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I'm Deborah. I'm a writer, currently seeking representation/publication for my YA Fantasy Fractured Princess

I love to play Final Fantasy games and Shattered Pixel Dungeon. I also enjoy the many ins and outs of music (I'm a chorus geek).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Revising My Query (There's a question way at the end.)

Happy Friday!

I know in a previous post, I called queries the bane of my existence, but I have finally begun to get somewhere with my query for The Crystal Bearer.  Once again, here is a before & after of my query, beginning with my entry for Query Kombat, and my latest revision. There is a big difference, and I'm receiving good words about the first two paragraphs. The last paragraph was a little confusing, so I overhauled it and will wait to hear what is said about it. :)


All that remains of the most powerful people on T’orre is Ghuli, and with a metal army destroying everything in its path to get to her, she feels powerless.

Ghuli’s parents sent her away from their land before the army destroyed it. With the ever-present threat in the back of her mind, she grows up trying to live life, mainly by swinging from willow trees and aggravating her watchmen. She reads fairytales of safer lands to occupy her dreams, but the closer danger comes, the more those dreams turn to dark, abandoned castles, to ghosts and faces Ghuli’s never seen. At least, she doesn’t remember seeing them.

Once separated by shipwreck and alone in the world she has come to fear, Ghuli discovers her dreams are more real than she desires. They are glimpses of a time that she has reversed. The price: her consciousness, the part of her that contains her memory and the control of her erratic powers, has separated from her body. Ghuli’s consciousness guides her body towards a rune called the Great Scroll, the key to piecing her back together and becoming more than just a lost, scared little girl. She will gain the power to stop the metal army, but another price comes with regaining her full potential. She must discover whether or not she is the reason her people were destroyed.

THE CRYSTAL BEARER is a YA fantasy complete at 98,000 words.


Princess Ghuli is all that remains of the Crystal Bearers, the world’s most powerful but reclusive healers. With an army of iron monsters destroying everything in its path to get to her, she wishes she knew how to use those powers.

No one knows who built the metal army, but its mission to destroy the Crystal Bearers is clear. To protect her from their fate, Ghuli’s parents sent her away when she was an infant. Now seventeen years old, Ghuli constantly fears the army will find her, and not even her watchmen can help erase her worries.

When the army destroys her home, forcing her to flee for safer haven, Ghuli realizes she--and evidently her people--possesses stronger, more harmful magic than healing. From astral projection to controlling the elements, these magics consistently save Ghuli and her watchmen without her even knowing how to summon them. It’s as though they have a mind of their own.

In actuality, they have her mind.

Ghuli’s consciousness moves through time and space as a walking, talking entity, and Ghuli learns it has separated from her body as payment for reversing time. Her consciousness guides her body towards the Great Scroll, the key to making Ghuli whole and learning why she reversed time. Ghuli will finally gain control of her powers to stop the metal army and live in peace. But learning why she reversed time will also reveal how she was the reason her people were destroyed.

THE CRYSTAL BEARER is a YA fantasy complete at 98,000 words.

Anyone else struggle with queries? How do you handle it, and how have you done with revisions?


  1. I've always found queries to be so, so hard to write. They're very much the bane of my existence, too, haha. Very cool to see different versions of your query back-to-back like this. The latest one definitely seems clearer than the first, so I hope you get some good feedback on it! :)

  2. "an army of iron monsters destroying everything in its path"
    I can't put my finger on why, but I feel like "its" is wrong. I think about it, and I can't come up with a reason. But I had to read it three times. I could just be in a lack-of-sleep haze.

    From the three query writing classes I've taken, I can tell you that the instructor would say this is too long. You still need one paragraph about why you selected this agent/publisher/etc, which goes along with your final sentence. Plus a paragraph with your writing-related mini bio.

    Writing a query has been the only "writing failure" I haven't been able to overcome. The more I try to learn about it, the worse it gets. LOL. The best tip I've seen (maybe, because I'm sure 1/3 of agents will argue it, as with EVERY tip on queries) is that the query must contain "the drama." I think you've got that in there.

    The second paragraph had me comparing to Sleeping Beauty/ Maleficent. The third was equal parts intriguing and confusing. (Did they think they were just healers before? Not knowing how the magic saves them... will it read like coincidence or intrigue?)

    The final paragraph has a lot of drama, and a spoiler without fully spoiling.

    I don't know. I'm not an agent. I'm just a writer who struggles with queries too, and who took a bunch of classes and bought books (but somehow still can't figure it out).

    Best of luck!

    1. Grammar short-cut: think of it more as "an ARMY (of iron monsters) destroying everything in ITS path". The subject is singular, so the possessive is, too.

      Thanks! I was just focusing on the meat of the query, because the agent info will change. I'm curious about the Sleeping Beauty comparison, b/c I haven't seen the new movie yet. lol I really appreciate the time you took to analyze it for me. <3


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