my (new and improved) query letter

Dear Mr. Example,

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, cannibalism, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king takes his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren’s unwilling confession to convict her father for the murder of his late wife Arielii, the king’s beloved sister.

Amid evidence of loose assassins and the judging eyes of a hostile court, forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an opportunity for riches and power, an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. When the king’s secret police begins to track and kill men found in connection to an illegal press that Wyrren contributes to, her companions are left to scramble across the plague-ridden city to keep the police at bay while the lady seeks someone, anyone, in the courts who can protect her from her increasingly demanding uncle. Amid deal making and breaking, she finds the unassuming, charming, and ambitious Remerdii, a newly appointed lord and favorite of the king. Remerdii provides a much-needed crutch, but only in exchange for a price that increases the more she comes to need him. When an opportunity for power presents itself, Remerdii betrays the king and Wyrren both just as Wyrren finds the perfect time and place to kill her uncle: her real reason for coming to the city.

Blue Crystal is a completed 95,000 word novel written for an adult audience who enjoy action, intrigue, and low-fantasy. I’ve included the first three pages of my manuscript. Thank you!

Sincerely,

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3 thoughts on “my (new and improved) query letter

  1. Thanks for the comment on inlanders.net, Eliza. Your query is coming along, I think. Personally, I have trouble parsing the motivations of the characters you mention – namely, their emotional reasons for doing what they do, and reacting how they react. Maybe you could get into some of that cause and effect in future versions?

    I was also curious about what you do for a living. Would you care to share?

    Best wishes,
    Stephen

  2. The problem with trying to explain a plot like this is that I’ve left out three-quarters of the relevant details. I thought that the letter would be better served at this length, though I suppose that I could cut a bit out in places.

    As for my job? I’m a Quality Control lead at a company that tests computer and video games (aka, a professional geek boss-lady). I liked computers well enough, so I earned my bachelor’s degree in multimedia (3d graphic design) with the idea that I could work full-time, earn enough money to live off of, and write books without worrying about deadlines or pandering to the literary market trends. It’s worked out so far. 🙂

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I think the query is definitely on its way. I know I’ve been pondering the same thing myself, polishing a letter to (try) and describe the gargantuan ostrich egg of a novel I’ve been working on.

    Stephen King says you should be able to describe your novel in one sentence. Gasp! Certainly doesn’t apply to me.

    But props to you. Looks like you’re headed in the right direction.

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