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Stormbringer, LGBT Epic Fantasy

Gay Lesbian Fantasy

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#1 theshakazulu

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 08:57 AM

Thank you so much for taking a look at this query. I will be more than happy to critique anyone's work (if you want me to). 

 

 

Dear [Agent],

 

Being gay and black in a racist, homophobic society may seem manageable. It’s been done before. Imagine that along with trying to hide the fact that you can shoot lightning from your fingertips. Sounds easy enough, right? Now let’s just top it all off the fact that the mythical beasts of The Consortium Army have pushed humans to brink of extinction, and you may be the only one capable of stopping.

 

After losing his home and most of his family to the war, nineteen-year-old Anik lives as a refugee in the city of Jhanai, one of the last three remaining human cities. And when he is beyond city limits with his secret boyfriend, Naias, he must expose his true self when they are ambushed by a party of goblin scouts. Revealing his greatest secret does nothing to help his relationship, and soon Anik is forced to flee from what is left of civilization to seek refuge in a dangerous town for people just like him.

 

Arriving in the town of Durem, Anik is enthralled by what seems to be a thriving society of super-powered individuals. Friendships are forged and bonds are created, but soon news arrives that the dark cloud of The Consortium is moving on Jhanai. Anik must to decide why he would actually consider saving a world that’s all but working against him.

 

Best described as Eragon meets the X-Men, STORMBRINGER is an epic fantasy novel complete at 150,000 words. STORMBRINGER is an #ownvoices work with series potential. Thank you for your consideration.



#2 Carney

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 01:27 PM

Thank you so much for taking a look at this query. I will be more than happy to critique anyone's work (if you want me to). 

 

 

Dear [Agent],

 

Being gay and black in a racist, homophobic society may seem manageable. It’s been done before. Imagine that along with trying to hide the fact that you can shoot lightning from your fingertips. Sounds easy enough, right? Now let’s just top it all off the fact that the mythical beasts of The Consortium Army have pushed humans to brink of extinction, and you may be the only one capable of stopping.    I would drop all of this. It does nothing to engage and doesn't show story. 

 

---> This is where you begin the story... After losing his home and most of his family to the war, nineteen-year-old Anik lives as a refugee in the city of Jhanai, one of the last three remaining human cities. And when he is beyond city limits with his secret boyfriend, Naias, he must expose his true self when they are ambushed by a party of goblin scouts. Revealing his greatest secret does nothing to help his relationship, and soon Anik is forced to flee from what is left of civilization to seek refuge in a dangerous town for people just like him.  This is confusing and a bit too scattered in terms of showing story. Consider what a query is meant to do: who is your main character? What do we need to know about the MC? What does the MC want and what obstacles stand between the MC and that goal? Who helps and who/what hinders? Here you jump from telling us that Anik lives as a refugee and then immediately take us outside the city with Anik's boyfriend. I think it might work better if you share a scene (presumably early in the book???) where discrimination against LGBTQ is shown clearly, thus setting the stage for Anik and his partner having to escape the city in order to be with one another. It also addresses the question of why he must share the secret with the goblins. You are then setting up the conflict that drives the story early in your query. This brings the agent into your story, asking her/him to keep reading.  

 

Arriving in the town of Durem, Anik is enthralled by what seems to be a thriving society of super-powered individuals. Friendships are forged and bonds are created, but soon news arrives that the dark cloud of The Consortium is moving on Jhanai. Anik must to decide why he would actually consider saving a world that’s all but working against him.  I think you are making a mistake most of us make in early drafts of a query: you are summarizing and not showing story. This is a challenge we all face --- how to show compelling story without it reading as summary. Again, I found this confusing and wondered how this all connected. At this point, I don't really understand the story, which is always a bad thing. You have me jumping around from Anik living in a city that is hostile to Gays and then you tell us he and his partner must escape because ???? He then goes to a new, presumably better, place and makes friends. But soon the same forces that made the other place unsafe threaten him again??? I would also drop the "saving a world that is all but working against him." It's cliche and unconvincing. 

 

Best described as Eragon meets the X-Men, STORMBRINGER is an epic fantasy novel complete at 150,000 words. STORMBRINGER is an #ownvoices work with series potential. Thank you for your consideration.

