A Help to Write or Tailor the Manuscript on Your Heart

Today, I publish my 300th blog post. To celebrate, I share with you the major project I undertook to use many of my 300 blog posts. The project produced a resource soon to release that will help you write or get your manuscript in shape to publish. Below is the story about Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days from the book’s back pages and what professionals in the publishing industry are saying about the book.

Story of the Project

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 attended writers’ conferences, joined a critique group, studied books and blogs on writing and the publishing world, and analyzed novels to find out what worked in them.

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When Zoe’s first contemporary romance contracted, her further 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 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 with manuscripts who 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 30Days was born.

Endorsements for Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

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Zoe McCarthy’s book, 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 helps writers take their not-ready-for-publication and/or rejected manuscripts to a spit-polish finish. Writing is hard work, yes, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

—Eva Marie Everson, best-selling and multiple award-winning author, conference director, president of Word Weavers International, Inc.

If you want to increase your chance of hearing yes instead of sorry or not a fit for our list at this time, this book is for you. If you want to develop stronger story plots with characters that are hard to put down, this book is for you. Through McCarthy’s checklists and helpful exercises and corresponding examples, you will learn how to raise the tension, hone your voice, and polish your manuscript. I need this book for my clients and the many conferees I meet at writer’s conferences around the country. Thank you, Zoe. A huge, #thumbsup, for Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days.  

—Diana L. Flegal, literary agent, and freelance editor

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript is a self-editing encyclopedia! Each chapter sets up the targeted technique, examples show what to look for in your manuscript, then proven actions are provided to take your writing to the next level. Whether you are a seasoned writer or a newbie, you need this book! 

—Sally Shupe, freelance editor, aspiring author

Need to rework your book? Zoe M. McCarthy’s step-by-step reference guide leads you through the process, helping you fight feeling overwhelmed and wrangle your manuscript into publishable shape in 30 days. Tailor Your Manuscript delivers a clear and comprehensive action plan.

—Elizabeth Spann Craig, Twitteriffic owner, bestselling cozy mystery author of the “Myrtle Clover Mysteries,” the “Southern Quilting Mysteries,” and the “Memphis Barbeque Mysteries,” http://elizabethspanncraig.com/blog/  

Zoe has developed a guiding resource for beginning writers. Her method is designed for brainstorming, shaping, and revising the early draft of a manuscript. General and specific tips are offered for applying rules of writing to enhance one’s story for a workable second draft. By exploring the plot line of Love Comes Softly, writers may examine their own work for stronger plot and characterization. Valuable tools are offered that enable the writer to develop a workable draft in only 30 days!

—Yvonne Lehman, award-winning, best-selling author of 48 novels

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days is chock-full of practical techniques. Numerous examples clarify problem areas and provide workable solutions. The action steps and blah busters McCarthy suggests will help you improve every sentence, every paragraph of your novel. If you follow her advice and implement her strategies, a publisher will be much more likely to issue you a contract.

—Denise K. Loock, freelance editor, lightingeditingservices.com

A concise, detailed, step by step resource for all writers.

— Jamie West, editor coordinator, Pelican Book Group

Zoe’s writing blog has always intrigued me. As a high school English teacher, I can attest that her tips on good grammar and her hints for excellent sentence and paragraph structure are spot on. But as an author, I also appreciate her ever-present advice that excellent skills are not enough: you must tell a good story, too. This book clearly shows how to do it all.

—Tanya Hanson, “Writing the Trails to Tenderness,” author of Christmas Lights, Outlaw Heart, Hearts Crossing Ranch anthology, and coming in 2019, Tainted Lady, Heart of Hope, and Angel Heart. www.tanyahanson.com

McCarthy crafted an amazing self-help book that will strengthen any writer, whether new or seasoned, with guidance and self-evaluation tools.

–Erin Unger, author of Practicing Murder, releasing in 2019

Celebrate my 300thblog with me and read how Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Dayswas born from my writing posts. Click to tweet.

Would you tell us about where the book laid on your heart stands in the publishing process—in your mind, in a draft under your bed, in search of a publisher, or in the world of published books?

Buy Link 

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

Hosting Guests on a Subject-Specific Blog – Benefits & Quality Control

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Your blog provides topics, tips and teachings for a specific subject, such as pottery, writing, or home decor. Others in your field ask for a guest post spot on your blog. They offer to write content about your subject. In exchange, you are to include their promotion piece at the end of the post for their pottery shop, a book, or remodeling service.

Your blog may not be stellar but you want to protect it from slapdash and erroneous posts.

With this concern, you may ask why you should host others and how you can avoid posts that don’t at least live up to your own standards.

Before you respond to requestors, you could take a look at posts they’ve written on their blogs. But they may have a different type of blog, so this may not show the quality of their content. What can you do?

