The Noble Pen for Dec 20, 2018

Next Noble Pen Meeting

Dec 20th, 2018 at 7 pm

Scott’s Family Restaurant

1906 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids


There will be an event with many authors at the Des Moines Valley West Mall next summer with a sign-up deadline coming soon.  A very quick search didn’t find the info, but you may want to look up more on it.


John Le Carre has published numerous spy novels, and sold millions of books.  He is 87 years old, and has a new one coming out in 2019.  There is hope for us geezers.


Poll: If anyone in our group reads this, please send me an email.  I often wonder whether enough read it to make it worth the time to prepare, as too many people at meetings have been surprised by things previously announced here.


Aime has edited half of Scourge.  In her quest to read all of Vonnegut’s works, she finished the fourth book.

Ciuin got A’s on school papers, and will soon have most of a month break to use for writing.


At a recent meeting there was mention of “Save the Cat,” a series of manuals put out by Blake Snyder.  The history is well-explained at wikipedia).  One of the elements is something to endear the hero to the audience when they are first seen, and his title comes from the scene in Alien where Sigourney Weaver saves a cat.

Snyder used the “Hero’s Journey” (wikipedia-monomyth)  and broke it down into a detailed formula for movie screenwriters, later rewritten for novelists (Amazon). Snyder’s breakdown is summarized here.

A surprising number of stories fit well into the structure of The Hero’s Journey and they aren’t all epic fantasies.   Vladimir Propp was one of the pioneers of the idea as applied to folk tales.  Elizabeth Sims discusses the structure and how a Sherlock Holmes story fits it.  Here’s another comparison using Star Wars and The Matrix.

The Hero’s Journey and Save The Cat are proven successful formulas, and you can see them in a great many novels and movies.  But do you want your writing to be formulaic?  Some people don’t find it so appealing.

Upcoming Schedule

Dec 20

Dec 27
Open Slot

Jan 3

Jan 10
Open slots

Jan 17
Open slots

Keep Writing,