Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #28

TITLE: Thunderbird Dreams
GENRE: Historical Fantasy

Christine, a 12-year-old tomboy, finds a magic stick in old Indian ruins and is pulled into an ancient quest to save the Thunderbird spirit trapped inside the coal mine. Problem one: girls are not allowed in the mine (egad, talk about bad luck); and two: the greedy mine owner wants the Thunderbird power for himself, and he’s willing to do anything to get it.


  1. i like the way you set this up, however, that "egad" phrase is somewhat distracting--i'm thinking about native americans and it's a british-type phrase.

  2. This is nice; it's clear what the protagonist needs to do and what could keep her from doing it. I do agree that "egad" seems out of place. Otherwise, good work!

  3. I agree with my predecessors that the "egad" is not necessary. You've already got some spunk coming through by referring to the heroine as a 12 yr old tomboy and stating "girls aren't allowed in the mine" so don't force it. I think this is a really cute story, being a transplanted New Mexican myself. I'd definitely read this.

  4. Good job; I do think you could pare this down. Also, clear up what is the difference between Thunderbird spirit and the Thunderbird power?

  5. Definitely take out the parenthetical phrase. Also, how does this magic stick relate to the spirit trapped in the coal mine? It's an interesting concept, but I'd like to see it clarified a bit more.

  6. Hmm - the second half seems more like a jacket flap than a logline. I do agree about not having the egad thing - it feels like author intrusion.

    I'm doing a rewrite with all my critiques - for my own benefit as it helps me see the elements clearly.

    It could use some streamlining. Is there a more interesting word to use than stick? I think I might focus on the mine owner as the conflict rather than a vague rule about girls for the purpose here.

    Christine, a 12-year old tomboy, finds a magical stick she needs to save an Indian Thunderbird spirt trapped inside a coal mine. She must free the spirit before the mine's owner steals its power although this might cost her own life.

    I'm not sure I got the consequences right - that's something that should be clarified.

    Anyway, this sounds like a fun, adventuresome read.

  7. 1. "is pulled into" sounds like she is somehow forced to enter this conflict which is the opposite of having a goal. She needs to WANT to meet her goal and she needs a reason to do so.
    2. We need some more obvious consequences here. How is she going to save the spirit and what happens if doesn't?

    Good luck!

  8. Ditto: I'd remove the "egad" part (though I do like it, it just takes me out of what I'm reading for the moment). The rest is STRONG!

    GOOD LUCK! ㋡

  9. How is the stick magic? DOes she pick it up and is magically pulled into the mine, or does she play around with it and learn it can do strange things? Pehaps add that to the first sentence.

    From there, you might say what she needs to do to free the spirit and what, specifically, stands in her way (what does the greedy coal mine owner do to stop her.)

  10. I want to know what is magical about the stick and why does anyone want it. How does she know it's magic? What's a thunderbird? In my opinion - lose the parenthetical phrase and the numbered points.

    Unlike the previous comments - I don't think this us concise and don't understand all the elements relate to eachother and the threat. I want to understand! The premise is promising and the protagonist is likeable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Maybe it's just me, but it's not clear if Christine is from the modern day and sucked back in time to save the thunderbird or what. Clearing that up could be helpful.

    Also, I agree that the parenthetical starting with egad doesnt really fit. Plus, it draws me out of the story.

  12. I agree with the others; (egad, talk about bad luck) has to go.
    But I also feel like I'm being distracted by the use of the word stick. I mean, you hear stick and expect a plain little piece of wood. I'm assuming if this stick is pulling her into a magical quest to save a thunderbird, it's a little more than just a stick, yes? Maybe call it a relic, or something else more suiting to its nature.

  13. take out the egad, and call the stick something else, maybe describe it. I'd like a bit of connection from the stick to the thunderbird.


    ...finds an ancient talking stick that guides her to an old coal mine where the spirit of a mighty thunderbird is trapped inside...ect

  14. I can't take the idea of a magic stick seriously, but that's probably just me. Also, Indian makes me think of someone from the country India, plus I think the more PC term is Native American. But I'm not from the States so take this advice with a grain of salt.

    Having said all that, I love the idea of the quest to save the Thunderbird spirit. I'm not sure if you need to mention girls aren't allowed in the mine. I would doubt a 12-year-old boy would be allowed in the mine either, or indeed anyone who isn't a miner. I liked the obstacle you set up - the greedy coal mine owner wants the power for himself - but I think you need to clearly state the stakes. What happens if Christine fails? What are the consequences for both her and the spirit?

    Sounds like an awesome story.