Mar 29, 2009

Revision 1-BROKEN

Click here to read the original query.
A second revision has been posted. Click here to read it.
Click here to read the most recent revision.

Dear [agent],
Psychologist Alec Sumner was standing on a busy London street, holding his friend Mirabell’s emerald green purse, and thinking about his last failed love affair when he saw Eli Burke take down a mugger with his cane. Alec was intrigued.
A few weeks later, he finds himself living with the handsome young man and three other housemates: Tony, a self-absorbed gifted artist; Lyle, the artist’s often exasperated best friend; and Ilsa, Alec’s former college chum and owner of the house.
Hoping for romance, Alec quickly learns that Eli is not and the heartbreaking reasons why.
BROKEN is a 63,000 word work of gay fiction that reminds us that no matter what scars mark you, there may be people out there who will support you through the pain, guide you past the fear, and love you back to life ... if you are willing.
Thank you for your consideration.


Rick Daley said...

I think this is more intriguing than the original.

The first sentence is written in past tense, it should be present tense. I'm not sure the agent needs to know he is holding his friend's purse, though.

I think you should reveal to the agent the heartbreaking reason why Eli is not hoping for romance. From what I've gathered, agents don't want to guess at your plot, they need to know it. If there's a twist, you need to show them what it is (show them, don't tell them).

pulp said...

Back to basics:
1. What is the hero's problem? What does he crave, need, or fear?
2. What is the obstacle to him getting what he wants? What makes it so tough to beat?
3. What does the main character do to beat, circumvent, or give in to the obstacle?

and 4. What's the theme or big question in the story?

These elements do not only apply to thrillers and romances. They may be subtle and eloquently approached in your prose, but in a query they should be--equally eloquently but more concisely, and damn, that's hard to do--answered. With flavor added. And a logical plotline.

Here's a top-of-the-head outline that touches on the story questions:

Alec Sumner is still recovering from a failed love affair and believes he will die the death of a thousand emotional cuts if he falls in love again. He won't even let himself ogle the fascinating man who took down a mugger on the street.

When a freak Craigslist accident causes him to become that same man's housemate, Alec's resolve dissolves. He's hopelessly in love with Eli. Eli, though, has promised his heart and life to the imprisoned rock star Fabiano.

Alec throws himself into destiny's maw and empties his bank account to rescue his rival so Eli can know happiness ... all the while battling his bittersweet hope that Eli will reward his sacrifice with love.

BROKEN is a 63,000 word work of gay fiction that reminds us that no matter what scars mark you, there is someone who will love you back to life...if you are willing. (simplified and shortened)

Of course, your own words and story will be superior to the above, but I think you need something like this.

I do like the image of the emerald green purse. It's out of balance with the rest of the query, though.

Dawn said...

I believe I was writing it with a "back of the book blurb" approach, adding my voice to it, and trying to MAKE the agent want to read it -- hence, the mystery and the green purse. But I can see that isn't working for a query.
Thank you. I really appreciate the feedback. I'll continue working on it. As you said, pulp, back to basics.