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Query for "Stormbringer" LGBT Superhuman Fantasy

Gay Lesbian Fantasy Fiction Adventure

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#1 theshakazulu

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for taking time to review this for me!

 

Dear Agent,

 

Sure, hiding a secret, gay boyfriend may seem hard enough. Sure, hiding the fact that you can shoot lightning from your fingertips may prove even more difficult. But imagine trying to keep both secrets exclusively hidden amidst a war where mythical beasts have already wiped out half of human existence.

 

Over a decade after losing his father and sister to a fateful attack on his once-glorious city, nineteen-year-old Anik is juggling his life as a simple blacksmith with the many secrets he’s kept hidden for all these years. Jhanai, one of the last three remaining human cities, is the place that Anik now calls home. And with the threat of the beastly Consortium Army looming in the distance, there’s no telling how long the city will stand. When a goblin ambush threatens Naias, the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them, exposing himself for the “monster” that he really is.

 

Forced to flee from what little is left of civilization, Anik arrives in Durem, a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own. However, when news arrives that the dark cloud of The Consortium is moving on Jhanai, Anik and his newfound friends must decide whether they will stay hidden in Durem or do what they can to save those that he loves. Fighting a losing battle will bring certain death, but Anik is willing to risk it all.

 

I’m seeking representation for my fantasy novel, STORMBRINGER: BIRTH, which is complete at 148,000 words. STORMBRINGER: BIRTH is a standalone with series potential. This title may appeal to those who enjoy The Inheritance Cycle, The Red Queen Series or The Stormlight Archives. Though I’ve never shot lightning from my hands, I can identify with the characters of color as well as the LGBT+ themes presented within the novel.

 

Thank you for for consideration.



#2 brandonyoung

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 05:35 AM

Dear Agent,

 

Sure, hiding a secret, gay boyfriend may seem hard enough. Sure, hiding the fact that you can shoot lightning from your fingertips may prove even more difficult. But imagine trying to keep both secrets exclusively hidden amidst a war where mythical beasts have already wiped out half of human existence. This is a cool premise with potential. I just think some of the phrasing could be cleaned up, and the execution refined. It's a lot of words to get a simple premise across. But it has the ingredients of a good hook.

 

Over a decade after losing his father and sister to a fateful attack on his once-glorious city, nineteen-year-old Anik is juggling his life as a simple blacksmith with the many secrets he’s kept hidden for all these years. Jhanai, one of the last three remaining human cities, is the place that Anik now calls home. And with the threat of the beastly Consortium Army looming in the distance, there’s no telling how long the city will stand. When a goblin ambush threatens Naias, the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them, exposing himself for the “monster” that he really is. LOTS of names here. You give us Anik, Jhanai, the Consortium Army, and Naias all in one paragraph. You also reference his father, his sister, his old city, and the threat of goblins. So right now there's a lot of stuff going into my head, and some of that information is getting lost. SIMPLIFY. Also, an important part of Anik's conflict seems to be his secrets getting exposed -- except, right now I don't know why those secrets make him the monster you speak of.

 

Forced to flee from what little is left of civilization, Anik arrives in Durem, a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own. However, when news arrives that the dark cloud of The Consortium is moving on Jhanai, Anik and his newfound friends must decide whether they will stay hidden in Durem or do what they can to save those that he loves. Fighting a losing battle will bring certain death, but Anik is willing to risk it all. You call his talents "amazing" here, but for the rest of the query we've been led to believe that his talents are a bad thing, things he's had to keep secret. Now, is THIS the crux of the story, or is him dealing with his secrets the crux? I would suggest focusing on one or the other, as it seems like the Jhanai stuff is going to be a huge chunk of your novel -- but the secrets have already been exposed and are no longer secrets by this point.

 

I’m seeking representation for my fantasy novel, STORMBRINGER: BIRTH, which is complete at 148,000 words. (On the long end, but not completely unsellable. I would see if you can cut it back to 120k. Word count may be a dealbreaker for some agents/publishers and you want to give yourself the best odds possible.) STORMBRINGER: BIRTH is a standalone with series potential. (Do you REALLY need to add the "BIRTH" there? I feel like Stormbringer by itself is so much better.) This title may appeal to those who enjoy The Inheritance Cycle, The Red Queen Series or The Stormlight Archives. Though I’ve never shot lightning from my hands, I can identify with the characters of color as well as the LGBT+ themes presented within the novel. (Instead of talking about yourself, maybe refer to the readers. That said, I don't even think you need this.)

 

Thank you for for consideration.

