NaNoWriMo Day 8 – 2021

Welcome to week two!

The experience of week two can be wildly different for everyone. Maybe you’ve hit a good stride and are overflowing with ideas. Or maybe you are struggling to coax a story from your initial idea and find yourself boxed in.

My suggestion for the latter experience is to let yourself breathe a bit more. If you’re writing a serious period drama but really want to go on a tangent about gnomes, then do it. It may not fit the story, and it may not help the plot, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let yourself write it.

Who knows, maybe it will give you the inspiration to write the crucial scene in your story. Or maybe it just needed some gnomes all along.

Remember, this is draft 0. Whatever happens can stay between you and the novel, because this isn’t about perfection. This is about ideas and words.

If you only have one–ideas or words–then just keep going with what you have and the other will come in time.

And if you don’t have either and don’t want to write anything, try a writing prompt.

Today’s writing prompt:

Cellar, drama, temperature, breeze, jaw

Use these 5 words to come up with a scene for your novel. Bonus points if you can use every word!

Hope you’re having a good Monday!

NaNoWriMo Day 6 – 2021

Today we are 1/5th of the way through.

It’s the first weekend of the month, and I’m really glad for the rest. I’m currently applying to jobs at the same time as doing NaNoWriMo, so the pressure is definitely on and my brain is very dead.

The 10,000 mark is always exciting though!

Today’s writing prompt:

Use the weather to advance the plot.

Did heavy rain drive your characters to find a discovery? Did the sun burn a mark into your MC’s character growth? Did the snow bury a plot hole? Or maybe there’s just a tornado they all have to run from now.

Have fun!

NaNoWriMo Day 4 & 5 – 2021

Good news! I wrote something last night that I clicked with. I’m still not sure where my novel is going next, but at least I have a semi-interesting inciting incident.

If you’re still struggling to click with anything, then don’t worry. Just keep brainstorming and you’ll get there. And if you’re already at +10,000 words by now then go you! All experiences are valid this month.

Due to the missing writing prompt from yesterday, today you get two!

Writing prompt 1:

Write a scene using ONLY dialogue.

Dialogue is great because it can help move the story along, break up lines of description, and show the dynamics between characters. But dialogue can also be difficult to write, especially during nano when I often have to force myself to write something other than endless pages of world description.

Writing prompt 2:

Write a scene inspired by this photo!

Photo by Dustin Humes on Unsplash

Hope you’re having a great day 5 ❤

NaNoWriMo Day 3 – 2021

Good morning writers. A new day, a new page–what will you be writing today?

To be honest, I woke up feeling a little discouraged. I know, I know–it’s only day 3. But it’s okay if you feel like that too. Right now I can’t seem to think of a goal for my main character. All she does is stare broodily at the wall and tell me to do all the work.

Maybe I just need to approach my story from a different angle?

Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Day 2 – 2021

Greetings, friends! How did the first day of writing go?

I couldn’t wait to start–all week I’ve been thinking about characters and plot, making mood boards and naming cities. But yesterday I felt frozen–it took me all day to muster up the courage to type my first words. Those words were hard too. I have to have a good beginning, I told myself.

So did I really just psych myself out?

Yes.

Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2021

It’s that time of the year again!

I love autumn. Misty mornings, pumpkin pie, bright crunchy leaves, and a ridiculous month-long challenge. If you’re new to NaNoWriMo or have never heard of it before, go check it out and see if it’s for you: nanowrimo.org.

Last year I did a whole month of writing prompts for November, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I would do it again this year!

But first, let me spill the tea on my novel idea this year, because I will be attempting to write a ghost story. No guarantees it will end up a ghost story, but right now I’m channelling all the spooky Victorian fantasy vibes. I also made a map with this swanky fantasy map generator.

Today’s prompt:

Image by didier aires from Pixabay 

Starting off with an image. What are your eyes drawn to? The wreck rusting into nothingness? The hungry birds? Or the distant houses? Is it a literal event for your character, or is it simply a metaphor?

I wish you all the best of luck this NaNoWriMo. We got this!!

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

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