Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Plotting through the hard spots…

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Good morning! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but tax season is kicking my backside. With all of the new tax law changes and programs having to catch up, well, it’s cost me a lot of writing time. And you know what that does to me.

But, on to this post. Plotting… Yes, it’s something I love to do. And there are so many ways to do it. Either on paper, on a computer program or in your head, which I don’t suggest this last one because sometimes our memory doesn’t serve us well.

Plotting to me is like building a structure. You’ve got to make sure to get the base right, or the rest of the structure will fall. Novels need structure in order to come alive. Why do I say that? Because with structure, you don’t just babble on and can easily lose the reader.

As I’ve said before, a novel needs a beginning, a middle and an ending. And in each section you need to start with a rise in action, then reach the climax, but come back down into the next section without losing your reader. Stay focused on the story, don’t add a lot of fluff that will make your reader lose interest.

This is where plotting helps me. I write down the scenes and then I make sure there is enough to the scene to make it work. It needs to be able to stand on it’s own and shine. If the scene falls flat, then the story will too.

So, try plotting and see where it goes. Not everyone is a plotter. Some are pantser’s which is fine. Just make sure your writing flows.

I’ll post a plot outline in my next post.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Getting Lost in the Words…

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Sometimes life comes in and takes over. There’s so much going on that sometimes I have to step back and breathe. How can putting words on paper help? For me, it’s like the best anxiety medicine, but you can’t find it in a bottle. I find it every time my fingers touch the keys.

I have so much happening at the moment. It’s tax season, and being an accountant means that I’m working long hours and getting only moments to write. Which means my anxiety is high? Me, Anxiety, yes. I have anxiety, but not many know it. But, I have to get a release somehow, and my writing is that release.

This morning as I’m taking time for myself, I sat in front of my laptop, running my fingers over the keys. It was like a balm to my world. The anxiety slowly floated away. It’s amazing the power of words. And I’ve always had a more than normal amount of them filling my head. In order to get my head cleared, I have to get them out of my head.

So, if you have anxiety, get lost in the words. There’s no expensive doctor or pharmacy bill, just the words that fill your head. It doesn’t have to be a novel or novella, it could be as simple as a journal. Just write. Be honest with your words and you’ll see a big difference.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Deadlines and caffeine…

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At this time of year I’m burning the candle at both ends. It’s something accountants prepare all year for. We know that for at least four months everything will be turned upside down and deadlines will be looming everywhere. But it’s why I love it so much.

Maybe that’s why I love a writing deadline. It’s the adrenaline. And it’s the excuse to drink more coffee, not that I needed one.


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Writing scenes ahead of time…Seeing the future!

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Have you ever worked on a story, then all of a sudden you have an idea for something that will happen several chapters ahead? As I’ve said before, I always know the ending of my stories. Although sometimes it changes slightly, but it stays in the same ballpark.

I’ve written several scenes ahead on my current WIP Safe. And it’s helping with the current writing because I know where I’m headed. And it follows along nicely with my outline because it’s more or less just a more detailed version. Since this is a mystery suspense type book, I’ve written who the bad guys are and what their part will be in the mystery. That way I can continue to make the suspicions grow and also keep the mystery in check. I don’t want to give away everything all at once.

I keep a notebook of notes beside me as I write. And a trusty red pen to mark out the scenes that have been written. This keeps me on track and the suspense building. I can’t have my bad guy getting off on a technicality from my writing too far ahead.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Can we say, it’s almost the weekend…

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It’s Friday afternoon and the weekend is staring at me. With tax season, I don’t take much time off. I’ve been trying to take at least Sunday afternoons to refresh, write, and nap. So, here’s to the hope of a little time on Sunday to recharge. Sending good vibes to all of you for a great weekend.


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Friday Editing Thoughts…

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Good Friday morning! It’s been a crazy week in the tax office. Between deadlines and paperwork, I’ve been swamp. My reprieve is my writing. Yesterday I was able to get lost in my words for a whole thirty minutes. And that was an accomplishment. But for those thirty minutes, I was somewhere else…

Now, with this new book, I’m trying something new. Although I started sending my editor two chapters at a time during my last book, this time I’m editing some before I send it. And yes, I normally edit as I go anyway, but this time is different. I’m delving into my words even deeper the first time around.

I’ve been really working on the words that I tend to use a little too often. It’s funny how we lean on some words more often than we should. So, I’m finding new, more colorful words to take their place. Take for instance the word ‘look’. I seem to have a love for that word, lol! That is one word that I’m having a hard time letting go. I am replacing it with gaze, glimpsed, focused, stared, gaped, etc. You get the picture.

With this new form of editing, I’m using the thesaurus a lot. It’s a tool that is most important to a writer. And they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but this one is learning so much from viewing the thesaurus. See, I’m using a new word.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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When writing…

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Good Thursday morning! You may be wondering about the title. Here’s the scoop, there are many things that come with the phrase, ‘When writing’.

When writing, always keep in mind that it’s your writing, not anyone else’s. Why do I say this? I say this to help you understand that it doesn’t matter what others think, you know what’s in your head. Write what’s there. Don’t let other’s put words in your writing.

When writing, make sure to pace yourself. If you try to do too much at one time, you’ll risk losing the thought process. Pace yourself and get it right the first time. Don’t overthink it.

When writing, enjoy the process. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then it will show in your work.

When writing… Just write… Enjoy it…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday Blessings… Hello March!

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We’re into the third month of 2021, but have you done anything to make yourself better? Have you changed something that needs changing? Have you renewed your faith?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


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Monday Morning Outlining…

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Happy first day of March! Can you believe we’re already into March? But, in other news, my new series, In Harm’s Way is coming along smoothly.

This weekend the first book, Safe, took a new turn, which means I’m adjusting my outline. You may be asking, why even outline if the story is changing anyway. Well, the original outline got me going in the right direction. And I’ve always said that the outline can change. That’s the fun of writing, sometimes your characters take over.

I was able to get in almost 5000 words this weekend, which was an accomplishment considering I working in my accounting office most of the day Saturday. But the story is filling my head with so many possibilities. Although I know how it will end, I’ve been thinking about the middle and last part of the story. As I was writing this weekend, I ended a scene and something else came to mind. I decided, or rather my characters decided to take another turn. Now the story is going in another direction. It’s the same story, just a little deep into the back story that will pull it all together in the end.

As with any outline, things can change. It doesn’t have to written in stone. And never, ever stick to the outline like glue if something isn’t going well. It’s best to make changes than to keep going in a direction that doesn’t make the story pop. Your story deserves the extra effort to make it flow as it should.

With this series I’m working extra hard on going the extra mile. Although I always work hard to make my work go as it should, this one is pulling something in me. I’m excited in a way I haven’t been in a while. And on top of that, I haven’t put it on preorder, so I’ve got the time to make it the best it can be.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…