GP: I Wanna Give Good Query by Cass Alexander

Oh yes, she’s back!  My (becoming a regular) guest poster Cass Alexander, author of the Persimmon Series is back to show us just how she did her last query letter. 😀

Cass1I Wanna Give Good Query

by Cass Alexander

I hesitate to write this post as it will truly demonstrate to readers that I do things I probably shouldn’t. My mouth runs faster than my brain. It always has. Now, my fingers type and click Send on emails faster than my brain can process the whole of what I’ve sent.

I recently wrote a query letter and I’d like to share my experience with the Universe.

My brother and I are currently writing a non-fiction humor book. We had always planned to self-publish. However, after zero research and one or two impulsive texts, we thought it would be a great idea to query a publisher. Bro is super busy, so he gave me the go ahead to do it myself. He really shouldn’t have. Wanna see it? Below is the first half. Try not to cringe as you read.

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Does your story fail the Bechdel Test?

 

Two Business women enjoying a cup of coffee and smiling

Image purchased from Storyblocks.co

What the heck is the Bechdel Test? 

For those who don’t know, the Bechdel Test (also known as the Bechdel–Wallace test) was popularised by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

It first appeared in Bechdel’s comic “Dykes to Watch out for”.

The strip in question was titled The Rule.  To pass the Bechdel tests, a work of fiction must have:

a) at least 2 women (preferably named)

b) who talk to each other

c) about something other than a man

While the Bechdel test is used to rate movies, it can be used when studying other forms for fiction too.  Such as novels!

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GP: My name’s not Cass, but you can call me Cass

Once again I have been harassing other writers to guest post on this blog. This week’s guester is the lovely Cass Alexander, who talks about whether to use a Pen Name. Enjoy!

Cass1My Name’s Not Cass, But You Can Call Me Cass

by Cass Alexander

Prior to publishing my first romance novel, my husband and I debated whether I should publish under my real name or use a pen name. Marketing, in the short term, would be easier if I used my legit name, because I know lots of people. And, let’s face it, it’s pretty damn cool to see your name slapped on the cover of a book.

But, in the end, I didn’t have the balls to use my real name. Like all healthy, well-adjusted citizens of the world, I blame societal pressures.

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Writing a large cast of characters

People sitting in an audienceYes… I am back to writing tutorials and actually getting them out on the right day! Huzzah!

So today I want to talk about large casts! By large casts I am talking about main and secondary characters (not the odd village baker passing through a random scene, never to be heard from again.)

The fantasy novel I have left floundering in a drawer (at 220,000 words… I really should get back to that) had a large cast. It followed several groups of people through numerous subplots (I promise to get to a subplot tutorial soon!) and when I eventually return to it, will have more coming in by the second book.

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Guest post: How to write in a foreign language

MS Harris.jpgThis week’s guest poster is the wonderful M S Harris who discusses writing manuscripts in a language that is not your native one.

How To Write In A Foreign Language

by M.S. Harris

I have been writing for a long time and I’ve been making stories in my head for as long as I can remember.

Not only do I write and I make stories, but I write them in English. English is not my first language, Greek is and through a lot of thinking I decided that writing in English is the better choice for me.

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