My goals of earlier this year - to finish the MS and query it - were indeed accomplished. Didn't go as well as I'd hoped and so I spent a significant period of time in a writer forum query workshop where I learned a whole heck of a lot. New query went out and it fared no better than my original.
I found a query class, hosted regularly on LitReactor, taught by a rotating/revolving/alternating cast of literary agents. My Art of the Query Letter class was taught by Bree Ogden of Red Sofa Literary. Tons of information, gobs of insight, very much worth the registration fee.
Brand new, Bree-approved query has gone out and... hasn't garnered the response I was hoping for. Which leads me to believe the problem lies in the opening pages sent along with said shiny new query.
I started paying more attention to lit agents on Twitter - what they're looking for, what they like, what makes them nuts...
Yeah. My opening pages needed revision.
I cut several hundred words (like almost a full 1k) - a lot of what I had thought was valuable info but in reality was backstory. Some of it I was able to work into other parts of the first chapters and others I cut altogether. I'm reading the whole thing over again to make sure all the dots are still connected and I haven't left any holes with my revisions.
There's a new story in the works, too. It's progress is slower than I'd like - my former Wednesday and weekend writing days I lost this spring when my pay-the-bills gig ended in fallout shenanigans when the hospital I transcribed for merged with another couple institutions. Found replacement work with a huge company that's a far cry from the dozen or so people I worked with before - great for the old bank account, not so much on the writing-time front. So, I'm back to writing along the edges of my day-to-day.
Side note: People are less likely to interrupt when one is scribbling away in a comp book compared to when one has a laptop balanced on one's knees. Interesting.