Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #26

TITLE: Break Free
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Self Proclaimed “bad boy” Kiel Reaux is one delivery away from buying his freedom from the Baron of Old Town when he is captured by slavers. Sold to a foreign priestess, she promises to set him free if he leads her througha deadly jungle of wild magic. But when the Baron comes to collect, earning freedom is the least of Kiel’s problems. Freedom means nothing if you’re dead.


  1. Sounds like a fun premise. Grammar issue: "Sold to a foreign priestess" modifies "she" in the ensuing clause. I'm a little confused about the Baron coming to collect; you mean, collect Kiel from the priestess who bought him? Collect the previous debt? Kill Kiel? Why?
    Lots of great elements here, just need to be clarified a little more.

  2. I agree with Jonathan 3d. I got confused by "Sold to a foreign priestess" and you have a typo on Througha. Nice and concise though.

  3. I like the premise and adventure beckons in the logline. The only thing I'll add to the sage advice above above is: what makes your hero qualified to lead a group through a magic forest? Good luck!

  4. I thought this was brill, then I got a little confused and lost when the 'Baron comes to collect.' But the last sentence was really strong and packed a punch, although why would he be dead? I presumed he would be killed? Why?
    Really interesting otherwise.

  5. This Kiel gets sold a lot and I'm a little confused with all the transactions. In add'n to the other mentioned typos, why is "Proclaimed" capitalized? What is the Baron collecting? Thank you for sharing!

  6. I, too, am confused on what the Baron is coming to collect. And wouldn't the threat to his life come during his trek through the deadly jungle, not after (assuming the Baron comes after their journey and not during it).

  7. I think you've got all the basics here but it needs a little tightening. I agree that it's not immediately obvious why the Baron is coming to collect and why this means death rather than money. Also, it's not clear if the Baron shows up while he is in the jungle or before or after. Finally, "the least of Keil's problems" is too vague and a little cliche.

    Good luck!

  8. This sounds great. I'm doing a rewrite on all my critiques - it helps me see what's going on and you might see a place to clarify where I'm off base.

    I'd leave out the delivery thing - raises more questions than it answers and is unnecessary. UNLESS what he does is somehow magical and explains why the priestess needs him. I noticed a comment above addressing this issue. Can he somehow control the wild magic?

    Bad boy Kiel Reaux is about to buy his freedom with his ability to....from the Baron of old town when he is captured by slavers. A foreign priestess promises to set him free if he leads her through a jungle of deadly magic but her enemy the Baron would rather see him dead. Kiel must DO SOMETHING or BAD STUFF WILL HAPPEN.

    As I did this really crummy rewrite I discovered I am unclear on the conflict. If Kiel is useful to the Baron, why would he want him dead unless he's enemies with the priestess? Which makes me wonder about the goals. Is there more to it than simply wanting freedom? What does he need to DO? And then I wonder about the consequences - are there any greater then just his own survival? I suspect he might risk himself for a greater purpose.

  9. My question was what makes him such a hot commodity? He's presented as just a run-of-the-mill slave. So why does the priestess choose him as opposed to someone else? ANd what would cause the Baron to hunt him down?

    It seems he must be special, or valuable, in some way, and making that evident would help the log line work better.

    It could also be clearer if we knew when the Baron came after him. While he's in the jungle or afterwards? And why does the priestess need to get through the magic jungle?

    And if the Baron is only coming to collect, why is Kiel's life suddenly in danger? Tell us.

  10. I think the majority of the 1st sentence can be removed or combined with the second sentence. For instance, "When self proclaimed bad boy Keil Reaux is sold to a foreign priestess and promised his freedom, he leads her through a deadly jungle of magic...."

    Sounds very promising though.:) Good luck!

  11. This has got good voice, an interesting character with a strong goal, and stakes. Like others, though, I'm confused why Kiel is in danger from the Baron. If anything, I'd expect the Baron to take his "property" back (meaning, essentially, a rescue).

    Also (and this might be my fault), it took me a couple of reads before I realized the Baron wasn't the one who sold Kiel to the priestess. The phrase "buying his freedom" in the beginning implies slavery from the start. I think my brain ignored "captured by slavers" as redundant ;-)

  12. Why would the priestess choose a foreigner to lead her through a dangerous jungle? Wouldn't you want to hire an experienced local guide for that?

  13. The 'bad boy' thing sounds strange in a description of fantasy, at least to me. Plus, the story doesn't seem to have anything to do with him being a self-proclaimed Bad Boy. I'd just start with his name and go from there. I think the rest is great.