First - don't panic with all the cross outs and inline critique. Drafting a workable query is a hard challenge that often takes numerous drafts before finding a format that works well. I think the problem with the current query is that it fails to clearly show your story. I'm unclear as to who your protagonist - Anik - is and what he seeks. The progression of action doesn't move smoothly and, at times, becomes confusing. Much of the query reads as summary, which agents dislike. In my own search for an agent, I learned that agents desperately want to hear our story-telling voice in the query. This means showing enough story to engage the agent, making the MC clear and distinct and sharing the story in active voice. 

 

I know this is probably not want you wanted to hear, but keep in mind that the query is the first contact you have with a perspective agent and you want that first impression to be strong and positive. You'll get there, it just takes a few tries. Good luck! 



#3 theshakazulu

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 02:56 PM

Ok. Let's see if I can get away with this! Haha

 

Nineteen-year-old Anik just wishes that society wasn’t completely working against him. You would think that being on the brink of extinction would humble some people. Why would you care if someone is black or gay or can shoot lightning from their fingertips when a huge army of mythical beasts threatens your very existence? And when a goblin ambush threatens the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them. Though being discovered as gay would make him an outcast, having the public learn about his abilities would surely bring death, so Anik is forced to flee from what little is left of civilization.

 

Now having found himself in a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own, Anik can escape all the troubles of his past life. However, when news arrives that the enemy is marching on his city, Anik must convince his newfound friends to help him save the very people who would have seen him dead.

 

Best described as Eragon meets the X-Men, STORMBRINGER is an epic fantasy novel complete at 150,000 words. STORMBRINGER is an #ownvoices work with series potential. Thank you for your consideration.



#4 Jemi

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 08:47 PM

 

Nineteen-year-old Anik just wishes that society wasn’t completely working against him. You would think that being on the brink of extinction would humble some people. Why would you care if someone is black or gay or can shoot lightning from their fingertips when a huge army of mythical beasts threatens your very existence? (Personally not a fan of rhetorical questions) And when a goblin ambush threatens the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them. Though being discovered as gay would make him an outcast, having the public learn about his abilities would surely bring death (I feel like your hook is in that underlined bit - can you start from there? I'd still tighten it up a bit), so Anik is forced to flee from what little is left of civilization.

 

Now having found (I'd keep this in straight present tense... Anik runs to a...) himself in a strange, fabled ​(this makes me think fairy tales, I'd be tempted to eliminate it)  town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own, Anik can escape all the troubles of his past life. However, when news arrives that the enemy is marching on his city, Anik must convince his newfound friends to help him save the very people who would have seen him dead. (Why? Why not let the city burn?)

 

 

 

Good start - I have a couple of questions/thoughts for you ...  :smile:

- Wondering if this is YA. If not, I'd eliminate the age as I think I've only seen age listed when it's YA or MG.

- Does the man Anik loves survive? Does he go with Anik? He's mentioned once then disappears - I'd like to know what happened there.

- Why haven't Anik & his guy left before? What was keeping them in a city that was so full of hatred - especially when there is this place where they could live in peace?

- you mention 'brink of extinction' but don't go any further with that. What is causing the extinction? Is this important enough to mention in the query - and if it is, you might want to expand on that idea

- I'd like to see more emotion in the query. You've got lots of plot points but we don't feel it from Anik's pov. Is he scared or defiant? Broken hearted? Determined? Especially at the end, you need to pull us in - why in the world does Anik want to save that horrid city?

 

When the man he loves is threatened, Anik lets loose his hidden powers and kills off the goblin ambush. Forced to flee from a city rife with prejudices, Anik...

 

That's just an idea of how I'd be tempted to start your query. Jump right into the action. Get us into Anik's head and show how he's feeling. 

Hope some of that helps. If not, feel free to ignore it - you'll know your story best! Good luck with it  :smile:



#5 Robin LeeAnn

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 12:58 AM

Nineteen-year-old Anik just wishes that society wasn’t completely working against him (Working against him in what way?). You would think that being on the brink of extinction would humble some people (As in humans are on the brink of extinction?). Why would you care if someone is black or gay or can shoot lightning from their fingertips when a huge army of mythical beasts threatens your very existence? (I'd use a different word than "mythical" because that just reminds me of GMM. What kinds of beasts though? I like this sentence by the way. You have a nice tone so far.) And When a goblin ambush threatens the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them. (Was he born with these abilities? Does anyone else have abilities like this or is this rare?) Though being discovered as gay would make him an outcast, having the public learn about his abilities would surely bring death. so Anik is forced to flee from what little is left of civilization. (Could you be a bit more descriptive about where humanity is left at? Like did a bomb go off and half the world is destroyed or so?)

