Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #32

TITLE: Unraveled Identity
GENRE: YA Mystery

Taylor Schuman exposes a secret that unravels like a loose thread on her favorite designer dress, only the dress isn't hers. Deciding what to wear to her first homecoming dance is a no-brainer. Struggling to believe a neighbor's baby, presumed to have died fourteen years ago, is alive and may be her best friend--no way.


  1. You have two dress analogies here and they're both confusing. What's the important incident? She discovers her best friend could be someone else. You don't get to this until the third line. How does exposing this secret affect Taylor? What does she want?

  2. Intriguing concept!

    Exposing the incident is the end, not the beginning, right? But what's the inciting incident? What gets the story rolling? And what happens if Taylor doesn't meet her goal?

  3. Yeah, I'd lose the references to the dress as mentioned above. And what's at stake?

  4. I just typed a long comment, and Blogger ate it. Oh well, here it is again:

    The first sentence is great; it tells us about the plot AND about Taylor at the same time. The second sentence you can lose--it doesn't tell us anything about Taylor that's important at this point, and it has nothing to do with the plot.

    I can see that Taylor would have trouble believing that her best friend is her neighbor's child who was supposedly dead, but that cannot be everything that happens in your novel. (Taylor can't spend ~200 pages saying "Well, maybe she is...but no, she can't be...but on the other hand...") What does Taylor have to do--what's the plot, where's the mystery? The reader needs more information.

    I think that's everything I wrote before... Hope it's helpful!

  5. This is intriguing, but I'm not seeing the actual plot. I need a structure: MC, mission, consequences.

    When Taylor exposes THIS SECRET (be more specific here), she must accomplish X before THIS BAD THING HAPPENS.

    Also, I felt like the bit about a gown unraveling and picking homecoming dress -- while cute/quirky -- were a few too many words, and kinda distracted me from the story. They didn't feel relevant or important in a log line.

    Hope this helps! :)

  6. 1. Remove 'only the dress isn't hers' from the first sentance to tighten it up from distractions.
    2. I suggest you place the first sentance in past tense ie: Taylor Schuman has exposed...this places us right in the midst of her current dilema and the thick of the plot's conflicts/what's at stake etc. that will follow.
    3. I agree with the above comments the second sentance is not important enough to be in your logline and serves to distract from the main idea you are trying to get across to us.
    4. What is Taylor truly struggling with? The concept of reincarnation? If so, put that exact dilema in your logline instead of saying, 'no way'. What happens if Taylor refuses to believe in reincarnation at all? What does she lose? We need the stakes defined.
    Good luck!

  7. I was lost on this one.Sounds like u have some good stuff going on though. I would lose the references to the dresses & include more info, maybe about the secret? ;-)

  8. I really like the first line even if I am confused by it. The second line is intriguing, but overall this could use more conflict. Surely the protagonist has a bigger problem than just believing something which seems like it could be proved relatively easily?

  9. The crux of your story is the last sentence, which unfortunately is the most difficult to read with the interrupting clause. I love your voice, but I'd suggest you draw out the conflict more, specifically what's at stake with her discovery? What does she have to lose?

  10. The big issue I have is that you give away the ending (or appear to) in the first line. It sounds like Taylor's dilemma is what to do about the secret she knows about her friend, so the reveal would be more appropriate near the end.

    Also, there's a lack of stakes here which we really need to see and feel in order to care about the character and the problem she must overcome.

  11. The story definitely has my interest. The hook for me doesn't come until the final sentence (her best friend being the baby who presumably died 14 years ago). I'd somehow get that right up's a GREAT HOOK!


  12. Thanks everyone - I've revised. Love the other Loglines :)

    Who will Taylor take to her first homecoming dance is a no-brainer. Knowing what do so when she finds out her best friend is a girl whom everyone thought had died in a car crash fourteen years ago…not so simple. Taylor pulls the plug on an adoption secret and gets caught. She is ordered to keep quiet or end up in juvenile court. But she can’t keep a secret for more than a minute, especially from her BFF.

  13. re: your revised logline

    I get what you're trying to do with the first sentence, but it reads awkwardly. I think you can re-word it so it's not as clunky.

    The second sentence is great and a nice improvement on what you had before. (You have a typo: "so" shouldn't be there.)

    The next sentence is also good, but lead to some questions once I read the whole thing: if she pulled the plug on the adoption secret, why is it in the last sentence that she has to keep it a secret from her BFF? Wouldn't her BFF be the one she told first?

    About "She is ordered to keep quiet or end up in juvenile court"--why? Is she violating an adoption law, or is something different going on? I think if you gave just a little bit more information, the reader would be able to understand the premise of the plot a little better.

    Great revision! I think that with just a little changes, this'll be good to go.

  14. I definitely prefer this without the dress metaphor (which was cute but too confusing for a logline).

    In your revised logline, I don't understand who she is getting caught by or why this would put her in Juvie. It is illegal to fake the death of a child or adopt a child illegally but I'm pretty sure it's not illegal to reveal the name of someone's birth parents. Also, if she pulled the plug on the secret, doesn't that mean everyone already knows? If so, where is the threat?

    Good luck!

  15. Helpful comments! In case anyone is still reading :) Thank you!!

    Who will Taylor take to her first homecoming dance is a no-brainer. Knowing what to do when she finds out her best friend is a girl whom everyone thought had died in a car crash fourteen years ago…not so simple. Taylor discovers draft adoption papers. Curious, she uses dishonest methods to find the truth, but she gets caught by her friend’s father. Either keep quiet or end up in juvenile court. Only, she can’t keep a secret for more than a minute, especially from her BFF.

  16. I think the opening isn't doing anything for you and perhaps find another way to start. Perhaps . . .

    WHen Taylor discovers adoption papers that hint her best friend might be someone who supposedly died in a car crash fourteen years ago, she uses dishonest methods . . . .

    ANd tell us what happens when she tells her friend. Does her friend believe her? Do they hunt for the truth together. Does she end up in Juvie Hall? ANd what happens because of that?