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Rescue Me (LGBT) (UPDATED)


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#1 Aightball

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 09:31 PM

                                                            ***UPDATE IN POST #23!***

 

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the query, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As usual, my stakes are hard as hell to figure out.  The book now centers on their journey to having a family.  And I'm not sure how to word that to keep an agent interested.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my query:

 

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple: a little boom, boom in bed and nine months later, the miracle of birth.

 

For same-sex couples, the journey is much harder.  Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen have begun the search for a surrogacy agency in hopes of eventually starting a family.  Most agencies they've researched say no same-sex couples and a few that don't reject them for being gay anyway.  Disheartened, both wonder if anyone is willing to give them a hand.

 

Finally, they find their agency and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Part of the process of having a child is passing psych and medical evals and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life, reminding both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Edited by Aightball, 16 June 2017 - 06:46 PM.

Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#2 Bananas

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:01 PM

This is a good start.  However, you've got some overly wordy sentences that need trimming.  Also, your biggest issue is how you've laid out your plot points.  As it stands now, your story doesn't make logical sense.  

So, after a LONG hiatus from AQC and completely gutting and reworking the plot and rewriting the novel, J&J are ready for some critiques.  My writer's group has the book...I'm handing you guys the query, haha.  As usual, rip it good, give me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  As usual, my stakes are hard as hell to figure out.  The book now centers on their journey to having a family.  And I'm not sure how to word that to keep an agent interested.  So, without further ado, here's the rough draft of my query:

 

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple: a little boom, boom boom-boom in bed and nine months later, the miracle of birth.

 

For same-sex couples, the journey is much harder.  Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen have begun the search are searching for a surrogacy agency in hopes of eventually starting a family.  Most agencies they've researched say no same-sex couples this seems like a stretch.  I did a quick google search and came up with several agencies that explicitly say they work with LGBT couples.  It seems like your first major conflict is solved easily.   and a few that don't reject them for being gay anyway.  This would be stronger if you implied this.  Your MC's can't know this for SURE, but they can strongly suspect this.  Disheartened, both wonder if anyone is willing to give them a hand.  This difficulty sounds quite manufactured.  It would more believable if there was a real reason that they cannot find an agency that will work with them - i.e. Jimmy's issues.  

 

Finally, they find their agency and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Unnecessary words here.  What else would they do with a surrogacy agency? Part of the process of having a child is passing psych and medical evals  Are they?  How does Jimmy's liver damage factor into whether he'd be a good parent or not?  and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.    Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  If Jimmy is in recovery, why does it matter what his past was?  Assuming he's taking medication/seeking treatment for his mental health issues, then why would they matter?  I can see an issue if he's not working on his problems.  I have trouble believing that surrogacy agencies could make a go of it only working with people with perfect physical and mental health records.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life, if Jimmy's problems are from being disowned, does this not fix that issue? There's a leap in logic here that I don't follow.  reminding both of them Why?  What do Jimmy's parents do?  You've glossed over this plot point.  As it stands, you're not setting them up as entirely awful people.  Sure, they pulled a dick move and disowned their son, but it seems like they're trying to make amends for that mistake.  why they're hell bent on being better fathers parents Saying 'parents' here is stronger. then their own were.  

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words.  It will appeal to fans of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.   Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Talking about themes is usually a no-no in queries.  As is stands right now, I don't see a theme of 'making the right choices' coming through.  This query is about two men trying to find an agency and then trying to get approved.  As far as I can see, they don't make any choices at all.  Thank you for your time and consideration.



#3 VerKur

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:53 PM

I agree with the above poster on many points. I would add that I think you're hook is the wrong tone (the part about boom boom-- it makes it sound like this is a comedy).

 

I had the same issue about agencies saying no to same sex couples. I know a gay couple that just went through surrogacy and being LGBT was not the main issue (money was).  The place where it came into play was when they were selecting from among available surrogates (making sure they were okay with a gay couple.) I think what may be extremely relevant is what state they are in. My friends were in one of the first places to approve gay marriage and the law was on their side in terms of various legal rights. It may be hugely different if they are living in a state that is hostile to LGBT people.  But getting this stuff right/ having it be clear is a must for an LGBT book because that would be the main audience.  So I would just make clear where they are, or when if this is not occurring around now. (you said contemporary, but things were even different 5 years ago).



