The Noble Pen for April 17, 2014

Next Noble Pen Meeting

April 17th, 2014 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Tyree went on a writing binge on multiple stories.  He was asked for a 2nd story for the anthology he recently submitted to.

Janice finished an important paper for school.

Ciuin starts working with an editor on Petty Theft on Monday.

Dylan did prep work on formatting of his books for electronic publication.


Backstory can be problematic for authors.  The reader may need to know facts about the characters and situations but may get bored if you start with the story of their lives.  It is usually better to start where the significant conflict, action, and tension begin.  That leaves the problem of getting the backstory facts into the narrative, but interrupting the flow for pages of history is also a way to lose readers.

Karen Dionne discusses how she approaches backstory, trying to time it and achieve a balance between flow and needed information.  Eleanor Henderson thinks it is crucial to have sufficient backstory, but agrees that it is important to present it carefully.  CG Blake considers how much backstory is too much and gives an example of how a little dialog can do as much as paragraphs of backstory.

My backstory is so tedious. ~Ray LaMontagne

Look at Austen. In her novels, you get a dance, followed by an encounter, followed by a letter, then a period of solitude. No flashbacks and no backstory. Let’s have no more back story! ~Colm Toibin

Upcoming Schedule

Apr 17th

Apr 24th
Open slot

May 1st
Open slot

May 8th
Open slots

Keep Writing,