Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Writing a book is easy!…

Hello, Sunday morning…. What happened to Saturday? It went by too fast and now the weekend is almost over.  I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, yet… Oh well, life goes on.

Here’s a question… How many times does someone come up to you and say, ‘Writing a book is easy, I can do that with my eyes closed.’? I’ve lost count of the people that have told me that when they found out that I’m an author. Usually. I just say, ‘Go ahead, give it a try.’ I know that they haven’t looked into what it entails and probably wouldn’t see it through.

If you’re a writer, you know what’s involved. It’s not the easy job that most think it is. There’s more to becoming a writer than just writing. Most people think that if you’re a writer, then all you do is sit and write. LOL! There’s more to it than that. So, here goes a short list of what goes into the writing of a book, and this is a short list, so it doesn’t get into everything.

1: A story comes to you… This could be the whole thing or just an idea.

2: You begin to outline or put together notes on the idea for the story. At this point, you’re setting up the characters, setting, and plot.

3: You start to write the story. This process could take you a week or couple of years according to how fast the story comes to you or the time you have to get this process completed. Sometimes the story doesn’t come as fast as you want it to.

4: As you write your story, you develop an idea for the cover and at that point or somewhere down the road, you design a cover that goes with the story. (This isn’t as easy as it sounds.)

5: Alright, you’ve written your story, designed your cover, now what? Edit, edit and edit some more. Then you read your story and possibly write more or change some of the story. At this point, I’ve deleted whole chapters that hurt the flow of the story, yes, I said whole chapters. It hurt but had to be done.

As you can see, this is just the start. There are so many other steps to writing a book. This is just a quick, condensed version, but you get the idea. It’s not the easy process that some think it is. But, it’s a rewarding process once it’s done and you’ve published your work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…IMG_1489

 

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Stepping back …

Good Sunday morning! Here in Georgia it’s chilly but sunny. It will be a beautiful day.  For me, I’m sitting by the fire, enjoying the early morning quiet.

This morning’s post is about the rough draft. I’ve had the rough draft completed and turned into my editor for a week. I haven’t looked at the rough draft since I handed it over. But it has work to be done. I want to embellish on the story, add several elements to help bring his story alive, but I had to step back.

What do I mean by step back? Well, it’s simple. During the writing process sometimes we get too close to a project, then get burnt out. For some reason, the story started slipping away. I still had the bare bones, but the flesh and all the other things that make it a whole story seemed to go out of my brain. I had to step away from it.

Now, I think I’m almost ready to step back into the story. Of course, I’m in the middle of Maggie’s story, but it helps to get into another story to get the one that slipped away back into your brain. It’s still a little foggy, but I think I’ll do fine.

Have you ever had to step back in order to get the story going?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Editing, it’s very important!

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Good Tuesday morning! It’s nice to be back in a regular schedule. Vacations are really nice and relaxing, but then I start losing track of my days and that makes my brain turn to jelly. Not good when I’m on two book deadlines, and have accounting to catch up on.

While on vacation I downloaded three books to my Kindle to read while at the beach. I was so excited about one of the books, but as I started the first page things didn’t sound right. I struggled through a couple more pages and put it down, thinking I was sleepy. I picked it up the next day and more of the same. The story line was really great, but the writing or rather the editing was bad.

I’ve heard authors say they found books that were hard to read because of the poor reading, but usually I can muddle through. This one wasn’t like that and the sad thing is the book is by an author that I really like and have read before. It has me thinking really hard about my editing process. I’m constantly reading articles about editing and writing which helps keep me educated on the craft. This book would have been covered in red marks and comments. But I really wanted to find out what happened to the two characters. Eventually I’ll pick it back up and try again.

Some may ask if I plan on putting a bad review on this book. The answer is no! I don’t believe in downgrading an author, especially one that’s written some great books. It’s very possible that this book was downloaded from the wrong file. I did that with a reviewer one time. Now that was embarrassing. I might send her a email and inquire if she’s checked the finished and published product. I just don’t like to be negative to my fellow authors. We’re all in this craft together and should support one another, not tear one another down.

So, do you make sure that your editing process is what it needs to be? Also, make sure if you’re paying an editor, double check their work too. Everyone can miss something, even the experts.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The story, do you know how it end?

Good Friday morning! I’ve been working long hours in my accounting office. Of course that’s expected during tax season. But the funny thing about this job is I know the main tax season will end on April 15th. I have a good idea after almost 20 years of how it will go, but with writing do you always know how it will go? Well, not always.

Many of my books came into my head mostly whole, but not always. Even some that come to me feeling whole turn out different in many ways as the stories unfold on paper. Take for instance my latest release, Ridge. In the back of my mind I had a clear vision of how it would go. I could see it unfolding before I ever type Chapter 1. But with some of my other books I wasn’t completely positive.