#4 Aightball

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:29 PM

This is a good start.  However, you've got some overly wordy sentences that need trimming.  Also, your biggest issue is how you've laid out your plot points.  As it stands now, your story doesn't make logical sense.  

Thank you!

 

I'm a typical writer: I struggle with the query and telling the story =).  I like your suggestions and will definitely take them into revisions.  The story takes place beginning in 2010 in Iowa, so Iowa law is on their side but I will revisit my research to see what agencies were taking LGBT couples at the time.

 

I did wonder if I should bring more about the parents in.  In the book, they are AWFUL still and cause more problems then they resolve.  The main plot is their search but the secondary plot is the awful parents.  I will work to bring that out more and see if I can fix the main issues as well =)


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#5 Aightball

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:32 PM

I agree with the above poster on many points. I would add that I think you're hook is the wrong tone (the part about boom boom-- it makes it sound like this is a comedy).

 

I had the same issue about agencies saying no to same sex couples. I know a gay couple that just went through surrogacy and being LGBT was not the main issue (money was).  The place where it came into play was when they were selecting from among available surrogates (making sure they were okay with a gay couple.) I think what may be extremely relevant is what state they are in. My friends were in one of the first places to approve gay marriage and the law was on their side in terms of various legal rights. It may be hugely different if they are living in a state that is hostile to LGBT people.  But getting this stuff right/ having it be clear is a must for an LGBT book because that would be the main audience.  So I would just make clear where they are, or when if this is not occurring around now. (you said contemporary, but things were even different 5 years ago).

 

Thank you!

 

The book takes place beginning in 2010 in Iowa.  Gay marriage became legal here in 2009 but my research suggested that finding an agency in 2010 was more difficult than it is now.  I will revisit my research, though, to double check that.  I wonder if it would be more plausible to have them accepted by multiple agencies but struggle with the surrogates themselves? 

 

Good things to consider, thank you again!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#6 sarahaspen

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 12:18 PM

Hi! I agree that since agents may have the same questions and speculations as the other posters, you may want to mention the state and the year up front in the query so it is evident you have done your homework. You could also spell out the fact that though the law was on their side, they still have problems because the agencies find loopholes while they are actually discriminating. (Could J&J seek legal help in that case?)

 

Good luck!



#7 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 01:15 PM

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple: a little boom, boom in bed and nine months later, the miracle of birth.

 

For same-sex couples, The journey is much harder for same-sex couples. Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen have begun the been searching for a surrogacy agency in hopes of eventually starting a family (for how long? If it's a harder journey, wouldn't they be trying this for a while?).  Most agencies they've researched say no don't allow same-sex couples. and a few that don't reject them for being gay anywayDisheartened, both wonder if anyone is willing to give them a hand.

 

But they did find one agency that lets them start the process. Finally, they find their agency and the process of finding their surrogate begins. Part of the process of having a child is passing psych and medical evaluations (Spell everything out. It helps.) and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety for years since his parents disowned him for being gay. To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents also decide to reenter his life at the same time, reminding both of them why they're hell bent on being becoming better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. (So I may be wrong, but I was told not to bring other works into your query letter unless it's your own. It's your choice though.)Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

So, my major thing is to start with a better hook sentence. I'd skip the first sentence and start talking about how they've been searching for an agency for years. Or could go straight into Jimmy's past and start with him being this drunk with depression and anxiety that has to now take tests for him and his husband to have a kid.

I love the concept of the story though. It sounds interesting! I wish you the best of luck.



#8 Aightball

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:34 PM

sarashpen and Robin Lee Ann: thank you both!  I'm getting ready to begin revisions, so I will take all of these suggestions into consideration and see if I can clean things up a bit =)


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#9 Aightball

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:18 PM

Here's a revision...did I make things better or worse?  =) 

 

 For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. In 2010 in a small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family.  Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples'.  Legally, they can tie the knot but having a child remains elusive.

 

Then, after a pile of rejections, they get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work.  A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his job is on the line.  The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.  I have a short short story, Anguish, published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#10 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:21 PM

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. <- This sentence just tells me something I already know. Have your first sentence be a "hook" sentence by grabbing the reader's attention more. Tell me something I don't know. In 2010, in a small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. The second part of the sentence, "the journey is complicated...road blocks" sounds too vague. Go into more detail here or connect this sentence with the next paragraph.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family adopt a child. Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples. The remaining agencies offer various reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples'. Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive.

