Hi Miss Snark,
I just got an email from a friend who attended the San Diego Writers' Conference. She said the agents and editors she met wanted super-short queries (maybe 150 words) and one-page synopses (250 words). I know the queries you ran through the Crap-O-Meter ran closer to 250-300 and the synopses 1,000. Is there that much of a variance in agents/editors' personal preferences?
Miss Snark wants thin thighs in thirty days but so far no luck on that score either.
The truth is we very seldom count words if the letter is well written. This word limitation is to keep those folks who have little of value to say, from saying it at length.
The danger is you won't write enough if you're trying to be so brief you're obscure. I wrote a post on that yesterday I think...I had no idea what the book was about from the cover letter.
One page query letters, synopsis under a thousand words, you're probably ok. I have no idea why people ask for a synopsis of 25o words on a novel unless they're just trying to make everyone's life miserable. If the first three paragraphs suck, I just stop reading.