Safe in the Pirate’s Arms was one of those that I thought I had it completely figured out before I started, but the characters took over and many things changed. Sometimes we know where we want the story to go, but once you’re into the story it just doesn’t work. As with the book in question, I knew after I started in the planned direction that something wasn’t quite right. Something needed to change and once I changed directions of the story, well it just clicked. Usually when you have that ‘aha’ moment things started moving right along at a fast clip, well at least for me it does.

One of my manuscripts took such a sharp U-turn that I went back and changed some of the aspects of the beginning. But when I typed the end it totally made sense. I was proud of the changes that I made. It felt good and made me feel complete. I know that many of you have read my many posts on outlines and I do truly believe in them, but some of the time even the best outline needs to change slightly.

Is it mandatory as a writer to know the whole story? No way are we held to that standard, but we do have to make sure the story flows correctly. Of course we do have to know some of where the story will go, but the whole story, not happening most of the time, even when we think we know the end, it’s not always clear.

So, do you always know how it will end, truly? What’s your writing process? Do you outline and if so, do you stick strictly with it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to go by my website and check out my March Madness Sale at stephaniehurtauthor.com


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Print books, Ebooks, and Audio books, which way do I go?

Writers have a lot of decisions to make. The process does not stop when you type ‘The End’. You have to decide how you will publish your work. Are you going to self publish or send it to a traditional publisher. Then if you decide to self publish you have to decide if it’s going to be an Ebook only or will you be doing a print book also. 

When you decide to do a print book it’s a process. With an Ebook you have just a front cover to design, but when you do a print book it’s a whole new design ball game. This process is a little more complex. You have to get your page count and then figure the size of the cover including front, back, and end. If you’re off very much the cover will roll to the back or front, bleeding over. Yep, been there. It’s a decision you need to make sure you’re ready for.

Then of course you have to decide who you’re going to print through. I use CreateSpace powered through Amazon. They’re easy to work with and using Expanded Distribution by print books go out to larger distributors and book stores online. I’ve set up an account with Lightning Source but only have my Ebooks listed right now with them.They have a hefty setup fee that I’m having to decide if I want to do right now. 

Another decision is the type of cover and paper color. The first run I did was a learning experience. I did the white paper and didn’t like it as much as the cream colored paper. The white paper has a different feel. Of course all of mine are paperback, but you can do a hardback. Also you can do matte finish now on the cover. Decisions, Decisions…

The publishing process is a many faceted thing. You don’t just write the book and step away. Well you can, but you’re not going anywhere if you do that. As for me I choose to go all the way. I have my books in print and Ebook.

Oh and there’s another side to publishing. Audio books… I took the leap into audio books back in the summer. It’s a new type of process. I’ve enjoyed meeting the narrators of the books. It’s fun to listen to someone read your book. I use ACX with is through Amazon also. They’re easy to use. Just set up an account and download your book. Then start listening to excerpts from various narrators. When you find one you like send them a message asking them to audition for your book. Once you get a couple of auditions then pick one and go with it. You can make pretty good on audible books.

So are you ready to publish that work. Sure you are. Just take the step forward and go for it. If you need any help just check out the link at the top of my site, Horseshoe Publishing. We’re here to help with the process. 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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The Writing Process Blog Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour

This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process and I was honored to be a part of this cross promotion. My friend and fellow author Ana Calin posted hers last week. You can check out her writing process here: http://anaatcalin.com/2013/11/11/the-writing-process-blog-tour/

On with the questions…

 

What am I working on?

I am currently working on a couple of things. The one closest to the finish line is “Open The Heart – A Alpine Christmas Romance” and it should be out before Thanksgiving. This is a book close to my heart as it hits on one of the items on my bucket list – going to Switzerland. It’s a heartwarming story of love that is unexpected. Also I’m working on a sort of time travel romance “Finding The Right Time”. I hope to have it out before Christmas.

I’m working on several other manuscripts that are still in the works, but very exciting time.

 

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I feel like my writing is different because of the style. I write from the heart and of course most authors do. My romances are clean, yet passionate, but your teenager would be safe reading these. I try to make the characters real, not something that comes out of a box. I want my readers to relate to them on a natural level. They have everyday problems and solve them in everyday ways.


Why do I write what I do?
I write romance because I’m a passionate person. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was 13 and fell in love with them. I love to help my readers feel like it’s possible for them to be happy, or even find happiness in the relationship they’re in. Maybe my writing will carry them away for a moment or two. I also want them to realize that you don’t have to be rich, or a beauty queen to have romance. A lot of writers only write about billionaires and people that are superficial, but I try to write about real life people.

 

How does your writing process work?
My writing process is quite simple. A lot of my ideas come to me as I lay awake at night, but also when I’m people watching. I love to sit and just watch people. After the inspiration hits I immediately sit down and outline the story out from start to finish while it’s still hot in my mind. Then I expand each line of the outline into a chapter or two. Sometimes as I write I change up my lines, but the story stays on the same course as the original inspiration.

 

Hope everyone has a great Monday.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…