So WriteOnCon has been awesome! I've learned a ton and have gotten great suggestions for making both my query and first 5 pages better. I've been rewriting my query a lot and it seems that it needs even more tweaking, even since I posted my final query on the WriteOnCon forum board.
I've gone back over Elana Johnson's posts on query letters (if you haven't read them, it is a MUST) making sure I have all of the important info conveyed: hook, setup, conflict, consequence. I've taken out the subplots so that the query is more stream-lined (hopefully!)
And you know what, guys, the forums are still open! I've posted my re-revised query (very different from the first ones), so if you'd like to check it out, it's here. Any other suggestions would be great! I don't know if I've changed it for the better.
But seriously guys, queries are so hard! There's so much to a story, that breaking it down into its most basic elements is just crazy talk. I've taken a look at a lot of other queries from published and agented authors, but they were mostly from novels I haven't read. The one I found most helpful, was Marissa Meyer's query for Cinder, since I had read that. Going back to the query, I could see all the subplots she left out, even though they were so important to the book! That's what really propelled me to keep cutting my query.
I still have revisions to do on the first 5 pages and the rest of the MS. Grad school starts August 27th (eek!) and I really want to get it done by then, but that would be pretty ridiculous. I'm going away on vacation for the week, (so I won't be blogging), but maybe I can sneak some revisions in there :)