Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Three cups & a book…

Good Thursday morning! I do hope you’re all well…

This morning I’m working on the outline for the 2nd book in the Wishful Harbor Series. It’s exciting when you start a new manuscript, but it’s scary too! As a writer, you want to pull the reader in with the first paragraph, but what if you don’t? Publishing your work is scary, but satisfying when you see the sales and responses from readers.

As I outline, I have a bad habit of writing instead of outlining. Yep, some of my outlining will be used in the actual book because I get carried away, but that’s fine. One thing that helps is I use Scrivener, so I can set up my chapters and copy/paste the part I love that will go in the book. Yep, another win for Scrivener.

But, along with writing, I have to grab another cup of coffee to keep me going. So, I’d best get back to finishing this outline and getting another cup of coffee.

So, great writing and May God Bless You…

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Saturday…Second Cup!

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Good Saturday morning! I hope all of you are doing something fun and exciting today. I’m starting my morning off by writing. It’s one of my favorite ways to start Saturday morning.

As I’ve been telling you this week, my work in process is a Highlander romance, actually the first book in a trilogy. It’s been coming along pretty well so far, but I’m at a pivotal point where I need to do a little more thinking. I want to make it more, how do I say this, more intriguing. So, I’m going to do some plotting today. It needs to go in the right direction so that when the 2nd book starts, it goes well.

I’ll start by doing a story board on Scrivener, putting points in, then flesh them out. Sometimes plotting can be fun, but other times it’s no so much. For me, if I’m not working on the work in process, then I feel empty, but this time, I’m excited about plotting. Those little plot bunnies are filling my head.

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…

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Word Count & Scrivener

Good Saturday morning! Here in Georgia it’s simply gorgeous with the sun shining and the temps comfortable. Makes me want to go outside and sit the rest of the day writing. But my house needs an overhaul 😉 That doesn’t mean that I won’t end up out there with my laptop.

I’m working on two manuscripts at the moment. Of course ‘Chase’ is one of them and then I’m also working on a new Christian Historical Romance, but that one will be discussed at a later date. As for writing, I’ve been trying to get in my daily word count and then some. Since the stories are flowing pretty steadily lately, it helps me to stay focused.

One thing that is helping with my writing lately is a program that I’m trying out. Have you tried out Scrivener yet? Several authors have suggested the program to me, but until now I’ve been using word mostly. So about a month or so ago I decided to test the waters and I’ve not looked back yet.

This program incorporates my trusty outlines and character lists into the same screen as my manuscript. I can keep it all at my fingertips at all time. Better yet as a new character is created I can simply add them to the list and never skip a beat. I’ve even got the outlines typed out for a couple of story ideas for later in the year.

What’s fun is with my 5 Oaks Ranch series I can copy my character list over to the next book. That way I don’t have to keep going back to the books before and search out a character. Let’s just say I love this program and highly suggest trying it out. They offer a trial version so that you can make sure it fits in with your way of writing.

Well, I better get back to mopping my kitchen and doing laundry because it won’t do itself. Also the sooner it’s done, the sooner me and my laptop can head out to sit on the deck and get lost in another world, if just for a while.

So, what are you up to today? Hope it’s fun…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…