 

Then, a After a pile of rejections, they get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins. Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations, and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass. Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years, and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay. Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work.  A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his job is on the line. The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane I have published before with my short short story, Anguish, that was published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Your next draft is better. You have a lot more detail about the novel this time, which is great.

I think the beginning still needs more of a hook. I'm not as interested in the story until your third paragraph. You want to intrigue the literary agent by the first paragraph though.

I'd scrap this and start over from scratch. Play with interesting first sentences and go from there.

Keep up the good work! : )



#11 Aightball

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:32 PM

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. <- This sentence just tells me something I already know. Have your first sentence be a "hook" sentence by grabbing the reader's attention more. Tell me something I don't know. In 2010, in a small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. The second part of the sentence, "the journey is complicated...road blocks" sounds too vague. Go into more detail here or connect this sentence with the next paragraph.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family adopt a child. Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples. The remaining agencies offer various reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples'. Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive.

 

Then, a After a pile of rejections, they get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins. Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations, and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass. Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years, and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay. Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work.  A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his job is on the line. The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane I have published before with my short short story, Anguish, that was published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Your next draft is better. You have a lot more detail about the novel this time, which is great.

I think the beginning still needs more of a hook. I'm not as interested in the story until your third paragraph. You want to intrigue the literary agent by the first paragraph though.

I'd scrap this and start over from scratch. Play with interesting first sentences and go from there.

Keep up the good work! : )

 

 

Thank you!

 

I always struggle with the hook...but it's a good challenge for me and I will keep working on it.  My books are often a struggle for me summarize in the query.  Great suggestions and I will definitely take these into the next round of revisions!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#12 sarahaspen

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 12:05 PM

Thanks so much for your input on my query. :) Here are my thoughts on yours:

 

Here's a revision...did I make things better or worse?  =) 

 

 For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen, a same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. You might try getting your characters in up front. :) In It's 2010, and in a their small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is further complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family.  Through have put months of research into their dream of starting a family., they worked to In spite of their best efforts to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples, they have found that the remaining agencies still offer come up with other reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples' (you need a different second reason as this reason would put the agency in the first category of ones to avoid altogether).  Legally, they can tie the knot but having a child remains elusive (an elusive hope?).

 

Then, after a pile of rejections, they finally get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Jacoby's own alcoholic dad walked before he was even born .  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life. (show us don't tell us)  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work Can we get an impression of Jimmy's emotional state/reasoning? Maybe: Things become more strained when Jimmy gets a letter from his parents. After years of rebuilding his self-esteem, he ignores their attempts to communicate for weeks until one day they show up at his job. Or something like that? A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his Jimmy's job is on the line. Hmm . . . I need a little something more here. Did Jimmy's dad do or say something offensive at the meeting to start the fight? The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell-bent on being better fathers then than their own were. I love the emotional power in this, but it feels like something is missing . . . . Maybe: Reminded of why they are both hell-bent on being better fathers than their own, Jimmy and Jacoby renew their will to fight an unfair system and their own demons. What do you think of something along those lines?

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.  I have a short short story, Anguish, published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope this helps! You're doing great, keep at it, and good luck!



#13 Aightball

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 06:57 PM

 

Thanks so much for your input on my query. :) Here are my thoughts on yours:

 

Here's a revision...did I make things better or worse?  =) 

 

 For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen, a same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. You might try getting your characters in up front. :) In It's 2010, and in a their small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is further complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family.  Through have put months of research into their dream of starting a family., they worked to In spite of their best efforts to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples, they have found that the remaining agencies still offer come up with other reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples' (you need a different second reason as this reason would put the agency in the first category of ones to avoid altogether).  Legally, they can tie the knot but having a child remains elusive (an elusive hope?).

 

Then, after a pile of rejections, they finally get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Jacoby's own alcoholic dad walked before he was even born .  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life. (show us don't tell us)  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work Can we get an impression of Jimmy's emotional state/reasoning? Maybe: Things become more strained when Jimmy gets a letter from his parents. After years of rebuilding his self-esteem, he ignores their attempts to communicate for weeks until one day they show up at his job. Or something like that? A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his Jimmy's job is on the line. Hmm . . . I need a little something more here. Did Jimmy's dad do or say something offensive at the meeting to start the fight? The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell-bent on being better fathers then than their own were. I love the emotional power in this, but it feels like something is missing . . . . Maybe: Reminded of why they are both hell-bent on being better fathers than their own, Jimmy and Jacoby renew their will to fight an unfair system and their own demons. What do you think of something along those lines?