 

This sounds like a cool story, but the query just isn't compelling enough. I want more emotion and more from Anik. Him fighting a war while having all these secrets he doesn't want exposed is a great premise, but it seems as though that's all thrown in the bin by the time the real plot kicks in, and it just becomes a generic special people fighting a villainous army story. You can still sell a story like that -- but we need more from Anik and more heart, because at that point you're selling us on the character and his internal struggle.


If you have time, I'd love your feedback on my query...

 

http://agentqueryconnect.com/index.php?/topic/39047-this-cosmic-graveyard-space-fantasy/

 

...or my synopsis:

 

COMING SOON


#3 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 03:24 PM

Sure, hiding a secret,  (Hiding would make him a secret.) gay boyfriend may seem hard enough. Sure, hiding the fact that you can shoot lightning from your fingertips may prove even more difficult. But imagine trying to keep both secrets exclusively hidden during a war where mythical beasts have already wiped out half of human existence. (Alright. You got me interested. The first two sentences were kind of meh because they felt more cliche, but the last sentence was a kicker. I'd perhaps upgrade the first two sentences a bit. Like: "Hiding his boyfriend may be hard enough, but Anik also has to hide the fact he can shoot lightning from his fingertips. On top of that, he must keep both secrets during a war where..." Something like that. You can take my words if you want. I also would keep it all the same POV, so using "you" in the first two sentences will make the transition to the next paragraph a bit harder. But you at least got a good structure to your hook. I like it.)

 

Over a decade After losing his father and sister to a fateful attack over a decade ago on his once-glorious city, nineteen-year-old Anik is juggling his life as a simple blacksmith with the many secrets he’s kept hidden for many (or "most of his life") all these years. (Wait. If his family is gone, who is he hiding his boyfriend from?) Jhanai one of the last three remaining human cities - (I'd use the dashes to emphasize it.) is the place that Anik now calls home. And With the threat of the beastly Consortium Army (Who are they?) looming in the distance, there’s no telling how long the city will stand. When a goblin ambush threatens Naias (Since you introduced him as "the boyfriend" earlier, I'd keep it to that. You don't want to have too many titles for one thing. Also, you don't want to introduce more than like 5 new things. So far, you got "Anik", "the boyfriend", "Jhanai", "Consortium Army", "mythical beasts" (reminds me of GMM so much), and "lightning fingers". Which, by the way, how can he shoot lightning from his fingers? Was he born like that?), the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them, exposing himself for the “monster” that he really is. (Does he think he's a monster himself? Or just society?)

 

Forced to flee from what little civilization is left of civilization, Anik arrives in Durem (I would keep town names out of the query. Too many new names and such a small amount of time can get confusing.), a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own. (Is this not common?) However, when news arrives that the dark cloud of The Consortium is moving on Jhanai, Anik and his newfound friends (I don't know his friends. Don't introduce much new info in the last paragraph. Just build on what you have here.) must decide whether they will stay hidden in Durem or do what they can to save those that he loves (As in his boyfriend?). Fighting a losing battle will bring certain death, but Anik is willing to risk it all. I like the sentence before better as a hook.

 

I’m seeking representation for My fantasy novel, STORMBRINGER: BIRTH, (Has more of a hook. Unless you want to make it a series 100%, to which I say keep "BIRTH".) which is complete at 148,000 words. It is a standalone with a series potential. It may appeal to those who enjoy The Inheritance Cycle, The Red Queen Series, or The Stormlight Archives. Though I’ve never shot lightning from my hands, I can identify with the characters of color (yyeesssss) as well as the LGBT+ themes presented within the novel. (Love it. So relevant.)

 

Overall, I think this query has a good structure. It definitely sounds like a cool story. Just remember to describe everything you introduce the most you can.

 

Also, if you want to return the favor, here's a link to mine: http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/



#4 Koechophe

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:25 PM

I would critique this for you, but BrandonYoung already said much of what I would say. There needs to be a lot more simplification. You need to trim excess names, characters and places. You over-describe a lot, and need to trim back unnecessary adjectives in order to make it read less wordy. I also agree that you don't need to talk about how you feel a connection with your characters. You can simply cite your novel as a #ownvoices, and that is sufficient (google that if you've not heard of it). 

 

I'll also throw out that you should probably specify a sub-genre of fantasy. Based on your comps, I'd wager it's either high fantasy or epic fantasy. I throw this out there because it's a lot easier for an agent to swallow that huge of a word count if it's an epic/high fantasy than just the generic "fantasy"
 

I'll gladly give you a line by line on the next iteration. Good luck!







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