I just started working on a new query letter. This one’s a little different. You see, I’ve only written about three thousand words of the manuscript. About fifteen pages.
Write the letter before the novel is a piece of advice I’ve heard over and over (yes, on the internet.) and now, I have an idea that’s fresh and crispy enough to give it a whirl.
There’s no distilling 80-100 thousand words down to their essence, because there aren’t 80-100k words. There aren’t dozens of characters to choose from. Right now, I think I have fewer than ten characters total. One of them is incredibly minor. Four of them are dead. (Proper dead. Crime novel dead, not SF/Fantasy dead.) That leaves my protagonist and my antagonist.
There are no subplots to distract me, no secret-favorite characters that I want to tell you about, regardless of whether they deserve to be a part of my letter.
Right now, putting the cart before the horse seems to be working fairly well.