Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Funny Things Writers do…

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Ok, so we all have things happen to us that make us just laugh at ourself. None of us are immune from doing things that in hindsight, we question our sanity.

So, today I’m talking the Oops of writing…

Here we go!

1: Someone from the 1800’s can’t flip a switch for power. Yes, it’s something that happens to the best of us. But, it’s a face palm moment when your editor asks you if the book was no longer a historical romance.

2: When your editor texts you and says, ‘Do you even know the name of your main character?’ Yep, renamed midway, then went back to original in the same manuscript. (Character Lists are essential!)

3: You publish your book, then realize that your name is not on the cover. AT ALL!

4: This one hits too close to home. You’re writing more than one book at a time, and you get the storylines mixed up. My editor hates at times! I know she does! You can’t be riding a horse across the wild west one moment, then in a limo headed from the airport in the next chapter. Yep, I did that!

5: The last one for this post, but a goody. Hit submit and realize you submitted the proof copy, not the edited copy… Enough said!

I could go on and on, but you see where I’m going with this. As a writer, you have to laugh and move forward. There is way too many voices in our head to comprehend the simplest task. And yes, that sounds like maybe we need brain scans, but it’s normal for a writer.

Add to my list and give all of us some comfort in knowing we’re not completely crazy.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

And remember to laugh… Laugh hard… Then continue on…


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Tuesday Writing hints…

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Hello! Glad you made it to Tuesday. So, let’s discuss character bios. Yes, we’ve discussed those before, but it needs to be brought back up. Recently I read a post from a fellow writer that said they were writing a series and were constantly flipping back and forth. That’s time consuming and eats up your writing time.

Here’s my suggestion, take it or leave it. And it helps me!

  • Grab a notebook, binder, or make a file on your computer. If you use Scrivener, you’re already there!
  • As you start a new series or book, write down every characteristic of each character and place that comes up. It’s important to know if they have blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, birthdays are essential in case you need to throw a birthday party. If a character gets a scar, make note of it.
  • Add marriages, births and deaths to this also. Nothing is worse than getting to book three and not remembering if Mary is married to Burt or Ernie. Believe me, this is time consuming as well as frustrating to the reader if Mary marries Burt, but keeps kissing Ernie.

It’s worth the time and effort, believe me. Getting called out on a mistake that you could have avoided isn’t fun.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Wednesday giggles…

Have you ever been writing and went back to read over what you’d written? Sometimes you have to sit back and go, what the heck was I thinking…

I had one of those moments just now. It was a LOL moment. I have no clue what I was trying to say, but I had to delete almost a whole paragraph.

That’s why we edit, edit, and edit some more. Then we send to an editor, then edit some more. Sometimes I really think I’m drunk when I write some of my words. But, as I’ve said a thousand times, it’s a rough draft people.

So, happy Wednesday people…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Editing, a writer’s worst nightmare…

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Editing is a process not to be taken lightly. Sometimes I look forward to this process because that means the manuscripts is almost done, but other times I dread it like a shot in the arm. But it’s a process that if you don’t do it you’ll regret it, believe me.

I talked with a fellow Indie author one day about editing. She said the only thing she does is run spell check and grammar check. I was horrified. Can anyone say “Oh my goodness”? That’s what I said and then I sat down with her and we had a long talk. I then picked up her finished manuscript and when I was finished reading it there was more red than black. She was shocked and mortified. She now goes through a detailed editing process.

When I finish a manuscript I always step back for a day or two before I even start editing. That way I’m not too excited to do what I need to do. When I start I always run the spell and grammar checks just to get rid of those pesky extra spaces, oopsy words (you know the ones) and the bad grammar that always follows a wild writing marathon. This helps to make the editing process go a little smoother, but only a little.

Then comes the fun part, I sit down and read the manuscript. Have you ever read over your finished manuscript and wondered at what point you lost your whole brain? Well I have. The things I’ve done while writing amaze me. I know I took english and writing in college, but sometimes when I read my own writing I laugh out loud. Where the heck did that come from? Surely I didn’t write that sentence.

Have you ever changed a characters name mid book? Come on, don’t be shy. Well, I’ll admit to doing that on a couple of occasions. I was reading a manuscript the other day and a minor character went from Betty to Betsy. I had to read the chapter over again to make sure I hadn’t fired the housekeeper in the previous chapter. But alas, no, she should have stayed Betty. Easy fix, not hardly, but it was taken care of by the nice little editing tool called “FIND”.

Now as you are the writer, do make sure that someone other than your closest friend reads it too. My editor is my niece, but let me tell you she can be strict. I have been working and felt someone boring a hole in my head. She’d be staring at me like I’d grown two heads. Then she’d point out something totally off the wall that I typed. She has asked me several times if I was drinking something stronger than hot tea as I was writing.

Let me give you some honest advice from someone who learned this the hard way. If you don’t want to spend the money for a professional editor then please find several people who will be brutally honest and let them read it. You can’t do it yourself. It’s your baby and you don’t want to change a thing. Believe me, nobody writes a perfect manuscript from the get go, NOBODY! I was reading a NYT bestselling book the other night and I felt pretty good with some of my errors. There in black and white was some really big goofs that had not been caught. It happens people, so get over it and try to do better.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Growing as a Writer…

As a writer you have to learn from your mistakes. I’ve changed my writing quite a bit since the first published book. I’ve started to slow down the process a little. Now I actually go back every so many pages and edit. Not every time, but some of the time.

I’ve learned to write from my heart and not to try to please everyone. It’s hard to please all the wants of your readers. Sometimes I add a couple of elements that readers request. I even made some changes to one of my older publications to please a couple of readers requests. They just wanted a little extra information on the characters out of curiosity.

It’s been a wild ride this writing gig. I’ve started several blogs and Twitter pages. So, I guess I’ve grown in social media. As I’ve said many times, I’ve never been a social media butterfly. My blog posts have evolved also. I’ve listened to readers and gained a lot of friends and followers through it. 

I’ve realized that not everyone is going to like your writing and not everyone is going to like cowboys. Why I don’t know, but that’s ok.

Have you grown as a writer? Do you learn from your mistakes? 

As always good writing and May God Bless You…