Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Logline Critique Round 1 #19

TITLE: Miss Peele's School for Extraordinary Young Ladies
GENRE: YA Steampunk Adventure

It's London, 1878 at MISS PEELE'S SCHOOL FOR EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG WOMEN and sixteen-year-old Nicola Blake must stop the nefarious Sir Wilford who's holding the Queen of England for ransom. If she fails, she and the Queen will be sent back in his time machine to die in a famine


  1. Luv2eatreadwrite/@jackiewellingtoOctober 1, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    This could be tighter. I do not think you should start with the setting. What if you say(this is off the cuff):

    16-year-old Nicola Blake must rescue the Queen of England from the Nefarious Sir Wilford or risk accompanying the Queen back in time to die. [26 words]

  2. Why does SHE have to do this? You need to tie this goal to her in a way that is meaningful in motivation and not just consequences. Also, how does she know she will die in a famine in the past? This seems like a vague threat.

    Good luck!

  3. I don't think you need to restate the title within the pitch. You could instead start with, "In 1878 London, sixteen-year-old Nicola..."

    It seems like a rich premise exists here, but I'm a bit lost on the core conflict. Why is Nicola the person to stop Sir Wilford? I assume she is being trained at this school to do special spy work or tasks that require "extraordinary" abilities. Showing the reason why she is the one to save the queen will give this context.

    I also had the same question as Holly, how does she know she will be sent back to a time of famine? Is there a more personal threat that could be tied in? Or maybe show why the queen is being held for ransom and what this means for London-at-large.

  4. I also would like to know why your MC is involved in this problem with saving the queen. It seems kind of random to me. I'm sure you have a clear connection in your story, it's just not clear in your logline. I would care more about the situation she finds herself in if I knew how she got there.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!

  5. I think you should cut the title from your logline.

    We also need a reason why Nicola must stop Sir Wilford. What's her motivation?

    Also, how does she know he'll send her back in a time machine? And how would he know she'd die of the plague?

  6. I agree that you should drop the title from the logline and use that space to say why the MC is the one who must save the queen. As for the threat, you could get the same information across with more punch if you said something like "sent back in time to [year], in the midst of [well-known famine or other disaster]."

    The premise is interesting. Sounds like a fun book.

  7. I thought this worked pretty well. I'd suggest omitting the name of the school, since it's already known via the title.

    The threat of going back in the time machine didn't work, I thought, because if you die in a famine, it's generally because you starved to death, or got an illness due to starving, both of which take time, which means Nicola doesn't have to die. Death isn't imminent. She can do something to change her fate. (Maybe that's book two - Nicola and the Queen of England trying to survive together in another time?)

    If it's not, and the scenario is arbitrary, maybe come up with something more deadly.

  8. This sounds interesting. I agree with Holly's comments (vague threat). Watch the title. It immediately reminded me of: "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children."

  9. "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" is a book by Ransom Riggs.