Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Feedback Request


Feedback is requested by the author of the query whose most recent version may be seen here.


Dear Agent,

Fred’s abusive father mocked his dream of becoming a famous painter. His straight crush Malek assaulted him, landing him in the hospital. But Fred smirks: he now has Malek right where he wants him. Choosing a contract over prison, Malek becomes legally obliged to pay Fred some “reconciliatory” visits. He’s guilt-ridden after assaulting Fred, but dreads meeting with him.

During the first visit, Malek is shocked when Fred bows, confessing the urge to be his submissive. Fred knows that Malek will enjoy domination, if given a little push, like pampering his feet and preparing shisha’s for him. Fred also paints him as the sexy ruler of fictional worlds. These paintings come to life in a way Fred’s works never have.

Malek finds himself getting hard when Fred adoringly worships his feet and decides to use Fred for his erections. Things get more sexual as Malek explores this knack for domination, but fearing ridicule at university and stigma from his Iraqi family, he orders Fred to trash the paintings. Instead, Fred sells them to pay rent. However, not only do the paintings sell, there is demand for more.

Set in present Washington, D.C., THE GLORIOUS PRINCE is an upmarket LGBT erotic romance complete at 84,800 words. Similar titles are Lucy Lennox’s Borrowing Blue and Eli Eason’s Superhero.

I am a Lebanese gay man. After years of celibacy, I earned my sexual victories through role-playing, giving me first-hand insight to write about my character’s experiences. I have been published by The Gay and Lesbian Review, as well as Penny Fiction.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Best, 

7 comments:

Evil Editor said...

I'm on vacation and away from my computer, but I'll comment on the weekend. Meanwhile maybe others will chime in. I will say it seems better than previous tries, although I find the first sentence of paragraph 3 kind of weird. TMI perhaps?

St0n3h3ng3 said...


"Fred’s abusive father mocked his dream of becoming a famous painter. His straight crush Malek assaulted him, landing him in the hospital."

These two sentences are together, but they don't connect. One has nothing to do with the other. I'd find a way to work in Fred's abusive father somewhere else, if you feel you need to mention his father at all.

"preparing shisha’s for him." First of all: shishas. It isn't possessive. Second, if you're not sure the majority of people you'll send this to know what this is you might consider leaving it out.

It stops suddenly. The last line or two should be about a conflict or decision someone has to make. For instance, one wants more out of the relationship, the other wants to break up. Or whatever they want that they can't figure out how to get or have.

"After years of celibacy, I earned my sexual victories through role-playing, giving me first-hand insight to write about my character’s experiences."

Not only is this TMI, it doesn't matter. Many gay male romances are written by women, for instance. You don't really have to write fiction from experience.

It's better than it was.







Mister Furkles said...

Because Fred's father is only mentioned in the first phrase, you should remove it from the query.

Conflict. It starts with conflict but that dissipates and the novel appears to go on. It reads as if the story/conflict ends in the middle.

In the first paragraph it shifts from Fred's POV to Malek's. See if you can get it across without "He’s guilt-ridden after assaulting Fred, but dreads meeting with him." or maybe use Malek's POV in a second paragraph.

In this case, I think it is stronger if written entirely from Fred's POV. For example, have Fred discover Malek's arousal rather that TELL Malek notices it.

Evil Editor said...

If only you could think of a way to make Malek and Fred need to be together other than this legal contract. For instance, Malek, desperate for money, agrees to pose for a painting, and he doesn't get paid till it's done, but Fred is going slow, and having invested weeks in posing, Malek can't quit even when Fred starts giving him a foot rub out of the blue. Which it turns out arouses Malek.

St0n3h3ng3 said...

That's a good idea. Otherwise, it seems like either of them could just walk away. Especially since that is not a legal contract. No contract requires an abuser to visit his victim.

Anonymous said...

If only you could think of a way to make Malek and Fred need to be together other than this legal contract.

This. It seems entirely the story relies on this (IMO) crap legal contract that nobody in their right mind would obligate. I know it's fiction and it's "this or jail" but COME ON, something to bring them together beyond an assault that nearly kills (at least in the last query) one of them has to be better than that.

Also you can stop adding yourself to the query. It brings nothing to it and is too much info and I doubt (to use slang) publishers curr about that.

The painting conflict could be good if the assault wasn't the problem. Bring the two together with Malek being bisexual (but never really exploring the same-sex side) more than "lol I secretly am gay but will beat the hell out of you for mentioning it." If you bring them together and Malek's relationship with Fred starts to bloom but Malek's father is the problem, it'd flow farrrr better without the assault.

Intesar said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback.

1- I have consulted a lawyer and the details of the contract (which aren't laid out here) as well as it's outcome are perfectly plausible, baby.
2- Several agents I want to pitch to want writing credentials.
3- I am reworking the assault part. It will be what brings them together in the first place, but what binds them besides the contract will be what EE mentioned.

Thanks all, love, Intesar!