The Noble Pen for April 10, 2014

Next Noble Pen Meeting

April 10th, 2014 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Author Tracy Hickman recently gave a rather bleak view of the market for fantasy writers.


Janice did research and reading for the Chloe story.

Aime got a cat.  We’ll assume she is writing something about it.

Dylan now has more time for writing and life, as his work project just completed a major release.


A long time ago we featured free on-line tools such as Pro Writing Aid, a 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.  The free version will process 1000 words at a time.

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.

The author of Writer’s Diet offers a free on-line tool for evaluating your writing, but not its content.  While not as extensive as Pro Writing Aid, another view is often useful.

There are also on-line forums where you can post work for critique by others, as well as discuss writing topics.  One is where you have to do some critiques during a waiting period before you can post yourself.  An issue might be someone considering such postings to be “publication,” so it is best to only post small samples.

Does anyone have comments on similar tools?

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

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