Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #1

TITLE: MARTYR
GENRE: Suspense

When she is thrust unwillingly into a deadly feud between politics and the mafia, all Evelyn wants to do is save the Senator's daughter. In order to do that, she has to be willing to go on the offensive, sacrificing her own safety - and possibly her own life.

17 comments:

Scott said...

Personal opinion - the word 'thrust' normally implies an unwillingless, so, get rid of the word unwillingly. Less is sometimes more.

Yes, I know, you're probably thinking: well, that was awfully nitpicky of him. : ) I think, in a logline, every word counts, and if you have words that aren't necessary . . . remove them.

You definitely captured my attention, but more so with the second sentence rather than the first.

S

MarcyKate said...

This is a great start, but I think the biggest issue with this logline is that the reader doesn't get a sense of who Evelyn is or why she has to save the Senator's daughter. Is she part of the secret service or a country bumpkin turned presidential fangirl? This is the sort of thing that colors the entire tone of the book and can make or break the unique factor.

K. Cooper said...

Right now, I'm slightly intrigued, but I also have questions because this seems sort of coincidental. We have a woman (no profession) thrust into a feud with politics/mafia, who must save the Senator's daughter (not her daughter)...why? Until I know that "why," it all seems coincidental rather than purposeful, and I can't think of any motivation that would make Evelyn just go along with it. Who is Evelyn (a secret spy? a rough-and-tumble woman? an ex-military specialist? or your average girl?) that she must be the one to save the Senator's daughter, and why is the Senator's daughter important to her? Without those elements, I think this is missing the mark. And without those elements, I doubt an agent would be interested to hear more. Because it's those elements that will make this common plot line unique. Also, I'd change politics to politicians because only people can have feuds. It would be really easy to write:

When [descriptive word(s)] Evelyn is thrust into a feud between politicians and mafia bosses, all she wants to do is save the Senator's daughter because [why Senator's daughter is important to her]. But doing so means going on the offensive and sacrificing her own safety - and possibly her own life.

OR, EVEN BETTER:

When [descriptive word(s)] Evelyn does [inciting incident that thrusts her in the feud], she finds herself caught in a feud between a [descriptive word] Senator and a [descriptive word] mafia man. All she wants to do is save the Senator's daughter because [why the girl is important to Evelyn], but doing so means going on the offensive and risking her own life.

Angela Robbins said...

This definitely got me interested in the story. The only thing I would want to know is who Evelyn is to the senator/daughter to know why she's compelled to get in such a dangerous situation.
I still think you did a pretty darn good job, though.

Barbara said...

Yes, just about there, but not quite. The why is imperative I think. Why is she willing to risk her own life for the senator's daughter? Get that in and you have a winner.

Lianne said...

I agree, we need to know who on earth Evelyn is. What's her position, that she can be thrust into this feud? Why does she want to/think she can save the Senator's daughter? Basically, let us know if she's a kickass bodyguard with an overdeveloped sense of professional pride, or a mild-mannered accountant, in over her head but desperate to protect the woman she loves.

Other than that, this is good!

Locksley said...

Intuitively I see an ordinary woman/girl reluctantly (because she hasn't developed the skills)stepping up to defend the senator's daughter. I like this idea, but the writing doesn't prove my assumption of plot is clear, also stated by the others.

I think it best to reverse she and Evelyn when first encountered; it reads better.

So reading our templates:
Type of hero?
Irony (unclear)?
Blooming in my brain: yes
Outer goal: yes

I'd read on.

Leah Petersen said...

Yes, I definitely need the why. But for me the last sentence is too vague. It's one of those stock phrases like "change her life forever" which could mean anything; marriage, death, being turned into a unicorn...

What do you mean by go on the offensive? How does this endanger her (beyond the obvious and ubiquitous 'get on the bad guys' radar and your life is in danger'?

gideon 86 said...

I'd also like to know why? She's putting herself in mortal danger to basically save a stranger. Who is the senator's daughter to her? It she her best friend? An admirer? What?
I think the second sentence is a bit weak. A bit more intrigue is needed.

On the positive the premise is very good.

MK said...

Like others have said, I'm not really getting a feel for Evelyn's character. Why does she want to save the Senator's daughter? How exactly is she going to do that? You mention she has to be willing to go on the offensive, but what does that entail?

It's a great start. Just be a little more specific, and you'll have yourself the perfect logline. :)

Anonymous said...

I think this is great and one of the only ones that actually follows the logline premise. This isn't a query and actually a little long still for a logline. This sounds commercial, all plot. Great logline. I don't know why everyone is pushing for more info... As I said, this isn't a query. Its one sentence focused on plot.

Karie Langevin said...

I'm curious why she's in the middle of all of this and why all she wants to do is save the Senator's daughter. I would incorporate a little more information about her reasons. It sounds intriguing!

Holly Bodger said...

This is very close. I would like to know why she wants to save the Senator's daughter. Is this her job? Is she a friend? I think you can clear this up quite easily.

I would also suggest you are more specific with "go on the offensive". Does she chase them on motorcycle? Paraglide to Peru? Give us something to show us what she actually does to save the daughter.

Kimberly Loth said...

My first thought when reading it was who is the senator's daughter and why does Evelyn want to save her?

The rest seems a bit vague, and I know it is hard to capture specifics in a logline, but if you shift the focus to why does she want to save the senator's daugther, it'd be more intriguing.

That being said, I think this is a solid logline.

Melinda said...

This is pretty good, but there are some unnecessary words you could cut to make it tighter. I agree with the others that you need to tell us either who Evelyn is or what the senator's daughter is to her, so that we understand why she wants to save her--and to make us care if she does.

M.R. said...

For me, the first sentence seems to that the MC wants to save the senator's daughter because she's caught in a political feud.That may be the case, but I think we need to understand why this character is willing to risk her own life for the senator's daughter?

Spiral said...

From what I've learned about log lines these past three contests is that you've got almost everything necessary except Evelyn's connection to the Senator's daughter, which would give us more insight into Evelyn's personality. But I liked this!