Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Quilting a story

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It’s Friday people! Have you figured that out yet? So have another cup of coffee, sipping it slowly while you take a deep breath and say ‘I got this’. Ok, now on to the reason for the picture of the quilt above…

This is a quilt that I inherited from my grandmother. I lovingly put it out every winter on the back of the couch in the den. It’s really old, but well made. Of course I have several of her handmade quilts and actually several of her mothers, but this one just speaks to me. Maybe it’s the wagon wheel design, I don’t know, but it’s the subject of today’s post.

As when my grandmother started this quilt more than seventy years ago, she had to have an idea of where she was going. Then she had to pick out the colors, the patterns of material and just the right backing. It’s the same when you sit down to start you books. You need a direction to go in. If you just sit down a write down words well it’s not going to mesh into a story.

Just as you would do with a quilt you do it in steps. Here are some of the steps:

1: Idea for the story. Usually it takes you by surprise… so be ready.

2: Just an idea doesn’t make a story, you’ve got to have an idea of the bones just as a quilter has a pattern or idea of how they want it to look.

3: Gather your materials. This means, put down an outline and character write up. Make sure you have most of what you need to quilt your story together.

4: Piece them together with pens. This is where you put the parts together. Don’t put the wedding before they meet. It never works out that way. Some days I write part of the story that won’t even happen until several chapters later, but I write on the top of it where it fits in. That way when I get to that part, it’s ready to sew in.

5: Once you’ve got these parts down, then write to your hearts desire. That’s the way a quilter does. They get the supplies together in usually a organized way and then they start putting it together, piece by piece. Each piece should fit just right to make it come out correctly at the end, because who wants to get to the best part and realize they left out some of the pivotal pieces that would make it come out even.

Well, that’s my take on things. Of course there’s so many more steps to putting your book together, but these are just a few of the ways to quilt your story together. Make sure each masterpiece you create is the best you can do and don’t skimp on the middle to get to the end. Every quilt needs a good, well placed middle.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…