Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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Stepping back …

Good Sunday morning! Here in Georgia it’s chilly but sunny. It will be a beautiful day.  For me, I’m sitting by the fire, enjoying the early morning quiet.

This morning’s post is about the rough draft. I’ve had the rough draft completed and turned into my editor for a week. I haven’t looked at the rough draft since I handed it over. But it has work to be done. I want to embellish on the story, add several elements to help bring his story alive, but I had to step back.

What do I mean by step back? Well, it’s simple. During the writing process sometimes we get too close to a project, then get burnt out. For some reason, the story started slipping away. I still had the bare bones, but the flesh and all the other things that make it a whole story seemed to go out of my brain. I had to step away from it.

Now, I think I’m almost ready to step back into the story. Of course, I’m in the middle of Maggie’s story, but it helps to get into another story to get the one that slipped away back into your brain. It’s still a little foggy, but I think I’ll do fine.

Have you ever had to step back in order to get the story going?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The story, do you know how it end?

Good Friday morning! I’ve been working long hours in my accounting office. Of course that’s expected during tax season. But the funny thing about this job is I know the main tax season will end on April 15th. I have a good idea after almost 20 years of how it will go, but with writing do you always know how it will go? Well, not always.

Many of my books came into my head mostly whole, but not always. Even some that come to me feeling whole turn out different in many ways as the stories unfold on paper. Take for instance my latest release, Ridge. In the back of my mind I had a clear vision of how it would go. I could see it unfolding before I ever type Chapter 1. But with some of my other books I wasn’t completely positive.

Safe in the Pirate’s Arms was one of those that I thought I had it completely figured out before I started, but the characters took over and many things changed. Sometimes we know where we want the story to go, but once you’re into the story it just doesn’t work. As with the book in question, I knew after I started in the planned direction that something wasn’t quite right. Something needed to change and once I changed directions of the story, well it just clicked. Usually when you have that ‘aha’ moment things started moving right along at a fast clip, well at least for me it does.

One of my manuscripts took such a sharp U-turn that I went back and changed some of the aspects of the beginning. But when I typed the end it totally made sense. I was proud of the changes that I made. It felt good and made me feel complete. I know that many of you have read my many posts on outlines and I do truly believe in them, but some of the time even the best outline needs to change slightly.

Is it mandatory as a writer to know the whole story? No way are we held to that standard, but we do have to make sure the story flows correctly. Of course we do have to know some of where the story will go, but the whole story, not happening most of the time, even when we think we know the end, it’s not always clear.

So, do you always know how it will end, truly? What’s your writing process? Do you outline and if so, do you stick strictly with it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to go by my website and check out my March Madness Sale at stephaniehurtauthor.com


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Writing in Sections

As a writer I’m constantly trying new ways to organize me thoughts for books. Some days my mind is riddled with different scenes and it’s hard to concentrate on just one part. So I’m trying a new way to do things that I’ve read other authors do.

Since my mind seems to want to go ahead of itself, I’m letting it. When I start a book now I also start another word document that I name Segments of “book name”. In this document I write the scenes that are later down the road, that way I don’t lose the thought process and also it helps with the current parts. I know where they’re headed and can keep everything flowing in the right direction.

I’ve noticed that my mind seems less tangled when I do this process. I guess getting the parts that are screaming at me on paper helps the words flow better without obstacles. Try this process out and see how it works for you. But don’t forget to label each section so that you can copy and paste it in when your writing gets to that point. It really helps!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Looking back at old posts…

I’ve been blogging for almost two years. It’s been such a wild ride. This weekend I was going back through some of my more popular posts. This is one from my CreateSpace blog. If you didn’t know this I have several blogs going. What can I say, I like to multi-task…

First things First. You write the romance novel.

Posted by SHurt on Aug 6, 2012 1:41:24 PM

Well, I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. The storylines came easily to me. That was the easy part. The

hard part was putting it on paper.

I could always see the story from start to finish, but it was the in between that got complicated. I decided to go old school. I sat down

one day and made an outline of the story in my head. The outline ended up having 18 sections. SO, that was my story in a condensed

version.

I took the outline to the computer and started. I used each section of the outline to fill in my story. I would expand the section until it

filled a chapter, sometimes two. Before I knew it, two months later, I had a completed manuscript.

I looked at the manuscript in awe. I had finally done it. I had completed a whole story from beginning to end. Now what! ON my next blog I

will continue the story.

 

Get to writing. It can be very stress relieving.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…