed rules for the submission process.  Big rewards for the winners.  There are five categories this time, and some of them will fill up fast.


Dylan got fan mail – someone liked his serial and sent him a water color portrait of one of the characters.  He also got another commission.

Ciuin is getting a good grade for the semester (maybe an A) in Journalism class, and got a nice dedication and autograph from the professor on her copy of his book.


It’s all in how you look at it.  A good writer can describe the same thing in multiple ways to suit the mood.  Heinlein has a famous quote that goes something like, “Which would you rather have? A nice, thick, juicy, tender medium-rare grilled steak-or a scorched piece of bloody muscle tissue from the corpse of an immature castrated bull?’  Restaurant menus are loaded with positive words, often irrelevant ones.  Tom Sawyer was able to favorably describe his fence painting chore.

Writer’s Digest has a series called “Reject a Hit” where successful novels are described in negative terms.  Some of the articles are amusing, but also say something about how literary expectations have changed over time.  A Christmas Carol is rejected, as are Romeo and Juliet (he didn’t even check her pulse), Frankenstein (no tie-in market for dolls),  Harry Potter (too long, and dorky character), and my favorite: Cat in the Hat (kids allow a stranger into house.  The postscript rhyme is great.)

This Wizard of Oz synopsis by Rick Polito of the Marin Independent Journal is famous: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

Someone once described Frankenstein as:  Scientific advancement proves unpopular with general public, scientist regrets helping the handicapped.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is: Deformed character is humiliated and exiled, then exploited by old man.

Dr. Who: Homeless eccentric transports young women away in phone booth.

Green Eggs and Ham: Deranged stalker forces unnatural food upon terrified children, brainwashes them into acceptance.

You might want to see if you can recognize these other accurate but warpedviewpoints on famous movies.“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill,one of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.” ~Stephen King, On Writing

“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” ~Winston Churchill

Upcoming Schedule

Dec 13th
(Note other large group at restaurant, we squeeze in corner.)


Dec 20th


Dec 27th

Open slots

Jan 3rd

Open slots

Jan 10th

Open slots

Keep Writing,