Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Here’s an outline strategy that works for me…

It’s finally Saturday and what does that mean, well, for me that means that I’ll be writing and working on the outline for my next release. Outline? You mean you don’t do outlines for your books? Well, let me enlighten you to how I outline my books to make writing them a little more streamlined.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ok, let’s get a little into why I outline over winging it. To start building a house you have to lay out the plan, build the foundation, then the walls, and so on. Get the picture. It’s the same with writing a book, or so it is with me. I need to set up the groundwork first. That’s why I have a notebook for each series that lays out the details so I don’t have to go back and forth trying to remember if Ridge has blue eyes or if Sara is an author. But back to the outlining. Here goes:

1: Start with a blank paper. Don’t give yourself any distractions. Then get lost in the story that is unfolding in your mind. And remember, the outline doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re the only one that will see. So just write.

2: I separate my outline by chapters. But you can just do it like a book report, down the line, separating by paragraphs. It’s up to you. This is your outline, nobody elses!

3: At this point you should try to remember a couple of things. Even though you’re just putting down the bones of your work, you need to also remember that those bones have to hold up the story, so make sure that you have a start, middle, and end to each chapter or section of the book. Start your first plot, then build on it, bringing the reader to a moment of what’s going to happen. Then your main character hits a roadblock, something that keeps them from solving their problem or mystery. You’ll lead your reader on an adventure where they are left wondering if the problem will get solved.

4: At this point, you’ll be at the midpoint, or close. Make sure that you’re at the top of a hill with a looming cliff that the reader feels like they’re about fall off of, then toss them a rope. Give them hope for their hero or heroine. But as a writer, you’ll want to have a cut in that rope so that the story stays interesting up until you rescue your character and have a happy ending, or lead up to the next book if it’s a series.

5: Yep, I know. How the heck do you do all of this and not go crazy? Well, for me, I have to think of it like building that house we talked about earlier. If your bones aren’t strong enough, your house or story in this case, will crumble. And the point to all of this is to make sure your story holds up in the storm and by storm, I mean readers!

Part 2 of this post will be the structure. So, stay tuned for the next post and don’t forget, even if you don’t outline, make sure it has a rise and fall or your reader will give up before they ever find out the fate of the main character.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

And since I’m all about pirates this week, don’t forget to check out Captain Tanner in Safe in the Pirate’s Arms!

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a FREE book too! https://dl.bookfunnel.com/c8f1clsu21

Come follow me over at BookBub for all of my releases and books!

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/stephanie-payne-hurt


Leave a comment

When editing draws blood…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Good Monday morning! As writers, we have to make decisions that hurt. When editing our hard work, we have to cut out parts that took hours to type. But it’s necessary to make the manuscript flow. It hurts…

Not long ago, I was working on my manuscript and something felt wrong. But I couldn’t figure it out. The more I wrote into one part, the worse it felt. About three chapters into the bad feeling, I did something that most writers face, I deleted three whole chapters. I really think my fingers bled as I did it.

The fact was, once I deleted the three chapters and started back up writing, it felt right. Although I’d deleted over 6000 hard earned words, my manuscript started to flow again. It was worth the pain and agony of deleting those words.

Sometimes as writers, we do things that don’t make sense. We make mistakes, we correct them, then we move one. But there is one thing for certain, with every red slash of an editors pen, a little piece of us grows stronger. The editors red mark lets us know that the story goes on, even without the deleted words.

So, edit without mercy and write with intention. It’s in a writers blood to continue with the story. Never give up and never surrender even when the red slash of the editors pen rips your heart into pieces.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Here’s a link to the book I spoke of above. It hit the top 100 on Amazon in the first three days!

Sweet, Inspirational Romance…


Leave a comment

Changing can make all the difference…

Alright, you’ve got the first draft completed and you feel satisfied that it’s just as you want it, then it hits… DOUBT!!!

Have you been there? If you’re a writer, you’ve been there. It’s that nagging feeling that something didn’t work in the story. But, if you dig in, will you find more that’s wrong. If you feel this way now, please follow your gut. Dissect it now or get dissected later!

This is the time to dive in with both feet and take the story apart, chapter by chapter, or plot by plot. Just make sure that you have a beginning, middle and ending. Make sure that each separate part of the story has a rise to the climax, then ease it back down, but each part builds up to the final climax. Give it the time and work it needs to make your doubt go away.

Changing even something small can make all the difference. I’ve gone back into a first draft and only changed a minor plot hole, but it made a huge difference in the flow of the story. But I’ve also gone in and taken out whole chapters, whole chapters! Ouch, that hurts! But, you’ve got to do it.

Our goal as a writer is two fold in my eyes. The first side is getting the story out of your heart and on the paper. The second side is making your reader get excited, cry, laugh, sigh, or simply get lost in the story that you wrote. You want to take them to another world, the world you created. Now, get cracking, that story won’t write itself!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Take your reader on an unforgettable adventure!


Leave a comment

Writing is easy, they say…

Good morning! How many have heard someone say, ‘Writing is too easy. Anyone can do it’? I’ve heard it so many times that I’ve lost count. My comment is always, great, give it a try.

Yes, it’s easy to put words on paper. But I need to let you in on some funny things about writing:

  1. In order to write a story, it’s got to make sense and have a beginning, middle and ending.
  2. Make sure that your plot is solid and there are no holes. And if you have holes, make sure they are small enough the reader doesn’t know that they are there.
  3. Have you set the scene? Is the story readable? Have you kept to the story and not went on a chase down a rabbit hole?

That’s just three things that I’d tell someone wanting to write a book. Writing is not for the faint of heart and you definitely have to grow a thick skin. If not, you won’t last too long.