Tips to help guests live up to your standards

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Develop a guideline sheet to help guests know your expectations. The sheet could address such items as word count limits, where photos must come from, and the language rating, e.g. family or G-rated.

Ask guests for the topic and title of the post they plan to write. This helps them think ahead and not come up with something at the last minute.

Suggest a type of post you’d welcome, such as tips, techniques, or pitfalls.

Invite the guest to visit your site to see the kinds of posts you publish.

Tell them you reserve the right to make minor edits to their posts and to ask them to make changes.

Require guests send posts at least a week ahead of the post date so you have time to ask for changes.

There are benefits to hosting guests.

Reasons to host others on a blog

Readers may enjoy a different prospective.

Guests may have more expertise than you do in certain aspects of your subject.

You will broaden your reach for new followers when guests promote their posts on your blog.

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Guest posts can give you a break from brainstorming a blog idea, researching it, and writing it.

Guest posts can fill a spot while you’re on vacation.

Guests can become valuable contacts in your field.

You can build a list of the accomplished guests for future guest posts.

You can return a favor, pay forward, or simply help another person in your field.

Why guests posts on a subject-specific blog are beneficial and tips to encourage their quality.  Click to tweet.

What benefits and tips to improve the quality of guest posts do you have?

Pre-order Link  $0.99 during pre-order period only.

Suddenly unemployed, Allie Masterson returns home to Cary, North Carolina where she caddies for her father on the PGA Seniors Tour. There, she encounters a man who possesses an alluring gift of reading the contours of the green. Fascinated with his uncanny ability, Allie is excited to meet the Green Whisperer—until she discovers that the easygoing caddy is actually Shoo Leonard, the boy who teased her relentlessly when they were kids. Despite Allie’s reservations, when Shoo is faced with having to overcome a hand injury, she agrees to use her sport science degree to become his trainer…and then she falls for him.

 Shoo Leonard is grateful to Allie for her singular determination to get him ready for the PGA tour, but he isn’t ready for anything more. Still raw from a broken engagement and focused on his career, he’s content to be her fist-bumping buddy…but then he falls for her.

What seems like a happily-ever-after on the horizon takes a turn when Allie decides she’s become a distraction to Shoo’s career. Is it time for her to step away or can The Putting Green Whisperer find the right words to make her stay?

 

7 Tips to Generate Blog Post Ideas

image by geralt
image by geralt

When we start a blog, we’re told we need to write about something we can sustain over time. Have you written so many blog posts it seems like you’ve covered everything in your field of interest?

I’m on my 206th how-to blog post, but I’m still able to find ideas for posts. Coming up with ideas may be less difficult for you who write journal-type blog posts, but these tips may help you too.

I write posts on writing, blogging, and speaking. You may write blogs on everything about horses, quilting, photography, or gardening. Whatever your field is, these tips should work for you.

Tips to Try

 

image by geralt
image by geralt

Tip 1: In the process of writing or building my platform, I schedule various tasks. When I’m looking for a post idea, I ask myself, “What am I working on now?” My answer is what is most beneficial for me to research and write a blog post on. Try asking yourself that question.

Here are examples of blog posts I’ve written from projects on which I was currently working.

How to:

  • have a successful book signing
  • fix an unlikeable character
  • write discussion questions for a novel
  • enlist endorsers/write an endorsement for another author
  • write a book based on blog posts
  • plot a story using the Hero’s Journey
  • give an editor a pitch for your story
  • present an engaging speech
  • add humor to your story
image by geralt
image by geralt

Tip 2: When I’m invited to teach writing workshops, I create posts on the content I’ve prepared for those events. If you teach, speak, or lead workshops in your field, your preparation work may provide enough content for multiple posts.

 

Tip 3: Sometimes I review past posts I’ve written. Often a different angle on a subject comes to mind. Rewrites incorporating something new are perfect for posts.

Tip 4: When I’m not working on something new, I peruse my issues of Writer’s Digest and my writing-craft books for blog ideas. Once I find a fresh idea, I research the subject further from articles online.

A benefit: you can apply the fresh idea to your work in your field. An example of how a post helped me improve my manuscript was: how to add suspense to any genre.

Tip 5: When I attend writers’ conferences, workshops usually inspire several ideas. Be alert to ideas at your next conference or interest-group meeting.

image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images
image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Tip 6: When I give back to others in my field, I receive ideas. For example, I judged 9 stories for a contest. I observed common areas of weak writing. I wrote a post on those. Also, my blog readers have asked me to cover certain subjects.

Tip 7: For me, I ask God to guide me. Then as I follow the above tips, I come across writing topics I want to know more about. After I research the ideas, I have fodder for posts.

Are you running out of blog post ideas? Try these 7 tips. Click to tweet.

How do you come up with blog post ideas?