Guess the Plot
Lost in Atlanta
1. After an appearance at a science fiction convention in Atlanta, the cast of the TV show Lost can't find their way out of the city, leading many to speculate that their inability to get off the island was a result of stupidity.
2. 1862. Mary Jacobs runs away from her abusive master, heading for the North and freedom. When she follows a strange purple light in the woods, she ends up in modern Atlanta. With just the clothes on her back and the two silver coins in her kerchief, can she survive MARTA, hip-hop and Waffle House?
3. Birdie runs away from home to live in the streets of Atlanta. All she ever wanted was a normal life, so when a stranger offers her a fortune to go back in time and free the souls of hundreds of Viking warriors, she jumps at the opportunity.
4. With endless instructions to "turn left on Peachtree", and over 20 streets in the city by that name, Reginald Wasserhaus gets more and more lost. Finally he takes the subway to Lenox Square and sits down and has a Chick-Fil-A and a good cry.
5. A purple alligator-skin wallet, a single hiking boot, and a pair of pink satin boxer shorts-- it's just another day in the Lost and Found office at the Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. Except that there's a little red suitcase on shelf 14B, and the sounds of tiny voices in heated conversation are issuing from inside it. In ancient Sanskrit.
6. When three pre-schoolers disappear from a daycare center in Atlanta, their parents are frantic and furious. Until the daycare manager points out that there are worse fates than being . . . lost in Atlanta.
Seventeen-year-old runaway, [Comma not needed.] Birdie Orin will [would] attempt [do] almost anything to gain [have] the normal life that’s eluded her until now. [Sorry, I'll stop nitpicking.] After eight foster homes, her life isn’t improving any. [Do we need that sentence? We already know she's a runaway who's miserable. And it's not like foster parents are all serial torturers.] Atlanta’s city streets make a hostile home until she meets two men that change her life.
The first: a bearded stranger in a trench coat who informs her she’s the last descendant of an ancient Nordic tribe, and gives her an amulet which grants supernatural abilities to its wearer. He promises fortune and power [Power? What kind of power?] if she accepts a quest to free the souls of hundreds of Viking warriors. [I'm imagining how I would react if a bearded stranger in a trench coat told me all of this. I think I'd slowly back away from him and then start sprinting.] Traveling back in time, her task is to release her brethren trapped in a spell cast by one of two rival kings. [You've described Birdie as someone whose sole wish is to have a normal life. Is that type of person likely to care so much about fortune and power that she buys into this Viking story?]
The second: Grey Matthews, the boy who just bought her breakfast. Wary of dependence on anyone, Grey becomes her unlikely guardian and as they work together to master the magic of the amulet Grey works to break down the walls Birdies [Birdie's] built around her heart.
They have only months to master their new skills before she and Grey must travel through time to find the means of destroying the amulet, before those who would use its power for evil find them. [Those who would use its power for evil are looking for them? Who are they? Do they know Birdie has the amulet? If so, why will it take months for them to get to her? If not, how are they going to find out?] [I assumed the task was to go back in time and free the Vikings' souls, and the amulet was needed to accomplish this. Now you're saying the task is to go back in time and destroy the amulet.] [Is the amulet needed for time travel? If so, and they destroy the amulet in the past, how do they get home?]
The query is clearly written (I assume you'll put in word count, book title, etc.), but as you see, it inspires many questions. Decide whether you can efficiently answer some of them in the query. Here are a few more:
Was the amulet used by the king to cast the spell?
If so . . .
If Birdie goes back in time with the amulet, will the king who had the amulet back then still have it? Will Birdie still have it? Will there be two amulets?
If not . . .
Why can't she just destroy the amulet in present time?
Can she just throw the amulet to the bottom of the ocean instead of finding the means to destroy it?
Why does this bearded stranger care about these Vikings if he's not one of their descendants?
I assume there's a good reason Birdie's parents and grandparents and great grandparents etc. weren't approached about performing this task?
I'm not clear on what the amulet does. Birdie needs it to break the spell and someone else wants it to do evil. Does it just allow its owner to do anything they want?
How are Birdie and Grey supposed to figure out how it works?