Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Let’s talk Scrivener…

Good morning! Who wants to write in an organized way? Who wants their outline and characters right at their fingertips? Me! Here’s how I do that…

I use the program, Scrivener. And no, I don’t get any money for talking about this program. What I do get by using this program is piece of mind. So, here are my top five reasons that I use Scrivener to bring my words to life.

  • Easy to use. Folks, once you sit down and start using Scrivener, you will realize that even though it has all those bells and whistles, it’s so easy to use.
  • Character Bio list. Yes, this is amazing. I have all of my main characters running down the left side of my manuscript. And if I forget a characters occupation or eye color, all I do is click and double check.
  • Place list. This is a life saver. I can keep the places in my story straight. Because it’s hard to remember everything, but with Scrivener, I have it at my fingertips.
  • Outline. Yes, I’m an outliner most of the time. And with Scrivener, I have my outline to the right. And it’s always open. The fun thing is, I can separate it by chapters or sections, then mark done when I’m finished with that section. This helps because Scrivener also separates by chapters.
  • Word count progress. I have a window to open that tells me how many words I’ve typed in a session. I also can put a daily word count need, manuscript word count expected, and keep up with my progress. It helps keep me on track!

So, this is just a little look into all of the things that Scrivener can do for you. There’s also a script writing part integrated in the same window. And you can change the way your Scrivener looks at every turn. I use cork board for my outline, which gives a story board feel.

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…


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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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Gifts for Writers…

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Good Tuesday morning! Are you doing the same as me, struggling to figure out what to get those loved ones that are hard to buy for. Well, if you have a writer on your list, then here are my top 5 suggestions that are a little out of the norm, but for a writer, are perfect…

  1. Give them a writing program. What am I talking about? Google writing programs. My favorite is Scrivener. But there are several out there and most are reasonable when you’re thinking about a gift.
  2. Give them a subscription to a creative website. There are so many that it’s impossible to name them all, but some that I use are Bookbrush.com, AllAuthor.com, etc.
  3. Also, a great gift for a writer is laptop if you’re looking to spend a little more. Make sure that it’s set up for graphics and writing applications.
  4. And don’t forget about journals, planners, pens, pencils, cute notebooks, writing desk, laptop bag, decorative note cards, wow, I could go on and on. Do you see a trend here? Every writer loves something to write on.
  5. Last but not least. Most writers have a love for coffee or tea. So think out of the box. Put together a basket of mugs with tea bags, coffee pods, warm throws and chocolates. Writers spend a lot of time in their own world and they need to be caffeinated and cozy.

So, I hope some of these helped you and made things a little easier. Of course, some of the above items might be good for college students, someone needing a little push into being creative and also, creative people.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!

PS: Don’t forget to gift friends books from authors. You can send ebooks through most ebook platforms.


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Let the light in…

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Good Tuesday morning! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a beautiful morning!

After a short stint of writer’s block, the words are flowing in. As I told you in a previous post, the outlining part of Scrivener has helped. I’m keeping my focus and know where the story is going. Actually, the process is making it flow faster than ever. Not to mention, I’m not straying off on little detours that will derail the story.

I feel like the light has been let in and everything is clear. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to share this story with everyone. So, have you let the light shine in on your story yet. Tell me about your breakthroughs in writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Outlining the story easier…

Good Tuesday morning! With tax season in full swing and a couple of manuscripts on deadline, I’ve been a little behind on my posts. But I found something that has helped me a lot.

So, as most of you know, I use Scrivener to get my manuscript typed up and ready to go. But, I had never taken the time to look into the outline part of the program. I’ve always typed my outline in Word or wrote it longhand, which was alright, but I had to keep it beside me, sometimes losing my place while going back and forth.

But now that I’ve taken the time to figure it out, I don’t know how I worked without it. In the program, you can have the outline points for each chapter on the same page that you’re typing on. It’s amazing. And you can also scroll the outline points back or forward while working, which helps you to keep on focus. This concept has made a huge difference in my writing.

If you haven’t started using Scrivener for your writing, then I suggest you give it a try. It’s great and keeps you on track. Not to mention your character bios are always at your fingertips and places. But now with the outline set up, wow!

As always good writing and May God Bless You…


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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…

Lily Release ad!


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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…