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Romance - THE GLOW UP


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#21 EmperorOfTheNorth

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:58 PM

Darsanault's hook is really quite good.

DRAFT FOUR

Thank you everyone!

Here's a different, more serious take on the same book:


Dear Agent,

I am currently seeking representation for my contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, which is complete at 92,000 words. The novel is a first-person, dual-POV standalone in a potential series. The series has room for a wide range of relationships, including lesbian pairings and romantic trios.

I am intrigued.

Will Cunningham grew up in a cramped hovel, where the always-blaring TV blocked out the dysfunction of his histrionic mother. (GREAT WORD) At Renard College, he aims to drown his problems in a sea of happy rich kids. He wants to be the first in his family to earn a degree, make real money, and maybe even work in New York’s Garment District. Unfortunately, his past follows him in a triad of panic attacks, nightmares, and the boy he believes rejected him in high school.

Im agreeing with the notion of needing a great hook.

Cian Zyrnes is not over his first love. Renard College offers him a string of unsatisfying one night stands, but when he stumbles into Will at a campus party, he wants a second chance.

A tad confusing ya dig? I had to cast my glimmers on it twixt to get why Cian, not Will, wants a second chance.

Older now, he realizes that Will isn’t
easily hurt so much as already hurting, and a boy like that isn’t ready for a healthy relationship.


You sort of lost me here gator. I think you should hang your wig on the "will they or won't they make it together" tension.

The knots in Will’s stomach need more than love to be untangled. Surrounded by friends, a therapist, and a quirky pastor, Will and Cian don’t know the antidote, but together they’re going to find it.

I'm intrigued

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best,
me

This is sounding good. I dig the flip even if the action on the trigger needs oil.

Mine is called Che Cazzo and I am struggling mightily getting it in shape for the #PitMad after party assuming I get a few looks.
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#22 Kelz1990

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 09:01 PM

 

 

DRAFT FOUR

 

Thank you everyone!

 

Here's a different, more serious take on the same book: 

 

 

Dear Agent,

 

I am currently seeking representation for my contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, which is complete at 92,000 words. The novel is a first-person, dual-POV standalone in a potential series. The series has room for a wide range of relationships, including lesbian pairings and romantic trios. (See towards the end a revised version of this, and it shouldn't be in the beginning of your letter - just start with your story)

 

Will Cunningham grew up in a cramped hovel, where the always-blaring TV blocked out the dysfunction of his histrionic mother. At Renard College, he aims to drown his problems in a sea of happy rich kids. He wants to be the first in his family to earn a degree, make real money, and maybe even work in New York’s Garment District. Unfortunately, his past follows him in a triad of panic attacks, nightmares, and the boy he believes rejected him in high school.

 

Cian Zyrnes is not over his first love. (I know this is supposed to be a dual POV novel, but I feel you should keep your focus on Will. But then again, I'm not used to seeing dual POV queries, so this little nitpick shouldn't be changed based on my opinion alone.) Renard College offers him a string of unsatisfying one night stands, but when he stumbles into Will at a campus party, he wants a second chance. Older now, he realizes that Will isn’t easily hurt so much as already hurting, and a boy like that isn’t ready for a healthy relationship.

 

The knots in Will’s stomach need more than love to be untangled. (I'm getting a real feel of the emotion from this sentence) Surrounded by friends, a therapist, and a quirky pastor, Will and Cian don’t know the antidote, but together they’re going to find it.

 

Completed at 92,000 words, THE GLOW UP is a first person, dual POV contemporary gay romance novel. A stand alone with series potential, it features a wide range of relationships, including lesbian pairings and romantic trios. 

 

(Here you can add your bio)

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best,

 

me (I added a space here)

 

 

Your story sounds interesting, but I'll have to admit, this is the first time I've fixed a query for a dual POV novel. Regardless, this is a good revision of your query, and I want to wish you the best of luck when it's time to send it out to agents.  :smile:



#23 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 06:01 AM

Thank you everyone! I honestly can't tell if I'm going forward or backward with my most current draft: 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Will Cunningham is blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention.

 

Cian Zyrnes is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. Cian thinks Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession. Now that they’re reunited in college, he’s determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating.

 

Misunderstandings abound between the two, but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save Licentious, they need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing them to confront a past Will doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face alone. 

 

My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The dual-POV novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best,

me



#24 EmperorOfTheNorth

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 08:04 AM

Thank you everyone! I honestly can't tell if I'm going forward or backward with my most current draft: 
 
Dear Agent,[/size]
 
 
Will Cunningham is blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention.
 
