Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Show, Don’t Tell… Writing to inspire…

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It’s barely above 25 degrees this morning here in Georgia. So, burr… It makes my coffee that much better, if that’s even possible. Anyhoo, today we’re talking Show, Don’t Tell… What? Yes, that’s I said. So here goes!

Have you ever read a book and you felt like you were there? Why? Because the writer put into words what the character was seeing. Of course sometimes in our own imagination, we see the world the writer creates. But, it’s important for a writer to let us see their world that is being created with words. Help the reader take the journey with you. And as a writer, you know what I’m talking about. We see the story in our head, but the reader doesn’t unless we let them in on the whole thing, not just the words.

What do I mean? Well, if your character walks out and it’s bitterly cold, then you want your reader to shiver. But how do you do that? Let’s go through an example:

Telling: Rose walked outside and it was cold. She got the mail, then went back to the house to warm up. (Ok, so here in this example, the writer is telling you it’s cold outside, but you don’t know how cold or anything further than it’s cold. This would work, but let’s try this again.)

Showing: Rose opened the door to an artic blast hitting her as she stepped outside. The temperature had dropped to well below freezing and the wind seemed to slice through her thin coat. The walk to the mailbox was bone chilling as she struggled to keep her jacket tightly around her. When she turned to go back to the house, she looked forward to the crackling fire that was waiting for her. The moment she shut the door, leaving the bitter cold outside, the warmth of the fire seem to melt the ice from her as she held up her hands to give them a good thaw. (Now, you feel the cold, the wind, and the characters reaction to those elements. Not to mention, it was more wordy so you made more of a punch. See the difference.)

So, with that, think about how you express things in your writing. The reader doesn’t know the wall is red until you tell them. But remember, tell them the shade red, how the red makes the character feel, etc. Get it. Now, go out there and write up a storm, literally.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing scenes ahead…

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Good morning from icy Georgia! It’s below freezing and the precipitation falling isn’t rain… Time for the bulky sweaters that collect dust, but I keep them for just this sort of day…

Now, on to the post. Have you ever wrote a scene ahead of time? I keep a notebook beside my laptop for just this thing. And I label them as what they are. About 90% of the time I know in my head how the book ends and if I’m working on the first half and hit a snag, I’ll write the ending. It inspires me to push through the fog that clouds my thoughts sometimes.

But, will those scenes change and evolve as the writing prior to them does. Certainly, but it keeps you focused on the upcoming events. I’ve written several pages of scenes, then totally deleted some of them as the characters went in another direction. But it’s exciting to step ahead and see the future.

Did I say I could see the future? Yes, in my writing I can. So don’t ask me to read tea leaves or anything like that. I can’t see that kind of future. So, start looking ahead in your WIP and see what can be. It will help with the current part of the process.

As always, good writing and <ay God Bless You…


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Don’t rush it… Patience needed!

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What a dreary Monday! Monday’s are a struggle, but when you wake up to rain and bone chilling cold, well, it puts you in the wrong mood. So, let’s talk patience. LOL! Yep, that word that we’ve forgotten existed…

Patience by definition is the ability to take things in stride, not rush into something, without getting upset. In other words, even though you want to do something so badly that you hit the start button before you have everything ready. And that’s where you get into trouble.

Here’s what the Bible says: Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

And I know how hard it is to be patient, especially when you have a new release coming. Here’s an example: You’ve finished your current work in progress, but you need to edit, then send to your editor for more edits, then add those new edits, market for the new release, make sure the cover is ready, etc… You get the point. But the problem with all of this is that it takes time to do all of this, and all of this is important. If you jump into the pot before the grease is hot, well, you’ll just end up soggy.

It’s like putting a puzzle together. You can’t rush to the last piece without putting all of the other pieces together first. It’s impossible, so you have to patiently put the other pieces together. The same with publishing a book. One step at a time…

So, here’s my advice and believe me, I’ve been there and done that. Make sure to check all the boxes before you hit submit. You wouldn’t publish to Amazon before you had a cover, would you? Then don’t publish before you’ve got the steps completed in order to put out the best book you possibly can.

