Brooke E. Wayne: A Rom-Com Writer's Ramblings
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Brooke E. Wayne: A Rom-Com Writer’s Ramblings

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Brooke E. Wayne: A Rom-Com Writer's Ramblings by Brooke E. Wayne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Kind of Surprise you Love!

Here I am minding my business, going about my day, nice and lazy, just the way I like my weekends, and wham, I finally get around to picking up the mail, and, wouldn’t you know, I had a surprise awaiting me.

Prompt Me More! by Robin Woods doesn’t even go on sale on Amazon until Tuesday, March 21st. Lucky me!

FullSizeRenderI’m one of those writers who cracks open the laptop every day. Whether I’m writing, mulling over something I’ve already written, character building, plotting, or scouting out a location in a far away land I’ll never actually get to visit but damned if I don’t plan on plopping a character down in the middle of at some point in one of my rom-coms, I am always doing something writerly, no matter what. Getting a new prompt booklet to expand on my thoughts is just what I needed to keep my mind running in guided directions instead of all over the place as I’m currently plotting out a whole series. You know those little lines or even whole scenes that creep up on you out of nowhere and fit perfectly into a seamless plot inspired by a random moment in your day … I just got handed a 176-page resource that does nothing but inspires and prods at my creativity without having to hunt for it. Sweeet!

So, when my fellow author friend extraordinaire shares the wealth on her latest publication, I’m all grabby hands about it, because … FREE (but, for you, it’s an affordable $9.99!), and, let’s face it, blank pages and blinky cursors are fine and all if you’re into that sort of tabula rasa feel, but, if you like to jumpstart your writing with a prompt, my friend has what you need. Seriously. You need this. You just have to wait a couple days. Then snag one for yourself or someone you know. Just do it. Do it. Do it.

If you haven’t checked out Robin Woods yet, you’re really missing out. First, she’s a young adult author who entangles fallen angels and vampires with the mundane world to create a magical place where there are no ‘normal’ days for the characters going about their own business in her Watcher Series. Secondly, she also pens workbooks for the writers in all of us. Prompt Me More! is her second installment filled with picture prompts and various creative juice starters, such as first and third person one-liners and dialogue prompts for fiction writing, as well as, self-discovery and interest prompts that are meant to spark a non-fiction piece. Oh, the endless possibilities!

If you write and love that hand’s on feel of pen on paper, the workbook is set up to write directly into it. If you prefer to type, then have it nearby your keyboard. Also, if you’re a teacher, your daily/weekly writing prompts are taken care of as they’re all classroom friendly. So much goodness!

With graduation just around the corner, this workbook makes a perfect gift for that young man or woman who loves to journal and enjoys a challenging prompt to spin a story around. I personally like to use Robin Woods’ workbooks to keep myself accountable to writing every day. But, enough about me, how do you plan on using your Prompt Me More! booklet?

Bringing in the New Year

New Year’s resolutions are peculiar kinds of self-imposed torture devices.

Diet, (but I looove chocolate), Exercise, (but it’s too cold outside to put in my miles), Write (but the whole mess swirling in my head won’t come out)

So it’s with a big ol’ eye roll that I put it in writing again to say …

I resolve to finish my second book. (Exhale)

It’s not even my second really if you count the pile of words I slapped a NaNoWriMo badge on a year ago or the hundred or so pages of two dead-in-the-water stories I’ll continue to leave bobbing around in the murky past.

But book number two in my two-part series cannot fall victim to my excuses anymore. (I’m saying this to myself more than you *wink*)

fullsizerender-1I’ve had some setbacks this past year that have left me with no other choice but to confess and move forward with a plan to commit to finishing what I started … again.

Writing in first-person and using a dual POV has become my favorite style of storytelling, which is one of the reasons I’m stalling on knocking out my second. The story only works if I tell it through a deep third-person POV. Besides, the consistency has to be there to match the first novel. If it wasn’t, OCD me would faint from the horror. Nevertheless, I keep dodging my document in lieu of adding pages to my other works.

Another reason is I can’t get the voice of a particular MC out of my head lately. Her incessant chatter keeps spilling out of me, and despite my shameful need to stay the course on getting past the first handful of pages of my second novel, I find myself constantly pecking out her quirky rants. She’s not even supposed to make an appearance for another seven books.

Yep. Seven. See, I haven’t been completely wasting my writerly time doing “nothing”.

fullsizerender-2Once the current WIP is complete, I am going to roll out a five-novel series, followed by another five-novel series both of which I’ve spent the last year character building and plot-weaving for at least five years’ worth of publishing material. See a trend here. I might need to make five resolutions to lock in my self-imposed jinx, I mean, commitment.

If I’d just get off my lazy a$$ and do the writing thing already.

Maybe lazy is too harsh. I haven’t been “not” writing, I’ve just been leaving words elsewhere.

