Forgive me, oh shark, for I have erred.
I have begun querying agents about my novel. It's undergone judicious pruning and the query has been edited more times than I can count. I'm pretty confident in my submission--or at least I was. Now I'm suddenly noticing flaws in the query after sending it to fifteen agents. Whoops....
The query doesn't mention the first few events at all, and skips right to the major plot point. I'm afraid this might deter agents, as what happens in the query doesn't happen until later in the novel. I also feel it's too dull and uninteresting, with very little life in the words. Should I:
1) Rewrite the query and resubmit?
2) Rewrite the query and submit to new agents, putting the old ones behind me?
3) Stop freaking out and wait to see their responses?
Or am I making a big deal out of nothing?
Well, you're not making a big deal out of nothing if you think your query is dull and uninteresting. I had to laugh at the phrase "too dull" cause it sounds like you think there might be an acceptable level of dull in a query.
I'm less concerned about the fact that your query focuses on a major plot point. That's probably a good thing. You may be starting your novel in the wrong place (which happens a LOT) if you're not
getting to that point until "later in the novel."
The story starts where something changes.
Yes you need to set things up. For example Romeo and Juliet need to be introduced, the feud of the Montagues and Capulets revealed. But the story starts when Romeo sees Juliet. It is from that event that the story flows.
Consider one of my favorite movies, Heat. In a previous post, I used it to illustrate building tension in a novel. The movie starts with DeNiro stealing an ambulance, Val Kilmer buying explosives, Al Pacino canoodling with his sweetheart, and the other characters brought on stage.
But it's not until Waingro shoots the armored car guards, where something goes wrong, that the plot starts. It's about nine minutes into the movie which runs 160 minutes total.
If you're querying Heat, or Romeo and Juliet you talk about where the story starts, even if there are things that happen before that.
But notice in both Heat and R&J, the precipitating incident happens pretty close to the start.
Now, as to your question. Once you've queried an agent and gotten a reply, that's game set match.
If you've revised the novel substantially, you might requery. Revising only the query itself, not so much.
That means the correct answer is #2.
That said, there's no such thing as the query police and requerying with a revised missive will not kill you, or me. It will annoy me most likely, but almost everything does, and that's not really a downside you need to worry about.