my new query letter (shred, please?)

I’m starting to be happy with Blue Crystal. I’ve finished a new query letter, and as soon as I’m farther with 3.2, off it goes.

In the meantime, what do you guys think of this?

Agent Name,

Wyrren became a political hostage to save her father. Now her own life is in danger.

An investigation originally meant to give the kingโ€™s enemies political leverage has led to the remnants of a plague, a vanished city order, and a conspiracy that could destroy the city of Vastii. Someone in the palace will kill to see their secret protected. They already have. Between the threat of imprisonment, the court’s manipulated king, the corrupt nobility, and the rebellious commons, itโ€™s hard to know who Wyrren’s real enemy is. Maybe Vastii deserves to die.

Blue Crystal is a novel of action, intrigue, and dark fantasy, complete at 96,000 words. As per your submission guidelines, I’ve included the first X pages.

Eliza Wyatt

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.

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!


great query link

I found a community on livejournal that posts and critiques other people’s query letters (have a link) late yesterday afternoon. Since my query letter didn’t get put up on Query Shark, I thought that I’d try that.

I’m really impressed! The community is helpful, and when I reread my query I realized that they were absolutely right about its flaws, which my local writing group and in-person test readers didn’t point out. I’m adding them to my blog links, under ‘resources’.

(Also, I think I’ll go rewrite my query letter. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

a quick note…

I’ve posted a small piece of my second draft under the ‘excerpt’ page of my blog. Anyone who wants to read the very beginning of what I’ve been prattling on about can now do so.

I’ve also just posted my query letter to Janet at Query Shark, a blog that takes query letters and critiques them. I spent fifteen minutes nit-picking my already nit-picked letter, and it took pure force of will just to hit the ‘send’ button while I could feel my heart tightening with every beat. My hands are shaking, I can barely type, and I’m having difficulty breathing. This isn’t even a real query. How the heck do professional writers do this?