writing

Photo Writing Prompt: Moonlight Magic

We finally had a break in the torrential California rain, so I took my daughter out for a photo shoot. We have been safe, but there has been flooding not too far away.

I’ve had this scene in my head for weeks.

photo-writing-prompt

 

Here is a printable journal page with a smaller version of the picture: No one noticed when she melted into the backdrop of trees until… (more…)

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

(more…)

Book Review of Prompt Me

I received my first blog review of Prompt Me: Creative Writing Workbook & Journal by romance writer and teacher, Brooke E. Wayne. Read the review here. So exciting!

 

Prompt Me by Robin Woods Front Cover

Or view it on Amazon here. Blessings!

Writing Resource: Where Do We FEEL Emotion?

When a character has an 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.

(more…)

Resource: 2 Photo Writing Prompts

A little writing inspiration for you:
1

(more…)

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.

Prompt Me Novel Front Cover

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 Cover 8.25 x 10.5 (2 sharp)

OLD COVER

 

  • 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:

(more…)

Resource: Realistic Travel Times

Writing Resource | Realistic Travel Times | Robin Woods | #amwriting #writingtips #writing #writingcommunity

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 on a good day with no stops.

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

But sometimes Google won’t work. Maybe your characters are traveling on a private jet, or maybe your novel takes place in 1850.  Here are some fantastic resources to help you:

(more…)

Author Interview: Janet Elizabeth Henderson

Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Janet Elizabeth Henderson, author of The Invertary series—Lingerie Wars, Goody Two Shoes, Magenta Mine and Calamity Jena. With Bad Boy and Caught coming soon.

I have read three of her novels and loved them. If you need some seriously fun brain candy–read these books.

janet elizabeth henderson author image

A portrait by Janet’s husband dubbed, “Janet Smurf”

From Janet’s Bio: 

I’m a Scot, living in New Zealand and married to a Dutch man. I write contemporary romance with a humorous bent—this is mainly due to the fact I have an odd sense of humor and can’t keep it out of anything I do! If I wasn’t a writer, I’d like to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Indiana Jones. Unfortunately, both these roles have already been filled. Which may be a good thing as I have no fighting skills, wouldn’t know a precious relic if it hit me in the face and have an aversion to blood. When I’m not living in my head, I’m a mother to two kids, three pet sheep, one dog, two cats, three alpacas, two miniature horses and an escape artist chicken.

Hello Janet,

What genre do you consider your books? 

I write contemporary romance. Some people tell me that I write romantic comedy. I didn’t realize my writing was humorous until I started getting reviews for my first book.

I agree with the romantic comedy. There were several times I laughed out loud in public and had people giving me strange looks.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

Comedy is a funny thing to write. (Pun intended!) There are lots of things in real life that are hilarious, but if you put them in fiction they read as unbelievable or ridiculous. Often, when I use real life experience as an influence for a scene, I have to tone it down to make it believable. People who read my blog, or follow me on facebook, will recognize parts of my books as being based on real events in my life. I find life funny, ironic and downright ludicrous. Inspiration is everywhere.

What book are you reading now? 

(more…)

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…)