Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #9

TITLE: The White Phoenix
GENRE: YA Dark Fantasy

After he lays ruin to Mount Olympus, Hades and his wife are the only gods left standing. But now, with word of a deadly plague he plans to unleash spreading like a wild fire, the deities slain by his hand present town skirt-chaser Silas Wolfe with a choice: stop Hades or fail at the cost of every life he holds dear.


  1. You have a wonderful concept here, but I found the logline confusing.

    In the first line, I'm left with the impression Hades is the MC, but in the last line we find out it's really Silas Wolfe. If he's your MC, he needs to be in there from the get-go.

    Also, as much as I love the first sentence, it smacks of backstory which doesn't belong in a logline.

    And finally, I was left scratching my head at how "slain deities" could do anything when they're dead. If they're ghosts, you should say so because we're not going to be able to fully understand the rules of your world-building yet.

    I think you need to sharpen the focus of the logline on Silas and either get rid of or shorten the back story significantly.

    Great start!

  2. I think Silas is your MC because this is a YA novel so focus more on him instead of the back-story.

  3. This makes me think of the game God of War. Anyone? *crickets* um..ok, just me then.

    I like this, but how can the slain gods reach out to Silas? Even if they're in Tartarus, couldn't Hades bar them from talking to mortals or something?

    And why is Hades trying to destroy the world? He's already killed all the gods and it's all his now, so why destroy it?

  4. I'm seeing a huge lack of motivation in what is otherwise a seemingly interesting story. Why does Hades want to destroy humanity with a plague and why do slain deities care enough to stop him? Can the humans bring the slain deities back from the dead? And how do "slain" deities do anything since they are dead and Hades controls the underworld? How do they have the power to threaten your MC with the chance of losing all those he holds dear? Finally, skirt-chaser doesn't strike me as YA at all. And why is it that Silas Wolfe is chosen for this? What about this makes him special? is he the last demi-god and thus the only human capable of fighting Hades? Or something? I'd try rewriting this focusing on Silas rather than Hades and the slain gods. For instance:

    When [descriptive word(s)] Silas Wolfe is confronted with the news that Hades plans to destroy the earth with a plague he must do XXX because YYY or else Zeus will kill all those he holds dear. But how does a [word that describes Silas] stop a god?

    Pick and chose those details that most make your story unique from the Percy Jackson series, since that's what you are up against here. I love a good mythology-based story, but if I were an agent, I'd want to know what makes this unique, especially since Rick Riordan has a hold on this market right now.

  5. I had the same questions as others. If he's killed all the other gods, how are they still alive to get Silas to help them? (Maybe they can't really die because they're gods?) And what's the point of taking over the world if you are then going to turn around and kill everyone? Then what does Hades have? An empty world and his wife.

    The story is with Silas so perhaps start with him. K. Cooper has given you a good example of a good log line. Maybe play around with it a bit more and see what you can come up with.

  6. At first, I thought Hades was the MC. I was confused from "the deities slain by his present town skirt-chase Silas...."

  7. I agree with the others.

    Little things:
    Name the wife (she's a god too).
    Lose skirt-chaser (or toga), it doesn't explain why the dead-gods gave him a responsibility.

    Silas Wolfe is an old-English name yet this is B.C. right?

    'hand,-(comma here) present' for clarity.

  8. I want to know more about Silas. Shift your focus, and I think this will be a stellar premise.

  9. I'd like to say that I agree that you should focus on Silas but I'm not actually sure this is about Silas. Whoever it is about, you need to focus on his goals and obstacles. Also, try to give us some reason to root for this MC. As written, they all sound evil. And I don't think the expression "skirt-chaser" belongs in a book set in pre-1950.

  10. Wow, you guys are so, so helpful. Thank you! I couldn't think of any way to start with Silas and keep it short, but with your help, I was able to revise it.

    When skirt-chaser Silas Wolfe is confronted with news of Hades' plan to unleash a deadly plague upon the world, he learns that Mount Olympus has fallen and the spirits of the gods are now channeling their magic through him. He doesn't know how to use this magic or even why they chose him, Eros' human equivalent of all people, as their messenger, but he does know one thing: if he doesn't stop Hades, all that is living, including those he holds dear, will forever rest in the Underworld -- under Hades' absolute control.

    K. Cooper - Thanks so much for that model! It really helped me out. I hope you don't mind if I borrowed from it in my revision. :)

    Also, some of you commented on the word skirt-chaser. I can't think of an better word (aside from philanderer, which I feel gives the impression he is older). All of the words I've stumbled upon are too modern or have something other than a Greek origin. Any suggestions?

    Thanks again, guys. I'm so glad I was able to take part in this. :)

  11. You should be starting with Silas if he is the mc. You have a great premise here. Just switch around a bit.