The Noble Pen for Jan 21, 2016

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Jan 21st, 2016 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


Some people who we haven’t seen in a while have been dropped from the email list, which was getting rather long.  If you didn’t get an email but plan to attend a meeting, let us know so we can forward the submissions.


Cassie got a four-star review of her book on Goodreads.  She made headway on the end of her next novel.

Bill H. reviewed all the (very) old critiques of his short novel and made some edits.

Ciuin rewrote and submitted her personal statement for the graduate school application.  She got a compliment from a former teacher who reviewed it.  Her tutoring of her grandsons on English is showing progress.


Action and fight scenes are an important part of many stories.  There needs to be more to the story than the action, of course, with motivations, personalities, emotional conflict, interpersonal relations, and change in the characters often making important contributions to the story.

But when the action goes down, how do you set it up and describe it?  Action usually is carried best by short sentences to imply a fast pace. This is not the time to give setting or character background.  Simple sensory detail without over-describing, no passive voice, few adverbs, and selected action verbs will convey the excitement.

Make the battle(s) important to the plot, with high stakes, and not just the script of a video game with one unrelated fight after another.   Can you make the hero’s fate in doubt or does the reader know he will emerge unscathed?

Robert Wood tells how he approaches action scenes.  Fonda Lee gives some good advice.  Linda Adams gives her take on it.

Upcoming Schedule

Jan 21

Jan 28
Bill W.

Feb 4
Bill H.

Feb 11
Open slots

Feb 18
Open slots

Keep Writing,