1. oreopaw

    oreopaw New Member

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    LGBT Romance Query-please advise!

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by oreopaw, Oct 15, 2019.

    This is my first stab at writing a query for this book and a published author has read and edited it, but I'd love some more feedback before I start sending it out to agents. This one was written specifically for an agent that said she wanted LGBT love stories, which is why I started the way I did. Also, the query is a form with a separate area for a bio and title and word count, so all those are not mentioned in here.

    Good afternoon [agent],

    I read that you’re looking for LGBTQ+ love stories, and to be honest, I am too. As a gay woman, I’m always on the lookout for books, movies or any media with the type of love story I can truly relate to. After years of failing to find what I’ve been looking for, I decided to write my own.

    Aria is normal. She lives in a normal house with her normal parents and is a normal student at a normal high school. The only exception to her general normality is that she’s the most popular girl in her senior class. Like any normal girl, she loves going shopping with her friends and spending time with her boyfriend. Sure, she never tells her friends about any of the actual problems in her life, and sure, she flinches whenever her boyfriend does anything more than hug her, but she’s still normal.

    Then one day, Aria is assigned to a month-long chemistry project with a classmate named Abigail. Aria has never talked to Abigail, but the girl’s snippy tone and haughty expression tells Aria that this is going to be a long month. Yet as she spends time with Abigail outside of school, Aria sees the kind, funny girl behind the cold mask and finds herself drawn to Abigail in a way she’s never experienced before. Of course, this strange attraction isn’t romantic in any way. As Aria’s mother always tells her, homosexuality is evil and Aria isn’t evil, so she can’t be gay… Right?

    No Such Thing as Blind Love is the kind of book I needed to read when I was Aria’s age. It’s a story about a far too underrepresented type of romance, featuring characters who for too long have felt out of the ordinary.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,


    Also, this is my bio (I'm not sure whether it's long enough):

    My name is (name) and I’m a student at (my university). I’m planning on majoring in math and minoring in creative writing. Reading and writing are my passions and I’m absolutely the type of person who packs my suitcase with more books than clothes because I’d rather run out of things to wear than things to read. I have self-published two books, (title) and (title), the first when I was sixteen years old and the second when I was seventeen. I’ve also placed in several writing contests, such as (contest) and (contest).
     
  2. FireWater

    FireWater Senior Member

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    This is a great start! Another thing to add is your approximate word count when you introduce the title and genre, and then at the end list some comparable titles. I love the personality your QL has.
     
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  3. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think that paragraph about Aria's normality could be chopped down to about one sentence long. It's way too repetitive and I almost stopped reading before I got any further. Yes, she's normal - can it be any more boring? I get that of course when you start this way, of course she's anything but normal, and it being the LGBT genre I already know where you're gonna go with it. But there's really no need to go on and on about it. One line will do.

    I don't understand the relevance of her being the most popular girl in high school to the rest of the story? You make it sound like it should be pivotal to the plot (the only exception to her otherwise normal state of being, after all, and something that we already know isn't even true before we even reach the end, making this line sound doubly confusing). Either way, this element doesn't feature again in the query. Does it need to be there?

    Your story sounds all right, except where's the stake? Aria's mother is mentioned right at the end - is the stake losing Abigail or losing her mother? I'd stick with the highest stake in the novel, whichever that is. As it stands right now, what happens if her mother does find out? What happens if/when Aria acknowledges her attraction to Abigail and comes out? This needs to be in the query.

    I feel like the story is fairly predictable and very standard. High school romance with the only twist being the LGBT angle. I'm not an LGBT reader, so I don't know what sort of books are already out there. I'm guessing LGBT high school romances are not common. For that reason, your book probably has a good chance. An LGBT teenager might be quite enthusiastic, I can imagine - at the same time, even Disney is discussing (or has it been confirmed?) that Elsa is getting a girlfriend, so LGBT romance in YA might not be unheard of. I'm sure you'll know more about this than me. My point is: if there are already other LGBT romances for teenagers out there, your book wouldn't stand out. If it's a fairly rare thing, then you probably have a good chance. On the face of it, the story sounds very ordinary.
     
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  4. Lunablue09

    Lunablue09 New Member

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    Good afternoon [agent],

    I read that you’re looking for LGBTQ+ love stories, and to be honest, I am too. As a gay woman, I’m always on the lookout for books, movies or any media with the type of love story I can truly relate to. After years of failing to find what I’ve been looking for, I decided to write my own.

    Aria is normal. She lives in a normal house with her normal parents and is a normal student at a normal high school. The only exception to her general normality is that she’s the most popular girl in her senior class. Like any normal girl, she loves going shopping with her friends and spending time with her boyfriend. This line is unnecessary, it delays the tension Sure, she never tells her friends about any of the actual problems in her life Like what? You're hinting at problems which would further interest the reader, this may be the place to mention her super conservative family, and sure, And even though she flinches whenever her boyfriend does anything more than hug her, but Aria's still normal.

    Then one day, Aria is assigned to a month-long chemistry project with a classmate named Abigail. Aria has never talked to Abigail, but the girl’s snippy tone and haughty expression tells Aria that this is going to be a long month. Yet as she spends time with Abigail outside of school, Aria sees the kind, funny girl behind the cold mask and finds herself drawn to Abigail in a way she’s never experienced before. Of course, this strange attraction isn’t romantic in any way. As Aria’s mother always tells her, homosexuality is evil and Aria isn’t evil, so she can’t be gay… Right? You need to close this section with a sentence about what the stakes of the plot are--if Aria admits to herself she is gay, what does she have to lose? Or is being honest about who she is worth it? Hint at the challenges that are in store for Aria.

    No Such Thing as Blind Love is the kind of book I needed to read when I was Aria’s age. It’s a story about a far too underrepresented type of romance, featuring characters who for too long have felt out of the ordinary. I think you mention this enough in your intro paragraph. What an agent will really need at this point is 1) comp titles 2) genre and age range and 3) word count. For example, NO SUCH THING AS BLIND LOVE (70,000 words) is a YA romance. This novel will appeal to fans of X, Y, and Z because of its A, B, and C.

    I tried to get away without comp titles but agents NEED that information. My favorite way to get comp titles is to saunter down to the library or the local book shop and describe your novel to one of the book sellers to see if they can find titles similar to it that have been published in the last 2-3 years. Also, when looking for comp titles, think about which books are similar to yours in *experience* not just premise and plot.


    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Hope this helps and happy querying!
     
    oreopaw likes this.

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