Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #7

TITLE: Moral Compass
GENRE: YA Dystopian

In a town where people are controlled by moral compasses tattooed on their skin, Tobin will defy his compass and risk imprisonment to get the girl he is morally forbidden to love.

17 comments:

LTM said...

This sounds kick a**--I like the idea of one's destiny set in stone and tattooed on you for all to see. Even better, the idea of defying that to win the girl you love. Yay!

One quibble: "Moral compass" bugs me b/c I think of compass as something in motion and tattoos are static. Also, is moral compass the phrase you're seeking here?

Regardless, I like the premise. Best of luck to you! :o)

Amanda said...

Oooh I love this! But what is a moral compass? What sort of labels are on it? I'd love to know why he's forbidden to love her. Very hooked!

Lianne said...

The 'moral compass' tatoo is a catchy concept, and I'd read on, but you need to explain how he's 'morally forbidden' to love her - right now I don't think it makes sense.

Angela Robbins said...

this got me hooked.
even though there is the element of destiny (which only propels the MC and can be a no-no if that is all that happens,) we have paired it with the exiting choice to go against the destiny, which I do like. and one can never get enough of forbidden love imo. i think we have the inciting incident, the conflict, the choices, and the consequences in this one.
i'd read this one for sure.

K. Cooper said...

Great premise here. It's exciting and original. One problem--you don't give us motivation to explain why he's defying his moral compass (a big part of the society and life he's used to) to win the girl he is morally forbidden to love. Why would he do this? What is it about the girl? And is love the only conflict here? If so, I worry that it will fall flat a bit. Look at romances, there is ALWAYS a conflict other than love that is at the heart of the story (like an arsonist falling in love with the cop who has to arrest her). Love should enhance the main conflict by making it more bothersome, not be the main conflict. To solve this problem, maybe get at why he is morally forbidden to love this girl...because quite frankly falling in love with someone has never been morally forbidden in my book. So is she the arsonist he's out to arrest (or your equivalent of that)? If so, good! Now get that in the logline. Get that EXTERNAL conflict in. If not, is your plot just about love/winning this girl? If your answer to that is yes, seriously think about your story. Not even Romeo and Juliet was solely about love; it was about rival families and how love complicated that conflict.

For example, going with the arsonist/cop approach (I know that's not your story, but maybe this will illustrate my point), a good way to rewrite this logline may be:

In a town where people must follow the moral compasses tattooed on their skin, Tobin's compass leads him to arrest villains. But when this fire cop falls into forbidden love with his latest criminal, an arsonist at large, he's faced with self betrayal--either he arrests her and breaks his own heart or lets her free and goes against his own morals. (See how the physical conflict of finding and arresting a criminal can be put up against the internal, emotional conflict? That's what you need to do!)

Leah Petersen said...

Love this. Though I think "morally forbidden" is a bit odd. I agree that a spot of detail there would make it even better.

Barbara said...

The only thing that bothered me here is 'morally' forbidden to love. It made me think incest, or pedophilia, because morally, those are the only situations where love is not moral. So, you might cut that.

You might also include how and who he must evade as he pursues the girl he loves. While it does say what it needs to say, it does lack a sense of excitement.

Jonathan 3d said...

This made me think of Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man" in a way. I'm intrigued by the tattoo, but not clear on how it works. Are these compasses imposed by the state? How does the tattoo control them?

Interesting premise but I'm not clear on the mechanics of the story.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Love the premise! This sounds like a great read.

Loglines are written in present tense so it should be Tobin defies his compass and risk imprisonment....

Locksley said...

Little things:
drop "morally" since earlier you use moral and the repitition doesn't work here IMO.
Change skin to on their name a body part for clarity. There might be an oportunity for humor there, which would help with irony a bit.
A little about why this girls and why he wants her would go a long way and you have words to spare.

Otherwise, I give you a scarlet letter "A" for a logline well done.

Mai said...

I think this is a great premise and I'd want to read it. But, like others have said, I am wondering at what the external conflict is other than the consequences of defying his compass and getting imprisoned.

rhea said...

Moral compass tattoo. I like that, a lot.

Why is the girl "morally forbidden" for him to love? I assume they're not related or anything, so she's his best friend's girlfriend? I couldn't help guessing :-)

Holly Bodger said...

This was probably already said but we are missing the antagonist here. Who is going to stop him from getting the girl? The compass?

gideon 86 said...

I like this. It is strong and concise. I just have tiny crit, the whole compass thing doesn't work for me.

Great premise and would read this.

Vicki Tremper said...

Very cool concept. Lots of conflict. But a bit vague.

Susan S said...

I love the idea of a moral compass tattooed on someone's skin. Fantastic hook - and it makes me want to read it even though I ordinarily pass on most YA. I'd love to hear more about the story, and as a hook/log line I think it does a good job of creating interest in the work.

Bron said...

I like this. I think you get across what you need to. I'm wondering how the compasses work, but that just makes me want to read the story! If the society tattoos compasses on people, I imagine they have fairly rigid ideas on who you're allowed to love. Good job.