Writing a good query letter feels an awful lot like stuffing five pounds of sausage into a half-pound casing, without tearing the casing or getting sausage stuffing EVERYWHERE. :) And while keeping all the spices intact that make the darned thing worth eating!
I appreciate all the help, folks. It's a bit confusing: some folks are saying "more detail!" while others are saying "less is more!"... it's difficult to chart a course between the two. In the end, as with any author, I suppose all I can do is follow my best instincts based on the excellent advice I've been receiving from many different points of view.
Quick question: based on what you've read so far, does CODEX sound like something that could be worth reading? I'm hoping that there's at least a basic level of appeal here that I can build on.
The query is definitely like that. But, I'm personally finding it an excellent tool for bettering my own writing in general.
It's best to be say as much as possible with as little as possible. Finding words that hold the meaning of many, playing with sentence structure and clauses, removing excessive words and phrasing. All really important. Naturally there's more room in the MS itself, but it's still a good rule of thumb.
The query is like writing a condensed story. Pick one, maybe two points of the plot that can provide a little info on the MC, the conflict, and the stakes, and write as much about those points with as little as possible.
You're doing that. My example of an unnecessary point in your own query is the whole pregnancy part. The villain wanting to keep her man to herself is more than enough to stand on its own without adding another point to her anger. Leave that for the MS.
Yes, what you have here is interesting, and has a coherent plot that I can follow and understand. That being said I wouldn't read it, but that's because it's just not my taste. I like medieval fantasy books, and that's pretty much it. But I guarantee if your MS is written well, then the plot you have outlined here will sell. If the romance sub-plots are done well, those alone will draw people, since people love romance (I don't, but the majority obviously do), and romance between intelligent Dino's is different.
Any story can be told well, even if its a tired trope filled tale. Yours isn't (besides romance), so you have that going for you.