#RevPit Query: Before and After

Part of the #RevPit contest involved workshopping my query. Here's the original query I submitted to #RevPit for THE DYING CITY:

Dear #RevPit Editors,

18-year-old Livvy would do anything to keep her clan of itinerant horse riders safe. When she’s caught using unlicensed fire magic, Livvy travels to the capital city of Trillia to register as a mage, hoping to protect her family from the repercussions of harboring an illegal magic user. But before she can register, Livvy is attacked by the soldiers of Trillia’s ruling magical family, the Lux, who see her strong magic as a threat to their power.


Livvy escapes to Trillia’s underground and joins a local gang for protection. While she likes her new street-smart friends and is increasingly attracted to Rissa, the tough girl who leads them, Livvy plans to return home once the Lux stop looking for her. She misses her clan, and no nature-loving nomad can thrive in this crowded city where the plants and animals are made from living metal.


Livvy’s plans for escaping Trillia are complicated when she learns that she's not the only one in danger: a magical plague is killing the city’s inhabitants. Livvy’s magic might be strong enough to fight the plague, but using it will draw the attention of the Lux and expose her to danger. Livvy must decide: return to her clan and let the city die, or stay and risk death herself.


THE DYING CITY is YA fantasy and is complete at 95,000 words. It combines the grittiness and complicated group dynamics of THE YOUNG ELITES with the struggle to save a kingdom of REIGN OF THE FALLEN. 


[Bio]


Thank you for your time and consideration.


And here's the revised query, which amazing editor Carly Bornstein-Hayward edited:

Dear #RevPit Editors,

17-year-old Livvy’s fire magic can give or take life. It would be a valuable weapon—if only she could control the panic attacks that happen every time she uses it.

When she’s caught using her unlicensed and anxiety-inducing magic, Livvy leaves her clan of nomadic horse riders and travels to Trillia, the crime-ridden capital city, to register as a mage. There, she’s attacked by the soldiers of Trillia’s ruling magical family, the Lux, who see her strong magic as a threat to their power. 

Livvy flees into the underground and joins a local gang for protection. Her new life is violent, and no nature-loving nomad—especially one prone to panic—can thrive in this crowded city of living metal. No one else seems to thrive, either: the metal animals are rusting, and the people are dying from a magical plague. A budding romance with Rissa, the tough girl who leads the gang, makes life more enjoyable, but Livvy plans to return to her clan once she’s out of danger.

As she patrols the streets, Livvy discovers she can reanimate the metal animals with her magical spark. And as she finally confronts her anxiety disorder, she realizes her magic might be strong enough to fight the plague, too. Staying in the city will save lives, but using magic will draw the attention of the Lux. Livvy must decide: return to her clan and let the city die, or stay and risk death herself.

THE DYING CITY is a LGBT+ YA fantasy and is complete at 98,500 words. It combines the grittiness and complicated group dynamics of THE YOUNG ELITES with the struggle to save a kingdom of REIGN OF THE FALLEN. 

[Bio] 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

The revised query focuses on Livvy's anxiety, which Carly wanted to emphasize in the manuscript, too. I think the second query is a vast improvement—what do you think?

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