The Noble Pen for May 3, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

May 3rd, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


The restaurant has a big party scheduled for May 3rd.  Look for us on the left as you enter the building.  It might be a bit crowded, but we’ve managed a similar situation every December.


If you have days when you don’t feel like accomplishing anything, this article says maybe that’s a good thing.  And we might guess especially so for writers.  Just don’t do it too often.


Aime broke writer’s block and turned out some words.

Randy is making good progress on Sins of Omission and has two chapters left to write in his draft.

Ciuin finished two scenes in Chessmaster, and found someone to correct her Latin.

Logan is half-done with a story.


Authors often want to have a series of books that share characters and settings.  A series of books helps the author because every book sold is an advertisement for the rest.  However, each book needs to be complete and enjoyable by itself should a reader happen to get it first.

New authors are advised to never try to sell a series to an agent until they have success with one book.   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.

Still, a stand-alone book can leave hooks for series potential without a too-obvious cliffhanger leading into a sequel.   The settings and characters from one stand-alone book can be re-used by giving them a new problem in a companion book.   Karen Wiesner has more.

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

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

May 10

May 17
Open slots

May 24
Open slots

May 31
Open slots

Keep Writing,