Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #30

TITLE: Luminous Earth

Alien/human hybrid Emory Stone discovers she is a powerful pawn in an ancient, interplanetary war, and now she must fight to protect not only herself, but all of Earth—in between falling in love with a potentially deadly alien soldier and facing the dark secrets of her family’s past.


  1. The juxtaposition of "powerful" and "pawn" is intriguing, since they normally are opposites. I'm thinking of a pawn on a chessboard somehow taking over. The dark secrets element is cliche, and why is the alien soldier only potentially dangerous? Nice work.

  2. Intriguing. However, I don't think you need that last part (after "Earth). It feels tacked on and doesn't really add to the pitch. You've got a great first line with "powerful pawn" and the MC having to protect herself and earth. Don't cloud it with subplots.

  3. I think there's a good amount of information but what's the heart of the story? Is it the dark family secrets? Is it the romance with the alien soldier or is it the fact she has the save the earth from destruction? Also, who is going to destroy her and the earth? Since she's a hybrid which group wants to snuff her out?

    Maybe try:

    After discovering she's a pawn in an ancient interplanetary war, human/alien hybrid Emory Stone must stop WHO from doing WHAT.

    If it's a romance:

    After falling for a enemy alien soldier, alien/human hybrid Emory Stone must do WHAT or suffer from WHO.

    You get the idea. Great start and thank you for sharing!

  4. I think this sounds really good, and I don't have much to add from the above suggestions.
    Just focus on what is most important in your story and go with that, all the other elements will be great surprises when reading.

  5. I think it would be interesting to find out a bit more about the dark secrets of her family's past, but is this her main objective?

  6. Get rid of the "dark secrets of family's past"? That's pretty clicheed, as is her mission to save Earth. I think you're tending a bit toward the abstract here--she's a pawn, there's a war, Earth is in danger, she's falling for a bad guy, but not much to tell us how or why. In your rewrite aim at the elements that make your story unique and your character individual.

  7. I would cut out everything after "Earth" and then try to give more specifics on how she's being used as a pawn. You want to make sure you're not heading into cliche territory. What makes this one stand out? Focus on what makes it different.

  8. I feel like your goals and conflicts are too big. She seems to be fighting the entire universe in order to save the whole world. You need to focus on what SHE actually wants to do and why. Also, the falling in love part is thrown in there in a way that makes it not matter. How does this prevent her from meeting her goal? Same comment about family secrets. How will facing these make her goal more difficult to reach?

    Good luck!

  9. I don't have much to add to this except that I pretty much agree with the above. I feel like a lot is at stake, but it's not particularly clear what her mission is & what she needs to accomplish. I also agree with that the bit about her family can probably be left out.

    Good luck!

  10. Thanks so much for your comments and suggestions, everybody! This logline thing is tough. I think the consensus is that I need to be more specific, and more clearly express what her personal stakes are. With that in mind, I've been revising and have come up with another draft, if anyone cares to comment on it instead of the original. I'd love any feedback. Thanks again!

    Here it is:

    "After learning her bloodline makes her a powerful pawn in an ancient, interplanetary war, alien/human hybrid Emory Stone realizes her brother’s death five years ago may not have really been an accident. Now, to protect what’s left of her family, she teams up with a rebellious alien soldier—the son of the general determined to hunt her down— and joins the fight for the future of Earth."

  11. Dear Anonymous:
    I've read both loglines now. I definitely LOVE the original! The 2nd seems patched together from everybody's comments, n' not written straight from the heart. Just my opinion...Sounds like this book will ROCK MY WORLD either way!

  12. I think your second logline is a lot more specific and therefore intriguing. So, you're moving in the right direction.

    However, and maybe this is just because I've read a lot of SF, I still want to know what makes this story unique. I would probably cut the part about the love interest (since romantic subplots are quite common in YA, especially the "enemy love interest" thing you seem to have going on) and use that space to describe something about your story that really makes it stand out.

    For instance, you could be more specific about what will happen to Earth if Emory loses. "The future of Earth" is quite vague. Also, what's so special about Emory's bloodline? What powers does she have? You don't have to talk about both of these things in your final draft, but including either one might highlight something exciting and unique about your story. Good luck!

  13. I love the details you give in the second one, but love simplicity of the first. Ahh, that is why this is so difficult!

    Here's my attempt to merge the two:

    Alien/human hybrid Emory Stone discovers she is a powerful pawn in an ancient, interplanetary war, and that her brother’s death five years ago was not an accident. Now, to protect what’s left of her family, she teams up with a rebellious alien soldier—the son of the general determined to hunt her down— and joins the fight for the future of Earth.

    It sounds like an awesome book!! Good luck!

  14. Thanks, again, for your comments. It might be worth mentioning that my story is actually told from two POVS--both Emory and this rebellious soldier (Cael). So, I'm reluctant to cut him completely out, especially since the first 250 words that will be paired with the final draft of my logline will be from his POV. He's more than a love interest, and of course has his own story and battles to overcome that just happen to interweave with Emory's battles.

    The question, I suppose, is how to squeeze both their stories into 100 words or less?

    Hmm...definitely have some things to think about. Would love to hear any ideas or suggestions. Thanks again, everyone!

  15. I like the second version better than the first, but I don't think it's quite there yet.

    the second version says she must fight against the general hunting her down, which to me, says he's after her. But earlier, you say she's fighting for her family, who don't seem to be in danger.

    Perhaps something along the lines of ---

    When General ____ comes hunting her down, alien/human hybrid Emory stone learn her brother's death five years ago was no accident, and she is a pawn in an ancient planetary war. (Exept I wouldn't say she was a pawn. I would say what her role as pawn is. (Why is she needed? What does he hope to do with her?)

    Then say how she must fight against it with his son and what she hopes to gain, before the general accomplishes his goal for her (whatever that might be.)

    Seeing now that your 250 words will start with Cael's POV, you may want to rewrite the logline from his perspective. I seem to remember someone doing this last year and everyone was confused because the logline didn't match the 250 word submission. It may be worth looking up to see how it fared in the contest, and what kind of comments were given.

  16. Sorry about the typos. I was in a hurry and didn't preview.

  17. It sounds interesting, but I think it needs more specifics. I want to know what she must protect Earth from, and how she plans to do that. Just some hint of how she's powerful would be good.

    And, at least as presented here, the love subplot and the dark secrets aren't necessary. If they directly affect the main plot (e.g. falling in love with the soldier will affect her loyalty to Earth), then say that. Otherwise you can save space by dropping them, I think.

  18. I like Ann's revised version, again (liked her revisions elsewhere). Your two POV problem is difficult.

    I'll give it a go:

    Alien/human hybrid Emory Stone and alien soldier NAME fall in love despite their families' ancient and bloody rivalry. They must team up to save what's left of Emory's family or Earth will be destroyed in a... (or whatever - not sure of the consequences).

    My version ain't great, but I hope it will give you ideas.

  19. I don't know if you can be a powerful pawn, I always understood pawns to be bit players without much power. Other than that, I think this is strong. The complication and stakes are fairly obvious.