The Noble Pen for Nov 22 (Holiday edition)

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Nov 22nd, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


As most employers are giving their people Thursday off to work on their writing, we won’t meet this week.


Aime wrote 3,000 words in one day, which is more than usual, but is lagging her NaNoWriMo goal by being at only 10K so far.

Stacie got a writing day.

Dylan is not officially in NaNoWriMo but is turning out enough to meet their goals.  He participated in an author event at West Liberty.  He got paid for a commission, and is working on the last one he plans to do.


A sentence presents a complete thought by naming a person or thing (noun) and an action (verb) and often including more descriptive adjectives, adverbs, or subordinate clauses.  Two sentences improperly joined is a run-on.   A phrase that lacks noun or a verb is a fragment, and should be avoided, except perhaps in dialog or rarely for effect.

A fragment can sometimes be turned into a participial phrase.  These are a useful construction for adding thoughts to a sentence, if not overused.  The participle is a verb form (action word) which most often, but not always, ends in -ing.  Participial phrases are attached to a complete sentence to modify or supply additional information about the subject or object noun (person or thing) of the sentence.

For example, “Rowing the heavy boat, John soon tired.”  The participial phrase “Rowing the heavy boat” is not a sentence because there is no subject person to do the rowing.  “John soon tired” is a sentence, but needs the added phrase to explain why John, the subject of the sentence, became tired.

The participial phrase should be set off with a comma from the sentence as above, or in “Pulling into the driveway, the noisy car alerted the occupants of the house.”

The noun should always be the nearest one to the phrase that modifies it.  It would be incorrect to write “Pulling into the driveway, the occupants of the house heard the noisy car” because the phrase appears to modify the nearest noun, occupants, who were not in the driveway.  This mismatch is called a “dangling participle.”

A writer needs to be careful that the actions are simultaneous.  There is an implied “While” with the participle.  “Walking up the stairs, Joe opened the door” is wrong because he can’t do both at the same time.  Some people call these “time warps.”

Upcoming Schedule

Nov 22
Thanksgiving – no meeting

Nov 29
Aime (5700 words)
Ciuin (short)

Dec 6
Aime ?

Dec 13
Open slots

Dec 20
Open slots

Keep Writing,