Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 2 #11

TITLE: The Pirate and the Selkie
GENRE: Historical Fantasy

Thanks to the selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O'Rourke is tied to the ocean--whether he likes it or not. Elysandra Winters, however, yearns for a life of adventure upon the rolling waves and will do anything to achieve her goal, even defying her privateer father and disguising herself as a boy to get it. When her father, his beloved Captain is murdered, Daniel and Ellie must find a way to work together if they plan to hunt down his killer.

20 comments:

ilima said...

Great voice in this logline! I wish you could shorten it by focusing on just one of the characters, but I like the contrast between the two so don't know how to choose. Last sentence you need a comma after Captain, but I would get rid of the whole 'his beloved Captain' part anyway. And lose 'find a way to' and 'if they plan'...too wordy.

Tammy said...

I like this story line, but was lost in the beginning when it jumped to second character. I would read it. ;-)

Holly Bodger said...

1. "will do anything....disguising herself as a boy" -> As written, this sounds like something she might consider and not something she has actually done. If she does this, say she does it.
2. "his beloved Captain" needs to be "Daniel's beloved Captain" so we know how these two are connected. As written, the first two lines don't sound like part of the same story until we get to this part.
3. You are implying that the conflict is them finding a way to work together and this is both vague and wishy-washy. Why wouldn't they be able to work together? Why is this going to be HARD? Also, "if they plan to hunt down his killer" is again something that might happen. DO THEY hunt down his killer? If so, say this.
4. Finally, what happens if they don't catch the killer?

Good luck!
Holly

Joy said...

I think the story sounds great. Who doesn't love an adventure on the high seas? But this logline feels a bit all over the place. I'm not exactly sure what happens in the story. Try to make it more specific.

Tonya Burrows said...

Sounds like a great story. I'd get rid of "his beloved captain" part through. It tripped me up.

Kathleen Basi said...

I'm going to comment before I read everyone else's for once, because I really liked this, except for one thing: I didn't know why Daniel and Ellie would have any reason NOT to get along. If you're going to include that detail, I think you have to include whatever detail makes it ring true.

Ruth said...

This sounds like a cracking read. I think the last sentence takes a second to work out, and agree that it needs to read 'Daniel's beloved Captain'. Good luck with this - it sounds interesting!

Sarah Brand said...

I agree with Kathleen Basi, and in addition, one thing threw me off: is Ellie disguised as a boy on her father's ship? Wouldn't he recognize her? At first I thought Ellie ran away to some other ship, but that doesn't make much sense, either... anyway, I wouldn't spend a lot of time explaining this, but if you can reword to clear that up, it might help.

Overall, you seem to be describing three separate conflicts here (Daniel vs. his own nature, Ellie vs. her father, Daniel and Ellie vs. her father's murderer), and I'm not quite seeing how they come together. Each one sounds like it could be really cool, though. :)

Claire Gillian said...

I liked it. I agree that the last sentence is probably the one that needs a little tweaking, mostly to tell us why these two are in conflict. "When her father, Daniel's captain, is murdered, the pair must [overcome X obstacle] and work together to hunt down his killer."

If there really isn't conflict between them other than he thinks she's a he and she can't let him know she's a she because XYZ, then your focus should be on Elysandra--"The pair must work together to hunt down her father's killer, but keeping her gender a secret from the attractive sailor will be tricky...blah, blah"

Anonymous said...

Hey, great premise. I like the altering POVs. What about something like...

Selkie blood courses through Daniel O'Rourke's veins tying him to the ocean. Elysandra Winters, yearns for a life upon the sea denied most girls. She defies her privateer father, seeking a berth disguised as a cabin boy. When her father, Dainel's beloved Captain, is murdered, the pair must find a way to work together to find his killer before...(insert resaon here).

Well, this needs work, but was just a thought to trim. :) Good Luck!

Ginger Tsang said...

This sounds like a great story but two things are necessary in this logline - clarification of conflict and some word finesse to keep it within acceptable parameters. You have some great suggestions above so I'll leave it at that. Good luck!

Barbara said...

Whose story is this? Shape the log line around them. Mentioning the two names is confusing because I don't know who the MC is. If you're doing multiple POV's, I'd still use the single POV for the log line.

Perhaps start wih her disguising herself as a boy and getting aboard ship, discovering her father is murdered, and setting off with her friend to find his killer. Then say what stands in their way, and what the consequences are if she fails.

Amaleen Ison said...

This sounds like a wonderful tale of adventure and personal discovery. The voice is excellent. With a few tweaks to iron out the POV and conflict, I think you've got something very special.

David Barry DeLozier said...

Sounds interesting. Is Daniel both the pirate and the selkie? Did not understand the challenge (other than hidden identity) to working together. Once her father is murdered, what is the consequence of her identity being discovered?

Huntress said...

Very nice. I don't have much to crit with this submission. It has voice, gives conflict, and nails the inciting situation.

Good job. I'm hooked.

Rebecca Hart said...

Thanks to everyone who commented.

To answer a couple of the questions: Ellie is the pirate, Daniel is the selkie. All stories I have ever read about selkies had the woman as the selkie -- And of course, pirates are assumed male, so I thought I would twist up the roles a little for this romantic adventure.

French Lady said...

The story sounds great.

Is the word "however" needed?

Suggestion:

On the other hand, Elysandra Winters will do anything for a life of adventure upon the rolling waves - even disguising herself as a boy and defying her privateer father.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Michael Wulf said...

I think the word "however" is hanging me up as well. It's not really a contradiction of the first sentence--they are both in the same boat, pretty much.

This seems like a great premise! Why must Daniel and Ellie work together? What's the "or else"?

We know Ellie wants to find a murderer, what does Daniel want?

Rebecca Hart said...

I had originally had it written with an opening sentence. "There is no denying the call of the sea" and then had the rest as you see. The however was to how Daniel had no choice but Ellie chose it.

Sill have to give that a look.

Thanks!

Bron said...

I understood how the 'however' fit in. I don't think you need the call of the sea beginning though. It's taking up valuable room and isn't adding much to your logline.

The 'his beloved Captain' part isn't clear. The 'his' refers to Daniel but he isn't mentioned until afterwards, so I thought at first 'his' meant Ellie's father. I would rewrite that section.

Also, I think you need to make the connection between the two of them clear earlier. It might be easier to start with Ellie, then go on to mention that Daniel is a selkie and works on Ellie's father's boat. Then you can go to talk about the murder, and what the stakes are if they do or don't track down the killer.

This story sounds good, I just think you can present it a little better.