So my first round of querying for Daughters of Darkness was a bust. I cried for a little while, then drank a big bottle of whiskey, and now I guess it’s time to move on to…
Round 2. Fight!
Given that I apparently don’t know what the hell I’m doing with this whole querying thing, I figured I’d seek out some help. I picked a service for critiquing queries, and got some comments on my first effort.
Unfortunately that only left me more confused.
Well, that’s not totally accurate. But some of the advice I received directly contradicts much of what I’ve heard regarding query letters. So I figure I just need to ignore the comments that don’t seem right to me and use the rest (the critiquer actually made that point in the intro).
One of the biggest criticisms was that I didn’t provide enough context. I thought I was ignoring the unnecessary details to get to the meat of the story, but apparently I just made the damn query too vague.
So, I transformed my original opening paragraph from
As she stands outside the door to her wedding chapel, High Lady Iris LaRose watches helplessly as her groom is torn to pieces by magical blades. Horrified, she stares in disbelief at the murderer. Her mother.
High Lady Iris LaRose always knew she would become one of the most influential women of the Dianic Empire – until her sister brought shame upon the entire family through a treasonous act. Now, with the LaRose name tainted, Iris finds herself pushed by her mother into a marriage she doesn’t want. But as she stands outside the wedding chapel, she watches in shock as her groom is torn to pieces by magical blades. Horrified, she stares in disbelief at the murderer. Her mother.
Hopefully this gives a bit more color regarding the MC and her rather unpleasant situation. (And yes, if you read my previous post, I changed her name to something less risky)
I made a number of other edits, trying to be a lot more specific than I was originally. I think the new query is in much better shape, though I worry just a wee bit that it’s too long now. The pitch section went from 198 words to 268, which I think might be pushing it.
Anyway, I can only hope I’ve fixed the worst of the problems with my original submission. I considered trying to revise the opening pages as well, but I decided to wait. If I don’t get any requests this time I’ll have to look at making changes there.