Writing Prompt #13

Happy 2019!

My year started wonderfully with friends, champagne, and games. These included Pass the Parcel, a very British party game which seems to me like an excuse to throw things at family members (I promise I do actually enjoy it).

Of course, now it’s time for me to dive head first into revision in order to pass my exams, starting with evolutionary biology–timed-essay style–on the 14th. But before that, here’s a writing prompt!

Name of the game: Fire Starter. Continue reading

Advertisements

Resolutions: why they matter to stories

2019 is right around the corner and the time for the obligatory New Year’s resolution has come. Did you make your’s last year, will you do so this year? Who knows–I hope you succeed–but regardless, life will go on.

Resolutions: why they matter to stories - The true drivers of plot and why they're important https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

This is not true in stories, where resolutions perpetuate everything. Resolutions are the fuel, the driving force–they are the plot. Without them, readers will lose interest. Continue reading

The Best Christmas Stories – Novels, Films and Picture Books

My favourite part of Christmas is the anticipation. Hoping for snowy days, smelling cookies in the oven, imagining people’s faces when they receive your gifts! In my opinion, traditions are key for this anticipation–remembering the events of the past and thinking about them continuing to occur, come what may. Traditions are our stories, and they make us feel grounded and safe.

In my family, stories are an important part of winter! From the much-loved picture books we’ve loved since I can remember, to some cute romcoms and wintery literature, here are a few of my favourite Christmas stories!

Please share your favourite festive stories with me in the comments! Continue reading

Writing Prompt #11

It’s December! NaNoWriMo is over, there are Christmas trees and fairy lights everywhere, and I feel very festive. Unfortunately for me, the festiveness also comes with a million end-of-term deadlines. Yay.

For a break, I did this Christmassy writing prompt and managed to rope in several people to do it with me. The results were hilarious. So, join in and then see what we wrote! Continue reading

Biology Projects – Tales and Tips From a 2nd Year Uni Student

Biology Projects - Tales and Tips from a second year uni student about fish, insects, and writing a good scientific paper https://sonorahillsauthor.com/I thought it would be fun to share some of the science I’ve been doing, especially because it involves words. When people think of biology, they tend to think of the experiments, not the hours spent trying to condense those projects into a legible and concise piece of art.

It may not be literary art, but writing good papers is still an art–you’re still telling a story. For this post, I’m going to attempt to break down a little bit of that story and also to talk about two of the fun behavioural studies I’ve been doing!

WARNING: contains big bugs, pretty graphs, some numbers, and twenty zebrafish. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Week 4: The Last Stretch

We’re nearly there.

NaNoWriMo Week 4-It's the last stretch! Power through with some tips, dares, and baking recipes! https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

As I’m writing this, it’s half a week before it’s posted, I’m behind, and I feel like I’ve only just scraped past the halfway point. Still technically in week 3, the end seems too close, but at the same time, I’m also looking forward to taking a break from words. I have too many essays with mid-December deadlines that I have not started and I just want it to be Christmas.

But.

I have a semi-formed blob of a novel and I’m proud of it. It’s not really going anywhere and I have yet to have any form of extreme conflict, but I have some really fun characters. You should be proud of what you’ve created too. We’ve done this–we made something amazing, and we can’t quit now that we’re so close to the end. I’ve compiled together some writing dares, some tips, and some sugar-filled baking recipes to help us through these last five days. We can do this!! Continue reading

Writing Prompt #10

In the grand scheme of things, 10 is a small number. It’s the number of our fingers. Two bags of custard doughnuts from Co-op (which are surprisingly vegan). And a perfectly acceptable number of zebrafish to own (I was going to say cats, but then I thought about it).

But still. TEN. It’s very exciting to have reached double digits. It also means I’ve been doing these regularly for fifteen weeks (every other Thursday). Writing prompt #1 was actually in May and wasn’t going to be a regular thing. But writing prompt #2 got such an unexpected amount of positive feedback I decided to do it that way! I’ve definitely enjoyed doing a writing prompt every other week, and I definitely think it’s helped my writing. I hope if you’ve tried any of them, that you’ve also found them fun and/or helpful!

So, for this lovely 10th prompt, here’s a new type of writing game! Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Week 3: The Cliffs of Insanity

“Look! He’s right on top of us!” There was a pause. “I wonder if he’s using the same wind we are using…”

“Whoever he is, he’s too late. See–the Cliffs of Insanity!!” -Princess Bride (the film)

I’ve found the cliffs. They are tall and awful and there’s no way around them.

It all started last Thursday. I had a deadline for a project write-up about a behavioural study I did with aposematic stick insects. I left it about a day too late and worked so so hard to get it written in time for the Wednesday night deadline. So Thursday, I obviously felt great because I’d finished it in time, but I also just didn’t want to write. Every day since then it’s been an incredible struggle to go anywhere near anything at all that involves words. The worst part is I know I can do it–it’s not that difficult to just carry on and push through. A couple days behind is fine. Except that my whole brain is screaming “I don’t want to!” at me.

Have you also found yourself at the base of the cliffs? If so, hi. Welcome to week 3. Let’s just try to get through this as best we can. We are past the halfway point after all! Here’s my care-pack/box-of-toys for you: Continue reading

Guest Post: “A Typical Pep Talk” by Kaleia Hills

First, I would like to thank Sonora for asking me to write a guest NaNo pep talk on her blog. “Thank you.”

Now it’s time for me to say a bunch of encouraging stuff while talking about how amazing I am and give you tips from Me, A Real Author. I have an agent and you don’t. Is this encouraging or does it just make you feel like you suck? You feel like you suck? Well, I guess I just wrote the best pep talk ever! Bye.
P.S. You can do it but you’ll never be a real author.
P.P.S. I’m not actually even doing Nanowrimo.

This pep talk was written by Real Author # 7 of 10

I always hated these pep talks. Maybe they never say that exactly, but I always feel like it’s between the lines. First of all, I am 16 1/2 and definitely don’t have an agent. Second, I don’t really consider myself a real author. I consider myself trying really hard. Third, I am actually doing NaNoWriMo this year (I’m a little bit behind).

NaNoWriMo is hard. Different people find it easier than others. But that is because we are all different. Some people win in the first week. Others write several thousand words on the last day and just barely reach the 50,000 word goal. Then, there are the people who win every year (like Sonora) and the people who win some years and not other years (like me). Whichever one of these you are, it’s fine. Honestly. Continue reading