Cian Zyrnes is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. Cian thinks Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession. Now that they’re reunited in college, he’s determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating.
 
Misunderstandings abound between the two, but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save Licentious, they need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing them to confront a past Will doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face alone. 
 
My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The dual-POV novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs.
 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration.
 
Best,
me


By George...I think you nailed it!
Go on and stamp your forms, sonny.

#25 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 07:00 PM

By George...I think you nailed it!

Thanks so much! Glad you think so. I'd love to also get another opinion or two!



#26 AmberA

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:15 PM

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK  :wub:  Here to return! 

Thank you everyone! I honestly can't tell if I'm going forward or backward with my most current draft: 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Will Cunningham is blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention. ( Million-dollar wardrobe.. Count me in) (After I read the entire query,  I think your hook should have Wills scars or past in it, because there's no other details that support the unknown boy who kissed Will. Tweak this up a bit more) 

 

Cian Zyrnes is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. While Cian thinks Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession.( I'm confused. Did Will reject him or not. It reads as if the action hasn't happened and Cian is just guessing. Maybe clarify that a bit here )  Now that they’re reunited in college, he's  Cian's determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating.

 

Misunderstandings abound between the two, but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save Licentious, they need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing them to confront a past Will doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face alone. ( Oh this is mysterious.) 

 

My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The dual-POV novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best,

me

 

 

 

So I like this revision better than your previous ones. I just recommended a few changes ( mainly the hook ) , but other than that I think you have a good query in your hands !


Would appreciate critiques on my YA- VENGEANCE query: http://agentquerycon...edits/?p=350461


#27 A. Wass

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:38 PM

Hey thanks for your feedback on my query. Here are my thoughts. Also, I made some good changes on mine based on your feedback if you wanted to see. Thanks again!

 

Thank you everyone! I honestly can't tell if I'm going forward or backward with my most current draft: 

 

Dear Agent,

 

 

Will Cunningham is blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention. The first line is great and the second keeps me interested. Love this.

 

Cian Zyrnes (maybe just use his first name?) is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. Cian thinks Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession. Now that they’re reunited in college, he’s determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating. I had to read through this paragraph a couple times in order to know what was going on because Will and Cian's names were used so often I kept getting turned around.

 

Misunderstandings abound between the two, but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save Licentious, they need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Ummm, yes. I want to read this. Love the calender bit. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing them to confront a past Will doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face alone. 

 

My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The dual-POV novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs.

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best,

me

 

Overall, a lot of potential here. Some minor tweaking and you have a strong query on your hands. I would definitely read this. 



#28 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 11:42 PM

Hey thanks for your feedback on my query. Here are my thoughts. Also, I made some good changes on mine based on your feedback if you wanted to see. Thanks again!

 

 

Overall, a lot of potential here. Some minor tweaking and you have a strong query on your hands. I would definitely read this. 

Thanks so much! I'm at work right now, so I'll critique your next revision and write my own in a few hours! Thanks again.



#29 Wayfarer

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 11:20 PM

Will Cunningham is was blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention.

 

Cian Zyrnes is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. Cian believes Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession. Now that they’re reunited in college, he’s determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating.

 

Misunderstandings abound between the two (who? Will and Cian, Cian and Ansel?), but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save Licentious, they need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing him to confront a past he doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face.

 

 

It reads well to me save the beginning of the third paragraph. Also I think changing the present "is" to the past tense "was" is more suiting since the sentence is followed with "now".



#30 Ajax

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:04 AM

Thank you everyone! I honestly can't tell if I'm going forward or backward with my most current draft: 

 

Dear Agent,

 

(Press delete.)
Will Cunningham is blindfolded for the best kiss of his life. (This makes no sense. Why would this happen to Will in the first place?)  Now he’s on the hunt for the soul-shaking mystery prince, (Why?) and his new friend Ansel has agreed to lend Will his million-dollar wardrobe to catch the unknown boy’s attention. (How on Earth are these details even connected?)
(The logic is missing here. Everything sounds rushed and incoherent. I'm not hooked.) 

