Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #28

TITLE: Secrets on Sistanza
GENRE: Tween Romantic Comedy

Thirteen-year-old twins Ashleigh and Madison live with lovable but spacey Aunt Liss.
Shy Ashleigh catches Aunt Liss lying. If Ashleigh doesn’t figure out what Aunt Liss is hiding, she’ll never know why people never discuss her dead mother or why her father avoids her and Madison.
Meanwhile, outgoing Madison starts dating the gorgeous new guy, sure having a hot boyfriend will make her uber popular. But when she discovers her boyfriend’s secret, she realizes popularity might have a dark side.

Madison’s dilemma about the price of her social status helps Ashleigh uncover the truth about their parents.


  1. This is too long. It's more query than log line. The dating sister seems like a secondary plot so leave it out. I'll try to cut it down.

    When Ashleigh catches her aunt in a lie, she and her twin have to work together to uncover the truth about their dead mother.

    Something like that except don't use uncover the truth. It's generic. Put it what they really have to do. Who's point of view? What is their main goal?

  2. I agree that this is too long. At the same time, it doesn't give enough specifics to make the stakes clear. I'd add to the suggestion above that you should mention the absentee father.

    The last line gives the impression the boyfriend's secret is related to the secret about their mom. If that's the case, try to make it clearer without giving away the twist in your story. Tricky, I know, but you want to make sure the stakes are clear. Good luck!

  3. Hmm, a lot going on here. I agree with the comments above. This is too long for a logline, but we need to know the stakes so we can care about your story and the characters.

  4. The first sentence is unnecessary; you can cut it and add the necessary information in later. (eg. "Shy Ashleigh catches her guardian--the lovable but spacey Aunt Liss--lying." or "If Ashleigh doesn't find out what Aunt Liss, who she and her twin Madison have lived with since her mother died and her father left (?), she'll never know why...") Also, what sort of lie? From what the reader knows, it could be anything from "Aunt Liss said she was totally going to throw those cigarettes away because she did promise she'd quit" to "Aunt Liss didn't kill Ashleigh's mother". The reader has no idea, and a hint would, I think, pique interest little better.

    Also, the absolute nature of the last sentence in that paragraph threw me a bit. Really? If Ashleigh doesn't figure out what Aunt Liss lied about, she will never, ever, EVER know ANYTHING? If "people never discuss her dead mother" then there are a bunch of people who have answers that Ashleigh wants--Aunt Liss doesn't appear to hold ALL the cards here, so saying that she does confused me a bit.

    I don't know if it's just me, but the part about Madison seems a bit off. I know that thirteen-year-olds do date, but the language used here rings false: "gorgeous new guy", "hot boyfriend" "uber popular" (which should be hyphenated as "uber-popular", by the way), etc. I don't think the last sentence of that paragraph is necessary, either: you could again just work that information into the following sentence. (eg. "When Madison discovers her boyfriend's secret, her resulting dilemma about the price of her social status..." or something.)

    This sounds interesting, but I think you have too much information of the wrong sort. If you pick the relevant info and get rid of the rest, it'll be great. =)

  5. I meant to mention this, but I forgot--is "Tween Romantic Comedy" an actual genre? I've heard "Upper MG" but never "Tween", and anything with thirteen-year-old protagonists seems a little bit too young to be a romance. This seems more like a contemporary to me, anyway.

  6. I do agree with much of what the others have said: it does come across as a bit more query than logline… Madison’s relationship seems like a subplot. I would like to know how the boyfriend’s secret relates to the aunt’s. Maybe cut out a bit of the Madison/boyfriend part and say something like “Meanwhile, Madison’s new boyfriend has a secret that could help lead the twins to the truth about their parents,” or something like that? Also, you categorized your story as a romantic comedy… don’t be afraid to let that come across a bit more, if you can. Mentioning “lovable but spacey Aunt Liss” does this some, however the rest of the story sounds a little dark and more of a straight mystery. This being said, it sounds very interesting… I would read it!

  7. I agree with what the others said above. This definitely needs to be shorter and the stakes/consequences/inciting incident should be more clear. Sounds cute, just needs to be tightened and polished a bit more :)

  8. I'm not even sure where to start here. Do these girls have a common goal (ie, find out what happened to Mom/why Dad isn't speaking to them?") If so, you need to concentrate on that and on how the plot elements will help or hinder that.

    Just a word of advice but there is no genre for "tween". You can sell MG up to age 12 and then you need to be at 15 for YA. It's sad but Editors just don't buy 13-14 right now.

    Good luck!

  9. I think perhaps you may be doing two pov's here, which for me, is really hard to get across in a log line. If so, you might do the log line from just one twin's pov. (whichever one you start the story with)

    If it's not multiple pov's, then just stick with the main character's issues. She wants info on her parents, no one will give it to her, she catches auntie lying about it and sets out to learn the truth but something gets in her way and now she must learn the truth or else (tell us what 'or else' is)