Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

by Zoe M. McCarthy
Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

by Zoe M. McCarthy


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Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, is a fresh and innovative refocusing of your novel or novella. Through a few simple—and fun—steps, Zoe M. McCarthy helps writers take their not-ready-for-publication and/or rejected manuscripts to a spit-polish finish. This step-by-step reference guide leads you through the process of brainstorming, shaping, and revising your fiction manuscript. Writers learn how to examine their own work for stronger plot and characterization. Valuable tools are offered that enable the writer to develop a publishable, workable draft in only 30 days!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989106498
Publisher: Sonfire Media LLC
Publication date: 01/21/2019
Pages: 204
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Zoe M. McCarthy was an actuary in her first career, but she always held a passion to create stories. Determined to learn the route to publication, she joined a critique group and attended writers' conferences, picking up and studying presenters' books on writing.
When Zoe's first contemporary romance contracted, her research on publishing and marketing convinced her she needed to start a blog and post regularly. Because her analytical side gives Zoe a keen interest in the mechanics and methodologies of good writing, a how-to blog on writing appealed to her. In 2012 she began her blog.
After Zoe had published over one hundred fifty blog posts, an agent and a publishing house editor suggested she write a book based on her blog. The idea interested Zoe, and she attended a workshop on the dos and don'ts for turning blog posts into a book. She wanted to share more than the information she'd accumulated. She desired to help writers who had manuscripts but didn't know how to get them ready for publication, writers whose manuscripts received rejections, writers whose self-published novels received poor reviews, and writers who wanted to write the stories on their hearts but needed help to put them to paper. Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days was born.
Zoe still attends writing workshops at popular Christian writers' conferences, subscribes to Writer's Digest, and explores online writing articles to improve her writing and her blog posts. Zoe's weekly posts share what she's learned and often include examples of how she incorporated skills and techniques into her own writing.
In addition to her instructional blog, Zoe has taught workshops at libraries, writer groups, and the Virginia chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers' Conferences.
Her husband, John, partners with Zoe on the nonwriting tasks in her publishing career. They live on a hill in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Zoe and John enjoy exploring mountains and valleys, canoeing the New River, or spending time at their cabin on a lake. They have two sons, two daughters-in-love, and six grandchildren.
Zoe writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. Believing opposites distract, Zoe creates heroes and heroines who learn to embrace their differences. She is the author of Good Breaks, The Putting Green Whisperer, The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk. Connect with Zoe at zoemmccarthy.com

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Send Your Characters on a Journey



Cliché Plots

Chapter 2 Will the Real Character Please Stand Out?

Main Characters

Secondary Characters

Round Out Flat Characters

Character’s Backstory and Prologues

Revise and Review

Chapter 3 Plant Your Character (and Reader) in a Setting

Elements of Setting

Ensuring the Setting Makes Sense

Chapter 4 Season Your Story with Voice, Pace, and Humor

Writer’s Voice



Chapter 5 Make a Scene of Your Scene

A Scene’s Reasons to Exist

Types of Scenes

Cramming in Characters

Clichéd Scene Plots

First-Chapter Hook

Grounding the Reader


Suspension of Belief

Actions Trump Thoughts and Feelings in Showing the

Hero’s Character

Point-of-View Shifts (Head Hopping)


End-of-Scene Hook

Chapter 6 Add Suspense to Your Scene—Scary or Otherwise

Suspense Techniques for Any Genre


Chapter 7 Lure Readers to Commit Identity Theft with

Your Characters

Intimacy Between Readers and Point-of-View Characters

If Your Hero Doesn’t Smell, You May Have a Senseless Story

Chapter 8 Where to Add Zing to Your Story

Conflict—Make the Tension Worse

Metaphors and Similes in Dialogue and Internal Dialogue


Internal Dialogue

What Internal Dialogue Can Show Better than Dialogue

Internal Dialogue Tips

Chapter 9 Build Story with Words—the Right Ones

The Right Word

Prepositional Phrases

Overusing the Preposition Of


Special Cases

Chapter 10 Compose Palatable Paragraphs

Start a New Paragraph

Vary the First Words of Paragraphs

Add Specifics and Vary Sentence Structures

Backload Paragraphs

Show, Don’t Tell

Too Much: Reduce

Too Awkward: Change

Too Odd: Cut

Chapter 11 End Your Story Well to Sell

Tips for a Satisfying Ending

Chapter 12 Read, Review, and Revise—Edit Pages Beyond Your SAMPLE

Customize the Checklist According to Your Needs

Read, Review, and Revise the Remainder of Your Manuscript

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