The Noble Pen for Jan 25, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

January 25th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


You may be interested in an event about “Turning Inspiration into Story”, to be held 1-4 pm Saturday Jan 20th in Marion.  See link to register for free.


The first of this year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication by Mary Shelley of Frankenstein, a strong candidate for the title of First SciFi Book.  This essay takes it as a warning of what technology could do to us.


Randy now has six reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.5 stars.

Stacie is at 60k words and expects to finish at 80-90k.


Many tools can help with the initial editing of your story by pointing out things a human might miss.  A quick on-line search finds many tool offerings, free or for sale.

MS Word includes a grammar checker.  As with any tool, it isn’t always right but will point out things to consider.

Grammarly is a browser or MS Office add-on that checks whatever you type.  It is context sensitive, which is an advantage over many other tools. Some of our members use the free (nagware) version and find it helpful.

ProWritingAid offers free registration for their on-line proofreading tool that checks many aspects of your writing. They also sell a variety of tools.   You paste a section of your text into the free version window, click submit and analyze, and it reports over-used words, sentences of monotonously same length or excessive length, cliches, repeated phrases, alliteration, and other things you may want to consider changing.  It also highlights dialog tags so you can see at a glance what you used.

It helped me a lot, but became tedious after I changed the major offenses.  My biggest complaint is that it reports too much.  I even tried a better writer’s material with the same result.  The highlighting of repeated common 2-word phrases, 2-word alliterations(like “to town” or “an apple”), etc. results in clutter that hides the things I want to find and change.  The homonym finder is a nice idea but appears to have no context sensitivity so you see ALL of them.

The author of Writer’s Diet book of advice offers a free on-line test of your writing.  While not as extensive as Pro Writing Aid, another view is often useful.

There are also on-line forums where you can post work for critique by others, gain experience in doing critiques, and discuss writing topics.  One is where you have to do some critiques during a waiting period before you can post your own work.  Critiques there can be harsh.  An issue with such forums is that postings may be “publication,” so it is best to only post small samples.

Does anyone have recommendations for other tools?

Upcoming Schedule

January 25

February 1
Stacie S. 10-minute educational
Stacy H

February 8
Stacie S

February 15
Stacie S
Open slot

February 22
Open slots

March 1
Open slots

Keep Writing,