- Your query does not need to discuss your entire story. Honestly, the query should only detail the inciting incident.
- The query letter should be very tight. Read it a zillion times, send it to betas, etc. Make sure the query letter is intriguing above all else. Don't worry about gimmicks. Just make sure it is very easy to read with simple sentences, and leaves the agent asking: "What?! That's it?! I need to know more!!!"
- Query letter aside, your pages need to shine. Solid writing is expected, but in my experience, the second most important element to writing is pacing.
- Stay ubber professional in all dealings, but realize they are people too.
- When you start getting requests, like I know you will, be sure to send the correct version. I accidentally sent a pre-final line edit version to 2 agents. The errors were minor so I couldn't email the correct version, but it's embarrassing all the same.
Good luck to everyone in the trench with me. My thoughts, prayers, sparkles are with you!