Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Noble Pen for Oct 25, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Oct 25th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

An essay discusses H. P. Lovecraft (wikipedia), whose writing is fundamental to the horror genre, and finds his personal attitudes horrifying.

Victories

Randy is not getting a response about a signing he thought might happen in Decorah, but has a store in Dubuque interested in doing on in the spring.

Jesse submitted a very personal essay.

Ciuin evaluated alternatives for fight scenes.

Logan is rewriting a novella from years ago.

Education

Some authors start at the beginning of a story, without much of a plan, and see what develops.   They 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.  They let the story develop as it seems to need to go.

John Irving says he always knows where he’s headed, though it would appear from the interview that he doesn’t necessarily know how he will get there.  Still others know every step of the way before writing any scenes.  Each writer needs to try various advice to find what works for them.

Jan Ellison offers some tips.  I particularly like her point that you need to get to the end of the story before you spend time polishing 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.

Which are you, or can you take a middle road?

Upcoming Schedule

Oct 25
Rebecca
Logan
Randy

Nov 1
Logan
Jesse
Ciuin

Nov 8
Nick
Logan
Aime

Nov 15
Open slots

Nov 22
Thanksgiving – no meeting

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for Oct 18, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Oct 18th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

A recent flap brings up the difficult question of how similar something can be to others’ work without being a rip-off.

Victories

Randy totaled up his sales at 396 for the first book and 90 already for the second.  He has a five-star review on Amazon for the second book.

Logan’s short story has passed the first reading to possibly go into an anthology.

Education

Word repetition is a common problem for writers.  In the early drafts you are working at getting the story told in any words that come to mind.  As you revise, you need to notice when you are overworking a word and find a way to rephrase, use a pronoun, or find a synonym.  Ben Yagoda has some tips.  The more common words can be repeated more often.

This article discusses finding and replacing these echo words.

Repetition can also be used for desirable effects such as emphasis, rhythm, and mood.  More discussion here.

Upcoming Schedule

Oct 18
Aime
Jesse (long)

Oct 25
Rebecca
Logan
Randy

Nov 1
Open slots

Nov 8
Nick
Open slots

Nov 8
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill

The Noble Pen for Oct 11, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Oct 11th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids

News

Mark Twain gave a young writer some advice in a letter that is up for auction.  If you have a spare $50K you might buy that letter, but fortunately the article tells us some of its contents.

Victories

Aime finished the second book in her quest to read all of Vonnegut’s works.

Several of us wrote drabbles this week.

Nick wrote on his trilogy.

Education

Nominalization (wikipedia) means taking a verb or adjective and adding a suffix to make a noun.  An example would be the adjective global.  It can be made a verb by adding to get globalize.  It can become a noun by further adding to make globalization.  It is sometimes a helpful process to create a word that succinctly expresses a meaning not easily conveyed by other simpler words. We get such useful words as difficulty,  investigation, failure, and reaction by nominalization of the base words difficult, investigate, fail, and react.

Taken to excess, nominalization makes writing obscure and pompous.  Clarity suffers.  Or to put it another way, a preponderance of nominalization incurs a tendency to the proliferation of obscurification and pomposity.

Ciuin has been suffering under academic writing styles and suggests this five-minute video as good advice about nominalization.  A short pdf file has good points about passive voice and nominalization.

Upcoming Schedule

Oct 11
Ciuin
Nick
Bill

Oct 18
Aime
Jesse
Open slots

Oct 25
Open slots

Nov 1
Open slots

Nov 8
Nick
Open slots

Keep Writing,
Bill