Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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If your story falls apart, use duct tape?

Duct tape is a house staple, just as salt, sugar and flour are food staples. For many years people have fixed almost everything with duct tape. At Church we even fixed a broken Christmas tree with duct tape, no really we did. It’s strong and durable. Also you can get it in any width and color so it’s versatile.

What if you’re story is falling apart? We all have those manuscripts that start out really good and we have a phenomenal ending planned, but the middle has so many holes and fractures that it puts a real stink on the beginning and ending. Well, put a little duct tape on it. What am I talking about? Well, here goes the answer in a nutshell.

By duct tape I mean sit down with your beginning and ending. Then really look at it. Where is the character headed? The middle needs some suspense or issue that needs to carry the reader over the hump to the end. It needs something that only the ending can shed some light on. This is where the duct tape comes in.

As I said above, duct tape is strong and durable with lots of versatility, so the middle of the book needs to be taped up neatly. But be careful not to just add fluffy filler that makes the reader fall asleep with boredom. If the first of the book is power packed, then make the middle explode with tension. This is the strong duct tape. Add an element of complete surprise. Let the main character have a major problem that needs solving, or maybe a secret that is threatening to come out, but the secret has to be life altering.

But make sure that it can mesh with your great ending. I did this one time and a book that started out being only around 30,000 words went over 50,000 words with a little duct tape application. Crazy, but true. I had this really great beginning that pulled you in and the ending left you breathless, but the middle was just a bunch of fluff. As I did my first read through I was almost dozing and that’s not good. I sat down and spread out the beginning and ending, then totally restructured my characters. I added a whole new dimension to them that took them on an adventure that meshed well with the ending and soon I had a complete story that I was proud to hit the publish button on.

So, get you some duct tape and pull that story together. If you use the right duct tape it will hold together nicely.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How do you take rejection?

Hmmmm! Let me see about this. Well, I usually take it fairly well according to the situation. As an author you’ve got to learn that a little rejection is coming your way one day. It’s sad but true. 

When I started publishing my work, I was afraid of rejection from family and friends. I was more afraid of what they’d think than the world. For a long time most of my family and friends were not aware I’d published any books. One day my mom showed my aunt one of my paperbacks and she had a fit. Now she’s a fan.

If you pitch your work to a large publisher, well, you guessed it, you get get one of those nice little form letters that explains why they can’t publish your work. Some of the better publishers give you advice on what would make it better and would possibly change their mind. I pitched one of mine to a big publisher and well, I never got anything. Not sure, but I’d call that a rejection. I prefer to think maybe they didn’t get it, but a rejection all the same.

You can feel the sting of rejection through self publishing too. This is usually through reviews. Sometimes they hurt, but you just have to remember, it’s not personal. Well, sometimes it feels like it. 

Life is feel with rejections, that’s what makes us stronger, I think. You have rejections in your love life, friendships, jobs, promotions, loans, and many areas of your life. The main thing is how you handle that rejection. Do you just dig a hole and put your head in or do you walk proudly and get over it? I try to choose the latter as much as possible, but I have to admit to having dirt in my hair more than once 🙂

So how do you handle it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…