Jul 9, 2009

Query - Margarita Nights - V2

Click here to read the original query.

Okay, here's the second version with some minor (possibly major) changes! Thanks

MARGARITA NIGHTS is a 72,000-word commercial fiction novel that presents a realistic portrait of gay life.

One question – do you love me? – by his partner of five years makes Jared realize that sometimes, love is not enough. He loves his partner. He is also, perhaps unhealthily so, consumed with thoughts of a kiss – a simple peck on the lips, in greeting only – from a friend. He doesn’t have a fairy godmother (though he knows a few drag queens in sparkly dresses) to wave her magic wand and fix his problems. He only has the boyz (well, grown men desperately trying to hang on to their youth), snarky comments, and margarita nights once a month to help him figure out if even the most meaningless relationships, ironically, have meaning after all.

Jared’s biggest fear is ending up alone. His current relationship is not as stable as he once thought. His love for his partner doesn’t seem enough to him any longer. He doesn’t know if he has the courage and strength to walk away from a good relationship to, maybe, find a better relationship. He just knows that love doesn’t seem enough. He just isn’t sure what price he is willing to pay to – hopefully – find his happily ever after.

On any given Friday night, I can be found drinking margaritas and listening, perhaps adding a tidbit or two, to the gayvine. As per the guidelines on your website, I have included the first ten pages of my completed manuscript.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Rick Daley said...

Hi Scott,

This is very different indeed. I think I prefer the first version. The voice that permeated it seems very distilled here, although the overall arc of the story is much more pronounced. I guess to me the the voice was more unique than the story that carries it, if that makes sense.

The first sentence strikes me as awkward, and I suggest this as a revision:

"When his partner of five years asks one question – do you love me? – Jared realizes that sometimes, love is not enough."

Ultimately it's up to you to determine if this is primarily a snarky, funny tale with a romantic storyline, as implied in the first query, or a romantic tale with some snarky elements, as implied in this version.

This query business is tough, isn't it ;-)

Regan Kirk said...


I feel like you have a lot of good elements here, but I don't come away from this query with a clear sense of plot or direction. It sounds as if your book is basically just Jared's introspection; I'm sure there's a lot more to it, but it's not apparent. I think we need some mention of things he's going to actually do on his quest to decide whether love is enough so that we'll be drawn in and eager to know what happens next.

Suzan Harden said...

Scott, I went back and read your first version. You have a wonderful voice that blazes out of both queries.

I have to agree with the other commentors-you need some more details concerning Jared's conflict. Did he become a victim of the gayvine because a third party spotted his reaction to the Other Man's kiss? Is this why Jared's partner asked if Jared loved him? Settling versus searching for the perfect partner is an age-old question, but you have a perfect venue to give it a twist.

BTW, does Jared get his happy ending? I'm a sucker for HEAs regardless of the protagonist. *grin*

Mimi Lenox said...

Not sur if you do memes, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks..

I'd like to invite you to play The Queen's Meme every Tuesday with Mimi Queen of Memes.
The fun begins next week on July 14, 2009.
The Queen's Meme

I hope you will join us!
Mimi Lenox

Robyn Campbell said...

Scott- I love both. And they both show the great voice that you have, my friend. But I wonder if you could write a sentence or two about what the conflict is about. Is it about Jared's self-examination? Or is there more? His relationship with his partner isn't what it used to be. So he wants to find if there is anything better out there?

What happens at the margarita nights? Anything that should be included in the query? Not to give anything away, but to drive the agent to say, "Scott is the writer I've been waiting on all of these long years!" :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi Scott
The second version is so much stronger than the first.
Could you try to cut the 'maybe' and 'hopefully'?
'to walk away from a a good relationship to look for something better' ?
'what price is he willing to pay to find an illusive happily ever after?

Just thinking,

scott g.f.bailey said...

Scott: Don't say "fiction novel." A novel is fiction, by definition. Just say "work of commercial fiction" or "novel."

I agree with the other commenters that the central conflict isn't strongly pushed here. Jared's getting on in years, I assume, and is having some sort of mid-life crisis? I think that the "he doesn't know/isn't sure" language is weak. Try "Jared must X" constructions to pump up the drama and conflict. It doesn't matter what the tone (serious romantic or snarky comedic), but you need to be assertive about what's at stake for whom, and why.

I'd also cut "a realistic portrait of gay life" because "realistic portrait" of anybody's life generally sounds dull, you know? Maybe just put the title and word count after the pitch ("Margarita Nights is complete at 72000 words and is my first novel" or whatever)?

Anyway, focus on the conflict and use assertive language!