Writing query letters suck, okay? They do. I admit it. I spent, like, forever on every query letter I've ever written, and at some point in that process I've inevitably thought to myself "this is bulls***! I write stories not paragraphs about stories." I don't know of a single writer who's all "you know what my favorite part of writing is? The query letter!!!"*
But you have to do them. Or, I should say, if you want to submit your writing to an agent or editor you have to do them. You can hate them all you want, but until an agent can read your mindwaves about what your book's about, she's going to ask you to write a query letter, so stop tilting at windmills and get it done.
Here are some of the blog posts I've seen lately that talk about query letters:
1. Here's one from Jessica over at BookEnds that gives the two reasons your query is being rejected. Basically it boils down to either your query sucks or your book sucks. :)
2. Here's one from Janet Reid, who says that while she harps on the fine points of getting your query right,** she finds most of her authors via query letter.
3. And here's Agent Kristin's series of posts on pitching in your query letter and how to make it more effective.
* I think the only writer more rare than Mr. I-Love-Query-Letters, is Ms. I-Heart-Synopses. ::shudder::
** And boy does she. Check out the Query Shark for examples. (Please note, that all queries posted at Query Shark were volunteered for the blog. Janet does not publicly critique queries of submitters to her agency without their prior permission.)