new query letter!

I’m just about to finish up chapter seven– six more to go, but I’ve been having trouble motivating myself to finish the last thousand words before I get to the fun, violent part of the book.

So instead, I took a break to write a new query letter (minus the boring title-genre parts). I think they’re getting better; feel free to tell me if I’m completely deluded. ๐Ÿ˜€


In Marla, wars are fought with assassins, not armies.

The duke of Marla’s northern providence had been in the king’s disfavor since the duke married the king’s sister. The king’s opinion worsened when the duchess died suddenly and without explanation.

Duchess-to-be Wyrren Jadis is the king’s niece, but very much her father’s daughter: honorable, unsubtle, and with a firm sense of duty. Twelve years after her mother’s death, the king uses a mounting revolt on Jadis lands as an excuse to have his niece kidnapped and brought to his underground city of Vastii, which struggles to recover from plague, famine, and violent objections to their unfair monarch. Armed with a formal education, a specialty in a non-combative magic, three talented maids, and a high-ranking slave, Wyrren isn’t quite prepared to be her father’s assassin. But the king means to use Wyrren to accuse the duke of murder regardless of guilt, and he isn’t above making examples of her maids, or her slave, the man she secretly loves.

In the deepest tunnels of Vastii, far from the palace gentry, red crosses are drawn in chalk where effects of the plague have been seen. Wyrren’s slave is also a doctor, accustomed to slums, and has evidence to support a friend’s theory that this plague might have been started intentionally months before their arrival, and not by the king.

7 thoughts on “new query letter!

  1. The first sentence rocks. After that I get very confused. I read this when you first posted it and refrained from commenting deciding I’d come back later and read it again cold. But it’s the same as it was then. That second sentence is really hard to follow which kills the excellent momentum of that first bit. Also, I can’t place it, but I walk away with this question “so…what’s the book about?” What I mean is this: I read about a duke, a girl being kidnapped by her evil father, an underground city in unrest, and a plague. But…what’s the plot?

    • Thanks for the input, guys!

      Obviously it needs a lot more work. I’ll have to fix the weird bits. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got a few months before I need it. Hopefully I can come up with something.

  2. Sure it needs work, but hey, at least you’ve gotten through two drafts of your novel. That’s more than alot of people (including me). You’re doing great! I’m sure you’ll rework your query letter into something awesome.

  3. the first sentence drew me in. skip the rest. then rework the following sentence for more fluidity (if that’s a word) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Armed with a formal education, a specialty in a non-combative magic, three talented maids, and a high-ranking slave, Wyrren — the king’s niece — isnโ€™t … quite prepared to be her fatherโ€™s assassin.

    Does this mean she’s not prepared to belong to her father as a personal assassin? or that she’s not prepared to assassinate her father?

    I agree with the others. Skinny it down. Simply give the bare plot line; everything else is fluff — obscuring your skeleton.

    Sounds like an awesome story, though — complex and deep. kudos

  4. Hi there Eliza, I was poking around the internet and your blog came up under a search for “world building,” and you’ve got some great stuff here. I love the fact that you do different challenges each month to keep yourself motivated. I saw you’re from Spokane, I’m from Cd’A. What do you think about all this snow? Ugh! At least it gives us time to write. Thanks for the awesome blog.

    • Hey Ben!

      I recently moved from Spokane up to Sandpoint, so I’m about the same distance, only with narrow, extra icy roads now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not to mention my new driveway is about the length of a football field; I might not have gotten out at all if the neighbors hadn’t assisted. I have to say, if one is writing a book set in the freezing cold, this is the place to be.

      Anyhow, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the blog! Usually I put up entries on writing craft, novel progress updates, and some of those monthly events, but I’m just finishing up my third draft now. I’ll probably get back to it in the new year. Hope to see you around!

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