The Noble Pen for Apr 26, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

April 26th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The fight over a broadway production of To Kill A Mockingbird continues.  The executor of Harper Lee’s estate thinks the production is not true to the novel.


Aime’s son is writing and they had their first big serious discussion of writing.

Ciuin has emphasized the chess theme in prior chapters of Chessmaster.  She is at 80k words and hopes to complete the story this weekend.


Every writer needs to find plotting methods that work for them, and those may differ from those of other successful writers.  You need to try lots of advice and see what helps you.  Jan Ellison offers some tips.  I particularly like her point that you need to get to the end of the story before you polish parts of it.  That approach is consistent with the Snowflake Method.  It’s hard to bring yourself to tear up a beautiful chapter when you find later that the plot needed to go a different direction.  There are many ways or levels of detail to outline, from a strict structure to a loose summary of the story.

For those who want to improve their planning, this article on outlining may help.  Here is a page with downloadable links for several types of outlines as fillable PDF forms you can edit and print.  A seven-point story structure is a classic configuration that may help you shape the story.  Here’s  a collection of outlines used by successful authors.

But not everyone believes in detailed planning.   Some people write by the “seat of their pants”, to use a metaphor that came from pilots who stay oriented by their senses instead of by instruments.  These writers let the story develop as it seems to need to go.

Which are you, or can you take a middle road? John Irving says he always knows where he’s headed, though it would appear from this interview that he doesn’t necessarily know how he will get there.

Upcoming Schedule

Apr 26

May 3
Aime – short educational session on cliches
Logan (double: complete short story)

May 10
Open slot

May 17
Open slots

May 24
Open slots

Keep Writing,