I’ve been trying to write a query letter to go along with Coldfire (which I might have actually finished), since I’m preparing to submit to literary agents. I put my fourth attempt in the Query Letter Hell critique section of the Absolute Write forums. Rightfully, it was ripped apart. I tried to follow the suggestions and write another one. That was also ripped apart. Both of the letters I wrote were closer to the beginnings of synopses than actual query letters. The last one I’ve written has a form more acceptable for such a letter (think back cover blurb without all the buzz words and less ambiguity) and am now trying to make the letter actually sound like the genre it is. The fantasy part is down pat; it’s showing the dystopian elements that’s getting me.
If I hadn’t gotten these letters critiqued (or torn to shreds, rather) I probably would’ve submitted with that first letter and agents wouldn’t have given me the time of day, unless they were feeling especially sympathetic and decided to give me a critique to go along with the rejection. So there’s a lesson: get someone who knows what he’s talking about to read over your work before submitting.