My Favourite Spooky Books

Happy day-after-Halloween, day-before-Dios de Los Muertos, and 1st day of NaNoWriMo!

As two of these events are traditionally spooky, let’s think about spooky books! Also, my NaNoWriMo story this year will probably have heavy vibes of all the books I’m about to mention, so I think this works nicely as today’s blog post. Disclaimer: I’m not a big reader of horror, so these books are not that–they’re just ‘spooky’ and play around with ideas of death/supernatural creatures/witches. You’ll also notice that there’s not much author/book variety here, so join in and please list your favourite ‘spooky’ books and why they’re worth reading in the comments! Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018-why you should be writing a novel this month https://sonorahillsauthor.com/From the exact moment this is posted, it will be two days and fourteen hours until NaNoWriMo. Or exactly 3,720 minutes.

It’s coming.

And I’m so excited!!!

For those of you who pay attention: yes, today is a Monday and I usually post on Thursdays. But not this month, folks. For November I will be posting every Monday with NaNo themed content–prompts, pep-talks, and commiseration galore–as well as my usual Thursday posts. For me, NaNoWriMo has always been about trying something new–this bi-weekly posting is new for me, we’ll see how it goes!

What will your new be? A lot of people’s reasons for not doing NaNo is based on incorrect facts. I’m not here telling you that you have to do it–I’m just going to tell you how you’re missing out, and why your reasons for not doing it are wrong. Because I’m nice like that. Continue reading

Writing Prompt #8

Time for another writing prompt! It doesn’t feel like it’s been two weeks since the last one. The British weather is still confused, the trees are still easing into various shades of red and gold, and I’m still behind on my reading (there’s a very large stack of scientific papers staring at me right now).

But here we go. Another image that holds a story. Or ten stories. Or 100. Or…

Anyway, let’s do this thing. Continue reading

Literary Ethics–Age Restrictions and Writing Taboo Topics

Literary Ethics--should we subject books to the same age restrictions as films? https://sonorahillsauthor.com/Why don’t books have age restrictions?

Films do. Yes, you can buy that 18 and watch it at home in the secrecy of your room or let your kids watch it. But there is still a huge red number on the cover. Books occasionally have suggested reading ages, but for all intents and purposes, they have no age restrictions. Their content also has very little moderation.

A blind eye is turned on our “Teen novels”, classics, and especially self-published novels which often deal with disturbing, delicate topics like rape, violence against women and children, and minors having sex.

Is this okay? Continue reading

Writing Prompt #7

October. Colourful trees, pumpkins, the return of thick blankets and that annoying sound the radiator makes at 3am. Three weeks into my second year at uni and goodness is it hard to fit writing into my full workload. But here I am, doing writing prompt #7.

Whatever pile of revision or deadlines or life obligations are eating away at your soul, just step away for a moment. Take a deep breath. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. Lose yourself in another world. When you’ve finished, your work will still be waiting, but you’ll be stronger and ready to conquer it. Continue reading

My Current Writing Projects

Update on My Current Writing Projects - Two novels and this blog https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

Early cover sketches

So it’s October, and I’m still slogging on, trying to keep up work on my writing. I thought I’d give an update on where I am at the moment and where I hope to go. This includes an entirely new novel, B Like You, which up until this spring, I was planning to keep hidden under my bed. But then I read it, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. So I decided to try and make it into something presentable. So here we go, my current projects: Continue reading

Writing Prompt #6

September is nearly over, autumn is in full swing, and let’s not forget November is only a month away–you know what that means. NaNoWriMo is coming!! Yes, it’s still ages away, but the time will pass before we know it, so why not start limbering up with writing prompts?! Or, if you’re just here to join in and have fun, that works too!

Today’s game: Double Up

Fusion of Snap Shot and Fire Starter!! Use both the sentence and the image to spark an idea for a flash piece. Continue reading

Dialogue 101

IMG_20180812_172236_01_01Dialogue is a powerful writing tool. It can help your writing in endless ways–build your characters, further the plot, spice up boring descriptions, develop empathy, draw in your reader. Honestly, if you aren’t writing dialogue, you should be.

That said, several people have told me they feel dialogue is their weak point–they can’t make it interesting, it doesn’t work, their characters sound stiff, it’s too much effort, etc. This isn’t how it should be! Dialogue isn’t that hard once you figure it out, and written well, it brings so many bonuses, you owe it to your writing to figure it out.

Here are my tips. Continue reading

Writing Prompt #5

Another Thursday rolls around and I don’t about the rest of the world, but summer seems to be truly slipping away in England. Here’s a summery(ish) writing prompt so we can all pretend the weather’s lying!

Name of the game: Snap Shot.

The rules: Stare at the picture. What does it make you think of? What story is it telling? Okay–thought of something? Good. Now set a timer to 10 minutes and start writing that story. Ready, set, go!

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 6.40.56 PM Continue reading

5 Things I Do When Attempting to be Productive

5 Things I do When Attempting to be Productive -- productivity tips for your bullet journal https://sonorahillsauthor.comSometimes, I feel like the hardest thing in life is deciding what you want and then working towards those goals. I’ve been told I have good commitment, but when another evening rolls in and all I’ve done is eat and watch YouTube, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

When uni ended for the summer, I had all these great plans regarding my novels and this blog–I was going to work hard on my drafts, start getting friends to give me feedback, start posting weekly again… However, by the end of July, I’d basically done nothing. I then decided I was fed up with half-heartedly chasing my goals and I was ready to make a plan and get out there with that butterfly net.

So far, it’s going well. I know that a one-size motivation-plan doesn’t fit all, but getting me moving sometimes feels like beating a rock with a stick. So I’d like to share with you 5 things I’ve been doing this summer that (as of yet) seem to be working: Continue reading