10-Item Manuscript Checklist When You’re Under a Deadline

image by garethV
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TYFMI30D-Print-5.75x8.89.jpeg

Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days is designed to shape a not-yet submitted, rejected, or self-published manuscript with low ratings into a book that shines. The method can also be a guiding resource for writers starting a manuscript. See details below.



Ideally, authors would like use a comprehensive checklist to prepare their manuscripts before submitting them to an freelance editor or a publisher. But what if you’re on a fast-approaching deadline? Here are ten areas to review in each scene before letting your manuscript go.

1.  Search for awkward sentences. For example, separate into multiple sentences, rewrite passive passages, and reduce wordiness for sentences such as this one: Tom was hurt by a large, gray elephant when the bull flipped him into the air as poachers from the east stampeded the herd by driving their large, gray land rovers that had tusks tied to their hoods with rope behind the herd.

2. Take your movie camera and capture what you see and hear during the scene. Determine whether you used enough of what you captured so that the character and reader will experience the setting.

image by ThomasWolter

3.  Check that your character has used, hopefully, all five senses in the scene—what he sees, tastes, touches, smells, and hears.

4. Look for that zinger that spices up your dialogue.

  • Clever remark skillfully delivered
  • Shocking or unexpected observation
  • Bold truth
  • Dry or humorous comment
image by geralt

5. Re-read the opening to make sure you’ve dropped the reader into the action and grounded the reader in the scene’s mood and the who, when, and where.

6.  Review the ending to ensure you’ve left the reader anxious to know what’s going to happen next.

7.  Check paragraphs’ ending words. Have you backloaded paragraphs with a strong word that gives the gist of the paragraph instead of a vague word, such as him, it, or was?

8. Research for accuracy a place, item, job, or personality you’ve introduce into the scene.

9. Enter the scene into a program like ProWritingAid to find style, grammar, overuse, and sticky-sentence problems. 

10. Have your word processing reader read your scene to you to catch typos, errors, and weird-sounding sentences.

What’s on your quick checklist to do before you send off your manuscript? 

Buy Link

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TYFMI30D-Print-5.75x8.89.jpeg

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

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

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 and into publishable shape in 30 days. Tailor Your Manuscript delivers a clear and comprehensive action plan. —Elizabeth Spann Craig, Twitteriffic owner, bestselling author of the Myrtle Clover Mysteries, the Southern Quilting Mysteries, and the Memphis Barbeque Mysteries http://elizabethspanncraig.com/blog/

How to Write Your Next Novel with Point and Click

“There are no shortcuts in life – only those we imagine.” —Frank Leahy

 

file0001423771801.jpgHave you sunk over a thousand hours into a manuscript and sent out a proposal? Did letters dribble back with rejections? Or do you dread starting your next contracted book?

I watched a video on how to create a flyer. The woman point-and-clicked a tasteful bake sale flyer in about 3 minutes. So why not a novel?

Tweetables

    • Instead of sinking 1000 hours into your next novel, what if you could point-and-click it done?
      click to tweet
    • Write a novel in 3 hours using the new software: Point & Click a Novel (P&CAN)?
      click to tweet

Step 1:  Go to SETUP. Click on Audience. Point and click.

o   Women < 40

o   Women > 40

o   Women = 40

o   Teens going on 40

o   Men

o   Horse lovers

by PHZ D. WUJCIK
by PHZ D. WUJCIK

Step 2:  Return to SETUP. Click on Genre. Point and click.

o   Funny

o   Serious

o   Scary

o   Car chases and Uzi battles

o   Horse adventures (Dog & cat capers available in P&CAN’s premium version.)

Step 3:  Return to SETUP. Click on Length. Point and click.

o   Comic book

o   Short story

o   Novella

o   Novel

o   War & Peace 

Step 4:  Go to RULES. Click on one for each rule.

file0001403772284o   1__ Heroine’s point of view; 2__ Head hop;  3__Mustang’s point of view

o   1__ Ban adverbs;  2__Ban –ly adverbs;  3__Freely use very, really, and quite

o   1__Show 5 senses;  2__No touchy-feely;  3__No tasteless characters

o   1__Sprinkle clichés;  2__Use manicured lawn in settings;  3__Use proverbial often

file000529187082Step 5:  Go to TITLES. Click on option.

o   One-word name, computer-generated from most popular first names.

o   Find the perfect horse moniker here.

o   Type in 3 words repeated often in the story. 1_____ 2_____ 3_____ (P&CAN will supply a title using all 3.)

o   Title meaningless to the story but sounds great. (P&CAN guarantees the publisher won’t change this title.)

Step 6:  Go to THEME. Choose and click.

o   A rogue learns to be nice, or at least nicer.

o   Aliens conquer transformers on the prairie and save the palominos.

o   Count Duke marries Lord Earl’s niece to prevent a land war.

o   Bad teen grows up, comes home, and finds himself.

o   Good teen grows up, leaves home, and finds his long-lost preschool love.

o   Murder stumps detective until he suspects his femme-fatale partner.

Step 7:  Go to SAGGING MIDDLE FILLER. Choose and click.

o   Heroine and chum catch up on events since 4-H club.

o   Hero learns how to shoe a bucking bronco.

o   Hero and heroine exchange letters while he makes his fortune on an oil rig.

o   Uzi shootouts between camouflaged big-game hunters and aerobic ladies clad in paisley tights.

Step 8:  Go to ENDINGS. Choose and click.

file0001168107757o   Boy gets girl (Variation: Girl gets boy)

o   Depressing but realistic

o   Happy trails

o   Cliff hanger

o   Hero walks away unscathed from a car pile-up and collars the identify thief

Step 9:   Go to Submit. Click. You should receive your novel in less than 2.5 hours.

<<<>>>

Tweetable

  • Lighten your perspective on writing and keep on plugging.
    click to tweet

When the size of your new project sometimes outweighs your love of writing, how do you handle it?