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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Series Writing…What I learned…

 

img_2612Good morning! I hope you’re having a blessed day. Me, I’m in mama mode, or as my son calls it, flood mode. By that I mean, our son graduates from high school tomorrow night and every time I think about it, I cry. I’m so proud of him and happy for him, but as a mama, well, I get a bit nervous and anxious, knowing he’s about to embark on a new chapter in his life. It’s hard to let go, but we do have to let them spread their wings. Ok, enough of thought, salty tears in my coffee isn’t very good.

Series… Have you written one yet? If you have, then you know the struggles. The first one goes pretty well as writing goes, but when you start on the second, if it’s a continuing series, well, the problems start. Do you remember this about a character? Do you remember the neighbor’s name that will be appearing some in the other books? What did you name the dog? Wow, yeah, that’s where the fun really begins…

Here’s what I learned, the hard way and hopefully it will help guide some of you into writing series without the struggle… I’ve attached a picture of the front of one of my series notebooks for the Sky Ridge Series.

When I first started writing, I decided to do a series where a couple of the books were connected. The problems didn’t start until the second book. I was constantly looking back to see about facts and such. It was horrible. I had so much to write but between the looking back and double checking facts, it took longer to write the next couple books.

So, when I started the Women of Magnolia Hill Saga, I began a journal on the series. I kept a timeline, character sketches, and places. Since this is a historical romance series and I tried to stay in line with history, somewhat, I printed out a timeline of the time period and marked where each book started and ended. This helped some with details.

Then the fun really begins. I had to keep up with who the oldest sibling and youngest sibling were. Also, in this series, it spans many, many years, so, sadly some of the main characters from the earlier books die. I had to keep up with their age when they died and how. That way when a character looks back, it’s factual, not pulled from my brain which doesn’t remember a lot these days.

The character and place parts are very critical. If your character has a child, well, you can’t just go on with the story and not include the child. That child will eventually grow up and surely he or she isn’t kept in a dark closet until future episodes. So, detail is very important.

In the Magnolia Saga, there is a magnolia tree in the front yard where every member gets married. I have to remember where it is. In my mind and my notebook, I have a sketch of the property. It helps.

With my newest series, I have a composition book for each series and I include the outline, characters and where they all cross paths. Since the Wishful Harbor series is all around the same time period, I have to make sure to keep up with the comings and goings of everyone, even the mailman. LOL!

I’ve sketched the town of Wishful Harbor and plan to have the sketch at the front of each of the five books in the series. That gives the reader a sense of knowing the town and lets their mind live in that town. I’m so excited about this series because it intertwines together to make a beautiful story about a sweet town. But, it couldn’t happen without my notebook of facts.

So, how do you keep your series straight? Does this help you to possibly tackle a series in the future? I hope it does. But remember, I’m always here if you have a question.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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What’s your favorite writing season?

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It’s the first day of Fall! Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The beauty is bountiful and then there’s pumpkin spice. Yeah, I know, I’m obsessed with pumpkin spice, but it’s so good…

Anyhoo, for some reason, my writing brain goes nuts in the Fall. Maybe it’s the cooler temperatures or the feeling in the air. I just know I write faster and more in the Fall, it’s crazy but true.

So, what’s your favorite writing season? Why?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

 


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Thursday morning News…

tuscany front cover

Good Thursday morning everyone! I’ve been telling you about a manuscript that has been in the works. I know I’ve been a little secretive about this one, but I wanted to make sure that the concept worked. Well the outline is complete and I see the whole story in my mind and I feel it in my heart, if only my fingers typed as fast as my brain tells the story.

The exciting thing is I made the decision yesterday to enter it in the So You Think You Can Write contest over at Harlequin and Wattpad. This was a hard decision because this manuscript is not complete yet. That means that I have to hit the 50,000 word mark in less than a month. Good grief! But I need a little help from me peeps here. If you get a chance, could you please go over to the link, https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/48304085-tuscany, and let me know what you think. Please be honest. If you like it then please vote for it because the more votes I get the better chance I have of getting past round one.

I’ve entered this contest before and had great results. Two years ago I entered “Finding the Right Time” in this contest and made it past round two. That was exciting. I received so many great responses for that book on the contest site.

Another bit of news is that Chase is almost completed. For those of you following the “Five Oaks Ranch” series, then you know this is the one I’ve been so excited about. Chase is the rogue of the Cauthen brood and his story has pulled at me harder than any of the other ones. I can’t wait for you to meet this stubborn cowboy. You’ll fall in love instantly.

Just a reminder, today is Thursday people, that means the weekend is almost here. Since my son started back to school Monday, I’ve been getting up earlier, so I can’t wait to sleep in Saturday. Not that I will, my body wants up at seven, even on Saturdays.

So, as always, good writing and May God Bless You!

P.S. Go by my website and sign up for my newsletter or even my street team. The link is www.stephaniehurtauthor.com. So sign up today for your chance at some great prizes. If you join my street team you’ll get to see chapters before they’re published and so much more. Also I have some great swag and book giveaways planned for the near future.


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The bunny did it, I need a new plan!

An update on my lettuce regrowing project and it’s not good. I planted the rooted lettuce sections in the garden over the weekend and have nurtured my little plants. Well, I went out last night after Church to check on my plants which had grown over five inches and for a long while I just stared at the spot where my lettuce was supposed to be. Yep, you guessed it, something chewed my lettuce to the nubs.

That’s when I realized who’d eat my salad. We have a back yard bunny. I’ve watched him every morning as I sipped my coffee but he always stayed in the back of the yard. I guess it never crossed my mind that he’d come into the garden. Thank goodness I eat a lot of lettuce and have three plants rooting now. When I plant them I’ll definitely put a screen over the plants.

As for my surprise project, it’s going great. Worked on the synopsis yesterday and have the first chapter completed and even edited. It took a couple of hours, but my editor and I have it ready. I’ve had a lot of fun with the research for this project and it’s a new adventure. Can’t wait to give you some hints, but for now I’ll hold back.

Hope you have a great Thursday. I need to get back to writing.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Location…Where is your book based?

One of the difficult things in writing is decide where the books characters and the story takes place. Is it in the US or maybe the UK? Is the story based in a place covered in snow or in the desert? Sometimes when the story comes easily it’s not always clear the location. Your brain tells you what the character is doing but not where it is.

An important point to remember is to make sure you stick with the location you start with. Also if you’re basing your book in a place you’ve never been you might better do your homework. What I mean is the you don’t want to have your character going through the desert in Boston. Just wouldn’t go well. You might receive some interesting reviews 🙂

If your character is going snow skiing, you might want to make sure the place has snow. So, as you work on the outline of your story make sure you write down the location and keep it straight.

This was just a quickie post for Thursday evening. Hope all is well and just think, tomorrow is Friday…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…