Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Logline Critique Round 1 #2

TITLE: The Crimson 5 and the Golden Light Bulb
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary

When spunky Kara Krumpet travels to Camp Piedmont with 6th graders from all over the country to create an object more original than air purification sparkles or rotating bunk beds, someone tries to sabotage her team’s project. If Kara can’t work with her teammates to stop them before competition day, she’ll never get into Piedmont Academy, and she’ll be forced to study one subject like Math for two whole years, and her best ideas will shrivel up for good.


  1. Too much! You tried to squeeze so much into here, if I tried to say either sentence aloud, I would run out of breath before the end.

    You don't need all these details. All you need is:

    Kara Krumpet
    What she needs to do
    What happens if she doesn't

  2. As Chro says, I think you need to trim this down a little. Figure out which details you don't need just now. As a suggestion, I'd say start by taking out "with 6th graders ... bunk bed" and just make it "Camp Piedmont, someone tries to sabotage.. etc".
    I think once you make it a little shorter, this has potential to be a good logline.

  3. This sounds like a charming book, but with so much packed into the logline, it's hard to follow what's going on. For instance, are air purification sparkles and rotating bunk beds things that Kara invented, or things earlier students at this camp invented, or just cool ideas? If you can't explain in the logline, it's probably better to leave it out, however delightful these details are.

  4. I agree that this is a lot of detail. You can probably get rid of "spunky" and "Krumpet" and "air purification sparkles" in order to focus this first line a little. Also, what do you mean by "tries to sabotage"? Do they break it a little? This really isn't a bad thing when it sounds like a failed attempt unless you make it clear why it WILL suceed the next time. Also, your main conflict is that she has to learn to work with her teammates, but you've given us no reason to think this will be hard. Does she not LIKE her teammates? Is she normally hard to get along with?

    Finally, the consequences are a little vague and I think that is because they read as if they are intended to be sarcastic. Will she ACTUALLY have to study only Math for 2 years? Why? Does she live in a freak, Math-obsessed universe? And why does this matter? If you'd told us she LOVES Science in the beginning, then it might carry more weight.

    Good luck!

  5. I was also confused about where air purification and bunk beds fit in the story. (Cool ideas but maybe they don't fit in the logline.) And like Holly, I didn't understand the consequences. Since this is contemporary rather than fantasy, I assume it's exaggeration to say she'll have to study nothing but math, but exaggeration is hard to make work in such a short space.

    I like the sound of the story; it seems fun. Good luck with it.

  6. Holly said most of what I thought; the "tries to sabotage" makes it seem like they didn't succeed, I think you can just say sabotage and it reads stronger (and in most cases "tried to" or "began to" are usually not needed). I also didn't get a sense of the stakes, wondering what the actual consequences were for Kara and if she actually cared about her future. I think snark and sarcasm can often read oddly in a pitch unless it's really sharp and tight. I would suggest just stating what is at stake for her if she can't defeat the saboteurs, and why it's a challenge for her to work with her teammates.

  7. Most of what's been said is true for me, too. The long compound sentences make me feel out of breath just reading them silently. Maybe let us know why it's so important that Kara gets into Piedmont Academy, and what will happen if she doesn't.

  8. I had a hard time distinguishing whether there was magic or fantasy in this book or not. Some of the inventions are A. probably too detailed as other have said, and B. sound a little fantastic. Then when you say she has to get into this school or study math, it sounds to me like she may be a wizard or techno genius, but I really can't tell.

  9. I like the goofy projects, the setting in a camp away from home and school and knowing what's at stake.

    However, it's too wordy for a pitch. The negatives in the sentence construction are a little confusing. She must stop "them," but who are they? Also, why would math shrivel up her ideas and why would she have to take math for two years? Besides, we need to support girls taking math. They're good at it.