The Noble Pen for June 7, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

June 7th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


A detective novel coming out this week is co-authored by former president Clinton.  This article discusses prior presidents and their involvement with crime fiction.


Randy completed the draft of Sins of Omission.

Stacie read Ciuin’s book Petty Theft and liked it.

Aime and Uriah each broke through a block with ideas for the next chapter.

Ciuin is rewriting the test scene with a different POV.


There are several types of editing.  When a writer starts looking for an editor to prepare their work for submitting to an agent, traditional publisher, or for self-publishing, they need to consider which kinds of help they need.

If it is the traditional publishing route the company will do the final edits, but the writer may use an editor to get the manuscript in very good shape in order to improve the chances for acceptance.  If you self-publish, it’s all up to you.

A content, developmental, or substantive editor (also see wikipedia) looks at the big picture – does the story hang together, read easily, and hold interest?  Is the dialog ok, the POV consistent, the characters developed, the plot logical?  This is what we mostly concentrate on in Noble Pen reviews.

A line editor takes the middle ground – are the sentences well constructed and varied enough?  Is the vocabulary effective and not repetitive?  This is also a reasonable area for our comments if there is a pattern of problems, or markups if there is an occasional problem.

A copy editor looks at the details of punctuation, spelling, and grammar, and may offer suggestions to smooth out the last rough edges in sentence flow.  This is usually what Noble Pen readers should leave on the markup page and not spend time discussing unless there is a trend to a particular problem.

This site offers some advice on cost for professional editing services, and this one quotes firmer prices.  You might conclude that in our group we are providing very valuable services for each other.

There is also proofreading, after the layout is done, to check formatting and maybe catch a few more misspelled words.

So you got someone to edit your book, they made a lot of changes, and that fact doesn’t feel good.  Jessica Strawser talks about how to deal with those edits.   Kathie Spitz has similar advice.  The editor is probably right most of the time, but perhaps you will ignore a few changes.  Diane Jacob has advice, aimed more for freelance work where the editor has actual power and not just expert advice.

Some  of that advice applies to using critiques, although a single critique would carry less weight than a majority of critiquers’ opinions or an editor’s changes.

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