editing

New Release! Prompt Me Again Creative Writing Workbook & Journal

It is my pleasure to announce the newest edition of the PROMPT ME SERIES. Woo hoo!

Prompt Me Again is full of new prompts and ideas to get (and keep) you writing.

I had a ton of fun taking all the new pictures. I went so far as getting into a pool fully clothed (with my friend, Jenn) and capturing some eery images. I also found myself wading through waist-high grass (in flip-flops) while getting eaten by mosquitos to nab the perfect sunset pic. And…it was all worth it.

As an aside, both of my editors faves are the “Fairy Tale Mash Up” and the “Facial Expression” reference chart. Regardless, there is something for everyone in the book.


Here is a glimpse of what you get in this new installment.

Clean enough for teens and sophisticated enough for adults. 

Add it to you TBR list on Goodreads here.

Prompt Me Again on Amazon.

Because you asked…more Prompt Me books are in the works.

Current Projects: Prompt Me Romance (Feb. 2019), Prompt Me Classroom, and Prompt Me Kids Edition.

Writing Resource: 188 Words for Sounds

When writing or editing, sometimes it’s nice to have a cheat sheet next to you to save time. As William Cowper once said:

“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour.”

Mix it up and have fun. As usual, a printer friendly PDF is at the bottom. Do you have any sound words you love to use?

words-for-sounds

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Writing Resource: Words to Describe Voice Infographic

As I have been pecking away at the keys working on my new projects, I’ve been compiling a little list for myself. I thought I would make it pretty and share it with all of you. I do like to share. Is that weird? Well, not everything—my toothbrush is off limits. Now that I have made that clear, here is my latest infographic.

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Writing Resource: Where Do We FEEL Emotion?

When a character has a emotional reaction to something, it is good for he or she to have a realistic  physical response to match. This is a quick graphic based on medical research as to where we actually feel the emotions in our bodies. Whether you agree or not, I hope this helps you think through your responses.

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New Release! Writing Workbook & Journal

I’m so pleased to announce the release of my seventh book! I’ve been teaching English for over two decades, so putting together a writing book seemed a natural progression. Many of the charts and reference materials were items I created for my own writing, and have been sharing them with my writer friends for years. They encouraged me to add to what I had, and get it out to the general public. I hope you find it as useful as I have.

Fiction Writing Cover 8.25 x 10.5 (2 sharp)Fiction Writing
Journal & Workbook

“This workbook provides a space for you to journal ideas and thoughts for your next–or first–best seller. Robin not only shares her knowledge gained by years of experience, but thoughtfully gives space for writers to reflect and hand-write their ideas and moments of inspiration.” –author and editor Tamar Hela

Writing a first draft can be daunting. This workbook provides guidance for key elements of fiction writing that help create a cohesive novel. Additionally, it gives writers powerful reference resources to create an emotionally authentic work and the space to hash it all out in one, easy-to-carry book.

Workbook sections include:Fiction Writing Workbook by Robin Woods

  • Brainstorm and outlining
  • Plotting and the “Tent Pole” Method
  • Character Worksheets
  • Conflict
  • Setting
  • Lined pages for easy journaling
  • And more!

 

Plot Diagram WS thumb

Reference sections include:

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Resource: Realistic Travel Times

Realistic Travel

 

People who don’t live in California seem to think that everyone is within an hour from Disneyland. More than once I’ve had people contact me, telling me that they were going to be in LA, so maybe we can meet up for dinner. Now, depending on where this person is in the LA Basin, drive times from San Jose (40 minutes south of San Francisco) can range from 5 1/2 hours to 6 1/2 hours.  People always seem to be shocked to learn how large California actually is.  In fact, if you were to drive from the most southern large city, San Diego, north to the Oregon border, it would take you over 11 hours.

Google Can Be Your Friend

The point I am making, is that you need to research your travel times.  It is so easy to simply Google the directions from place to place. Google will even given you travel times for car, bus, bicycle, and walking.

Google Maps

But Google Won’t Tell Me

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Writing Resource: 8 Tips on Dialogue

Dialogue is an integral part of any novel. Here are eight ways to upgrade your dialogue and avoid some newbie pitfalls.

Improving Dialogue

  1. Every conversation should move the plot forward. No empty fillers, please.
  2. Pick a punctuation style and stick to it. If you are going to query a major publisher, you may want to use Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS). Regardless of what you choose to use, consistency is key. For example: if you use an en-dash when a character is cut off in a conversation, do it every time. 
  3. People rarely use each others’ names in conversation after an initial greeting.

    Here is an example of overuse:
    “Heya, Eric.”
    “Hello, Nora.”

    “Eric, how has your summer been so far?”
    “Well, Nora, it has been rather busy. I’m ready to slow down for a bit.”
    “I totally understand, Eric. I have been busy too.”

    Besides the fact that the dialogue is a yawn fest, people don’t naturally use one another’s names that much when talking. I makes your characters sound like game show hosts. “Yes, Vanna.” (more…)

Writing Resource: Words for Tastes & Aromas

I haven’t offered a free resource in a little while. so here is my latest offering.  Often writers forget to incorporate all five senses, make sure you include taste and smell, in addition to what  your characters touch and see. Here is a cheat sheet to help you add sensory details involving the most overlooked senses.

Tastes & Aromas

Here is a downloadable PDF for personal use: Tastes & Aromas

Do you have any sensory words that you love to use?

Related Posts:

 

Check out the resources and master lists in the Prompt Me Series here on Amazon.

Prompt Me Series by Robin Woods.png

 

 

Writing Resource: Room Planner

Okay, so this isn’t earth shattering or anything, but it is something I find helpful when I can’t visualize something.  A few books back, I received a startling note from my editor: FIX THIS! I scanned through her notes and her confusion was a result of my room description. And, to tell you the truth, the physical room was a little ambiguous in my head–and that translated to confusion in her head.

SafeHouse1_Chap3

The safe house apartment in ALLURE (chapter 3).

Now, do you need to describe every single location in striking detail? Uh, no. That will slow the pacing down way too much (unless that is what your genre requires). I find this tool helpful when I need to picture a room and walk around it a bit before setting the scene. Do I do this often? No, but there are two main benefits: 1. You won’t give wonky description as to who is where, as I did (sheepish look). 2. You have a cool extra to post. Admittedly, it’s kind of fun too, just don’t get so distracted that you don’t write. (Yeah, I’m pointing at you, ha).

Check out the Room Planner

6 Tips for Writing a Novel

I am often asked how I manage to write a book (or more) a year with teaching, kids, and a healthy home life. Yes, sometimes I just want to curl up in fetal position and “make it all go away.” Eh, I’m human. But most days I move forward–even with a smile on my face. So this is what I do:

My Words of advice:

writing novella w cat

1. Write everyday (even if it is only a paragraph).

2. Read, read, and read.  If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.  Know what is happening in your genre–and feed your soul.

3. Guard your writing time.

4. Be consistent.

5. Spend a little time on social media each day.  Build a supportive community.  Be generous. Build a platform based on you and not a single book.

6. Have your work professionally edited–by more than one editor (content and line-by-line editors). Yes, it hurts spending money, but you cannot edit on your own. I am a professional English teacher by trade and training. I use at least two editors and a slew of beta readers on every single book.

HAVE YOUR BOOK PROFESSIONALLY EDITED–no arguing this point.

Some days you will fail, some you will succeed, and if you keep at it, you will get there.  Now go out an write. 🙂

 

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”  ― Stephen King