1. Sandfire

    Sandfire New Member

    Sep 4, 2013
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    Jarles the Damned -- Fantasy

    Discussion in 'Query & Cover Letter Critique' started by Sandfire, Oct 3, 2013.

    Trying to figure out this query letter thing...egads, but it's rough stuff. I lurked around on QueryShark quite a bit (although I did not make it through all 250+ queries) and read several how-to sites and numerous examples, and here's what I've come up with. Most of the last paragraph is specific to this particular agent and will have to be reworded for subsequent submissions.


    Dear _______,

    The lies keep getting deeper for Jarles Aberglen III as he begins to navigate the political waters of the Victorn succession. Crown Prince or not, those who would name him their king will almost certainly burn him alive if they find out he is a Wyck. With virtually no one to trust besides his fox Kildyn and his manslave Rohn, Jarles finds himself caught between currying the favor of the Church who would damn him, assuaging the Carneys and their claim to the throne, and protecting the Fae and their secrets from his renegade Wyck uncle who would also like to wear the Oak Crown.

    Then things start going wrong. One catastrophe begets another in a downward cycle until Jarles’ carefully constructed world of facades and compromises collapses around him. All the while, the half-Fae Arthan Carncraig makes the final touches to the global stage for his debut, turning each of the Victorn factions and Jarles himself into unwitting assistants as he sets out to dominate the world with his maleficent Riftcrafting.

    JARLES THE DAMNED is a completed 90,000 word gunpowder fantasy with shades of the macabre, a touch of situational drollery, and a gun-slinging Victorian flair. You are the first agent I am querying for this manuscript, since you expressed interest in new authors as well as fantasy with creative settings and non-florid writing. I had the privilege of meeting Brandon Sanderson at the Austin Teen Book Festival, and your name came up with high recommendations in our brief discussion of agents. I appreciate your broad range of interests, your industry experience, and the fact that I don’t have to figure out a way to include bacon in my queries to you.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,


    [Requested material]
  2. mister m.

    mister m. New Member

    Oct 12, 2013
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    I also try to find my way through the query letter so I might not have the best advice, but it seems to me that the hook is missing. Although the story seems interesting, I think the letter starts to slowly.
    Good luck!
  3. mootz

    mootz Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    You need to cut out, imo, word phrases like 'will almost certainly' 'virtually' and use more concrete language. Saying 'they will' is much stronger. Also, lots of passive voice. 'Start going' and 'keeps getting' etc should be taken out or simplified.

    Also, no past tense. Make things more active and in the moment.

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