The Noble Pen for Apr 2, 2015

Next Noble Pen Meeting

April 2nd, 2015 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Be sure to come and hear our guest speaker this week.  We have no critiques, so use the usual reading time for writing.


Cleanreader (home page) is a recent program for e-reader devices that censors the material at one of three chosen levels.  It substitutes “nicer” words for profane, scatological, anatomical, and sexual terms that some people may not want to see or want their children to see.   They quickly learned that they could not re-distribute modified books, but their app to modify the reader’s display is apparently legal.  Google shows thousands of hits for the reaction to the app.

Some authors are quite graphic about being upset that their books will not be read as they were written, calling it censorship and modification without consent.  Some disagree  about the messages being sent to readers by someone else’s opinion of what should be included.  It has its defenders, even among those who think it is a stupid idea.

A problem with the app is that substitution of general words for many terms creates confusion.   What happens if a character in an entirely “clean” book is named Dick, orders chicken breast or wiener schnitzel for lunch, is a dog breeder with a favorite bitch, prays to Jesus, happens to prick his finger on something sharp, and has to check M or F sex on an application?  This article lists some of the substitutions.

Even reading the Bible might be a little strange if you forget to turn off the app as the sinners get darned to heck or saved by Geez.  There are problems in a few cases with the replacement word itself being sensitive for some.

They missed a lot of words similar to the ones they chose to redact, but have a link for readers to suggest additions to their list.

One could wonder what will happen in the future when it becomes practical to not only replace individual words, but to automatically paraphrase sentences or intentionally substitute not just blurred terminology, but entirely different meanings into what people read.


Dylan released an update of Sand and Blood as he moved to a different distributor.

Cassie has bound prints of Dreams in Red for her beta readers, and drafted a query letter.

Ciuin is writing for City Revealed again, beginning with an article in the April issue.  She got another perfect score on a school paper.


“Show, don’t Tell” is a commonly stated maxim.  Wikipedia has a short article on it.  It certainly is good advice for most beginning writers, who usually tell too much.  Usually if it is important it should be shown.  Chuck Palahniuk is rather extreme on this point and suggests that even “thought” and “remembered” are too much tell.

Others say you need some balance.  To maintain pacing it is often necessary to tell the reader some things that would take too long to show, or are so trivial they would seem overemphasized by showing.  This article discusses balance.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Upcoming Schedule

Apr 2
Stacy Green, author talk
If extra time, educational exercise.

Apr 9

Apr 16
Open slots

Apr 23
Open slots

Apr 30
Open slots

Keep Writing,