Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Revisiting an old friend!

Lacey's Choice front cover

I had a dream last night…It was about this manuscript…I now know where it’s headed and can’t stop my fingers from typing. As bad as it sounds, this book should have been finished a couple of years ago, but something snapped inside of me and I couldn’t finish it. I lost the story in my head, but in my dream, it all came back.

If you haven’t read the first book in this series, then grab it first. By the way, it’s  on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Open-Heart-Alpine-Christmas-Romance-ebook/dp/B00GW6T6AQ I’ve had so many sweet letters about the first book and so many asking for the second. I’m sorry it took me so long to get it back going, but when you lose the focus, you have to step back, or it will be a complete mistake.

So, Lacey’s Choice will be coming soon!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

 


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Feeling the heat…

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Good Thursday morning! I hope that you’re staying cool in the heat that has moved in. Summer is coming in like a lion. Here in Georgia, it is hot and humid. I call it murky. So, stay inside if you can and ride it out.

Now on to today’s post. Have you ever been working on a manuscript and it just wasn’t coming together? I’m in that spot at the moment. The manuscript is at a dead stop. The strange thing is, I can see the middle and the end just fine, it’s the first part that’s giving me the hiccups. I don’t know why, but it’s making me feel the heat in more ways than one. I have to say that this is the first manuscript that’s baffled me.

You may be saying, maybe it’s time to put it aside, but I can feel this one deep in my heart. It’s driving me crazy. If  I couldn’t see the middle and last, then I’d give up for a while, but the characters are pulling at me. This book is totally outlined, but the first say four chapters just don’t sound right. So, today I’m starting work on the middle and end, hoping for some inspiration for the problems plaguing the first part. Let’s hope it helps. I just can’t see dropping it totally.

I wouldn’t call it totally ‘writer’s block’, but maybe ‘partial block’. Has this ever happened to you?

Some of you have been asking about the publishing contract I signed last week. Well, it’s going well. The manuscript is in editing and will be returned to me shortly for my side of the process. I have to tell you, Solstice is on the ball. They’ve already created the cover, which I’ll post as soon as the time draws near. It’s a great cover and I can’t wait to start posting it everywhere.  The blurb is in their hands now. All that’s left is my author photo, which will be taken today, and the acknowledgements page along with the dedication page. I’m working on those. It’s been a busy couple of days as I’ve worked on getting everything to them on time. And yes, I’m still smiling broadly.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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5 steps to The Clear Picture…

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Have you ever looked at your work in progress and seen this? For many writers this is where the lines blur and you want to hit your head on something because you can’t seem to clear them up. This is a common problem for writers, but there’s help, really, this too can be pushed aside.

Lately I’ve been working really hard on a surprise manuscript, but also on Chase. Of course that means that the two stories can get blurred together at times. In order to get from one manuscript to the other I have to clear my head. It’s the only way or I’ll have to make sure I don’t get my characters mixed up.

Here are a couple of steps I take to clear the picture:

1: Step away! When the blurs take over, then take a moment to step away. Sometimes I have to go for a walk or maybe even do housework, but I have to step away from the manuscript to get it cleared up.

2: When the lines blur, pick up a book. Amazingly enough this can help clear up the blurred lines. Read something to get your mind occupied.

3: If your current manuscript becomes overwhelming, try working on another one for a couple of hours. Recently I stepped away from a manuscript for several days and it helped. When I went back to it everything seemed clear.

4: What about those scenes that you just can’t seem to get right? Try moving forward with the manuscript and then go back to the glitchy scene. Believe me, sometimes this works really well. Once I did this and realized the reason the scene wouldn’t get straight was because it didn’t need to be there to begin with.

5: For the final way to clear the picture, well, this one can be tricky, no not really. Go grab some caffeine. If hot tea is your thing, then grab that, or maybe a coffee. It stimulates your thought process.

Hope that this helps you. This is just a couple of things that I do when I get stumped.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Getting over the hump…

Yep, it’s Wednesday. The work week is halfway completed, but for a writer it’s a 24/7 job. Our minds can usually shut down the work thought process when we leave the office, but a writer carries the thought process everywhere. We can’t just shut it down. Well not usually. What happens when that thought process shuts itself down? Have a deadline and it just goes haywire because the writer’s side of your brain suddenly goes on vacation? 