Patience is something we have to work on. Me included. If you feel like you’ve just got to do something, then start on the next project and market like crazy for the one you’re about to release. But make it right the first time and the patience will pay off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Romance for the ages…

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Good Thursday morning… Romance, some believe in it, some don’t. It’s up to you. As a writer of romance, I believe in the possibility of romance for everyone. You just have to seek it out. Romance can be found in the simplest of gestures.

For some, romance is candles, wine, dancing … you know, the stuff you see when you look up romance, But to me, it’s in the slight touch of ones hand. It’s the look across the table that says I love you unconditionally. Sometimes romance can be found in a mere word, not just the three words in I love you.

When writing romance, authors have to spread romance through normal channels. In a historical romance, it could be the knight saving the damsel in distress. In a paranormal romance, it could be a ghost finding his or her lost love in the afterlife. In a contemporary romance, it could be as simple as buying a set of books for your love. It’s the simple things in life that bring the best romance. And to me, that’s the true romance, when it’s on a whim, not set up like a movie set.

Romance in it’s truest form can be intoxicating and passionate. Some never seek romance, they only seek love. How is that different? To this romance author, it’s worlds apart. You can love someone without romance. Love comes in many forms. You can love your partner and want to be there for every moment, but there may be no romance there. But when you combine love and romance, the possibilities are endless.

Yes, I’m what some call a true romantic. I strive to add romance in my marriage by the simplest things. Every night I make my hubby a sandwich for him to take to work the next day, and sometimes I add heart on the bag just to remind him of the romance we share. Sometimes we share just the touch of our fingertips as we pass in the hallway and just that mere wisp of a touch brings a warm fuzzy romantic feeling. You may think that’s all sappy, but to us, it’s the small things.

Tomorrow my hubby and I will celebrate 27 years of wedded bliss. I can tell you this, the romance hasn’t died and if I have anything to do with it, the romance never will.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What it takes to write…

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Good Wednesday! It’s chilly here in Georgia. My fingers are stiff and it makes writing difficult, but I’m forging on.

I hear people all the time say, ‘I can write a novel. How hard can it be?’. Sometimes I just let it blow over my shoulders, then other times I look at them and tell them what it takes to write that novel. Usually by the time I’m done, they have changed their mind. So, let’s go through some things it takes to put those words on the paper.

Now, don’t get me wrong, anyone can put words on a paper, but… Words on a paper… What a concept…

To write a novel that actually makes sense, you have to get it in the right order. Make sure that you don’t bust the bubble too early and lose the reader. You have to focus on the ebb and flow of the story line. If you write in a up and down motion, meaning there is constant conflict, then resolution, then more conflict and more resolution, the reader will grow tired. It’s important to have a story within the conflict and resolution. The reader needs to be pulled into your story. It needs a purpose.

And an important part of writing is patience. The words don’t write themselves. You have to be patient as you put your story together. If you just haphazardly write, then you’ll get the wrong result. The story needs to be polished and ready before you send it out. Believe me, I’ve been impatient before and the results were less than mediocre. I’ll never do that again.

So, when someone says they could write a novel, explain to them the process. And I’ve only touched on the many intricacies of getting a story completed that will sell and bring you joy. There are so many facets of the writing process that it would take many posts to accomplish.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When you cry at the end…

Good morning! I’m a little emotional this morning. I typed THE END on the Mistletoe Ranch Series late last night. To say I’m sad to see these characters go away is an understatement. This has been one of those series that totally filled me with joy.

Today marks the first day after the Mistletoe Ranch. That may sound strange, but to a writer, it’s all too clear. You spend almost everyday with these characters and it’s surreal when they no longer fill your writing time.

But as with anything, you step away and start a new manuscript. So, I say goodbye to Denver and Maddy, but maybe one day I’ll revisit them. You never know, I am a writer and we’re a different people. We love our characters fiercely and have a hard time letting go of them.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Release date: January 29th!

Preorder now. Starting this afternoon it will be only .99 for a limited time!


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The last day of 2020…

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Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! This year has been so different from what we wished for only a year ago today. Life had changed for almost everyone and the way we do things is different. But life goes on and we have to make the best of every situation.

My writing has been going along fairly well, which is surprising to me. So many writers have said that this year has made them less productive. I’ve focused on the positive, giving someone else something to get lost in. Our goal as a writer is to entertain and make our fans feel as though they’ve been taken to another world, time, or place. That’s been my focus.

