Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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Finding your voice…

Good morning! Life is good…I’m up and the sun is shining. Yes, it’s a good day!

As a writer, have you found your voice? I was told by an editor at Harlequin that I had a voice for romance. Do I mean the voice that comes from my mouth? No, I mean the one that comes from my head. That editor, although she was sending me a rejection letter, which by the news that came out this week, I’m glad I got that rejection in many ways, but she told me something that has stuck with me. She told me that they loved my voice as a writer.

There are writers that if you follow their work, you’d know it anywhere. I’ve been told that my writing is that way. What about you? Does your voice stay steady? Does your writing show the inner you?

In writing workshops, they always harp on finding your voice. I used to sit and think, my voice, I don’t have laryngitis. LOL! Now I know it’s the way I tell a story, or as the Harlequin editor said, the way I spin a tale.

So, have you found your voice?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday Morning…Not Ready Yet!

Good morning… Wow, 6:15 came early this morning. I had a busy weekend and that makes for a groggy Monday morning. But, I still plan on getting in at least 2000 words before I go to my day job.

I worked on three of my manuscripts yesterday, getting ahead on one that I’d been stumped on. Thankfully I rounded the corner and the story opened up in my mind. So, Highlander’s Son will be out soon. Of course, it is a novella to finish out the series, but for those that have been asking, yes, it’s coming before the end of May!

As for my other works in progress, they’re coming soon also. Lacey’s Choice is coming along great,  and Promises Forgotten is totally outlined and ready to get going. As for the others in process, I’ve put them on the back burner until these three are completed and in my editor’s hands.

So, what are you working on this morning?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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When the story is clear as the blue sky…

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It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon! The sky is clear and brilliant blue.

That’s the way I feel about my writing today. All five of the books I’m working on are coming in very clear, might I say, loud and clear. To get my mind in writing, after Church I went outside and cleaned in the yard. This helped because now I want to write on all five, but as you know, that can’t happen all at one time, but I can try to get in a little on each, I hope.

So, how’s your writing going? Do you have a clear mind? If not, I’ll suggest going outside and breathing the fresh air. It will do wonders, I promise.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Series Emblem Reveal…

It’s Wednesday and I feel alive! What about you? Have you smiled this morning? As I write this, I can’t help but smile. Why you might ask? Well, I’m doing a small reveal today, which is exciting.

When you create a series, sometimes you create an emblem that represents that series. Well, when I created the Wishful Harbor Series, I wanted a special emblem and my awesome design team went to work to make sure that the dream I had for this series came to life. Of course, I’m not revealing the covers yet, just the emblem, for now…

So, I’d like to introduce you to the Wishful Harbor Series!

wishful harbor design

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday’s coffee & writing…

Oh my, it’s Monday already! How did the weekend go by so fast?

So, this morning I’m hoping to be back on schedule with my daily writing. Of course, that was supposed to be last Monday, but life happened and that didn’t happen. I have itchy fingers and characters stomping their feet in my head, so… Writers got to write!

Two thousand words, here I come…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…words


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Writing a book is easy!…

Hello, Sunday morning…. What happened to Saturday? It went by too fast and now the weekend is almost over.  I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing, yet… Oh well, life goes on.

Here’s a question… How many times does someone come up to you and say, ‘Writing a book is easy, I can do that with my eyes closed.’? I’ve lost count of the people that have told me that when they found out that I’m an author. Usually. I just say, ‘Go ahead, give it a try.’ I know that they haven’t looked into what it entails and probably wouldn’t see it through.

If you’re a writer, you know what’s involved. It’s not the easy job that most think it is. There’s more to becoming a writer than just writing. Most people think that if you’re a writer, then all you do is sit and write. LOL! There’s more to it than that. So, here goes a short list of what goes into the writing of a book, and this is a short list, so it doesn’t get into everything.

1: A story comes to you… This could be the whole thing or just an idea.

2: You begin to outline or put together notes on the idea for the story. At this point, you’re setting up the characters, setting, and plot.

3: You start to write the story. This process could take you a week or couple of years according to how fast the story comes to you or the time you have to get this process completed. Sometimes the story doesn’t come as fast as you want it to.

4: As you write your story, you develop an idea for the cover and at that point or somewhere down the road, you design a cover that goes with the story. (This isn’t as easy as it sounds.)

5: Alright, you’ve written your story, designed your cover, now what? Edit, edit and edit some more. Then you read your story and possibly write more or change some of the story. At this point, I’ve deleted whole chapters that hurt the flow of the story, yes, I said whole chapters. It hurt but had to be done.

As you can see, this is just the start. There are so many other steps to writing a book. This is just a quick, condensed version, but you get the idea. It’s not the easy process that some think it is. But, it’s a rewarding process once it’s done and you’ve published your work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…IMG_1489