 

Now after finding himself in a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents like just as amazing as his own, Anik can escape all the troubles of his past life. (Did the man he loves come too?) However, when news arrives that the enemy is marching on his city (Which city? The new or the old?), Anik must convince his newfound friends to help him save the very people who would have seen him dead (Why does he feel compelled to save them?).

 

I love the concept of this novel. It seems like a great story. I just want to know more about it. For a query, I think it'd be better if you gave more background information about what happened to this world (like how it's more fantasy than dystopian) and more information on how Anik feels. Good job!

 

 

If you have the time, can you look at mine? (http://agentquerycon...ique-in-return/)



#6 London C

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 08:08 PM



Ok. Let's see if I can get away with this! Haha

 

Nineteen-year-old Anik just wishes that society wasn’t completely working against him. You would think that being on the brink of extinction would humble some people. [nice bit of voice, but the questions that follow are a bit obvious. I think you're trying to work in some background on Anik indirectly. In a query, going for direct often is the win.] Why would you care if someone is black or gay or can shoot lightning from their fingertips when a huge army of mythical beasts threatens your very existence?

 

[Pagagraph break]And when a goblin ambush threatens the man he loves, Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them [Rework this to be more active. Something like "Aniks uses his lighting powers to save him]. Though being discovered as gay would make him an outcast, having [I suspect this is a Once, not a havingthe public learn about his abilities would surely bring death, so Anik is forced to flee from what little is left of civilization. [Maybe something like: the people might reject him for his sexuality, but  they'll kill  him for his  powers. Anik and his lover flee.]

 

Now having found himself in [something more active, like "He flees to…"] a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own, Anik can escape all the troubles of his past life. However, when news arrives that ["he learns…"] the enemy is marching on his city, Anik must convince his newfound friends to help him save the very people who would have seen him dead.

 

Best described as Eragon meets the X-Men, STORMBRINGER is an epic fantasy novel complete at 150,000 words [Most, if not all, agents won't request pages for something that long unless the author has a track record. For a debut, much more than 100,000 words is considered a hard sell]. STORMBRINGER is an #ownvoices work with series potential. Thank you for your consideration.

 

You're starting to get there, but I'd want to try another clean draft to see if there's another way to frame this. I'm not sure if my query is ready to go yet (probably not), but it took me three completely different drafts before I even felt close. 

 

I'm confident you can get to a good query, but am a bit worried about that word count. Everything I've read suggests that's going to kill your prospects before people even look at your pages. I recommend doing some research into page counts for debut fantasy novels, and then work out how you can get inside of that envelope. 


——————

My latest query is here. I appreciate reciprocal critiques


#7 Derrick

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 09:12 AM

Ok. Let's see if I can get away with this! Haha

 

Nineteen-year-old Anik just wishes that society wasn’t completely working against him. You would think that being on the brink of extinction would humble some people. Why would you care if someone is black or gay or can shoot lightning from their fingertips when a huge army of mythical beasts threatens your very existence? And  Scrap all of this. Get me to the hook faster. when a goblin ambush threatens the man he loves, 19-year-old Anik is forced to reveal his abilities in order to save them. Though being discovered as gay would make him an outcast, having the public learn about his abilities would surely bring death, so Anik is forced to flee from what little is left of civilization.

 

Now having found himself in a strange, fabled town filled with people who possess talents just as amazing as his own, Anik can escape all the troubles of his past life. However, when news arrives that the enemy is marching on his city, Anik must convince his newfound friends to help him save the very people who would have seen him dead.

 

Best described as Eragon meets the X-Men, STORMBRINGER is an epic fantasy novel complete at 150,000 words. STORMBRINGER is an #ownvoices work with series potential. Thank you for your consideration.

I think you just need to get me to the premise faster in the beginning. Don't ask questions in a query. Every word in a query is valuable real estate. Question every words placement and if it can be removed. Honestly, with everything removed that I marked above, I get it. And if there was another detail you wanted in the body, you can now do it. But I think the way it is above (with the removal, makes sense to me while still being snappy).


Would you do me the kindness of critiquing my query?






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