The Noble Pen for Apr 16, 2015

Next Noble Pen Meeting

April 16th, 2015 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


With many people feeling time pressures, we have had less demand for review slots.  We will plan to only schedule two reviews a week for a while, so people will find it easier to keep up with the reading.  If this leaves us time in the meetings, we may have the dreaded educational exercise on verb tenses.


Cassie got her author web page and Facebook page up, with the first blog post.

Dylan’s lyrics are on a friend’s Death Metal CD, just released.  His are all the English words.  The other two-thirds are in Russian.

Laura revised her story with a reduction in use of “was” and other cleanups.

Ciuin got another A on a paper.  We expect her to continue the winning streak.


The standard advice for a new writer is to write a stand-alone book, and don’t put more than a hint into your query that there is series potential.  Agents or publishers may think it will be an incomplete story without the rest of the series, and they certainly aren’t going to invest in a series until the first one sells well.

A self-published author, however, may want to have a series of books out there so that every book sold is an advertisement for the rest of their books.

Kurtis Scaletta talks about a middle ground – a stand alone book with series potential.  Another blog takes a similar view, saying that the settings and characters from one stand-alone book can be re-used by giving them a new problem in a companion book.

The key, in any case, is to avoid a serial plot.  Make sure each book contains a complete story arc, so that the reader doesn’t feel like they’ve been tricked into reading the whole series to find resolution.  No cliff hanger books.  If your book is so long it needs to be a trilogy, maybe you’d better find the essential story and trim it down to one satisfying book.  Then see if you have enough story material left for more books.

Upcoming Schedule

Apr 16

Apr 23
Open slots

Apr 30
Open slots

May 7
Open slots

Keep Writing,