Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Only Way to React to a Punch to Your Stomach by Zoe M. McCarthy

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono
I was on a roll. Edits were going well. With each chapter I received back from my critique partner came words, such as: “This is wonderful! Now you are rockin!” and “This is so much stronger! It has the depth and zing [published book] did. This will sell!

I planned to knock out more edited chapters on a trip to northern Virginia where I would lead a writing workshop. Our Honda Pilot is like a mini office. John drives and I work on my writing projects.

I would have my edits done within the next week and soon the manuscript would be on its way to an editor.

In the car, an email from my critique partner awaited my click. She told me my character’s motivation for acting as she did in the next chapter, which drove the direction of the plot, wasn’t sufficient. I was going to have to come up with a much more compelling motive.

My whole body folded like I’d been punched in the stomach. I knew my critique partner was right, but the work involved to change my character’s motive might mean revamping the whole manuscript. It’d be a month before the story was back to its current stage.

The thought of the work weighed so heavily that I closed my Macbook Air, and my eyes. The radio commentators talking over each other in the show John listened to didn’t help.

In the midst of my sick feeling, my Seriously Write Post that had published three days before popped into my mind. The post was based on the teaching: As long as we seek the Lord, He will give us success.

I believe the scriptures I shared in that post. I had no grounds to be discouraged. It was time to seek God. Lord, I’m seeking You. I trust You’ll give me a stronger motivation for my character’s actions and the fix to the manuscript.

During the five-hour trip, I read to John and we conversed.

That night I went to bed early so I’d be fresh to lead the conference workshop. While lying in bed, the manuscript fix formed in my mind. As I mentally jotted the change, my character’s motivation tumbled into the fix. The work would require no more than an hour.

I praised God, and this insomniac fell asleep.

God confirmed His teaching through a personal application. He showed me where I fell short through my critique partner, then, after I sought him, gave me the solution. How wonderful is that?

Subsequently, I received encouraging words from my critique partner. “That strengthens her motivation tremendously… Well done.”

So here I am giving God the glory. His promises are trustworthy.


How to react when a piece of news sends a punch to your stomach. Click to tweet.

When has God honored your trust in Him?
About the Author
Zoe McCarthy
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Now retired actuaries, Zoe and her husband evaluated the financial risks for insurance companies. Nick, in Zoe’s debut novel, Calculated Risk, is an actuary. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.
Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarthy

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books