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.  I have a short short story, Anguish, published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope this helps! You're doing great, keep at it, and good luck!

 

 

Thank you!

 

It's hard to cram the important stuff in =).  The fight between Jimmy and his dad is a buildup situation, but I will try to explain it better.  I like your suggestions and will definitely take those into revisions!


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#14 GeorgeIsCurious

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 08:05 PM

Here's a revision...did I make things better or worse?  =) 

 

For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. In 2010 in a small town in southwest Iowa, the journey of starting a family for same sex couple Jimmy and Jacoby Mortenson is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. 

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family.  Through months of research, the couple have worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples'.  Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive.

 

Then, after a pile of rejections, they get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations, and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  Jimmy been a recovering alcoholic for years, andJimmy has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life, showing up after After weeks of ignoring him. their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work. 

 

I would start a new paragraph here, and start with "when". A forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his Jimmy's job is on the line.  The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.  I have a short short story, Anguish, published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

 

 

This looks really interesting, and you have stakes, but you just need to tighten the delivery. All in all, great concept, but end on a note that makes us want to read on. Yours makes me happy, but I need conflict at the end, not optimism. All of my critiques are totally optional, so feel free to pick and choose! :)



#15 Aightball

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Posted 05 June 2017 - 10:15 PM

This looks really interesting, and you have stakes, but you just need to tighten the delivery. All in all, great concept, but end on a note that makes us want to read on. Yours makes me happy, but I need conflict at the end, not optimism. All of my critiques are totally optional, so feel free to pick and choose! :)

 

 

Thank you!  You've made some good suggestions and I will definitely take these into revisions this week.  I'll post a revision probably by the weekend =)


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

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#16 Olive K. Aristen

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 02:36 PM

Hi! Isn't this just tons of fun? Anyway, I saw your query up here and figured I'd give it a go. I also agree with sarahaspen above to say you should put your char's names up front. Naming them gives them a more human quality. Here are my thoughts:

 

 

Here's a revision...did I make things better or worse?  =) I tried not to read too many other the other suggestions. But this is pretty good already.

 

 For most people, having a baby is fairly simple; for same-sex couples, the journey is more difficult. In 2010 in a small town in southwest Iowa, the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks.

 

Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to start a family. Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer reasons for rejection which range from 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents' to 'we don't work with same-sex couples'. I think this part can be tightened up. The last bit of this sentence and the previous sentence say pretty much the same thing (refusing to work with and don't work with, I mean). Legally, they can tie the knot but having a child remains elusive. I wonder if it might be better to switch this having a child with the start a family above; just seems like they might follow better...?

 

Then, after a pile of rejections, they get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate, which includes begins.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations, begins. and Jacoby's worried his husband won't pass.  But Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay. (I feel like by saying this you don't have to use the tell ("Jocoby's worried" being the tell). The reader would be like, "oh crap, will Jimmy be able to pass the test?") Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked [out?] before he was born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life., and aAfter weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at Jimmy's work. Maybe be more specific about his work?  I'd do a new ¶ here. And do a "when:"

 

When Aa forced meeting a few days later ends in a fist fight, and his Jimmy's job is on the line. Here, you might want to do the more traditional stakes. I also wonder about the specifics of the meeting—if you can tell a bit more about them rather than the generic "forced meeting." Might spur some more sympathy if the reader can picture it well. The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME (I think there's a romance novel by this name...and I might have read it... :blink: ) is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. It will appeal to readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane.  I have a short short story, Anguish, published in Winter's Regret by Elephant Bookshelf Press in 2014.  Thank you for your time and consideration. Excellent. 

 

I noticed that you do two spaces after periods. Most nowadays say that should be one space. Not a necessity, but I figured I'd mention it.

 

I think this is really good overall.


Current query for critique: http://agentquerycon...ntasy/?p=340722


#17 Aightball

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:36 AM

Hi! Isn't this just tons of fun? Anyway, I saw your query up here and figured I'd give it a go. I also agree with sarahaspen above to say you should put your char's names up front. Naming them gives them a more human quality. Here are my thoughts:

 

 

 

I noticed that you do two spaces after periods. Most nowadays say that should be one space. Not a necessity, but I figured I'd mention it.

 

I think this is really good overall.

 

Thank you!  I will definitely take these into revisions this week =).

