Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Outlines, Notebooks & other such things…

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It’s Saturday morning and I’m ready for a little rest and restoration. Of course, you know I’ll be writing, it’s my Saturday thing to do. When you run a busy accounting office, most of your intense writing comes on your days off.

Take notes... You'll need them later...

Now with intense writing sessions, you have to use your time wisely. This is where detailed notes and outlines come in handy. When I sit down to write, I like to have everything at my fingertips. If I’m writing a book, say, for instance, Breakwater Lane, I want to have my character information close at hand. Why? Well, it helps me to just look at the character list beside me. If I forget a secondary characters name, I just glance at the list and keep going. But without this list, well, I’d have to go back to where I last wrote about them to check. That takes away valuable writing time.

Outlines are helpful…

I’m an outliner, most of the time. When a story comes into my head, I like to sit down and outline it while it’s fresh. If the story comes in bits and pieces as some do, then I just write down the basics of what has come to my head. As with Sky Ridge Series, I have in my head what each of the three books will be covering, but without the outline, I’d overtake the story from the next book. I want to make sure that each book covers its own situation.

Don’t let a lack of organization throw you off track…

Some people say that outlines mess them up and that’s ok. Everyone has their own style. It’s the way we’re made. But for me, outlines keep me focused on the story at hand. You might ask if I’ve ever changed a story from the outline? Yes, several times. Take, for instance, Finding the Right Time. I had it completely outlined, but my characters would not behave and they went off script. If you’re not a writer, that might sound a little off, but it’s true. Characters can have a mind of their own and they go off down the rabbit hole, leaving the outline in the dust. That’s when you pick up the outline, dust it off, then adjust as needed. It works, believe me.

Notebooks… Notebooks… Notebooks…

Now, I have notebooks for each of my series. I keep details about characters that are in each book. That way I keep up with who died, who left to never be heard of again and such as that. On my stand-alone’s, I don’t always have a dedicated notebook, just an outline with notes in the margins. I put the characters at the top, then the outline. But the notes in the margins can be added characters, character flaws or just location descriptions. Anything you think will be needed later, add it.

It only takes a second to lose that train of thought…

So, to sum up, my rambling from above, if you feel disoriented or unorganized when writing, it’s normal. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself. These are just a couple of the things I do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

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Friday and Romancing the Coffee

Good Morning! It’s Friday people. It’s the last day of the work week for most, but for an author that works a full time job it’s the start of the long work weekend. I work everyday on my manuscripts. Some days not as long as others and especially at this time of year. I have deadlines all around me. There’s W-2’s to finish, end of the year balancing, 1099’s, Tax return prep, manuscripts that are being finalized, covers to design, editing to do, VBS pre season prep, and dare I go on, on my! 

As I sit here nursing my second cup of coffee, I contemplate my morning. I have a hour or so of social media, blogging, and a little editing before I go to the office. It’s funny the life of a writer. I sit down at my computer and my fingers automatically go to the keyboard ready to write. It’s just natural for me to put my thoughts in writing. 

Do you use your morning effectively? The morning hours are very productive for me. It’s the mid day that I sometimes get a little foggy, but then as I sit down after dinner I get creative again. Generally I’m not a morning person, but after about two cups of coffee I start to wake up and get inspired. This morning I have a crackling fire going and a sweet little bird on the banister outside the window watching me. Of course he probably thinks my head is a nest as I’ve yet to run a brush through my hair or even get dressed for that matter. This is “Me” time. The sun is spreading across the front lawn and the world is starting to come alive. 

As you know, I love romance and in the mornings I love to write a little and feel the power behind romance. Have you ever felt it? If you’re a romance writer or reader for that matter, you’ve felt that power. It draws you in and refreshes your faith in life. Yeah, I’m a romance advocate. I had a reader tell me the other day that they don’t believe in romance, well they received a long talk about the possibilites of romance. Needless to say they laughed and said they’d give it another try. But they have read all my books. That’s a start.

Well I’m almost done with my Friday morning rambling, but I must leave you with this question. Do you believe in romance? It’s a simple question. I’m curious about your responses. With romance being the best selling genre in books, I’m pretty sure at least more then 50% of you do. 

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


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Monday morning ramblings…

Well it was a busy weekend for me. Our Church put together showboxes for the local Family Children Service and then yesterday I had the Children’s Ministry Christmas party. Which this meant that I had to start my Christmas baking. I baked cookies, made rice krispy treats and smores. Not to mention red velvet and cream cheese bites. Needless to say it was a busy weekend.

As I sat yesterday afternoon just enjoying being with my family and having nothing at all to do, I received a call. It was my cousin calling to tell me a friend of ours has cancer. It was hard to hear. I’ve known him all my life and we’ve always been friends. It’s always hard to hear that word ‘cancer’. I prayed for him and knew he was in good hands. 

My writing has been in the forefront of my mind lately. I have a couple of books in the works and am impatient to get them completed. I guess that’s just the life of a writer. I have to keep my focus on the writing instead of the finish. If I focus on the finish too much my writing will lack some of it’s luster. I don’t want to rush through the last couple of chapters. 

I don’t know how one of the books will end exactly. Most of my books I have them mapped out in my mind and usually have a good idea how they’ll end, but this one book has changed as it has unfolded. As each chapter develops and the characters get their chance at the story it’s changed and evolved. I’m happy with the many changes, but am anxious to see it to the end.

Several fans are chomping at the bit for the 2nd book in the Alpine series. It was such an exciting book to write. I can’t wait to get started on it. All of my books are on sale for .99 until December 26th. I want to do this as a thanks to all my devoted and beloved fans. It’s been an awesome year for me and my writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…