The Noble Pen for Dec 7, 2017

Next Noble Pen Meeting

December 7th, 2017 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


A poll shows that a majority of our regular attendees will be able to go to the Dec 21st meeting despite its proximity to the Christmas weekend.


Randy got another Amazon review and has sold twenty more books since the Gazette article, while he was on a research trip to France.  This research commits him to write the novel, after completing the Cletus Efferding books. 😉


It’s all in how you look at it.  A good writer can describe the same thing in multiple ways, positive or negative, to suit the mood.  A good salesman can sell refrigerators to Eskimos.  Restaurant menus are loaded with positive words, often irrelevant ones. Tom Sawyer was able to favorably describe his fence painting chore.

Heinlein had a famous quote that goes something like, “Which would you rather have? A nice, thick, juicy, tender medium-rare grilled steak-or a scorched piece of bloody muscle tissue from the corpse of an immature castrated bull?’

Writer’s Digest ran a series called “Reject a Hit” where successful novels are described in negative terms.  Some of the articles are amusing, but also say something about how literary expectations have changed over time.  A Christmas Carol is rejected, as are Romeo and Juliet (he didn’t even check her pulse), Frankenstein (no tie-in market for dolls),  Harry Potter (too long, and dorky character), and my favorite: Cat in the Hat (“kids allow a stranger into house.”  The postscript rhyme is great.)

This Wizard of Oz synopsis by Rick Polito of the Marin Independent Journal is famous: “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

Someone once described Frankenstein as:  Scientific advancement proves unpopular with general public, scientist regrets helping the handicapped.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is: Deformed character is humiliated and exiled, then exploited by old man.

Dr. Who: Homeless eccentric transports young women away in phone booth.

Green Eggs and Ham: Deranged stalker forces unnatural food upon terrified children, brainwashes them into acceptance.

You might want to see if you can recognize these other accurate but warpedd viewpoints on famous movies.

“Description is what makes the reader a sensory participant in the story. Good description is a learned skill,one of the prime reasons you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.” ~Stephen King, On Writing

“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” ~Winston Churchill

Upcoming Schedule

December 7
Stacy H.

December 14 (annual squeeze-in, due to large party in usual space)
Stacie S.

December 21
Stacie S.

December 28

January 4
Open slots

Keep Writing,