I can’t deny that being in query limbo with a couple of agents for what feels like forever hasn’t thrown a dimmer switch on my motivation either. I’m more than likely going to nudge once more in hopes of getting closure with the full I’ve had in the hands of one particular agent, but a year of twiddling my thumbs is shameful on my part. A year. Ouch.

fullsizerenderI have to wonder if my junk mail somehow ate the rejection letter, or the MS got lost in the hundreds of others I know that particular agent receives a week, or if it really does take that long to get an answer. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I’ve been mulling the what-if’s too long with this little bump in the road to traditional publication.

And I’ve also been avoiding some head-butting at home that often comes with being a romance novelist with an active imagination. (uh, yeah, I’ll leave that explanation to the imagination like I do my closed door scenes)

So, in the end, I need to reach an end, and the quickest way to do that is to start or at least start where I left off and slough off the excuses. So I’m giving myself a New Year’s countdown to get on with my resolutions in five, four, three, two, …

Workbook Review: PROMPT ME by YA Author, Robin Woods

PROMPT ME by Robin Woods is the perfect workbook to jump start your creativity.

PromptMeWhether you are a seasoned writer or you’re simply a creative thinker and wish to exercise your writing chops, Robin Woods’ PROMPT ME workbook has countless prompts and exercises to fuel your imagination. I’ll even add that, if you’re an English teacher and you use bell work to get your students to focus, you may want to add this workbook to your repertoire of writing exercises.

The prompts range from photographs to one-liners and cater to all genres and POVs. First and third person prompts include gems like: “No matter how hard I tried, my feet couldn’t find purchase. Panic set in and my palms began to sweat …” and “When they tore down the wall, they discovered …”.

The booklet is organized so that you could just jump right into any section or simply start from page one. Journaling pages to explore your thoughts are sprinkled between the various prompts-all categorized-making it super easy to bounce around as your creative whims carry you.

There’s even a section that lets you do writing sprints with predetermined dialogue prompts. Robin Woods also includes lists of phrases that are easy to add into a paragraph to make your writing pop, like this alliterative one: “slick surface”.

Prompt Me isn’t just loaded with different types of prompts, it also includes several fill-in-the-blank charts for defining your characters far beyond hair and eye color. Some of the exercises have multiple choices that cater to just about any type of creative writing from Sci-Fi to Romance. And there’s also a list of writing prompt questions that explore self-discovery, roll play, and listing, as well as Haiku poetry exercises—a goldmine of personal journaling/bell work prompts.

Basically, this booklet has it all!

If you’re not familiar with Robin Woods, take at look at her website. She’s the author of several young adult novels, including The Watchers Series. Her site boasts a great writer’s tools section (just like the reference section in the back of this workbook) which is an excellent go-to for tips.

You can buy PROMPT ME on Amazon for $9.95 right now, and the best part is it ships through Prime, so you can start using your new workbook the day after tomorrow!

Workbook Review: Fiction Writing Journal & Workbook

If you’re a hands-on person and you’re starting from scratch as a newbie writer or you need to capture and organize all your random thoughts and scribbles to prepare to write your next novel, then Robin Woods’ Fiction Writing Journal & Workbook is meant for you.

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Fiction Writing Journal & Workbook by Young Adult author, Robin Woods, is organized with a reasonable, progressive flow to construct your novel, yet it’s easy to navigate back and forth between sections to suit your writing approach.

It’s full of all kinds of writerly information, graphic organizers, worksheets, and plenty of room for journaling to get your novel up and running.

So …

I recently decided to quell a trilogy plan I had been working on for a while that accompanied the current novel I’m querying. (Yep, I’m still hanging in there.) Instead, I am pressing forward with a sequel that can function as a stand-alone by branching a new love story from two minor characters in the first novel. In other words, I’m going with a two-part series.

My reasoning for this big change is because the premise for the third novel is just too exciting to keep it waiting, and the guts of the second novel could, with a little nip and tuck, easily serve up an overall better plot if I use that premise as the inciting moment and just move on.

Enter Robin Woods’ Fiction Writing Journal & Workbook.

It happened to be a happy accident that I was ready to delve into making sense of my independent sequel (is that even a term??) simultaneous to my long-time friend offering me a free copy of her workbook. Yes, you read that right, we’re friends, for, like, decades.

So …

Instead of just reading through the informational parts of the workbook and blasting an unbiased review all over the Internet once I’d finished (no doubt garnering some eye rolls and tsks or wonderings about whether friends ever really give friends ‘honest reviews’), I thought I’d show how I actually used the workbook and prove why I give it the maximum stars.

You see …

I have all these colorful spiral notebooks—a stack of them to be exact, and they have all kinds of disorderly information in them that, when pulled apart and mixed around, make perfect sense to me. Character studies, setting notes, plot points—you name it—and somewhere in my stack of madness there might actually be a method to this budding new sequel I want to pursue.

