Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Logline Critique Round 1 #18

TITLE: Zorya

Zorya’s fascination with David, the only human in her California Enclave senior class, results in her family packing her off to her grandfather’s remote Idaho forest refuge. There she discovers her Nightwalker heritage, learns skills she never needed in high school, and eventually finds out the real reason for her exile.


  1. Luv2eatreadwrite/@jackiewellingtoOctober 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    It is hard to find out the goal and the obstacle here. I know the Protagonist, but it is unclear, to me, if David is the Antogonist.

  2. This reads a little too much like a synopsis to me. If the crux of the story is the discovery of her heritage and the true reason for her exile, I'd omit the details about David, the California senior class, etc. It's a little too much world building for a logline. I'd stick to the main character, conflict and stakes.

  3. This is a lot of detail about why she is sent away if this boy isn't going to be in the story. Also, what is her goal? It sounds like it is to find out the real reason she was sent there except you tell us the reason she THINKS she was sent there so I don't think that's possible. Finally, you need to give us reasons for why she discovers these things. If they aren't goals or obstacles, they are irrelevant in the logline.

    Good luck!

  4. I think the bulk of your logline is in the second sentence, here. Overall, I'm focused on the question of why Zorya's fascination with David would exile her. (Is she not human herself, and the association is taboo?)

  5. Like Holly said, this might be better for a synopsis or query than the pitch of the whole book. Here's a suggestion to build on:

    When [state age if you'd like] Zorya's parents send her to her grandfather's remote Idaho forest refuge as punishment for [x = I think it needs to be more clear than fascination with David OR you can leave off at refuge and not explain it's for punishment], she discovers her Nightwalker heritage and how she can [x = what is a defining trait of a Nightwalker?]. Now that she's discovered her true identity, she can/cannot [x: the stakes = never go back home? is she a threat to her family? Why?] or [x = consequences from her choice].

  6. Thanks to the comments (here and elsewhere) I think I have a slightly clearer idea of the goals of a logline.

    Here's a revised version:

    "Zorya’s fascination with the only human in her California Enclave senior class results in her exile to her grandfather’s remote Idaho forest refuge. There she discovers her ancient Nightwalker heritage and dangers she never dealt with in school. Forced to flee the refuge on her own, she must avoid a lethal stalker, terrorists, and sudden death by sunrise to get home."

    Still a bit long, but maybe closer.

  7. I think the revised logline is moving in the right direction, but I still have some confusion.

    First, you imply that she isn't human, but she later discovers her true nightwalker heritage, so what did she think she was before? This may be too much detail for the logline.

    Second, and related to the first, if David isn't going to feature in the rest of the logline (he may be important in the book, but that mean he necessarily belongs in the logline), you can probably dump most of that first sentence. That would get rid of the question of "she isn't human but she doesn't know she's a nightwalker yet, so what does she think she is?" It would also free up space for detail at the end.

    A couple of earlier commenters mentioned that you don't need to mention David, but you kept him in the revision. This makes me think he's more important to the story than just the inciting incident. Does he show up later to help her in her journey? That might be a good place to include him instead of the beginning.

  8. Good comments, Abbe.

    I can pack in more information:

    "Zorya’s fascination with David, the only human in her California Enclave senior class, results in her exile to her grandfather’s remote Idaho refuge.

    There she learns secrets of her Nightwalker heritage, and faces dangers she never dealt with in school.

    Forced to flee the refuge and head home on her own, she must deal with the stalker on her trail, anti-Nightwalker terrorists, lethal daylight, and her grandfather’s organization of peacekeepers that wants to recruit her to their cause. And then there’s David, turning up where she least expects him, to help her face a terrorist threat to the Enclave itself."

    This covers most of the story, and it's 100 words, but frankly it's almost my whole pitch, and is kind of chunky for a logline. I'll use it if I have to.

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  10. Perhaps the problem is that you're giving us a lot of generalities instead of a few specifics.

    Why is she forced to leave the refuge? When and where does she come across David? Who, specifically, is terrorizing the refuge? What does she try to do to thwart them? What will happen if she fails?