Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #15

TITLE: The Legend of Itasca
GENRE: YA Magical Realism

While on vacation, fifteen-year-old Jeni buys a Native American artifact and unintentionally frees a mythical monster. With the week winding down, she must evade her family and overcome her fears so she can vanquish the creature or the death toll will continue - and it's about to become personal.


  1. I'm not understanding how evading her family is part of the conflict, or why dealing with a freed monster gets worse when it gets personal.

  2. I think the first sentence is great. The second sentence could be more clear. Why is it about to become personal? What fear does she have to overcome? Why is she evading her family?

  3. First sentence is great. Second is so vague that it says nothing. I don't come away understanding the choice she must make or the stakes for her personally.

  4. This is so high-level that it reminds me of the Brady Bunch episode in Hawaii with the totum curse. So, I suggest focusing on the details of your story so that readers don't get that initial connection and think "seen it already."

  5. Oh, I LOVE the Brady Bunch. Back to the loglines...

    You are jumping to the consequences a bit too fast here. The death toll can't continue without it starting. Try to re-word the beginning so we know that death is the result of her freeing the monster.

    I'd also suggest you get rid of the "it's about to become personal" as it makes it sound like the story isn't about her up until this point and I think you're trying to say that the she or her family might be about to become targets.

  6. this is about there. there is conflict and consequences and choices...
    i did like the first sentence, as it sounds intriguing and dark, but then it kinds of winds down.
    i'm thinking scary and then, oh, lets' pause for a pina colada and some sun. so it's a bit of a let down at least for me. then it just comes back and slaps me in the face about a death toll, which i didn't even get the hint of anyone necessarily dying at the begninning. maybe try working it in a little crisper.
    this stuff is hard and i commend everyone for giving one of these contests a go...
    regarding the brady bunch, except for we old people who still read YA, i wouldn't worry about your taget audience thinking greg and marcia, but the agent or editor might...

  7. I think you mean to say that she has to vanquish the creature before her family leaves their vacation destination, but that didn't come across very clearly (unless you meant something else by 'with the week winding down' in which case I have no idea why that's relevant). I think it's an interesting premise though, and I'd read it if only to find out what this mythical monster is.

  8. Great first sentence. Immediate tension. Then the week winds down and so does all the tension. Tell us what the monster does when it gets released and what Jenie must do to stop it.

  9. Agree with the other.

    I really like Native American myths, etc and would read on after your fixes.

    May I suggest sprinkling in a little of her personality if possible. Does she run to the local tribe (boy) for help? Does she google weapons to defeat the monster? She needs help and i assume she'll get it.

    Little thing:
    Drop While---start with On vacation, it's crisper for the tension you introduce at the end of the sentence.

  10. I'm hooked.

    But I will agree that the second line needs to be clearer.

    Good job!

  11. Love this! But why is she evading her family? I think if I unleashed some freaky monster on a family vacation, the first thing I'd do is run to my family for help. I'm not entirely clear what you mean by the "week winding down" either.. you mean the week coming to a close?

  12. Like several of the others, your first sentence rocks! The second threw me for a loop. It needs work and clarification.

    Take out the week winding down. Simplify it... try

    She must overcome her fears to vanquish the creature or the death toll will continue.

    I don't understand the becoming personal part. Either get rid of it or clarify it.

  13. Agree that the first sentence is great. The second sentence needs work. What specifically goes wrong and how can Jeni fix it. I would also cut it's about to become personal--it's way too generic and doesn't really tell the reader anything.

  14. So I think we all agree on the first sentence :-)

    'With the week winding down' sounds a little... weak. You mention a death toll later on, so maybe you should start your second sentence by describing what the monster does, then go on to say Jeni has only a few days to vanquish it before her family leaves to go home. I agree with Mel that 'about to become personal' is too generic, and really, if the monster is killing people and it's Jeni's fault, it's probably personal enough.

    The story sounds good, I just think your logline could be a little stronger.