Yeah, I’ve been there and it’s painful. You have the greatest story to get out and suddenly, oh no, you lose it! I don’t know about you, but this can be frustrating. Especially if you’re under a deadline. Even the thought of the dreaded shut down gives you the chills.

Here’s a couple of things I do when it happens to me and yes it seriously does happen to every writer at one time or another. The length it lasts varies, but it’s real.

1: If you do outlines for your books, then pull it out. This helps me to refresh my thought process. Most of the times it’s like hitting the refresh button on my laptop. If you don’t do outlines, you might want to at least scribble down a few things to help jog your thought process in case of emergency. Just sayin…

2: For me these times usually hit when I’m stressed over something outside my writing world. Since I’m a multi-tasker, I usually have several things going at one time. Like right now I have tax season in full swing. When I do finally get a little time to sit down with my WIP’s my brain is tired and I’m just pooped. I’ve started coming in from the office and just sitting quietly for a little bit. I spend a little time with the family and since the weather is beautiful for the moment, I walk a couple of miles to recharge myself.

3: If you write about Cowboys, Military heros, or even Pirates, then go over to Google Images and search out your inspiration. Sometimes this helps me. I’ll even go on Bigstock and work on the cover if it’s not already completed. It helps me to get my focus on the reason for the story.

4: Do some research. If you have other works in process, do the research. Maybe something in the research will snag a memory or two. 

5: Step away from the project that’s lost in your head. Maybe start something new you’ve had in mind, or maybe work on something you have started earlier. Sometimes it helps to step away from the work and come back a little later in the week. I’ve stepped away from one of my works in progress. When things pop into my head for it, I pen it into my outline that stays close by. 

These are just some of the ways I combat writer’s block. They may or may not help you, but it could give you some ideas.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How do you handle writer’s block?

It’s a mystery that doesn’t have a rhyme or reason. As a writer it’s devastating to say the least. The symptoms can vary from staring into space with fingers poised over keyboard, the sudden appetite for social media, and even in some instances headache with slight nausea (usually this is when deadlines loom over your head).

I remember in high school needing to write a paper on my favorite movie, Gone With The Wind. I thought great, I know this movie inside out. This will be a piece of cake. Of course I procratinated and wait until the last couple of days to do the work. I sat down with pen and paper, then it hit, writer’s block. What? I knew this movie, how could I not figure out what to write? This should be simple. But writer’s block has no mercy. I finally finished the paper at the last minute, but it wasn’t my best work. My teacher was disappointed because she knew how much I loved the movie. 

It’s the same with authors. We know the story that needs to be written, but the words just won’t come. I had that problem last week. I’m working on “Victoria” and it’s a historical romance. I started this book last year and I knew exactly what I wanted it to be about. 

Well, as writer’s block doesn’t pick and choose, it started off really well, but around 5000 words in, bam nothing. Then I picked it back up over the summer and got to almost 30,000 words and here it was. Like a monster in the closet, looming there, threatening my concentration. Amazing.

I’ve often talked about using outlines. I have one for this book. It was no help as the block was too thick. I listened to my writing music. I watched historical romances to help spur me on, but nothing helped. The headache loomed, the pressure between my eyes, it was terrible. I could see the story in my mind, but to put it in words, nothing. 

I struggled, I dreamed about it, I worried. Well, after a lot of surfing social media, staring out the window at nothing, it finally hit me. I’d been working so hard to finish it before the end of August, that I’d blocked myself. Meaning I’d pressured my brain into overdrive. What with work, home, everything in life, I’d put too much pressure on the story. 

I knew what I had to do. I had to step back, take a breath. That’s when I did what I said I’d not do. I put the manuscript to the side and worked on something else. Well, when I put it out of sight and mostly out of my brain, I was able to cleanse myself of the writer’s block. It worked. I was only away from it a couple of days when it all flooded in and took over. 

WIth a sigh of relief I’m almost completely done with the first run. It’s funny, all of my books have meant something to me, but this one means something different. It’s like a renewal of spirit. I have a great feeling about this one. The planned release is September 15th. It should be available for preorder around the end of August or first of September. I’ll put out the specific date as soon as it’s available.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…