 

My SO and I were talking recently that you can always pick out those of us who were taught to type on typewriters...the two spaces are motor memory and a helluva hard habit to break, haha =).  I am working on it, though, and 100% appreciate you pointing that out.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#18 Aightball

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 11:44 PM

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions and critiques!  Better or worse?

 

In 2010, in a small town in southwest Iowa, Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to have a baby. But the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive.

 

Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer any number of reasons for rejection including 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents'. Some even include a bible verse, even if their website didn't mention LGBT couples. 

 

After a pile of rejections, they finally get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.    Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations.  Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was even born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at the hospital where Jimmy works. 

 

Determined to help Jimmy patch things up with his family, Jacoby sets up a meeting between Jimmy and his folks. Between bible verses and angry words flying, Jimmy's dad takes a swing and starts a fist fight. Getting arrested for assault won't help and now Jimmy's job is on the line.  The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com

Synopsis: http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Twitter Hook(s): http://agentquerycon...rescue-me-lgbt/

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret

aertja.jpg


#19 sarahaspen

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions and critiques!  Better or worse?

 

In 2010, in a small town in southwest Iowa, Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to have a baby. But the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive. This hook works for me. I like that it is clear, lays out the setting/time frame/conflict, and immediately introduces characters to root for.

 

Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer any number of reasons for rejection including 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents'. Some even include a bible verse, even if their website didn't mention LGBT couples. The wording of the last sentence feels a little disjointed to me. Is the bible verse related to homosexuality? Or is it just showing that they are a Christian-owned company (maybe they would have it on the letterhead in every letter they send)? The first would obviously be a personal attack, while the second might only raise the question of this being directly related to the rejection.

 

After a pile of rejections, they finally get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.    Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.I think you might have been advised to leave off the mention of Jacoby's worry that his husband will pass and allow the reader to draw the conclusion, but to me, these two sentences need to be connected somehow for flow.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations.  Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was even born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at the hospital where Jimmy works. This needs to be reworded so that the intro clause matches the subject. Who ignored their attempts? Ex: After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, Jimmy is still shocked when they show up at the hospital where he works.

 

Determined to help Jimmy patch things up with his family, Jacoby sets up a meeting between Jimmy and his folks. I like the added characterization shown in Jacoby's attitudes/actions about this. Between bible verses and angry words flying, Jimmy's dad takes a swing and starts a fist fight. Getting arrested for assault won't help does someone call the cops or not? and now Jimmy's job is on the line.  The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.

 

RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Overall I think this is really improving! A few more tweaks here and there. :)



#20 Dahlia Baker

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions and critiques!  Better or worse?
 
In 2010, in a small town in southwest Iowa, Jimmy and Jacoby Mortensen are trying to have a baby. But the journey is complicated by conservative beliefs and religious road blocks. Legally, they can tie the knot, but having a child remains elusive.
 
Through months of research, they worked to avoid agencies who flat-out refused to work with same sex-couples.  The remaining agencies offer any number of reasons for rejection including 'all of our surrogates are currently working with other intended parents'. Some even include a bible verse, even if their website didn't mention LGBT couples. 

  I feel, the problem with Jimmy's parents is more important than the search for agencies. Why don't you just condense the entire Bible and website to just one rich sentence and focus on the awful parents and Jimmy's fight with alcoholism.

After a pile of rejections, they finally get their yes and the process of finding their surrogate begins.    Jimmy's been a recovering alcoholic for years and has battled depression and anxiety since his parents disowned him for being gay.  Part of the process is passing psychological and medical evaluations.  Jacoby's alcoholic dad walked before he was even born.  To make matters worse, Jimmy's parents decide to reenter his life.  After weeks of ignoring their attempts to communicate, they show up at the hospital where Jimmy works. 
 
Determined to help Jimmy patch things up with his family, Jacoby sets up a meeting between Jimmy and his folks. Between bible verses and angry words flying, Jimmy's dad takes a swing and starts a fist fight. Getting arrested for assault won't help and now Jimmy's job is on the line.  The hateful reunion reminds both of them why they're hell bent on being better fathers then their own were.
 
RESCUE ME is dual POV, LGBT contemporary fiction complete at 83,000 words. Readers of Kristen Hannah's Firefly Lane will recognize the themes of family and the struggle to make the right choices in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Hope i was able to help. If you have the time, please take a look at my query, When I Wake




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