Author: rwoodsfiction

Robin Woods is a former high school and university instructor with two and a half decades of experience teaching English, literature, and writing. She earned a BA in English and an MA in education. In addition to teaching, she has published six highly rated novels and has multiple projects in the works, including writing for a Hollywood producer. When Ms. Woods isn’t chasing her two elementary school kids around, she’s spending time with her ever-patient husband.

Guest Post: Notes from an Editor

Want to become a better writer? Ever wonder what editors look for? Want to know how to proofread your own work? Here are some items to check before you send it to your editor:

anonymous female using laptop and taking notes on street
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5 Things I LOVE to See in Writing

  1. Story Flow. Keep it going! This may sound simple, but sometimes you can be writing and not realize that you’ve gotten sidetracked. When you read through your finished product, make sure everything flows smoothly and is connected to the plot. If something causes your mind to wander from the story line, change it or take it out. If your story wanders, so will the minds of your readers. Keep it tight.
  2. Varied Sentence Length. You’re a writer! Make use of that. Variety adds interest. If you have too many short sentences strung together, your story will seem choppy. Or, if you have too many long sentences, it can seem long-winded. Be kind to your reader and vary the length to keep them engaged.
  3. Imagery. Similes and metaphors are powerful tools that can add depth and complexity to you work. But there are a few cautions: they shouldn’t be overused, they need make to make sense, and they can’t derail the story.
  4. Commas, Commas, Commas! I think these are the forgotten piece of grammar. Independent clauses need commas, but dependent clauses DO NOT.

    The easiest way to decide if you need a comma after your “and” is to ask yourself, “Can this phrase before the ‘and’ be a sentence all by itself (independent clause)?” If the answer is “yes,” give it a comma.

    Also, when reading your writing out loud and there is a pause needed, put a comma.
  5. Active Voice. Your story is much more alive and flows when written in the active voice. It makes your writing stronger, more direct, and more interesting to readers.
black and red typewriter
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5 Things I HATE to See in Writing

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Guest Post: Starting Your Children’s Book

By Author Ellwyn Autumn

person reading a book
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Getting Started

So, you want to write and self-publish a children’s book? Good for you! You’re just itching to transcribe your idea to the page. But there’s one obstacle, you don’t know where to start. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

First things first, write your idea whichever way is most comfortable for you: a list, a word web, notes. It doesn’t matter, just get it out before you forget.

I suggest going to the source after you’ve written it down. What does that mean? Read children’s books. Go to the library and check out a few. Take notes on what you like and dislike about the books.

You might also want to look at my article ‘4 Elements Good Picture Books Need’.

Many people think creating a children’s book is easy. Let me tell you from experience, it isn’t. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, but easy is not a word I’d use to explain the process.

Finding Support & Inspiration

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New Watcher Series Book

New Book, Hardbacks, & Watcher Apparel

We are celebrating the new Watcher Series book with hardback editions and apparel.

New Book

Have you been missing the Watcher Series? Do you want your burning questions about the series answered? I saved fan questions for years and have answered many of them by writing short stories and extra scenes.

And for those of you who loved drunk Tyran in The Fallen, I give you fake drunk Tyran:

“Smithy,” he slurred. “I have a job for you.” Then he seemed to take note of the extra men. “I didn’t realize you had company.” He stumbled backwards teetering and landing squarely on his backside while hoisting the wine up to prevent a spill. He laughed at his success. “See, I have not had too much to drink, observe.” He grinned at the vessel of wine again, taking another swig. Then, he loudly whispered to the wine, “That barmaid was wrong. I am handsome and I can clearly drink more.”

Fake drunk Tyran in LIGHT & SHADOW’S “One Loved”
Light & Shadow by Robin Woods is the new addition to the Watcher Series.

Light & Shadow is now available on Kindle and in paperback.

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Win an Advanced Copy of Light & Shadow

Want to be the first to have the new addition to The Watcher Series before it comes out in October?

I will be having a series of giveaways leading up to the release. And, there are LOTS of ways to enter. You can do it here:

This book has been a long time in coming and I can’t wait to share this with all of you. It’s been both a passion and a labor of love writing stories to answer all of the fan questions.

Here is a first look at the full Table of Contents (with a few notes):

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Author Interview with Danielle Cotton

Welcome to my blog interview with children’s author, Danielle Cotton, author of Tajja and the Legend of the Queens. I’ve been friends with this wonderful woman for a decade and am always amazed at her strength and passion. She’s written a delightful book with a poignant message about embracing your heritage and taking responsibility.

