Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #15

TITLE: Melody's Secrets
GENRE: YA Contemporary

When seventeen-year-old Melody discovers her only friend, Gina has Leukemia, she must decide whether to help her illegally obtain medical marijuana and risk losing the love and respect of Gina’s older brother, Spence if he finds out.


  1. On a mechanics level it's got some punctuation issues.

    On a story level, it sounds like a short story or novella, that we don't have enough conflict to sustain an entire novel. I'm betting there's more to the story. Any way to add more?

  2. This doesn't feel like a deep enough conflict for a full length novel. Why illegally? Is there financial concerns? Is she not able to afford normal treatment? Also, why would GIna's brother take his love and respect away for her helping his sister. Seems like a plot hole there.

  3. yeah, agree with the above. Comma after Gina. and the "and" after marijuana should be an "or" maybe?.

    Some more characterization of Melody might help. Seems like there are some details missing.

  4. Why does Gina have to obtain the marijuana illegally? (I have to admit I'm not very aware of the medical marijuana issue.) Who risks losing Spence's love--Gina or Melody? The way you wrote it makes it sound like Melody, but with the amount of information you've given us, it sounds far more likely that Gina would be the one to lose his love/respect. I think the reader could use just a bit more information here.

    For the part of the your logline that says, "...obtain medical marijuana and risk losing the love and respect...", I felt that it was a bit awkward to have two instances of "and" so close to one another. You could easily split this up into two sentences (eg, "...obtain medical marijuana. If she does, she risks losing the love and respect..." etc.). It's not a huge deal, though, so I think the decision to change that would have to be on a basis of your personal preference.

    Grammar/punctuation issues: you need a comma after "Gina" or you need to lose to comma right before it. Same issue with "Spence" later on. In other words, it has to be either "her only friend, Gina, has..." or "her only friend Gina has..." You cannot use only one comma. I would personally lean toward taking out the commas altogether.

    Also, "leukemia" is not capitalized.

    You did a very good job with this logline. Besides what I mentioned, I think this is a solid logline that does exactly what it needs to do.

  5. Oooooh! I like this storyline, sounds super-simple and potentially VERY EMOTIONAL! The punctuation problems can be fixed, so I'd just suggest a little more detail on the characters of Melody and Spence, to deepen the logline conflict...


  6. I think the logline is almost perfect, just fix the punctuation. Good luck!

  7. I have a couple of issues with this:
    1) If she has to choose between helping her only friend treat her pain and impressing a boy and this choice takes more than 5 seconds, you do not have a very likeable main character.
    2) That aside, a choice is not a plot; it's what happens at the climax of the story. You need to tell us what leads to this choice and how that will make it difficult for her to make.

    Good luck!

  8. I do feel like the stakes here need amped. I know you only have a sentence, but it doesn't seem like the medical marijuana is as a huge a deal as say, a cure.

    Is there a way to tweak the logline to make it more immediate and raise the tension?

  9. I feel that there are big stakes in your story, but your logline is not showing it. This feels like a situation. What's the big conflict? The plot can't hinge on a choice. Your main character must do something other than decide.

    Good luck with this!

  10. My first thought on reading this was that there would be some sort of criminal liability that might affect her choice to get marijuana for her friend. It also struck me as odd that she'd lose the respect and love of her friend's brother. I'm sure it makes sense in the context of the novel as a whole, but in the few sentences we have here, I just think she's better off without Spence. I think your plot sounds interesting, I just think you need to bring out more detail.