Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #32

TITLE: Incandescent
GENRE: Romantic suspense

Seely Davis is a thirty-five year old reclusive horse whisperer. She lost her husband in a San Francisco earthquake that buried her in their car with his dead body. She has an understandable fear of small, dark places.

Jack Ripley just crash landed a drug dealer's plane on the wintery slope of West Spanish Peak in an effort to survive his latest undercover op with the DEA.

Together, they face the retaliation of the drug lord, the scheming of a dirty agent, an avalanche that buries them in the plane wreckage and a bomb blast that leaves Seely burned and blinded. If they survive, they might just learn that love is too precious to give up on.


  1. Too long! You need your main characters - Seely Davis and Jack Ripley, main conflict - naughty drug lords, what's at stake - their hearts and not getting buried alive.

  2. Too much backstory:
    First two paragraphs can be tightened to simply: A horse whisperer and recent widow, and a drug enforcement agent (then I'm not sure how she gets involved with him and the drug lord - I missed a connection there?)

    Also, something maybe not logline related, but just my own personal opinion, others may disagree, the name Jack Ripley maybe a bit cliche. Seely Davis is cute though! Another thing, you might not even want to include the names in logline to make room for better words.

  3. I agree with my predecessors, you have a lot of back story you need to cut. You could simply describe Seely as "A claustrophobic widow is trapped in a downed airplane by an undercover DEA agent. Surviving...blah, blah" Another example: we don't know need to know where the slope is or that it's wintery if you tell us about the avalanche risk later on.

  4. I'm doing a logline rewrite on all my critiques - it helps me see the problems. Others have already pointed out the issue of too much info.

    When claustrophobic Seely is buried in an avalanche with an undercover cop, she discovers his partner schemes to subvert drug money (or whatever it is). If she exposes the dirty agent, she will earn the murderous enmity of a drug lord and could lose the one thing she thought she'd never regain, love.

    That is probably way off, but I did try to hit all the elements. My suggestion is to list them - character, inciting incident, conflict, goal & consequences and put them together in as few words as possible.

    This sounds like an exciting read!

  5. Overly wordy and distracting from the main thrust of the story. We have 2 main characters, Seely Davis who has claustrophobia and Jack Ripley who is secretly a DEA agent. How did they meet? Why does Seely get involved in his dangerous life? I'm confused why Seely was on the plane to begin with (since it's a drug dealer's plane).

  6. I don't quite understand how these two end up together and have shared goals. It sounds like they are two different people with two different lives and all of a sudden, they are in love and trying to survive.

    Also, "they might learn" sounds like you don't know what happens in the story. You don't need to create suspense in a logline. Just give us the goal, the conflict and the consequences. If these are interesting, people will want to read.

    Good luck!

  7. I agree with the above. Cut it down to the basics: MC(s), mission, consequences. Good luck!

  8. Love the reclusive horse-whisperer description. I was confused what her connection could possibly be to a drug lord, so that might be something to either clarify or leave out of the logline.

  9. Awesome feedback, everyone. Thank you so much.

    Having this posted alongside others, I really see the weaknesses in mine - but with such constructive criticism, I know what to fix.

    Again, I can't thank you all enough!

  10. The first thing I wondered was how the two met and- as mentioned before - why was she on a plane with him.

    Answer that and perhaps you have the backbone to hold all the pieces together!

    Good luck and happy writing :).

  11. I agree with the 1st poster's suggestions. Cut this down to 1-2 sentences. Good luck!

  12. Your logline as it stands is describing lots of events, whereas you need to cut through to the heart of your story. I'm not sure how Seely and Jack actually connect in this story. From the sounds of it, they are in the plane crash together, but why is Seely in a drug dealer's plane? Keep it really simple and leave out any details that aren't necessary. All we seem ro need to know about Seely is that she is widowed, and all we need to know about Jack is that he is an undercover DEA agent. You could start with something like:

    When grieving widow Seely Davis and undercover DEA agent Jack Ripley . On the run from a drug lord and a dirty agent, they must or .

    You get the gist. Good luck!

  13. Oops, I posted some stuff in those little arrow brackets and blogger has deleted everything between them. I'll use proper brackets this time to show what I meant:

    When grieving widow Seely Davis and undercover DEA agent Jack Ripley (connect somehow, something happens). On the run from a drug lord and a dirty agent, they must (do something) or (something bad will happen).