Fan Questions

FAN QUESTION: Ali’s Loyalty

I gotta say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of your books. A couple months ago I got my friend into them too. But recently she and I have been getting into arguments because she doesn’t like Ali. She doesn’t think she has enough of a personality or thinks that some of her actions aren’t good. Like she thinks that Ali has no loyalty because she leaves her friends after Josh comes back. When she says this I take it as a personal attack because I relate to Ali so much. What should I do?

Anonymous via TUMBLR

First of all, thank you for reading.  I am honored that people are passionate about my books.  Unfortunately, we can’t *make* people like what we like.  I am a little baffled on the not having enough personality.  Ali is strong and sassy in my mind’s eye (you see this more in The Nexus).  She is not perfect, but who is?  The flaws are what make characters interesting.The Unintended HiRez

As far as loyalty goes, I see her as fiercely loyal.  All of the decisions she makes in The Unintended are pretty much based on loyalty.  She avoids her friends to protect them, not leave them behind.  She would much rather have a house full of people when she feels threatened, but the thought of one of her friends getting hurt is more than she can handle.  So she faces a creepy, empty house on her own.

Another point: She never abandoned her friends the entire time she was dating Robert, and she wouldn’t have done it if the situation with Joshua was a little more normal.  The only reason she hadn’t been hanging out with them more was because she was in huge trouble with her parents for letting her grades slip after breaking up with Robert.

[Spoilers for The Unintended below]

When she makes the decision to leave her family and friends in the end of the novel, it is not because of Josh (although, he is a bonus).  She leaves to protect both her friends and family.  Peter almost died because of her.  The danger is immediate enough, that Peter leaves, too.  Isn’t that loyalty?

In The Nexus, she is willing to give herself up to save her friends.  There are many, many more examples of this.  In fact, her willingness to sacrifice herself for others becomes a hot-button issue in The Fallen.

Hopefully this helps!  I’m happy to help if you have other questions.

I have some freebies here: https://robinwoodsfiction.com/for-fans/

FAN QUESTION: VALUES

In The Nexus, why did Aleria freak out so bad on Winslow? She couldn’t even admit that he had a bit of a point suggesting that she sleep with someone. Why did she let her values get in the way of the greater good like that?
Anonymous via TUMBLR

The simplest possible answer is that it made her feel like property—and more specifically—a whore. Remember that this is an emotional response and she hasn’t had even twenty-four hours to digest this information.  She already feels like her life has been stripped away and she is living like a prisoner.  To be told that if the man she loves can’t do the deed, then they should just have someone else do it was demeaning.

Ali would have probably ended with the same conclusion Winslow had suggested, but it was too soon.  Everyone was thinking it, but Gabriel and Joshua were at least kind enough to give her the space to figure it out.  And Gabriel would never have allowed Ali to be forced, whereas Winslow, being a fearful man, would have considered force as an option. Ali sensed this and reacted to it. So besides feeling like control of her own body wasn’t hers to choose, she also felt unsafe.

On a more philosophical note, the value of an individual and the right to free will are both motifs in the series. There is a struggle between the two factions within the Concilium on whether the individual matters. Do the ends justify the means? Is it acceptable to take/strip individuals of their rights for the greater good?

NexusSummerRead

FAN QUESTION: Next Project?

I really like your Watchers series, but I’ve been curious: do you have plans in the works to release a separate project?
Anonymous

Yes, I do have some brainstorming done for three different projects.  I’m not sure which one I will do first.  I have a Hollywood producer wanting me to write a few novellas that can be turned into scripts.  One of those projects is a reboot of a fairy tale.

I am also planning on writing a few more extras and putting all of the shorts together into one book.

FAN QUESTION: SECOND DRAFTS

I just finished the first draft of my first novel. I was wondering if you had any tips on seconds drafts. What do you usually focus on and look for when you rework your first drafts?
Anonymous

First of all, congratulations!  Finishing an entire novel is something to be proud of.

I have developed a process through several books.  This is what I do:

1. I put away the MS for at least two weeks (usually 3-4 weeks).  It is tempting, but I don’t look at it at all.  Then, I go through and do a quick clean up.  This is mostly catching missing words and horrible typos.  Writing at 3:00 AM always provides some humorous errors (sell phone instead of cell phone…or the scandalous: pubic instead of public…yeah, that happened).

2. It is at this point I hand a hard-copy of the MS over to some trusted beta readers.  Their job is to give me general content comments.  How is the pacing? Is it confusing anywhere? I specifically ask them to poke holes in anything they can.  I try to make sure that I give it to both male and female beta readers.  My readers are usually teachers, but I specifically pick non-English teachers,as well as, English teachers. You need math/science people that can look at your work from a different angle.

3. While I am getting feedback from my beta readers, I start working through word choice, clarifications, and tone.

4. I do not cut anything until I get to the third draft.   I will often color code something I am thinking about cutting, but I hold off.  Sometimes the items I am thinking about cutting end up being moved or inspire something else.  Also when cutting, keep extras in mind.

I usually have four to five drafts, plus proofreading for each novel.

I have more tips and free resources on my website here: https://robinwoodsfiction.com/for-writers/

Hope this helps.  I am happy to answer any other questions you have.

Blessings and good luck!

Fan Questions: Personality

I gotta say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of your books. A couple months ago I got my friend into them too. But recently she and I have been getting into arguments because she doesn’t like Ali. She doesn’t think she has enough of a personality or thinks that some of her actions aren’t good. Like she thinks that Ali has no loyalty because she leaves her friends after Josh comes back. When she says this I take it as a personal attack because I relate to Ali so much. What should I do?
Anonymous
—————————————

First of all, thank you for reading.  I am honored that people are passionate about my books.  Unfortunately, we can’t *make* people like what we like.  I am a little baffled on the not having enough personality.  Ali is strong and sassy in my mind’s eye (you see this more in The Nexus).  She is not perfect, but who is?  The flaws are what make characters interesting.The Unintended HiRez

As far as loyalty goes, I see her as fiercely loyal.  All of the decisions she makes in The Unintended are pretty much based on loyalty.  She avoids her friends to protect them, not leave them behind.  She would much rather have a house full of people when she feels threatened, but the thought of one of her friends getting hurt is more than she can handle.  So she faces a creepy, empty house on her own.

Another point: She never abandoned her friends the entire time she was dating Robert, and she wouldn’t have done it if the situation with Joshua was a little more normal.  The only reason she hadn’t been hanging out with them more was because she was in huge trouble with her parents for letting her grades slip after breaking up with Robert.

[Spoilers for The Unintended(more…)