Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Who’s my worst critic? Me!

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Good morning! It’s a rainy Sunday here in Georgia.

So, who’s my worst critic? As I write, I edit. I know, that’s not supposed to be the way it works. I should write, then edit, but guess what? There’s something inside of me that as soon as a line is written if a word comes up as wrong, my brain says go back and correct.

But the worst thing is, I’ll write almost a full chapter, then turn around and erase it. Then a little way down the road into the manuscript, I wish I hadn’t done that. Even though it doesn’t work in that spot doesn’t mean it won’t in another. Of course by the time I figure that out, well, it’s gone.

The moment I type ‘The End’ is when the worst critic in me starts. Even a couple of my bestsellers still haunt me. I think of a line I used and how I could make it better. My editor constantly tells me to stop overthinking. But it’s like a bad habit that I can’t break. One of my books pulled at me so hard that I almost took it completely down, but since it gets a great response, I held back. (That didn’t stop me from printing the manuscript and going back over it.)

If a line bothers me, I’ll write it over and over, which takes valuable time out of my writing. Then I’ll break down and just go with it, which is what I need to start doing. Since my brain stays in autocorrect mode, this is hard to do. But, I’m learning to push that mode off.

So, are you the worst critic you have?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Setting music to your work…

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Good morning! It’s been a while, but I have a great reason… Tax Season. But, I’m on the last leg of the first part.

So, as I was working last night, my Pandora was playing movie love songs. I tried to name the movie for each score that played. Then I thought about how powerful each song was to the movie. Actually, in my opinion, some of the music made the movies seem better. The music gave the parts so much power, more inspiring or just more emotionally charged.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m talking about this, well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could input music into our manuscripts? Of course, like most of you, I have music playing in the background as I write, but if we could put music into our audio books, wouldn’t that be something?

And yes, we put music into our book trailers, which adds that pull. Think about how it would be added to our ebooks in certain spots? It would be amazing…

Ok, so that’s my crazy rambling for this cool, southern Monday. Since I only have two more days left in tax season, I’ll be back to regular posting soon.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Let the light in…

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Good Tuesday morning! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a beautiful morning!

After a short stint of writer’s block, the words are flowing in. As I told you in a previous post, the outlining part of Scrivener has helped. I’m keeping my focus and know where the story is going. Actually, the process is making it flow faster than ever. Not to mention, I’m not straying off on little detours that will derail the story.

I feel like the light has been let in and everything is clear. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to share this story with everyone. So, have you let the light shine in on your story yet. Tell me about your breakthroughs in writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s in a character?

Good Tuesday morning!

So, how do you form your characters? Do you develop them as the story goes forward? Or do you write a character sketch before putting the first word into the manuscript? In Scrivener, I always start out with a blank page for each character. Of course, I know basically who my character is. When I start a new manuscript, I develop their main character sketch, but what is included?

Name – Oh, this can take hours for me. I play with first and last name combinations. It’s crazy, but as a writer, I know that when the right combination comes across, it will pop. So, I scan name lists, Scrivener’s name generator, and even newspapers. Sometimes things just stand out.

Flaws – Ok, so maybe your main characters don’t have flaws, but I try to make mine less than perfect. Of course, my first books had perfect characters, but I want my readers to relate to my characters, so I add flaws. It could be as simple as having an attitude, but I make it a flaw at the time.

Looks – Does my character have blonde hair and blue eyes? That’s something important because you don’t want to suddenly say something about their auburn hair halfway through. You need to know what they look like or at least have an idea so that it stays consistent throughout the book.

Career – What does your character do? Are they a lawyer, doctor or maybe a rodeo king? It’s important to know this so that you can add elements of what they do to your character.

Hobbies – This is not as important as other attributes, but if it’s going to play a role in the book, then you need to remember if they knit or oil paint. Changing it midway can confuse the reader at times.

You may be saying, but why are these important? Every writer is different in how they do their work. For me, I like to get to know my characters. As I write, I like to know what my character might say or do and why. In Scrivener, I always have a character note that details things and I can add to it as things happen. Believe me, it helps to keep the process going forward.

So, how do you create your characters?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Snow Day Today…

Good afternoon! It’s a cold, but beautiful day here in Georgia. We’re enjoying the snow,IMG_4015

which isn’t something we get to enjoy very much. I love to watch it snow, but it snowed while we slept, so I get to enjoy looking out at it.

Now, with a huge pot of chili simmering on the stove and a warm fire crackling in the fireplace, I’m sitting with my laptop, enjoying a rare mid-week writing time. At this time I’m normally elbow deep in accounting, but not today. It’s a rare treat which I’m getting to take part in.

So, what are you up to on this beautifully cold day?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Happy New Year!

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Wow, it’s 2018! As we say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new, remember to make this new year even better than the last year. Let’s strive to do something for ourselves and others every day.

The last year held some great times, but also many sad times. My writing evolved and I managed to publish 8 books in 2017. I’m excited about all the projects that I have coming up in 2018 and can’t wait to tell you about them, but that will come later.

So, here’s to wishing all of you a Happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…