But, don’t get me wrong, I love writing. I love everything about it and yes, even after almost 50 published books, I still get nervous before I hit submit. In the end, it’s so worth it, but you better be prepared to put in the work to get it right or you’ll find out all too soon that you didn’t!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com


Leave a comment

How writers see their work…

Good morning! Writers… We’re a different breed of people. We see things differently. When we are out in the public, we see what looks like just normal activity as potential wip filler. A new song can lead to inspiration, as well as movies or just the news. Amazing thing is, we see potential in many things that non writers don’t.

As I looked at my irises yesterday, it made me think of the way I look at my work. Just as the picture under this paragraph shows, the iris is only just beginning to bloom. It’s like when you start a new wip in progress, as a writer, you see the beauty within your story. Even at the beginning, most of the time a writer can see what it will look like as it unfolds, although the reader is only just seeing it from the start. It’s important for the writer to have a reader looking at their work just as a flower lover looks at the unopened bloom. They should feel anxious to see what’s coming out.

But as the story unfolds, you see the beauty that is within. It’s amazing how exciting it is to watch your story bloom into so much beauty. Keep that excitement in your writing and focus on the beauty that it can hold. That will keep your readers interest. But be patient, impatience can lead to mistakes and a rushed story that will leave your reader unfulfilled. I’ve done that before and had to learn from my mistakes.

So, as always great writing and May God Bless You!!!

P.S. Go by my website and check out all of my new release news. There will be cover reveals every month and sneak previews of upcoming releases. Not to mention I started Dragonfly Designs to help authors with cover design. Don’t let the struggle to get it right hinder your writing process.

https://www.stephaniehurtauthor.com/


Leave a comment

Sunday Evening Thoughts

Why are Sunday evenings so hard on us? For one, we know Monday is just hours away and our weekend is almost over. But why do we let it take away from the joy of those last hours of our time off?

I love to write on Sunday evening. It’s like my mind begins to just speed up as though it too knows that the work week is about to begin. I do tend to get in my best word counts on Sunday evening. Strange…

And if you’ve had a busy weekend, you sit and wish for just one more day to rest and recoup from the craziness. Let’s just face it, Monday’s come whether we wish for them to wait a little longer or not. Sunday evening should be spent enjoying life because it’s still the weekend until that alarm clock goes off on Monday morning. So, focus on family, writing, or whatever makes you happy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Leave a comment

Just when…

Good Monday morning! With tax season officially over, I’m finally getting my head wrapped around my works in progress. As deadlines loomed over my head for taxes, my writing took a hit. My brain wouldn’t focus on the words that wanted to be written. But, I’m back in the saddle and loving the feeling. I’m writing this morning with a fresh head.

As a writer, we need positive response to our writing. This weekend I received one of the most amazing reviews of Highlander’s Heart. The reviewer saw the vision behind the book and the review showed it. She saw what made this book tick for me. To say I was amazed, well, that doesn’t even begin to express my feelings. If you haven’t read the first book in the Cowen Clan series, then maybe this will encourage you to grab a copy.

Here’s the review:

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Highlander’s Heart is the first novel in the Cowen Clan Series by Stephanie Payne Hurt. Evina McLeod is trying to escape the clutches of the cunning Laird McKinney. Sadly, being a woman, she cannot run far away unless she has a powerful guardian to protect her. That protection appears in the form of the handsome Laird Ewan Cowen. Ewan is enamored by her beauty and he is ready to provide her with protection as long as she agrees to marry him. They weren’t expecting to fall in love with each other and they weren’t expecting to be loved in return. However, the reach of Laird McKinney is strong and long. He has a plan in place and he will not stop until he has what he wants. Ewan and Evina are just pawns in a game that he plans to win. What are these two going to do?

This was an intense story of love, acceptance, and safety. I loved the dynamic between Ewan and Evina; they were perfect for each other in the most satisfying way possible. The author has done a wonderful job creating a plot that is believable, enjoyable and perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction. Ewan is a provider and a protector who thinks he doesn’t need love, but once Evina melts his heart, he realizes how important love is. Evina may seem vulnerable at the beginning of the story, but she blooms and develops to become a protector as well. The flow was amazing, the narrative was beautifully intricate and the plot was fast-paced enough to get you involved in the story. This is brilliant!

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/highlanders-heart

I’ll leave it at that! Didn’t I tell you it was amazing.

Have a great Monday and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Dreams – We all have them…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Dreams fill our nights and guide our days. Some dreams are just imagination, but some dreams are real. Let’s explore them…

As a young girl, my dreams were filled with horses, grand pianos and writing… Well, I’ve made one dream come true, writing. And through my writing, my dream of owning horses can come true. If you’ve read any of my books, then you know most of them have horses in them. It’s my way of living one of my dreams.

Do you live your dream or just dream about it? Always remember that some of our dreams are right in front of us, we just have to focus on them. So, will you make it happen today?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Leave a comment

Tuesday Teaser – The Journal

It’s time for a Tuesday Teaser. This week I’m teasing you with a new series that will start releasing this summer. It’s call The Journal.

So, what is the series about you might ask? This series will be a Time Travel Romance series that will take you on many adventures. You will spend time in medieval times with knights, in the old west with handsome cowboys, and many other places in time. You’ll find out in the first book what causes this time warp. It will be fun, exciting and romantic, so keep watching for the cover reveal that will be coming soon for ‘The Knight of Her Heart’, the first book in the series.

Here’s a sneak peak at the series header:

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

Saturday Adventures…

Yes, it’s Saturday! Didn’t think it would ever get here, but finally it is here… So what now?

As a writer, you owe it to yourself to take an adventure. Even if it’s just taking a walk in your backyard. I do my best plotting on long walks. Oh, and don’t forget about people watching. It’s a great way to study mannerisms. So get out the door and explore the world around you.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com