Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Writing from your heart…

Good morning! It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been super busy getting my latest manuscript finished and sent to my editor. I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the last couple of months while working on my newest project.

1: Write what’s in your heart. Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t write, all that does is tamp down your inner voice. So, fill your pages with what your heart gives you and trust it.

2. Give your writing all that you have. When you get done writing each day, you should feel drained because you’ve put everything into it, but also feel accomplished because you’ve given your muse free reign.

3. Never write something that doesn’t feel right. If it doesn’t feel right, then it shouldn’t be put on paper. Go with your instinct.

SO, do you write from your heart? That’s what I did with the manuscript I just finished. I’m satisfied with the results, which is surprising because I always have that little doubt with each piece of work. But not this time.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

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When the words get blurry…

23173416364_e8f8ee489e_sGood morning! Smile, we’re halfway to the weekend.

 

 

As I sit here, working on my manuscripts in process, I’m glad to have the words coming back into my head. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with the words. Since I had the Norovirus, my head has been fuzzy, which made for a bad writing time. I actually went for a solid week and didn’t write not one word! Although the characters were in my head, screaming nicely, I couldn’t get my head wrapped around anything.

So, what do you do when the words get blurry? Well, for me, I stepped back. But, deep inside my heart, I was wanting to write. Several times I picked up my laptop and opened Scrivener, trying to get the words to come forward, but nothing came. My characters were just blurting out jumbled up words that made no sense. Now, I could’ve written what was coming into my head, but believe me when I tell you, it wouldn’t have made the bestseller’s list by no means.

But, as I sit here, I’m smiling because the words are back. Of course, since I’m an Accountant, this is my busy time, so my time is limited, but I’m grabbing every spare moment, trying to catch up on my word count. And you know how I am about getting my word count in.

So, with that being said, I’d better get back to writing because I only have another twenty minutes this morning before I need to get to the office and back to accounting. I do hope everyone stays healthy and safe during this flu season!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Lost in the words…

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Good morning! The week is half over. I realized that I haven’t put a post on here in several days. But my head had been in my current manuscript.

So, with that thought, have you ever got lost in the words? I’ve been busy catching up on my word count. For about a week I didn’t write much and my word count suffered. If you’ve read many of my blogs you know that’s important to me. I have a set word count on the calendar and if I miss a couple of days, well, I go into a frenzy to get caught back up. But when you miss more than a couple of days, it’s almost impossible to get back on track. Notice I said almost impossible.

The characters have been running around in my head, forcing their way out. So, Sunday afternoon I sat down and let the characters take over. Let’s just say, I almost caught back up to where I should be. Hopefully this morning I will get back to task and be on track.

As a serious writer, you have to stay focused. Unfortunately, life slips in and things come up that interrupt that focus. When that happens, I sit back, look at my deadline, then divide it out by the days left. That gives me a new goal that has to be met. Which usually means a higher word count per day until I’m finished.

And as you know, I always have a couple of manuscripts in the works at all times, so get back to where I should be, I’ve put all of them aside to get back on track. The funny thing about doing that, the characters of the other manuscripts scream loudly in my head. Does that make me certifiably insane? No, that just makes me a writer!

Hope everyone is well and staying on track.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Start to Publish…

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Good Tuesday morning! I hope all is well with you. As for here in Georgia, it may be Spring, but someone forgot to tell the weather. It’s chilly again…

As for my writing, things are going well. I have several manuscripts in various stages of production. You might ask, what stages are you talking about? Well, here’s a simple guideline that I follow as I bring a manuscript full circle into publication.

1: Of course, first things first, the idea. Sometimes the idea for a book can happen months before I even start the first page of the manuscript, but when the idea comes, I put it down on paper, if not I’ll lose the excitement of that moment. I have a small notebook that holds my story ideas, some have come to be and others have incorporated themselves into other stories.

2. As you know from previous posts, I do an outline. It’s basic, but it leads me through the story, the bones, so to speak. I’ve told you before, most stories come to me in whole, or large lumps of information. The quicker I get that outlined, the quicker the story can come alive.

3. Now it’s time to schedule it into my calendar. Right now, I’m scheduled through the end of the year with stories flowing over into 2017. This way I know in the back of my head what I need to finish on this manuscript in the future, like blurbs, covers and such.

4. Once it’s time to start the manuscript, I sit down with my outline and notes from thoughts I’ve had along the line. Even as I work on other books, things pop up in my mind that would work with other works. That’s when I pull out the outline from my portfolio and jot down the thought for future reference. That way I don’t lose the moment.

5. It’s time to write. This is when I get in the structure and bones of the story, fleshing out the outline points and filling in the characters as I go. This is also when Scrivener is my best friend. All of the characters are lined up down the left of my screen, reminding me of names and people involved. This part of the writing is fast and unedited, very unedited. It’s the write by the seat of my pants, knowing I’ll go back later to correct.

