Okay, so I'm a big believer in going my own way. (Yeah, I like the Fleetwood Mac song, so I hope it gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day. And yes, I am evil.)
I write my books how I want. Past tense, present tense, it's all good. Sometimes in the same sentence. Whatevs.
I give my characters whatever I want. Tech gadgets. Wicked-cool paranormal powers. All at the same time. Nothing's too grandiose for me.
I write my query letters however I want. Sure, I follow some standards, but I can do 3 sentences. 8 paragraphs. Whatever, whatever.
I'm comfortable doing that.
And you should be too. I see (well, hear really) so many people trying to figure out what they "should" do and what they "shouldn't." Or what's "right" and what isn't.
Dude. Get yourself to 100% and then go for it. That's my philosophy. And before you start throwing stones, hear me out.
I research my brains out. I know what queries should be. I know what writing should be. I know, I know, I know.
And then I pick and choose which rules I'm going to follow. The big ones? Yeah, I follow (most of) those. The little ones? Whatever.
I go my own way. I get myself to 100% and then I go for it. I get my MS to 100% of what I can/know how to do. And then I send it out. I get my query to 100% of what I can/know how to do. And then I send it out.
And if you're not at 100% on the MS or the query -- dude! Don't send them out. Get there first, so that when the rejections come -- and they will come -- you'll have the confidence to stay in the game.
Go your own way. Get to 100%. Then conquer.
What do you think? Overconfident? Perhaps. Do you need to be at 100% before submitting? How do you think you get there?