Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Learning from others…

Good Monday morning! It’s drizzling rain here in Georgia, but that’s alright, we need it. Also since it’s Monday it kind of meets with my mood.

Today I want to talk about how you train as a writer. Some people say, ‘it’s easy to write, anyone can do it’, but that’s not the case. Writing takes more than you think to get from start to finish. You can sit down and write an idea for what you want, but it takes more than just an idea to get the full story. I’ve had ideas before and thought they’d be good, but they didn’t have enough filler to actually make a book.

I like to study what my favorite authors do. You may be asking what I mean, well it’s quite simple. I read lots of books in the genre I write. As I read, I’m looking at the sentence structure, paragraph lengths, the setup of the characterizations and the way the book is brought to the end. It’s amazing what you can learn from doing something you love, reading.

Then of course I read posts from other authors, writing magazines and even study courses. So, do you still think it’s all that easy? I’ve learned more English in the last three years that I’ve been publishing, not just writing. English skills are very important when you’re writing. Hey, I was thinking backwards for a while, but once you get into the business you realize, it’s more than just words on paper.

Several authors I follow have businesses that help other authors. All authors should want to help each other. It’s amazing the things you can learn from other authors about their own mistakes and how to correct them. I also join many Facebook writing groups, which just by reading them daily I can learn so much. Try it, you won’t regret it.

So, do you learn from other authors? If you’re struggling with something in your writing, there’s always someone out there or an article that can help you out.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you….


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Formal writing, What’s your style?

I’ve been told that some of my books are written a little too formally. I usually laugh because I’m a very southern speaking girl. For those that are not familiar with the Southern speech, usually I have clients that are not from here that call just to hear me speak. I laugh and tell them to get a life. So when someone says I write formally I have to laugh.

As for my writing, I don’t feel like it’s that formal. Sometimes I use ‘I could not’ instead of ‘I couldn’t’ but when I look back at it, that’s the only way it sounds right. I hear a lot of writers that send their work to editors and when it comes back certain parts no longer sound right. Well not right in the sense of the feel it originally had. You have certain ways you speak that gets points across and the wording is crucial. When you change even one word whether formal or not it changes the feel.

In my first couple of books I was so careful to use good English, but as I published more books I leaned more toward the down to earth style. When I relaxed a little, the reviews went from ‘written a tad formal’ to actually talking about the book.

So what’s your style? Do you watch your couldn’t and shouldn’t or do you just write from the seat of your pants and throw the English book out the door? I think that’s when you get through to the reader. You can even throw in some ‘yeah’s’ and ‘ain’t’. I know ain’t is not a word, but in the south it’s part of our vocabulary 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…