6. Ok, so I have my rough, rough, rough draft ready, now it’s time to go back and fix the many errors, misspelled words, horrible grammar and left off punctuation that leads my editor to want to plot my murder. Now it’s ready to go to her for the red pen, this is the scary part!

7. As I wait for the edited manuscript to come back, I’ll work on covers, blurbs, advertising and setting up the pre-order for the book that’s being worked over.

8. Now the manuscript is back, needing some work and ready to be corrected. I input the changes, make additions and get it formatted. I add the front and back matter, then scan back through to make sure I’ve checked everything. Oh, and just for giggles, I go back through, doing a spellcheck. I’m human, I forget stuff.

9. Wow, it’s now ready for publication! This is the moment an author sweats profusely, hoping you haven’t left off anything major, forgotten to correct something and hope upon hope that your readers love the book you’ve poured your heart into.

This is why most people that say, ‘I could write a book and publish it, it’s too easy’, they don’t ever publish a book. A book doesn’t just appear when you have the thought, it’s a process, one that needs to be taken seriously. So many authors don’t take it seriously and when they hit send, it’s missing something or hasn’t been thought through. Take it seriously, it’s your reputation as a writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P. S. Don’t forget Lily comes out the 27th. Get your preorder now…

Lily Release ad!


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Monday night writing…

Monday is always crazy in my office. Today was no exception. I worked a little later than usual and then did my 4-1/2 mile walk. Now I’m sitting down finally and getting ready to work on the last part of my latest manuscript.

It’s funny how you need more than 24 hours in a day. Especially if you’re a writer. Sometimes I’m just getting into my good writing mode when everyone else is heading to bed. When I was younger I could easily pull an all nighter, but the older I get that doesn’t seem as apealing.

Since I have a couple of deadlines regarding my writing, I guess I’ll be put in some midnight oil. It’s going to be a great writing evening. My hubby and son went fishing and left me alone for a couple of hours. I can usually write through anything going on around me. It’s as though I get into a world of my own. 

Hope all is well with everyone.

Here’s to good writing and May God Bless You…


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How’s your writing attitude?

In life we show a lot of different attitudes. Bad or good is up to you. As a writer I’ve noticed a lot about my writing that goes along with my attitude. Here are a couple of things I’ve noticed.

When I’m in a really good mood and my attitude is peppy and upbeat I do a lot of writing. It seems to pump me up and get me going with ideas. When my mood is not so good I notice  that I’m not as into my writing as I need to be. When I’m in a thoughtful mood I can really put words on screen. It’s amazing how our attitude or mood can affect the writing we do.

I had a bad attitude not long ago, which is not usual for me. I usually have a good attitude, but that day I was just not a happy camper. I sat down with my laptop and re wrote the same line three times. Nothing sounded good and I almost gave in to the bad attitude. Then I noticed the list of my works in progress and one of the titles caught my eye. I opened the file and read the couple of paragraphs that had been hastily written a couple of months ago. Something in my attitude slipped. My mind suddenly went to a new plateau. 

The point I’m trying to get at is this. In my little world, sometimes my writing can bring me out of the bad attitude or help to conquer a low attitude. It’s like therapy in a laptop or story.  Usually it takes a new manuscript. Especially if I’ve been at a loss on another manuscript that I’ve been steadily working on. Just going into something new and fresh helps. So next time you are stuck in a bad or low attitude try opening a newer manuscript and refreshing your mind. It could help out and you may even finish the new one.

So as always good writing and May God Bless You…


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Letting Characters take over…

OK, so as I often do, today I muse over writing. I spend a lot of my time fighting with my characters. They seem to have minds of their own. If you’re not a writer, you probably think I need the men with the straight jackets. Well, maybe I do need a straight jacket. 😉 But as a writer this is a real fear. If you let them take over, what will happen?

As I’ve told you before, I have another new book coming out in the next week. This one is my New Year’s romance which is the 2nd part to “Tender Flames”. Well, since I was under the weather last week, I got way behind in the manuscript. As I tapped on the keys last night, one of the characters took over the writing process. I had a planned way this book would end, but guess what. As one of the characters evolved in the story, she took over the ending and totally blew it out of the water.

So my question is this, Do we as writers need to let the characters launch a hostile takeover, or do we take back control? Basically if we take over, are we hurting the story? As I sat and let the character take over, I realized maybe she had a point.

Ok, so maybe it’s my brain that does the takeover. Or maybe it’s my heart. As most of you know I love romance and anything about it. Maybe the story didn’t have enough romance or maybe it had too much. But as the story goes, I was pleased with the end results. If all goes well, the story will be ready by the end of the week. Most of the early edits have been completed and the cover is awesome.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

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