This advice wasn't given to me personally. It is actually on an agent's blog that I follow, Pub Rants, by Kristin Nelson. I came across it during my research on agents and agencies and I have to pass it along because it has helped me SO MUCH!
I have been working on my query letter obsessively for the past few days. I am not exaggerating when I say "obsessively."
In fact, I was in such a mind fog yesterday afternoon that when my husband called me on his way home for work, I think drool might have been oozing from my mouth as I stared at the computer screen. By then words were running together and all sentences had lost their meaning. I hadn't even realized until he called that I had spent the ENTIRE DAY working on ONE letter.
Garrett came to my rescue, though. (My night in shining armor!) Instead of heading straight to the gym, he came home to drag me away from the computer (I resisted, even in my zombie-like state) and force me to go to the gym with him. After an apple, a solid workout, and a visit to Babies R Us (4 1/2 weeks until she makes her debut!), I was finally able to carry on a coherent conversation.
This query stuff is tough.
I knew last night that my letter was still a long way from where it should be, but I didn't know how to fix it until I read Kristin's pitch workshop blog entries today. She is a lifesaver! (Garrett will be so grateful!)
Without further ado, here are the links to the posts specifically about YA query letters (which can also be found on her agency's website, Nelson Literary Agency):
1. Pitching and all that jazz: Introduction
2. Blog Pitch Workshop (Part 1)
3. Blog Pitch Workshop (Part 2)
4. Blog Pitch Workshop (Part 3)
I hope her advice helps you as much as it has helped me. Hopefully, I will have a decent letter by the end of the day! (Fingers crossed!)