Zoe has developed a guiding resource for beginning writers. Her method is designed for brainstorming, shaping, and revising an 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 30 days! —Yvonne Lehman, award-winning, best-selling author of 48 novels
Learn more at the end of the post.
A writer’s career is not easy. For many of us, we just want to write the stories that are begging to flow to the page. Here are tips that may help you recharge your writing career.
1. Take a Sabbatical
- You may dream about how much research, word count, editing, and creative ideas you could churn out on a writing getaway.
- List what you must do to make a retreat happen and start planning your sabbatical.
- Can you take off a month, or will your sabbatical last a week or occur over a few consecutive weekends?
- Now, X off the days on your calendar. Don’t accept any interviews, guest-blogs, doctor or hair appointments, or meetings. Tell social media and family you’re off the grid for those days.
- If possible, hold your sabbatical away from your home. If you can’t afford travel and a retreat setting, maybe a friend or family member would welcome you to stay in their home while they’re on vacation.
- Or plan a sabbatical with another writer(s). Share expenses, set no-interruption hours, and schedule times to bounce ideas off each other.
2. Honor a Sabbath Day
- Make writing and marketing activities off limits one day a week.
- Take a walk or a drive and enjoy God’s creation.
- Connect with God, friends, and family.
- Daydream, read a book, or play a game with the family.
- Enjoy a hobby.
3. Include a Book on Writing on Your To-Read List
- Reading about old principles and learning new ones may energize you to write your next book.
- Using a new-to-you angle or technique a popular author shares in a book or “Writer’s Digest” may be a fun challenge.
- Perhaps, the book will spark a writing help idea you could share on your blog, podcast, article, or a book.
4. Pay Forward the Help You Received
- Helping others can be satisfying and energizing.
- Attend a workshop for new writers. You might be reminded of writing principles you’ve become lax on. Help answer the new writers’ questions. Learn the problems new writers have so you can help the newer writers in your local writers’ group.
- Mentor a new writer. Or teach a workshop.
5. Limit the Activities You Take On
- When you’re maxed out, your performance suffers.
- it’s easy to commit to an interview three months from now because more white space is on that calendar page. Then that month arrives, and you’re maxed out again
- Opportunities bombard you from writers’ groups, social media, and professional promoters. Some sound good. You feel guilty for not pursuing these opportunities.
- Because you don’t want to give up what you’re already doing and are comfortable with, you try to make room for a new opportunity.
- Maybe it’s time to decide which type of opportunities honestly help you meet your career goals and you truly enjoy.
- Evaluate occasionally whether a fresh opportunity should replace an old one.
What have you instituted to recharge your writing career?
I finished reading Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days. I have AND will highly recommend it to anyone who dabbles in fiction. It’s one of the best “how to” books I’ve ever read.
—Marsha Hubler, Director Montrose Christian Writers Conference
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’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.
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, lightningeditingservices.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 2019https://www.amazon.com/Tailor-Your-Fiction-Manuscript-Days-ebook/dp/B07PF7RBQZ
Good advice. I like your little exhausted battery picture. I feel like that sometimes!
Me, too, Sally. But then the energizer bunnies come along.