Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Please Critique My Query Letter!

I'm gonna do something crazy. I'm going post the query letter I've been working on for my fantasy manuscript. I know this blog doesn't get a lot of traffic (yet) but hopefully a few of you will take the time to give me a little constructive criticism. Once I'm done with my final manuscript revisions (soon hopefully) I'll submit the query to the all powerful Query Shark and maybe Workshop Wednesdays at BookEnds, LLC. but for now I'm going to throw it onto my own humble little blog. 

Ok, here it goes:

Dear Properly Spelled Agent's Name

In the heart of the tyrannical Astrolian Empire, deep in the bowels of the Coliseum, the orphan Sol is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed gladiator in all the land.  With his fighting partner, a yeti-like giant from the frozen south, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. 

When a captured member of the Resistance is forced into Sol’s cell as a sex-prize, her words of defiance compel Sol to question his long-accepted fate as a slave.  Outside the stadium, an unknown bard’s tales transform Sol into a revolutionary folk hero and inspire an oppressed populace.  The Empire decides that the fighter must fall and Astrolia’s most ruthless assassin is tasked with Sol’s vilification and eventual demise. Sol’s only hope is to rely on friends, new and old, in order to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

SOL OF A GLADIATOR is a fantasy novel complete at 83,000 words. I am seeking your representation because I love your blog. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Adam Gaylord

Contact info 

So, what do you think? Is it ready? Is it a flop? What needs work? Where am I? AHHHHHH!!!!

Thank you very much for your help.


  1. Having (finally) achieved a YES on Query Shark, I'll offer some words.

    I like the beginning, but it doesn't really follow the shark's format. She suggests starting with the character's name, rather than the setting. Sol, an orphan trained to... etc. Then maybe follow with the setting. I liked the first paragraph, but the second one I had to read a couple times.

    It isn't immediately apparent why Sol is all the sudden transformed into a folk hero in the public's eyes. I get there's a bard, but there's a bit of a disconnect there. Maybe something about the way he and his yeti friend annihilate the empire's champions gives hope to the people as there's been no one like him in ages, or something along those lines.

    Was the sex slave girl someone important to the people? Because if she is, playing that up might work. If she isn't, then downplay her; anyone in the query has to be essential to the story. If she isn't, then remove some of the details about her, and play up WHY her spirit sparked something in Sol. WHY it was important that they met right then - was that encounter the only real contact Sol's had with the resistance movement? The first he's seen of people who weren't there to see him fight? Maybe now he's fighting for freedom, instead of his life.

    Take with a grain of salt though haha. I do like it! Also, calling him an orphan makes me unsure of Sol's age. If he's older than say 14, I'd ditch it. Good luck!


Love to get comments!!!