Monthly Archives: August 2018

The Noble Pen for Aug 23, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

August 23rd, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

Ciuin is organizing a group table to sell books on Sept 15 at an event in Tipton.  There may be a small entry fee to split.  Contact her if you are interested in helping, or in sending books.

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They say that a variety of experience helps make a writer, but this is carrying things too far.  It might be better to research bank robberies on line.

Victories

Stacie is at 60k words on her novel, which started out as a short story and just grew.

Aime is doing a beta read for someone.

Randy’s book is back from both editors.  He beta read Dylan’s Flight.

Dylan has Flight only a couple steps from publication.  He is a featured writer on the Ello social network.

Education

It seems like most of us have difficulty finding time to write.  This article suggests that you make the best use of scattered moments through out the day to make notes of ideas for plot, character, and scenes.  Here’s a list of possible times to think about your story. Use your phone or other gadgets to capture those notes while driving.  Or as one member does, think through your plots while exercising.

When you do sit down to write, you may find it best to just capture the ideas and not worry about cleaning it up.  Keep editing as a separate (but necessary) task so you don’t slow down the creative process.

Do whatever it takes to make sure that when you sit down to write, you don’t get distracted.  Some people keep an old computer, off net, just for writing so they aren’t distracted by email and F*ceb**k.   If you’re going to want a cup of tea, make it before sitting down so you don’t interrupt yourself to get it.

Here are 10 tips on productivity and another series of tips by a prolific writer.

Upcoming Schedule

Aug 23
Logan
Ciuin
Stacie

Aug 30
Aime
Stacie (would cede)
Open slot

Sept 6
Nick
Open slots

Sept 13
Open slots

Sept 20
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for Aug 16, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

August 16th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

An essay says that reading horror fiction prepares us to deal with the terrible things that happen in the real world.

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Jean-Luc Picard fans will be glad to know Patrick Stewart is coming back in the role in a new Star Trek series.

Victories

Eric has his book in print.

Uriah has outlined the plot for the rest of his novel.

Logan got a personal and detailed rejection from a magazine.

Education

Giving effective critiques is an art in itself, and is fraught with interpersonal complexities.  Melissa Donovan offers some advice on giving effective but diplomatic critiques.   Another article emphasizes giving usefull critique.

Sometimes it is hard to accept critiques after you worked so hard on a piece.   Pia Padukone tells about how hard it was for her to accept criticism, and how she got over it.  Here are Melissa Donovan’s thoughts.  Another group has guidelines not so different from our own Member Guide. Nathan Bransford has advice on receiving critique and editorial changes.

You need to consider that there are many opinions out there, and you are trying to write something that will hold the interest of as many readers as possible.  There is a rule of thumb that if one person says something, it’s just their opinion.  If two say it, you should expect that others may think the same thing.  If many people say it, you have to concede that they have a point.

In the end, after you consider all the opinions, you still can think about selected reviewers, “You’re not my target audience.”

Upcoming Schedule

Aug 16
Ciuin
Laura
Uriah

Aug 23
Logan
Ciuin
Open slot

Aug 30
Aime
Open slots

Sept 6
Nick
Open slots

Sept 13
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for Aug 9, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

August 9th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

We’ve heard it before – many reviews are paid-for fakes.  Here’s a story about a product and a guy who does paid reviews.  Amazon claims only 1% of reviews are faked, but others wonder. The caution also applies to books.  An article discusses how to spot fakes.

Victories

Randy is beta reading Flight for Dylan.

Education

Authors are sometimes advised to “write what you know.” A long list of authors gave their advice about this.

Certainly personal knowledge makes it easier to set up and describe scenes, people, and places.  But research can fill in what you don’t know about real places and history, and imagination can add a lot, especially for futuristic settings.

If you write about real places, do research to get the geography right. (Dan Brown, I’m looking at you.)  If your character has a profession, research enough to know what they would spend their day doing.  Don’t give historical characters actions they would have been unlikely to do.  But there is still a lot of room to make stuff up.

If you write fantasy, vampires, or space opera don’t let yourself be limited by what others have done.  Make new rules for vampires.  Invent a new way to travel space.  Write a fantasy that is not in a medieval setting.

Upcoming Schedule

Aug 9
Logan
Uriah
Aime

Aug 16
Ciuin
Laura
Uriah

Aug 23
Logan
Ciuin
Open slot

Aug 30
Open slots

Sept  6
Nick
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill