Mar 13, 2009

Revised Query: The Legend

Zinnia always thought she would be able to do whatever it took for the greater good, until now. Zinnia, a Nature Maker, whose kind represents a race made of two parts, Nature Makers and Weather Makers, a race that fled from humans’ centuries before in order to preserve their kind, now living in a world hidden, with the Fairy’s help, from them. But when Zinnia discovers that she is one of two destined to fulfill an ancient Legend in order to preserve her world, life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

When Zinnia and Stephan, the other half of the Legend, meet for the first time neither of them can deny the instant and powerful attraction they feel, however, even more alarming is the fact the everyone else around them can sense it too, including those that seek to destroy them to ensure that the Legend is never fulfilled. Learning to harness and control a power that neither of them asked for is only the beginning of things Zinnia and Stephan are asked to do for the greater good. But, when faced with making the ultimate sacrifice, Zinnia alone must decide just how much she is willing to lose for the greater good.

The Legend, a Young Adult Fantasy is complete at 93,000 words, and I would be happy to send you the complete manuscript.




Anonymous said...


That was wierd I was just reading your first query and when I came back your second one was there. I'll take the time to read them better over the weekend. I just wanted you to know I like your idea. Your book is exactly the kind my daughters always look for.



I haven't got to yours yet. I'm reading backwards apparently. I want to post my letter, all 50 versions of it, but I have decided to not query for a while because of tie ins to my other manuscripts. I may go ahead and post it anyway. I certainly need to be considering what to say and how to say it.


Rick Daley said...


I'll be here when you are ready.


I'll review your revision over the weekend and let you know what I think.

Mira said...

Hi Carly,

I like this version much better than the last. It's more simple, condensed and focused on the main character and the main conflict.

I know this is hard, but I'd try to condense it even more. I could be wrong, but that would be my gut instinct.

Also be careful about sentences that are too long. Agents look for writing style in the query. See if your query can reflect the writing style of your piece.

Also, you might throw in a quote from the actual story. That can help sell it.
I noticed you are on Nathan's site. Have you read his query letter samples. Here's a link to the most simple one:

By the way, your story sounds really intriguing.

Good luck!

Judy said...

I am not an expert by any means, but I will try to help from a readers point of view.

This is advice that I received which I think will help you, so I am going to pass it along.

Your first sentence needs to be a grabber.

Try to shy away from words such as thought-think, knew-know, and others like that. Make your character strong.

Your second sentence is a little confusing.

Try to stay away from clichés- greater good.

Try not to repeat the same words and/or phrases.

I will say this- your book sounds extremely interesting, and a great idea.

I know query letters are hard. I think they are harder than writing the novel. LOL.

I hope some of my advice is helpful.

Rick Daley said...


The second sentence in the first paragraph is too long. You could almost strike it entirely and use the rest:

"Zinnia always thought she would be able to do whatever it took for the greater good, until now. When Zinnia discovers that she is one of two destined to fulfill an ancient Legend in order to preserve her world, life becomes more complicated than she ever imagined."

The first sentence in the second paragraph is too long. Make sure there is a primary point for each sentence, and tell that point the best you can. If you have another point, make it a new sentence or use a semi-colon if appropriate. There's a lot of story to tell and only a few words to do it, so make sure you don't sacrifice clarity for content.

Wow, that past part sounded kind of cool. I may use that again ;-)

Carley said...

Uhhhh....duh, you're brilliant. You're way on the first paragraph sounds much better thank you. Now all I have to do is fix the second one. Kudos again on the blog, it's really picking up steam. Sort of makes me feel sorry for agents, since this is merely dipping our toes in the waters query deluge. I don't know how they manage to keep up, let alone mine out the diamonds.

Anyway, thank you again, you're crit was very helpful. Couldn't see the forest for the trees, or is the trees for the forest? You get my drift. Thanks.

Anette J Kres said...

This feels a lot like some of the earlier versions of my query. It’s sort of general, in that I don’t know what greater good Zinnia and Stephen are working for or what this Legend is or what challenges they face. I don’t think the nature makers and weather makers detail is relevant for this query. If it is relevant, then you need to tell us why. The only two details that I’d keep from the first paragraph are that she’s a nature maker, hidden from the world by faeries and that she learns she’s part of a pair that form a Legend to preserve the world (vague). Those two details could be spliced into the second paragraph. Then you could spend more time giving concrete details and organizing them in a way to entice your agents to read.