Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #20

TITLE: Swap
GENRE: Romantic Comedy

Based on love--artist Raphael and his brother, stand-up comedian, commitment-shy Troy Chariote--swap places in jail, allowing Troy to prove his innocence and Raphael to detox. Whoops, not informing Troy's powerful attorney, Ms. Hai Lo, and Raphael's on-again-off-again fianc�e, head-strong psychologist Stella Riccardi, pull four confused souls into a life-altering, madcap, swap-infested journey to a double wedding finished with a meringue twist.

22 comments:

Keren David said...

I rather like this...apart from the phrase 'confused souls' and the word 'madcap'

Walter said...

Based on love - you don't need to start there, start with Raphael, an artist. Drop the "Whoops" and change to forgetting to inform.. or something similar and I think you've got a winner. Very hookish closing.

ShannonW said...

I had to read this several times to understand. There are a lot of names (not just first names but full names) that the reader has to digest quickly with each having their own profession tag. Also, at first I thought the attorney was Raphael's fiance.

The "Whoops..." through me off though I get it that you are going for a lighthearted tone.

I'm assuming that the brothers are identical twins, otherwise none of this could work but you may want to include that. As it stands i'm not sure I need to know that Raphael is an artist and Troy a comedian at this point and I really don't need to know their last name.

I guess I feel lost on this one. I do get a good sense of a lighthearted tone and based on some of your word choices I do get the sense that this will be a fun read.

Best of luck and thanks for sharing!

Leah Petersen said...

I second the 'lost in the details' comment. Once I sorted out the whirlwind if information it did sound like an interesting story. But it gave me a headache trying to get there. This could be really good with about 1/4 of the details about names and professions.

Lianne said...

Although I'm also a little lost in the details, you do manage to convey that this is a great premise and probably a fun read. The meringue twist lost me, though. What does that mean?

Karie Langevin said...

I agree with the others - too many details and names. I kept trying to figure out how everyone fit together instead of focusing on the premise. Great job demonstrating that you've written a light-hearted and fun story.

Holly Bodger said...

I agree that you need to get rid of every single name except that of the main character. Also, the "Based on love" doesn't make sense when you remove the part between emdashes. They swap places for love? Because of love? For who - each other?

I can't seem to find the main character's goal in here. I think it's to prove Troy's innocence. If so, you should concentrate on that and what it is that is going to stop him from reaching it. The whole "madcap, swap-infested, meringue twist" is nice for a marketing promo, but it's telling us nothing about the plot.

Linda said...

Sorry to be an echo, but yes, too many unneeded details. And I agree drop the "Based on love" phrase. I also agree that you're word choices convey a fun read.

I think you could make it clearer by stating something like: "Raphael swaps places with his jailed twin brother Troy, allowing ..."

Good luck.

Angela Robbins said...

this could be a cool story but i get lost in all the names and adjectives explaining each person.

Mai said...

I read this a couple times and I'm still confused. I get who the four characters are, but that's way too many for a logline and your sentence structure/grammar might be incorrect.

Maybe something like... "Artist Raphael and his commitment-shy brother Troy Chariote swap places in jail, allowing Troy to prove his innocence and Raphael to detox. But forgetting to inform Troy's powerful attorney and Raphael's on-again-off-again fiance pulls the four into a life-altering, madcap, swap-infested journey to a double wedding finished with a meringue twist."

I like the 'meringue twist' at the end there, but even with clearer sentences, I think you need to find your main conflict and stick to that rather than bringing all four characters in. Maybe just focus on the brothers and leave out their significant others.

Mystery Robin said...

The details tripped me up, too. I know we want voice in the logline, but it's almost too "voicey" for me to really understand what's going on.

Also, I think your grammar in the first sentence is off. You should be able to remove what's between the dashes and have the sentence still work, but "Based on love swap places" doesn't make sense and I'm not sure from this sentence what is based on love. I assume it's the nature of the swap, but I think you just need to state that a little more clearly, or leave that clause out altogether.

Bron said...

This is good, but there are too many details, as others have said. Mai rewrote your logline how I would have, getting rid of the extra unnecessary details. I would change one thing from her version though - swap 'commitment-shy' for 'identical twin'. I think the fact they're identical twin brothers is more important for your logline than the fact Troy is commitment-shy.

rhea said...

Mai's version is much stronger and puts everything into focus.

Sounds like a fun read.

bookbuzz said...

I like Mai's version too. The storyline sounds like a huge amount of fun - particularly like the meringue twist at the end (really original). With a bit of tweaking 'Swap' could be a winner.

Locksley said...

Wow, thanks so much for all the great comments, especially Mai's version.

Confession time: I have four protagonists (four POVs given separate chapters) who also act as antagonists at times (hey it's comedy). There are other sub-plots like a mafia madman etc, but they're more comic twists than anything else. I employ four criss-crossing arcs like a bowl of spagetti. I.e., the four aren't really sure who should be marrying who.

They are identical twins.

Thanks again...

I can fix the logline.

Joie said...

I'm really confused as to what the plot is beyond one brother swaps places with another. I definitely agree there are too many details and way too many characters mentioned. Even if they're integral to the plot in some way, it's best to simply focus on the main character(s) and antagonist when you have very little room to sell your book.

E. Arroyo said...

I think there's too much going on to narrow in a logline. There doesn't seem to be anything specific to grab on to.

These things are hard. I know. Good luck.

W Bloc said...
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Locksley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Locksley said...

I've tried again, but having four protagonists makes me wonder about whether I should use all four first names out of a sense of fairness or stick to the below out of a sense of clarity or what do you think? I do have space for 27 extra words. Thanks for any comments.

Commitment-shy Troy convinces his jilted identical twin Raphael to take his place in jail, so Troy can confront a mob family and prove his innocence. The act of keeping the swap secret and Troy’s problems with the mob have unexpected consequences for Troy’s career-obsessed attorney and Raphael’s on-again-off-now fiancĂ©e. Entwined like a bowl of spaghetti, our adventurous four travel a life-altering, swap-infested journey to an inevitable double wedding finished with a meringue twist.

bookbuzz said...

This is much better but I think the main storyline could be clarified at the outset by changing the beginning i.e.

Set up by the Mafia, Troy Chariote has been jailed for a crime he didn't commit. He convinces his twin brother, Raphael, to take his place in prison - Troy can prove his innocence and Raphael, a recovering alcoholic, can detox. Keeping the swap secret and Troy's problems with a crazy mob hitman have unexpected consequences for his career-obsessed........

The rest is okay, particularly like the 'entwined like a bowl of spaghetti'good fun.
Hope this helps.

Bron said...

I think your first logline was better, as long as you got rid of some of the details. I also don't think it matters that it's told from four POVs. You can't fit that many in a logline (even two is pushing it) so I'd stick with mentioning the twins, the swap and the reasons for it. I think all we need to know at this point is that Troy is in jail, not any extra details about the mob.