Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday Coffee Thoughts…

Good Monday morning! I hope your coffee is flowing freely. Now, as for my coffee enhanced thoughts, let’s talk about characters…

There are many different aspects of a character that you write. So, let’s get right into the conversation. Now, when you start a new story, you have to introduce your characters. But you can’t properly introduce them without knowing them. That’s where a good character write-up comes in.

With a character write-up, you need to get into as much detail as possible. Here are the different elements I put into mine.

  1. Description – Eye color, hair color, flaws such as scars. Age of character is important.
  2. Attitude – Is the character a gentle soul, or a sharp tongued character.
  3. Occupation – Cowboy, secretary, businessman, or whatever they do.

This is only a couple of items, but you get the idea. I always leave plenty of room to add new things that come about as I write. It’s important to keep things the same. Readers notice if your main character has blond hair at the start, then dark hair in the middle.

Make sure that you keep a notebook for each work so that you can keep up with everything.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget, Broken is coming this month!!!


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Writer’s Block… It happens!

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Good morning! Yes, I said it. If you plan on being a writer, at some time or the other you will have writer’s block. And the worst part is, it normally comes when you are on a deadline or a wordcount needs to be met. It’s never during a convenient time.

But, what can you do when it threatens to sideline your work? Well, I tend to sit back, take a breath and focus on something else. If I’m stuck at a particular place in my manuscript, then I skip ahead. Sometimes that works to get the creative juices flowing.

Other times I go back and read over what I’ve written. It can make the story come alive again. Or even I will go to the next story I’ll be working on and at least work on the outline.

To me, Writer’s block is like when your mind freezes up. So, you have to jolt it back to reality. That’s why I keep doing something with my writing. Whether it’s a step ahead, a step back or a step in a different direction, I make it count.

That’s why I love having a detailed outline to go by. When I get stuck, I have it as a reminder of where the story is headed. And if I need to go ahead to another chapter or place in the book, I can without getting lost in the details. Then once the block has passed, I can get back to where I left off.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Promotions that work…

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We’re halfway to the weekend and I feel as though I’ve been back pedaling. So much to do… So little time…

My latest book release went better than I expected it would. And I owe the success to the stacked ads and promotions that I ran surrounding the week of release. I’d read about doing this and was a little skeptical, but now I know it’s the thing to do. But for today, I want to talk about the biggest boost promotion that helped me.

I did run about 5 different ads for the release of SAFE. The sales began to rise, but they weren’t spiking enough to hit a bestseller list. That is until my double ad that I ran on https://faithfulreads.com/. Within an hour of the promotion hitting the Faithful Reads website and social media accounts, my sales began to go up at a rapid rate. All through the day they continued to rise.

Now, you may be saying, how do I know it was the ad through Faithful Reads that helped so much. Well, I kept up with all of my sales on the days that the other ads ran. And then when the Faithful Reads ad began, it was evident what worked. By the end of the day of the promotion, I was sandwiched between four top authors. It was exciting as I watched the rank rise. Then as the promotion was about to end, I hit #3 on the Amazon charts. The first and second place books were top ranking authors, so I was thrilled to be #3 behind them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve used Faithful Reads many, many times. They’ve always proven successful. And the fact that to run even a double ad with them is reasonable only adds to the awesomeness of using them. But remember, this promotional site is for clean books, no erotica books and no short stories, only books over 50 pages.

Their prices range from $30 to $65 per ad. They join with eReader Cafe for double features which cost the $60 or $65. And I can tell you this, it’s money well spent. They never disappoint. As an author, I’ll always use them for my promotions, and I hope you will as well.

www.faithfulreads.com

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Finding time to write…

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Good morning! Do you struggle to find time to write? I know that I do. Some days are harder than others. Especially during tax season. But, it’s important to find that time.

But how? Sometimes we have to just become more organized with our time. If you do better writing in the morning, but you have to be at work at 9, just get up a little earlier. You could even make sure that everything for your morning routine is ready the night before. Go ahead and set your clothes out. That gives you an extra few minutes the next morning.

If you want to reach a certain word count when you sit down to write, then time yourself. If you can write 1000 words in thirty minutes and you want to get in at least 1500 words everyday, then you need to set aside forty five minutes to write. Now that you have an idea of the time you need, then schedule your morning to make time to write.

One thing that helps me is having an outline. I try to get in one chapter a day or more if time allows. Since I use Scrivener, when I finish a chapter, I stamp the section of the outline as done. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but when I get to write in the mornings it just makes my day go much better.

So, get yourself a schedule and make it happen…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Safe comes out on May 12th, so preorder now to have it ready for you to dive into on Wednesday!


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Midweek Writing Tip…

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It’s already Wednesday, but the weekend seems so far away. I’m snatching a few minutes out of my morning to write and blog.

Speaking of snatching minutes to write… Today’s writing tip goes along those lines. It’s important to a writer to have time each day to write. It could be just a few minutes or if you’re lucky, maybe a couple of hours. Either way, try to sit down and write everyday if you can.

Why do you need to write everyday? Well, for me it helps my sanity. The characters running around in my head go crazy when I don’t at least get in a couple of minutes. But maybe it’s to meet a deadline, or just to keep up with your commitment to yourself.

So, if it’s early in the morning before anyone else gets up… If it’s at lunch… Or maybe you’re a night writer. Grab some writing time and keep up to good work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Write what you love… Not what’s expected!

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Good morning! I’ve been swamped with taxes and office work, so I’ve been a little absent lately. But don’t worry, there is still writing going on in the background. Safe is almost complete and I’m so excited to bring it to you soon. Now, on to the post.

There are so many trends out there right now that it makes my head spin. So many authors fall into the trend hole and can’t seem to climb back out. Yes, it’s alright to write following those trends, but not if it puts your writing style in a cramp. Sometimes current trends are not what you excel at and that’s alright. Be yourself, not what others expect.

Every writer has their own voice. And we have a passion for different things. Me, I love writing clean romance that inspires others. And now I’ve added mystery and suspense to that love. But for so long I wouldn’t add that element for fear that it wouldn’t be accepted in my genre. I was mistaken and now that I’m almost done with the first novel in that genre, I know that I made the right choice. It’s unexpected, but wonderful. I’ve never felt more excitement over writing as I do at this moment. I feel that this is a huge step for my career.

Now, you need to sit back and figure it out. What do you love to write about? If it’s a couple falling in love over a lost puppy, then write about it. What’s important is writing about what you’re passionate about. Just focus on that.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Plot Bunny or Dust Bunny?

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Good morning! I’ve been filled with lots of plot bunnies over the years, but there have been many dust bunnies too. What’s the difference you might ask? Well, let me enlighten you.

PLOT BUNNY…

A plot bunny is a story idea. And like bunnies, it multiplies rapidly if not handled. They can appear at any moment and will haunt you until they get their way. Now, not all plot bunnies are good. Some of them can be quite worrisome and filled with holes. And nobody wants a bunny with holes… These are dust bunnies!

DUST BUNNY…

Now, a dust bunny is something everyone has under their bed. You know the ones that even after you vacuum, sweep, and mop, they are still there just floating around and annoying you. Well, in writing, these are the plot bunnies that go sour. You know the ones, they are the ones that don’t pan out. A dust bunny has no hope of ever panning out. They are full of holes, like I mentioned in the above paragraph. So, with some planning and plotting, you can avoid falling into a dust bunny well.

As always, good writing and May God Be With You…


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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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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…