5 Tips for Referencing in Scientific Writing

In scientific writing, referencing is the secret to success. Contrary to what it seems, a scientific paper should be easy to follow and all statements should be backed up by “proof”, whether that proof is your own data or another’s.  If it’s not yours, you reference it, and prop yourself up on great science of the past. Done well, this makes your words and science believable. Here are my tips for avoiding easy referencing mistakes and improving your writing! Continue reading

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Writing Prompt #19

It’s nearly Easter break! If you can believe it with how cold the past few days have been–apparently snowstorms are predicted for England…

April snowstorms bring May’s reform?

Whatever is going to happen, I’m looking forward to having a break and getting some more writing done!

Today’s writing 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!

The image:

Writing Prompt #19 - Write a 10 minute piece inspired by this photo to practice your writing! https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

How did you find that? Here’s what I wrote–I really enjoyed the abstract interpretation that ensued! My boyfriend joined in and wrote this poetic piece.

Feel free to share your interpretation of this prompt in the comments below or anywhere you like!

Happy writing!

Why you should read bad books and watch bad films

If you want to write well, you’re told the best way to do this is to read good books and practice, practice, practice. What you’re not told to do is read the worst books ever written, but that is exactly what you should be doing.

Bad films are also good, especially if you enjoy writing screenplays or even filming and editing your own shorts. Why? Why am I telling you to waste your time on creations that should never have existed in the first place?

Because then you know exactly what NOT to do, which is arguably just as valuable as knowing what you should do. Continue reading

Why do I study biology instead of a writing degree?

Yup. This post is a day late. I’ve yet to purchase either time turner or Tardis, so such is my life.

Speaking of my life, what am I doing with it? I love stories above all else. I love to read and analyse and find patterns in plots and letters. People complain when we watch films together “Sonora, stop meta-watching”. So why am I not doing a literature degree? Or a creative writing degree? Or something “artsy”?

Well, here’s my rambling answer to that. If you’re currently trying to decide what to do with your life (i.e. what university degree to choose, or university versus all the million other things out there), then maybe my story will help you think about it. Continue reading

Am I a Writer?

Am I a Writer? - What is a 'real' writer and why you're allowed to call yourself one. https://sonorahillsauthor.com/

What is a writer? When can you call yourself one? And how do you get the world to?

We live in a world of titles, where the difference of a few words can offend or flatter–fire you or get you a job–make enemies or friends. Finding out who you are is a big part of accepting yourself, and telling others where your strengths lie or what your job is. But often, there’s a line between professional and unprofessional. If you took a summer course in first aid, you cannot call yourself a trauma surgeon–it wouldn’t make sense. But turn to creativity titles like youtuber or photographer, and the lines are very blurred. In many cases, I don’t think they even exist.

I call myself a writer. An author, even. Am I being presumptuous? Do I really “understand” what I’m talking about? Why am I not a bestseller? If I’m a writer, shouldn’t I at least learn how to write regularly scheduled blog posts?

Well… let’s discuss. What does it really mean to be a writer? Continue reading

I’ve been published in a YA anthology!

Published in an anthology! https://sonorahillsauthor.com/Remember that writing prompt I did back in September which I didn’t share because I was considering submitting it to a contest? Well I did, and now it’s been published!

Short stories from 21 talented writers (including me!) make up the final instalment of an exploratory journey of the seven sins: Pride, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, Avarice, and Lust. Meant for a YA audience, Lust has stories involving first love and stolen kisses, but also ones about the lust for power or an addiction.

Here’s the blurb for my lgbtq+ short story:

Fire and Starlight Girl

Sixteen-year-old Cassie has been best friends with Ella forever. On a beach holiday with Ella’s family, the girls plan on exploring, swimming and watching the sunset over the ocean. It’s a perfect summer until Cassie realizes she has feelings for Ella. They’ve always been able to tell each other everything, but is it worth sharing this time if it means she could lose Ella completely?

 

Never pass up the opportunity to enter a contest or submit to a journal/anthology–the editors/judges may really like what you have to say and your writing could find a home!

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

NaNoWriMo Week 2: Snowball Effect

NaNoWriMo Week 2- tips, games and inspiration for the snowball week https://sonorahillsauthor.com/It is week 2. Day 12. Technically week 2.5. Already, NaNo participants, you have done incredible things. For example, Germany who have a combined total of 31 MILLION words from 3,787 people so far (I didn’t realise this region scoreboard existed–it’s really cool!). Week 2 is all about rolling out from week one with a purpose: you know your characters, you know what they want, you know their world–now you can get down to creating drama; the beautiful snowy hill is in front of you and it’s time to get on that sledge.

If instead of this, you’re still struggling with the actual forming of your snowball story, don’t worry. As the data from the region scoreboard indicates, there are so many people in your shoes. But you’ve started and you’re going to do this thing! I’ve compiled some games, some tips, and some very fun quotes from authors to try and help all of you, struggling or not, to stay motivated. Hope they help! 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