Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

People like me get excited about books for writing, so I’m thrilled to welcome Zoe McCarthy this week. For years, I followed her helpful blog posts that explained grammar and usage in a hands-on manner, and now has compiled them into a text that I’ve enjoyed perusing. And she is giving away a

My review: This volume literally (pardon the pun) bursts with necessary information for both fiction and non-fiction writers. Through the years I’ve consulted various grammar handbooks, and also used several in instructing college writing classes. I can heartily recommend this one. Concise and filled with down-to-earth examples, it offers treasure to serious writers.

I congratulate the commenter who wins her giveaway of a signed copy. To qualify, just leave a note for her in the comment section. And here is Zoe:

“You need to turn your blog posts into a book on writing,” an editor told me. Then a few weeks later, literary agent Diana Flegal said the same thing. She later wrote, “Since the market for fiction writers is tougher than ever, I bugged Zoe, and her agent, for a Zoe McCarthy writing book.” So, I took these professionals’ advice and created Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days.

On the eve of Halloween, I’ll share scary challenges that confronted me and snippet assurances I received in endorsements.

Overwhelming material.I’d researched and written over 150 posts on writing topics I’d used in writing my seven inspirational romances and teaching writing workshops. I didn’t want to dump posts into a book. How could I organize so many posts into a coherent guide for writers? Scary. I wish you could’ve seen the posts’ print-outs stacked into meaningful piles covering my office floor and furniture. Editor coordinator for Pelican Book Group, Jamie West, wrote, “A concise, detailed, step-by-step resource for all writers.”

Daunting dream. How could I structure the book to help writers get their manuscripts in shape and guide first-time writers in writing their stories? I wanted to free writers from experiencing rejections like I’d received on my journey. Freelance editor Denise Loock wrote, “If you follow her advice and implement her strategies, a publisher will be much more likely to issue you a contract.”

Perfection. Since Tailor teaches writing, I wanted it to be perfect. Recently I spotted a typo in one of my examples.Ugh. I wrote, “I didn’t steal this heroine.” I meant a drug, not a woman. Multi-published author Tanya Hanson said, “As an 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.”

Confidence. No scary ghost can attack me on one aspect. I believe in Tailor. Multi-award-winning author and president of Word Weavers, Eva Marie Everson, penned, “Zoe McCarthy’s book is a fresh and innovative refocusing of your novel or novella. Through a few simple—and fun—steps, Zoe helps writers take their … manuscripts to a spit-polish finish.”

Aspiration.I hope Tailor will lessen fear of writing. Bestselling cozy mystery author and  Twitteriffic owner, Elizabeth Spann Craig, wrote, “Zoe M. McCarthy’s step-by-step reference guide leads you through the process, helping you fight feeling over-whelmed.” I smiled.



12 thoughts on “Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days

  1. Hi Zoe, I want you to know that I am using Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript as I do the final edits on my manuscript for Shattered Dreams to be published next year. After visiting with you at Gabrielle Meyer’s retreat, I knew this would be a valuable book. I hope you and your family are well and that I will be able to see you again some day. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  2. I’m in a critique group, and from word, to sentence, to paragraph, to the structure of the novel Tailor has helped me to critique others.

  3. Gail, thank you for inviting Zoe to share her book with us. Zoe, I’ve never read any of your work but this book sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’ve been working on my debut novel for years. I finally submitted it and it was rejected. Now I’m working on revisions. Sounds like I need to read your book before I send it out again. Thank you so much for offering a giveaway.

    • Hi Esther, I am so glad you aren’t giving up. I had 4 rejected complete manuscripts before my fifth one was contracted. I’ve heard two agents say it takes writing about 4 to 5 books to learn to write and the fifth one usually is contracted. My rejections were part of the reason I wrote Tailor—to help writers avoid rejections. I believe in Tailor.

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