As I prepare to start 2021, there will be many changes coming. The new series, In Harm’s Way, will be one of those changes. It is something totally different from my normal sweet romance. The whole idea of the series is to help people find their faith even in a difficult time. And each one of the books explores a different type of disaster. It’s labeled a Christian Suspense Romance Series. I plan to take the reader on a journey of fear, love, faith, and excitement.

So, what are you doing to change things up for 2021?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The last Wednesday Wisdom of 2020…

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Wow, the last Wednesday of 2020. That’s crazy. It’s hard to believe this year is almost over. So, what’s my tidbit of wisdom that I’d like to give to you before the year ends.

This one is for writer’s, but you can use it in anything you do. And it’s really simple…

JUST BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!

When writing, always write what makes you happy. If you are trying to please someone else, then your heart won’t be in it. It’s the same in life. If you’re just going about life trying to make someone else happy and never thinking of yourself, then you’re missing out of life.

So, be true to yourself. Write what makes you happy and you’ll see a big difference in your writing. Have fun, enjoy life, and love with all of your heart.

That’s my Wednesday Wisdom…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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5 things every author needs to know…

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Good morning! Writing… Writers block… Publishing… The life of a writer. It’s a roller coaster and not for the faint of heart. Here are the top 5 things every author needs to know about starting to write and publish…

  1. It’s not as easy as it looks. Let me be very clear about this, writing isn’t easy. There’s more to it than simply writing words. You’ve got to make sure to plot, plan, and organize those words to where the reader can get lost in the world you’ve created. If you don’t do it with an ebb and flow, then the reader will lose interest and move on. So, don’t think it’s just putting words on paper. There’s so much more to the process.
  2. Writer’s block is real! Every author has experienced writer’s block at one time or the other. It’s a helpless feeling and only perseverance gets you through it. You can get past it, just have confidence. Keep writing and working on other projects.
  3. Editor’s are essential. Alright, let’s all say this and put on repeat! Editors are essential. Even the most savvy writer can’t find all of the mistakes or bad wording in a manuscript. To be honest, editors miss some too. But let’s be honest, when we’re reading our own work, it’s hard to be completely harsh. An editor can help to reword things so that the story flows better. And some changes, even though they can hurt, are necessary.
  4. Read everyday… It may sound crazy, but reading actually helps you as a writer. But read in the genre that you write in. I’ve been reading books that the author wrote with such clear, precise wording that I was inspired. And I’ve read books that lost me from the first page. When I read things like this, it helps me to look at my work differently. Try it.
  5. Know your audience. If you write sweet romance, then don’t go too heavy on the love scenes. Advertising a book as one genre, but the book actually leaning more in another direction can make readers not trust you. So, know who you’re pushing this book to. The same with mysteries turning into nothing more than a romance with nothing to solve. I’ve read books like this and it is disheartening. Also, make sure if the book is erotic, let the reader know.

I could keep going, but you need to get back to writing and so do I. But I hope this helped you a little.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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In the Right Order…Or NOT!

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Happy Thanksgiving week! It’s Monday, so forgive me if I ramble a bit. After a busy weekend, I need multiple cups of coffee just to get my eyes open. But, for now, let’s talk writing.

Do you have to do things in the right order? Well, it’s according to what you’re doing. You can’t bake a cake before you make the batter. You can’t ice a cake before you bake it.

With writing, you can write the ending before you write the beginning. How? For some writers, they have to get the last scene written in order to get a grip on the first three fourths.

I’ve posted several things on outlines and writing technique. And I’ve always said, put your ideas together, so that you know where you’re headed. Before you ask, yes, I’ve written the last scene of a book first. Of course, when I did, the ending changed slightly as the first parts were written and put in place.

Since I write in Scrivener, sometimes I go ahead and put in the Chapter heads that go with my outline first. That way I can write different scenes ahead of time. If I get stuck on a certain part, sometimes skipping ahead helps to beat writers block.

The goal of the post is to let you know, it’s alright to write your book in the wrong order. Just make sure that it fits together like a puzzle. The pieces need to fit, but not forced.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…