The Noble Pen for December 5, 2013

Next Noble Pen Meeting

December 5th, 2013 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The 2013 National Book Award winners were announced recently.


Nobel winning author Doris Lessing  (or see wikipedia)(pen name Jane Somers) died at age 94.


If you didn’t read the linked articles last week, you might want to see what they say about commas as a supplement to the lessons at the meetings.


It’s always hard to accept a critique that tells you it wasn’t as good as you thought.  Here’s some advice on dealing with it, and more.  Many articles on the subject say similar things:
–Every critic will consciously or unconsciously try to give it their own styling, which may not be right for you.
–They are criticizing the written piece, not you.  Don’t get offended by someone who is trying to help.  You DID offer it for critique.
–If some people don’t “get it” then you may need to clarify it to broaden the appeal to more readers.
–It may help to restate a criticism in a positive way.  “Your stories are boring because they’re always about the same things” can be turned into “I can generate more reader interest by writing about my other related interests.”
–Even if their suggestions don’t seem right, don’t defend the piece.   Think about it again later.  Their comment may indicate that you need to polish that part.  Readers often find spots that don’t feel right, even if they don’t know how to fix it.
–The more people who say something needs to be improved, the greater chance that an editor or other readers will also think so.
–You’re the artist.  It’s your vision.  It’s okay to sometimes say to yourself “they’re not my target audience.”  Just not too often.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. ~Elbert Hubbard

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. ~Frank A. Clark

Upcoming Schedule

Dec 5th
More about commas

Dec 12th

Dec 19th
Tyree (?)

Dec 26th
Does anyone think we should meet?

Jan 2nd
Open slots

Keep Writing,