Queries are hard, almost impossible. And way worse when querying an epic fantasy, where every concept must be explained, or else it’s just so much word salad. In a normal book I can say “they flee to Paris” but in an epic fantasy, you can’t just say “they rode their Bittlethumps to Cloud-Upon-Tergave, without devolving into a Master’s Thesis on the use of Bittlethump horn in the brewing of tonics.
So what is the purpose of my whine-fest? Only to say that it IS possible to do all of the above, but it takes a lot of effort. I got some help, from a person who writes these for a living. But she doesn’t write it for you, she only tells you what parts need to be stripped away. And in my original query, that was pretty much every word. Back to the drawing board indeed.
I urge anyone who is planning to submit to agents to do some serious investigation into proper construction of a query letter. The Lukeman book on queries (recommended by a friend from my writing group) is excellent, and while I didn’t follow it exactly, it outlines the exact problems you’re going to face. And it uses a hammer to pound into you the concept that the query must be tiny indeed.
I have a link to the Lukeman book on my “Writerly” page, as well as other web resources for writing query letters. Go have a look if you think you will ever be tackling this impossible task.