In addition to my teetering stack of stuff n’ stuff full of all kinds of random this n’ that I have accumulated over the last year, I also have lots of tidbits on my iPhone in the Notes App full of my thoughts-on-the-go, and I even have two Word Docsx outlines I had once planned for the trilogy plus oodles of rough draft writing to boot.

In other words, I’m hands-on and all over the place when I prepare to write. I just am.

And …

I was in need of a singular place to vet and compile before typing everything up into a functioning outline because I was dying to get this WIP rolling in the right direction.

Can you see how it was destiny? My mess and Robin Woods’ workbook were made for each other.

I was not kidding when I said BIG stack. FullSizeRender

HUGE.

Just look at it. ———————————>

All kinds of random going on in that mess. Two books’ worth of ideas that I needed to boil down into one poignant, romantic plot …

 

… Then this happened.

FullSizeRenderI found this workbook satisfied my need to write things down in a journal. Don’t get me wrong—I love using my laptop for all parts of the writing process—but this workbook helped me scratch that itch to put pencil on paper, so that I could compile my final outline. The fact that it has everything I need in graphic organizers to help me reel in the stack of madness makes this workbook the bomb.

Here’s a peek at the table of contents to give you a better idea of what the book contains to help you organize your future best seller:

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Robin Woods’ website, http://www.robinwoodsfiction.com, also contains lots of helpful information for writers of all genres. She’s a YA author of The Watcher Series and has six novels and one work of non-fiction under her belt. Definitely, check out her site, and, if you like a hands-on approach to organizing your fiction ideas, her book is the tool you need.

Dating When You’re Married

Valentine’s Day  launched me into a week long vacation. Not so much for my little darlings—the subtle differences in working for one school district and having our children attend another. Once I got over the sheer horror of being at home without the girls (they’re only five and eight … practically babies … and I’m an over-protective mama … so yeah), I started taking advantage of all this free intelligence-based babysitting courtesy of the state of California.

I have gone on more dates this week with my husband than in the last few years. (For the record, we’ve been married for nine.)FullSizeRender

With the children safely tucked away in school, we’ve been restaurant hopping each day this week. I’ve been wined and dined so much I’ve added a two-plus-mile-a-day walk to my not-so-busy schedule just to combat the extra calorie dump.

I’m not even embarrassed to say we took advantage of our free one-week trial of Hulu just to watch The Goldbergs show from the very beginning. We were late bloomers in discovering this awesome 80’s laugh-out-loud sitcom, so it’s been totally bitchin’ to get caught up on it. TV binging has been kinda fun. 🙂

In the midst of spoiling myself silly, I even wrapped up an extensive edit on my manuscript, fine-tuning a couple of elements. Then, I did something either completely bonkers… or just plain smart. (Time will tell.) I resubmitted the updated version to the agents who have my full MS and haven’t responded yet.

Nudging is nerve-racking, to say the least—right up there with querying. But this business takes time. And, if these agents want to squat on my manuscript for months on end, so be it. Like I said, time will tell.

As the weekend fast approaches, I’m getting a little restless. Diving back into work is like jumping head first into the Bering Sea. We all need to warm up to the daily grind, but I did leave us on a cliff-hanger with the novel I’m teaching (not on purpose, in case you just shrieked right now), and I’m hoping Monday will be kind … to all of us.

Until then, there’s one more day left before we head into a weekend of family fun. My husband is picking tomorrow’s dining experience … and he said something about catching a movie, too. Fun. So much fun!

Oh, and the cliffhanger … Ponyboy is about to become a hero. (I know, I know, but I might have Monday inadvertently in the bag.)

Email Newsletters – The Next Big Step in a Writer’s Life

Romantic Mystery/Romance novelist Susan Roberts now has a Newsletter link. Check it out!

Susan's Musings

Since I left South Africa I have become a full time writer by default. Those of you who know me, know how much I love writing. I will happily write all day if given half a chance. In the last few years I have written six novels: two for practice, three for sale as ebooks on Amazon, and one more to join them shortly.

I don’t have a problem writing at all.

However, I do have a problem marketing both myself and my books. It’s not that they don’t sell, but rather that they don’t sell fast. Granted, I haven’t exactly been bending over backwards to publicize them for the last few years. Moving to Australia took rather a lot of time and energy out of my life in the not too distant past, especially in the last two years.

Time waits for no man (or woman) and in the…

View original post 680 more words

Happy Valentine’s Day

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I had insomnia the night before last and was curled up on my side, eyes shut, trying to force myself to go back to sleep when my husband stirred awake. He draped his hand on my hip and breathed, “Aww, you’re so beautiful when you’re sleeping.” To which, I replied, “Thank you,” nearly giving him a heart attack. He didn’t know I was awake. Compliments me in my ‘sleep’ people. I love this man! Happy Valentine’s Day ❤

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