Fountain Pen Update

As an update to my previous post, I decided to get the Pen and Ink Fountain Pen Sketch Set.  Once I get it I’ll post my thoughts and perhaps a picture or two.  Hopefully it’ll be nice and start my journey into the world of fountain pens.


Fountain Pens

I have something of a small addiction to pens.  Right now that addiction tends to take the shape of gel pens and rollerball pens.  Even after I find pens I’m happy with, such as the Pilot Precise V5, the Pentel Energel, the Uniball Signo, and the Bic 537R, I’m always on the lookout for new pens.  I justify the pen hunt by keeping in mind that whenever I write a story, I always write the first two drafts by hand, and whenever I’m writing a new role-playing game, I always write the design notes for the game by hand.

But alas, I’ve recently become curious about fountain pens.

As I’m on a budget, I don’t really want to spend a ton of money.  Basically, I want one that’s cheap, but still decent.  I know a lot of people are fond of the Lamy Safari and Lamy Al-Star, however I’ve also heard quite a few people mention them to be scratchy and skippy, and even saw a video on YouTube where someone went through a lengthy process filing down and refining the nib on the Lamy Al-Star, which makes me very wary.  I want a pen that just works, nice and smooth, right out of the box.

I’ve also heard of the Platinum Plaisir, but haven’t heard much about them.

I found the Platinum Preppy which is very inexpensive, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.  Also, because it is so inexpensive, I think it may be a good way for me to start my fountain pen exploration.  As I understand it though, the Platinum Preppy won’t work with international ink cartridges, which is a concern of mine, as I’d like to use the Private Reserve international ink cartridges.  I’ve also heard that the standard Platinum Preppy ink cartridge will only write about five pages before running out, which is also a concern because I do much more writing than that, and the ink cartridges are rather expensive for them to last for so few pages.

Finally, I found a kit called Pen and Ink Fountain Pen Sketch Set.  It comes with an iridium tip instead of steel, which it claims makes the writing smoother.  It’s gotten mixed reviews on Amazon… some people love it, and some people don’t care for it very much.  It comes with the pen itself, three ink cartridges, a converter, and a suede wrap to carry it all in.  I think it also works with international cartridges.

So all-in-all I’m not sure which one to get, but those are on the top of my list.

It’s All About the How

With most stories, you already know how they’re going to turn out before they begin.  In general, the good guys are going to win.  If Bob needs to get the magic saddle, you know that by the end of the story he probably will.  Unless you’re reading Stephen King, of course.  But that’s not really what stories are about.  Stories aren’t about what happens, they’re really about how it happens.  How is the good guy going to win?  What steps and challenges will he have to face and overcome along the way?

The what is pretty simple, and can usually be described in just a sentence or two.  Bob needs to get the magic saddle.  He does.  But how does he get the magic saddle?  Ah, now there’s the story.

What Don’t You Like Writing

When it comes to writing, we all have a certain aspect or subject we don’t like writing about, even those people that generally enjoy almost everything about writing.

For me, it’s writing fight scenes.  I’m just not good at choreographing fights in my mind, and I feel like writing fight scenes gets stale very quickly.

What subject do you particularly not enjoy writing about?

Writing Hook: Field Pods

A coolness is slipping through the air and the leaves are turning their subdued rainbow.  Jack-o-Lanterns are popping up here and there, so Halloween must be close.

Here’s a writing hook to help get you in the mood.  Feel free to draw inspiration from it.


The moon was soft, rounding sharp edges and painting shadows with gentle strokes.  The stars overhead were bright, but felt somehow expectant.  With a shiver, he pushed into the giant grass before him.  The sky was swallowed in the green waving blades, only glimpses peeking through here and there.  He heard it again.  That whispering susurration that lead him here.  He didn’t know what it was, only that he must follow it.

He moved deeper into this strange growth.  Never had he seen grass grow this tall.  It reached above his head, seed pods as big as this thumb.  Could it even still be called grass when it was this tall, he wondered?  Somehow the name no longer seemed to fit.

The sound was closer.  He could feel he was almost there.  He paused, took a deep breath, then parted the grass before him.  There a thin green stalk sprouted from the earth, slightly shorter than the surrounding grass.  Something round and partially covered in shadow dangled from its end.  He leaned closer to peer through the darkness.  The object turned, bobbing slightly.  It was a face.  It blinked.