Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Show, Don’t Tell… Writing to inspire…

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It’s barely above 25 degrees this morning here in Georgia. So, burr… It makes my coffee that much better, if that’s even possible. Anyhoo, today we’re talking Show, Don’t Tell… What? Yes, that’s I said. So here goes!

Have you ever read a book and you felt like you were there? Why? Because the writer put into words what the character was seeing. Of course sometimes in our own imagination, we see the world the writer creates. But, it’s important for a writer to let us see their world that is being created with words. Help the reader take the journey with you. And as a writer, you know what I’m talking about. We see the story in our head, but the reader doesn’t unless we let them in on the whole thing, not just the words.

What do I mean? Well, if your character walks out and it’s bitterly cold, then you want your reader to shiver. But how do you do that? Let’s go through an example:

Telling: Rose walked outside and it was cold. She got the mail, then went back to the house to warm up. (Ok, so here in this example, the writer is telling you it’s cold outside, but you don’t know how cold or anything further than it’s cold. This would work, but let’s try this again.)

Showing: Rose opened the door to an artic blast hitting her as she stepped outside. The temperature had dropped to well below freezing and the wind seemed to slice through her thin coat. The walk to the mailbox was bone chilling as she struggled to keep her jacket tightly around her. When she turned to go back to the house, she looked forward to the crackling fire that was waiting for her. The moment she shut the door, leaving the bitter cold outside, the warmth of the fire seem to melt the ice from her as she held up her hands to give them a good thaw. (Now, you feel the cold, the wind, and the characters reaction to those elements. Not to mention, it was more wordy so you made more of a punch. See the difference.)

So, with that, think about how you express things in your writing. The reader doesn’t know the wall is red until you tell them. But remember, tell them the shade red, how the red makes the character feel, etc. Get it. Now, go out there and write up a storm, literally.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Fiction… It’s Fiction!

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Good morning! I need to get on my soapbox for just a teeny second. And no, it’s not political!

Ok, so I want to know how many know the meaning of the word, Fiction? If you don’t, then let me enlighten you. Fiction means literature in the form of short stories and novels, that describes events from the imagination and people that don’t exist. And in case that isn’t good enough, it means not true or make believe.

The reason for my rant is this, romance novels are fiction unless they are noted as Non Fiction. Let me repeat that, ROMANCE NOVELS ARE FICTION. I was reading a post the other day about someone raking a romance writer over the coals for letting the characters fall in love within days of meeting one another. As I read it, I looked back to make sure this was about a romance novel, not a true story. Why would someone question something that happens in a fictional world? Some romance readers actually love the characters to experience love at first sight, but why is it considered unreal? It’s a work of fiction people! In this little world that came from the writers mind these two met, fell in love immediately and that’s it. It’s a book of FICTION!

Even in real life, there is such thing as love at first sight. And thank goodness for that. I know so many people that fell in love on the first date and that’s amazing. So, why would you downgrade a work of fiction for the couple falling in love so quick. Fiction stories often go into things that don’t happen everyday in the real world. Ok, I’m off my soapbox. Now, back to our day 😉

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Problem? No, just a writer…

Have you ever been caught staring at someone? Come on, you know you have. I’m a people watcher. It’s part of being a writer. I’ve been sitting in a crowded room before and noticed someone doing something out of sync with everyone else. Of course then my overactive imagination stitches a story regarding why they’re acting different.

I’ve actually written stories based on people watching. It’s really fun to sit back and watch a couple in love. You wonder what their story is and then you piece it together with your own spin. Maybe they met by chance or have been friends for years and turned the tables. What’s really fun is you don’t know their true story, but your imagination can expand on what the eye sees. If they’re holding hands and giving those cute lovey looks, you can expand on the romance side of the story. Maybe they’re newlyweds or just newly dating. It’s up to your imagination.

I love to watch people in love. Guess that’s why I love weddings. A wedding can fill many pages of your mind. Most of the time I know the person getting married, but I’ve attended weddings where I’m not too familiar with the couple. I can sit and imagine their love story, the engagement and the romance. It’s fascinating really.

So yes, I have a problem, but it’s for a good cause 😉

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What if…

How many times have you asked yourself or someone else the famous question, What if…? Since I’m a writer and a dreamer I’m constantly saying What if… It’s part of my make up. The dreamer in me always has another way to do things and the writer in me says what if this character does this or goes there.

What if… I turn a book into a big publisher and they accept it, signing this big contract and a nice advance.

What if… My newest book goes viral.

What if… The book on domestic violence that I’m working on makes a difference in someone’s life. (That’s the goal)

What if… What if… What if… We’re full of lots of them, even if we don’t think we are. Think about it. How many times do you say this one simple phrase in a day, whether out loud or in your mind? You might be surprised. It only means you’re a dreamer. Think about it.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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How do I finish this when that is in the way?

ImageI have a problem. I’ve got a manuscript that I should have finished a month ago 🙂 That’s only part of the problem, well it’s still going,  the problem is that I have 5 other stories crying out to be finished. Every time I get my head back into the current manuscript my mind goes nuts. Yes, I said it, my mind goes nuts.

To someone that’s not a writer this may sound like a great problem. You may be saying that’s great that you have so many stories waiting in line to be completed. Well, here lies the problem. These stories don’t want to wait in line, they want to break in line. They’re getting down right ornery. They’re taking up my sleep, my extra time and most detrimental my writing time.

Oh well, the life of a writer. I guess that’s just the problem with having an overactive imagination, which if you think about it, that’s the key to being a writer. Sometimes my imagination runs away with me 🙂 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you.