 

Cian Zyrnes is Will’s first love from high school – and his first hate. Will believes Cian feigned a crush on him as a hurtful prank, and then ensured Will’s grudge was eternalized by outing him to Will’s homophobic mother. (Break this long and convoluted sentence. I don't even think that you need this in the query.) Cian thinks Will rejected him after he got down on one knee in a public love confession. (Backstories and speculations have no place in queries.) Now that they’re reunited in college, he’s determined to get a second chance. But when he sees Will wearing Ansel’s clothes, he concludes his first love and his best friend must be dating. (There's a lot of telling here which makes it read like a synopsis.) 

 

Misunderstandings abound between the two, but they have bigger problems to solve: Ansel’s father is selling their favorite LGBT dance club. To save (COMMA) Licentious (PERIOD) They need to attract buyers, and that starts with spreading awareness through a sexy charity calendar. Will’s penchant for crossdressing makes him the perfect model, while Cian is happy to build his photography portfolio. For the photoshoots to work, though, Will needs to show Cian his old scars, forcing them to confront a past Will doesn’t think he’s strong enough to face alone. (What's at stake here?) 

 

My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The dual-POV novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs. ​(What's the age category? You cannot miss this mandatory detail!)  

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Best, (A query letter is a formal letter. You should use "yours sincerely" or at the very least "with regards" instead of "best".) 

me

 

I just hope that either A) You are a gay man OR B) You have targeted beta readers a.k.a. sensitivity readers. 

What's the central plot? Is it about two guys making charity calendar to sell their favourite gay club thereby unearthing some dark secrets from the past? If yes, then the hook should reflect it. Things are unfocused right now. 

 

I don't know anything about the protagonist's personality. The voice is missing. There are no conflicts or stakes. 

 

Keep revising. 



 



#31 pigeononthemoon

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 04:08 AM

 

 

I just hope that either A) You are a gay man OR B) You have targeted beta readers a.k.a. sensitivity readers. 

What's the central plot? Is it about two guys making charity calendar to sell their favourite gay club thereby unearthing some dark secrets from the past? If yes, then the hook should reflect it. Things are unfocused right now. 

 

I don't know anything about the protagonist's personality. The voice is missing. There are no conflicts or stakes. 

 

Keep revising. 



 

I just hope that either A) You are a gay man OR B) You have targeted beta readers a.k.a. sensitivity readers. 

 

No need to hope. My credentials are solid, ha.



#32 Ajax

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:54 AM

No need to hope. My credentials are solid, ha.

 

You should mention these credentials in the bio section of your query. 



#33 Katie S

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Posted 18 January 2018 - 01:47 AM

Hi Pigeon, thanks for reviewing my query, wanted to reciprocate! I hope I have your latest draft here:

 

I'm going to go ahead and agree with most of the other people that I think you need your hook here. I'm actually a fan of your original hook (that seems like people have grown on) that went something like this: "Will Cunningham just had the best kiss of his life. Problem is, he has no idea who it was with." Something along those lines. Even with that kind of a hook, I think a lot of your draft below still works. 

 

Will Cunningham grew up in a cramped hovel, where the always-blaring TV failed to cover up the pain caused by his mother’s Borderline Personality Disorder. At Renard College, he's determined to find happiness, fully armed with a sewing kit, thrift shop stilettos, and cheap perfumes. His crossdressing takes him to Licentious, a barely-off-campus club that offers him the glamorous, queer friend group he always craved. Unfortunately, his problems can't be drowned in a sea of happy rich kids. His past follows him in a triad of panic attacks, nightmares, and a boy he never wanted to see again. 

 

Cian Zyrnes was Will’s first love – until he outed Will to Will’s mom. (It may be more powerful to mention if the mom is homophobic instead of the personality disorder, but I think your point is made either way.) Now they’re dorm neighbors, and no one can stop telling Will how he’s exactly Cian’s type: small, blond, and perfect for pinning down. A ginger playboy with a penchant for wrestling, Cian should be his enemy until they die. Too bad Will still loves him. (Big fan of everything in blue.) 

 

To redirect his feelings, Will shares a soul-shaking, blindfolded kiss with a mystery boy during a party game. Now he’ll kiss his way through all the boys on campus to find his anonymous prince – all the boys, that is, except for Cian Zyrnes.

 

My contemporary gay romance​, THE GLOW UP, is complete at 92,000 words. The novel is a standalone with series potential, a college-centered version of Santino Hassell’s The Five Boroughs.

 

I read one of your drafts further up and I really think this is a solid draft you have now. It seemed to flow very well and I understood Will's world. I thought this was much easier to follow than when you had Cian's POV as well. Just think you need a more solid hook :)






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