Anyone who's serious about writing has probably already got the "basics" of query structure committed to memory.
You know how to address the agent (and how not to). You know to include word count and genre. You know to follow the basic main plot, in voice, and keep the agent's attention. You know to shoot for around 350 words, total.
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I like to get my query locked down early on, because it helps me streamline the plot before all the sub-plot threads are added. To that end, I've decided to try something a little different than the usual two paragraphs of plot and one of personal info model. Whether it will work or not, I've no idea, but I think it gets the point of the story across, and hopefully it will stand out.
Dear Agent McAwesome:
One week ago, Claire's cousin Dinah slit her wrists.
Five days ago, Claire found Dinah's diary and discovered why.
Three days ago, Claire stopped crying and came up with a plan.
Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.
Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator's camouflage.
Today, she'll find the boy who broke Dinah.
By tomorrow, he'll wish he was dead.
Premeditated is a 60,000 word contemporary YA novel. Chapters or a synopsis are available on request.