Danielle Cotton is a children’s author, history teacher, and proud mother of two high-energy girls, Sofia and Zoe. She writes to create books that celebrate their black beauty and the legacies of strong black women in history. When she isn’t on an epic adventure with her daughters, she’s trying to find a sunny spot in which to write or read.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

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New Release—Picture This: Creative Writing Photo Prompts & Inspiration

Picture This: Creative Writing Photo Prompts & Inspiration by Robin Woods | 144 prompts with 422 combinations (Over 50 original full color photo prompts with NO stock photography). Empower your creativity.

I’m very excited to announce the pre-order release of PICTURE THIS: Creative Writing Photo Prompts & Inspiration (The digital cousin of Prompt Me).

I’ve had tons of requests for color photo prompts, so this is for you—over 50 of them! Plus written prompts, fun facts, tips, and master lists.

All for the bargain price of $4.99. Thank you so much for all of the support. 😀😁 https://amzn.to/2B4qBsc


Sample from “Use These Phrases” and “Choose Your Path”:

Dive in and explore a variety of different prompt styles designed to inspire you and spark your inner muse.


This workbook is great for:

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Writing Resource: Superpowers & Abilities

Writing Resource: Superpowers & Abilities by Robin Woods #superheroabilities

I was contemplating superpowers the other day. Yeah, those are the types of things I ponder in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. I still can’t decide what superpower I would choose, probably telekinesis because looking into someone’s mind would be icky and I would trip if I had super speed.

Then, I had the terrifying thought–what would actual superpowers do to a human body? I found it rather creepy that a Ted Talk on “If Superpowers Were Real: Super Speed” popped up in my feed that morning.

Uhhh. Thought Police anyone?

Well, I posted the Ted Talk videos below, but I have a little more for you. Writing Marvelous Superheroes, here we go…

Super-powered Basics

The thing that separates heroes from villains is what they choose to do with their powers and this all comes out in the origin story.

Once they choose, those superheroes generally fall into three archetypes:

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Light & Shadow

Well, it’s official. I’ve been working hard to finally finish Light & Shadow: The Watcher Series Shorts and Extras. And, dum duh du dah, here is the cover. See? It’s really happening!

And some lucky fans can have a scene written to answer their burning questions. See how below.

Through the years, some fan questions have inspired short stories and extra scenes. I’ve been compiling those, along with other short scenes I’ve written to figure out what other characters are thinking.

Here are some samples of the fan questions I have answered:

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Prompt Me Wins!

Prompt Me made it on the Best Writing Books of All Time List

I’m happy to announce that my book, Prompt Me: Creative Writing Journal & Workbook, made it to BookAuthority’s Best Writing Books of All Time.

BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition.

Thank you for all your support!
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.

What is BookAuthority?

BookAuthority is the world’s leading website for nonfiction book recommendations, helping people find the best books on any topic.

It covers topics that range from startups, marketing and finance, through javascript, artificial intelligence and bitcoin, to fitness, history and personal development.

BookAuthority serves millions of book recommendations every month, was ranked #1 on ProductHunt, and has been featured on CNNForbes and Inc.

How are books ranked?

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Allure is FREE Today & Tomorrow

Allure: The Watcher Series Prequel is FREE on Kindle all day today and tomorrow (Dec. 29/30). (And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can read on any smart phone, iPad, or computer.)

The Kindle version is newly revised. Woo hoo!

There’s a description below, but it’s free, so why not take a risk on something new? Meet your next book boyfriend (or girlfriend). Allure has both simmering and flirty.

Click here to go to Amazon now. (And downloads help me).

There’s no looking back when you’re on the run.

As America tries to forget the horrors of the Great War by embracing jazz, flappers, and the speakeasy, the Watchers remain vigilant by protecting the innocent and maintaining order among the Immortals—including a powerful line of Seers who are all but extinct. But the real horror is just beginning.

When George Yates is ordered to escort the beautiful Rosemond Le Clair to safety, he finds himself in the middle of an ancient feud that demands her blood. Without the Watchers’ help, he must struggle to protect the last remaining daughter of the Le Clair family from these dark powers, even as he defies fate itself.

Allure can be read as a stand-alone single or as part of the series (it can be read at any point).

My Recommended Reading Order:
The Unintended (Book 1)
The Nexus (Book 2)
>>> Allure (The Prequel)
The Sacrifice (Book 3)
The Fallen Part 1 (Book 4)
The Fallen Part 2 (Book 5)

See the whole series on Amazon here.

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