Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Perfect grammar… LOL!

Good Tuesday morning! This morning I have a wee bit of a rant. And you know I don’t rant often, but this morning I have to get this off my chest, so get ready and here we go…

As a writer we’re supposed to have perfect grammar, right? Well, I need to ask something. Do you always speak with perfect grammar? I read an article last week about your characters needing to have normal conversations and don’t make it too formal, but then writing 101 says to make sure you use perfect grammar. We don’t always in normal conversation talk in perfect grammar, so what are we supposed to do as writers?

So, I’m going rebel. What does that mean? Well, it means that I’m going to write my dialogue like I talk, which may make editors cringe, but I want my readers to enjoy the work I publish. I’ve had comments on previous work stating that it was too formal and normal people don’t talk like that, so I am going rogue…

Also, to further give my rant a purpose, I’ve read several books by famous, best-selling authors that use normal talk and they do well. Some are even horrible in the grammar department, but they are best sellers and the readers don’t seem to mind at all.

Now, with all of that said, I don’t mean using the wrong form of a word or wrong punctuation. I’m talking about in the dialogue between my characters, so don’t think I’m putting up my English 101 book.

Of course, this will make my editor happy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

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Your leading man…

When writing a romance novel you’ve got to have a leading man. How do you design him? Here’s the top ten things I ponder when creating my leading men. Hope you enjoy even if you don’t use them 🙂

1: Leading men always need to be able to take charge, be the hero type, at least for me. They have to be able to handle whatever the leading lady throws at them, or at least eventually handle it.

2: In the same instance, I like my leading men to be able to show emotion, whether it’s anger, frustration, or down right cry. It shows a human factor.

3: Most of my leading men have to be able to wear a Stetson and ride a horse. I know that’s just a personal preference, but it works in my books. The black Stetson is kind of my trademark.

4: Most of my leading men have dark hair and blue eyes. You definitely have to define the leading man’s looks and stick with it. If somewhere along the story he suddenly goes blonde and green eyed you have a problem.

5: What about size? Is he tall and lean or medium height and husky? It’s up to you, but it’s a pivotal point. If he’s a string bean with no muscles and the heroine needs to be carried off into the sunset you might have a problem.

6: Is your leading man a general good guy or does he have a bad side to go along with it? Sometimes your leading man has to be a little bad to get the lady, but that’s just my opinion. Sometimes they have a little rogue in them that draws your leading lady in. 

7: Will your leading drive a car or a truck? You may say that doesn’t matter, but it does in most stories. If he’s a high powered business man that wears a suit to work, nine times out of ten he’s going to drive a sporty car versus a four wheel drive truck. Now if he’s a cowboy he’s going to drive a truck. It makes the story more realistic to get the small details straight.

8: Will your leading man be a business type, a cowboy, a blue collar worker, or maybe be unemployed for the sake of the story? You can’t go from one thing to the other in the same story without a story line to support the change. 

9: Is your leading man educated? In a lot of story lines this is important because the dialogue needs to lean in one way or the other.

10: Ok, this is a biggy with me, is he romantic? Will he bring the leading lady flowers when things go wrong? Will he be the first to say those three little words that most men have a allergic reaction to? Or is he totally unromantic and moody? Your call…

I could go on forever, but these are the top ten things I look at in a leading man. Sometimes if you sit down and do a character sketch ahead of time it helps you to keep the story in line. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

    

 

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