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I need help with the, "appeal to fans of..." line and one other big fat question.


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#1 Phaust

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 07:01 PM

Hey gang,

New to this forum. Been swimming in the QL critique forum mostly. With their help, my QL is in pretty decent shape I think. But I have two BIG questions. One has to do with the QL and also applies to finding the right agent. The other has to do with rule breaking. 

 

#1 I have never read anything like what I am writing. I don't mean that as a brag. I mean, I'm sort of lost. Maybe its kind of like Brian McClellan's powder mage stuff. It's not steampunk... but it sort of is. Takes place in an alternative world in what looks a lot like our 17th-18th centuries. But the tech is based on magnetics (so no metal) and glass instead of steam and/or combustion. It's got kind of a highwayman/pioneer/cowboy feel to it. But the MC is a warrior monk. So it harkens to David Caradine's Kung Fu from back in the 70's. And there's monsters. Not often. Oh, and it is written with a literary head. Anyway, I am good with the genre of spec fic and fantasy. But I am struggling to think about who might rep it based on their repping history. Same thing for the, it would appeal to readers of.... The MC's abilities are quite similar to those of the MC in R. Scott Bakker's books. But that is effectively a magic system (based in philosophy, but still...). Aside from that, what ought I be thinking of? I have included my QL below to give you a better indication of things. 

 

#2 Related to the above. When I tell friends the premise, that is, when I pitch them, sure they are into it. But when I tell them what inspired the MC they absolutely light up. Unfortunately, that inspiration is a mash up of two MOVIE characters. But based on their reactions, I feel like maybe I should work it into the query. Is that breaking a rule? 

 

Any advise would be appreciated. 

 

QL FOLLOWS:

 

Ten years ago the warrior monk Cyril Kol of the Order of Eye and Cloud caused the collapse of civilization when he exposed the corruption at his own Order’s heart. The ensuing cataclysm cost the lives of his wife and child. Or so he thought.

 

Since learning that they live, Kol has scoured the war-torn world in search of his family. In his distress he has lost his ability to master the hyper-perception granted by the metaphysical and martial methods of Eye and Cloud. Unable to hinder sensations, reality overwhelms him. He maintains functionality only by a steady supply from the distillery he’s rigged up in the back of his massive, wind-up, shingle-roofed schooner.

 

Kol’s inebriate quest for family takes a turn when he rescues Veepa, an adolescent on the run from a covetous crime boss. But if rescue means you’re responsible  - and it seems to him like it must - then Kol figures the only way to assure Veepa’s safety while still pursuing his family is to take her on as a student.

 

Meanwhile, news of Kol’s return has reached a fanatical warlord determined to revenge The Collapse on the man who caused it. As Kol struggles to re-master of the super-sensate ability of Eye and Cloud it becomes clear that the path to his wife and child leads through the enemies of his past and a confrontation that will endanger the devoted student he has come to hold dear.

 

Complete at 120,000 Of Eye and Cloud is the first of a series of speculative fiction/hard fantasy.

 



#2 jswen

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

There are a monks in Brian Staveley's THE EMPEROR'S BLADES, which has been pretty popular recently. Brandon Sanderson's later MISTBORN books also have an old west/magical feel to them. Those are the two I thought of in reading what you described. 

 

I think your query should do the job of pitching the MC without referencing movie characters. Try to capture the feel of those characters! 

 

As for repping, QueryTracker and MS Wishlist are great resources for finding agents. In query tracker you can make a list of all the agents you want to query, but it costs more to rank them according to your fit. I just made my own excel doc in addition. Then I usually read the agent's bio, and their client list to get a feel for fit. Out of 10 agents interested in sci-fi fantasy, maybe 2 or 3 seem like a good fit, and 1 seems like an awesome fit. I've read it's good to send queries in batches of 7-10. You might think your query is good now, but maybe no one responds to it and it actually needs some work. If you query 7-10 at a time, you can judge based off whether you are getting form rejections or personal rejections how good your query and sample pages are. If no one responds or you only get form rejections, then the QL might need some work. Also, probably not a good idea to query your TOP agents all at once in the beginning (I kinda did that.. haha). Sprinkle them in maybe throughout the process. Anyways, that's what I'm doing. What do you think? 

 

Good luck! 



#3 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:46 AM

Be careful of comps http://blog.nathanbr...nalization.html


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#4 Phaust

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:26 AM

Thanks folks. I'm all about Query Tracker right now. Interesting that that the advise in the link (thanks litgal) is to NOT compare to best sellers. Wonder why... Anyway, that was helpful. BTW, heard your interview Litgal on some podcast recently - can't recall which, but I recall the Sister Queens. Well done!



#5 VerKur

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:09 PM

I think it's safe to call it fantasy or speculative, but make sure your letter has strains of all those elements you talked about. If you're doing a series, you need to say that it is stand alone but with series potential.  BTW, I use two movies (well one movie and one TV show) as my comps and I am getting a lot of requests.  The comps just have to make sense.






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