Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Logline Critique Round 1 #38

TITLE: The Nine
GENRE: Adult Steampunk Fantasy

Black market courier Rowena Downshire has carried danger under her coat dozens of times. But when her next burden is a book that writes itself, her filthy hands hazard more than a constable’s cuffs:

They hold the fate of humanity.

Rowena carries the Vautnek text, a book that records the lives of the nine unsuspecting souls whose actions will determine humanity’s deliverance or doom. Now the only thing that can save her from the conspiracy seeking its pages - and her silence - may be two strangers as ruthless as her enemies.

Especially when the book reveals Rowena's name among the Nine.



18 comments:

  1. This seems too long to be a logline - i think it's actually more of a query. A logline should only be one to two sentences.

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  2. I agree with Sarah. If you condense that it would work 'cause it does sound interesting.

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  3. There is too much here. I think if you can cut the vague bits, you'll have a great logline. How about:

    Black market courier Rowena Downshire has carried danger under her coat dozens of times. But her next burden is a book that writes itself and records the lives of nine unsuspecting souls whose actions will determine humanity’s deliverance or doom. Now the only thing that can save her from those seeking its pages - and her silence - may be two strangers as ruthless as her enemies.

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  4. I agree a bit long and sounds more like a query. Mine was also too long! Here's my suggestion at 55 words:

    Black market courier Rowena Downshire carries the Vautnek text, a book that records the lives of the nine unsuspecting souls whose actions will determine humanity’s deliverance or doom. The only thing that can save her from the conspiracy seeking its pages - and her silence - may be two strangers as ruthless as her enemies.

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  5. Yes, as others have noted, it is a bit long (though it definitely could work in a proper query letter)!

    One thing I'd like to see, however, is a choice that Rowena makes. It's hinted at, a little: Rowena has to side with "two strangers as ruthless as her enemies." But the current structure ("the only thing that can save her") directs the action away from Rowena and places it upon those who can save her.

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  6. I like the condensed version, but also agree with Amanda that showing Rowena's choice more succinctly will make this stand out.

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  7. Luv2eatreadwrite/@jackiewellingtoOctober 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I agree with the comments here. Consider:

    {When a book that writes itself and determines the fate of humanity falls in the hands of Rowena Downshire, she must save the book and herself from two ruthless stranger} 30 words

    This definitely needs tweaking, I will play around with it some more.

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  8. I'm being redundant...it's too long, but this would make a great query. Very succinct, stakes and conflict are all there...now you need to eliminate all that you can to shorten it.

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  9. Ooh, this one is hard. It obviously needs narrowing. But I can't figure a way to do it.

    Things I like:
    Black market courier Rowena Downshire
    2 ruthless enemies she must work with
    detail about the souls

    Maybe something like this:
    Black market courier Rowena Downshire must team up with two ruthless strangers in order to smuggle a dangerous book. The Vautnek text records the lives of nine unsuspecting souls whose actions will determine humanity’s deliverance or doom. If she fails… (add something here that’s a little less vague than the fate of humanity)

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  10. I almost think you could end the logline after "They hold the fate of humanity." Those first sentences serve more than adequately as a hook and as many other commenters have said, the rest would fill out a query-length summary.

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  11. Wow. This is not a logline (as others have mentioned).

    I like Patchi's edit (I always like Patchi's edits) and GSMarlene (I wouldn't call it the Vautnek text, though. It's name is irrelevant for a logline.)

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  12. Patchi is a rockingly awesome editor. Totally second her ideas. :)

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  13. I think you need to be somewhere in between Patchi and GSMarlene's versions and the very simple 30-word version. (I know, easier said than done!) And perhaps you could try to fit in the part about Rowena being one of the nine, because that was a nice strong line in the query.

    I say 'query' because I agree that this is what you really have here, and it isn't a bad query at all. But for your logline you need to boil it down to no more than two sentences.

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  14. I agree this is long, but I'd read it! I also find it very well-written. Great turns of phrases.

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  15. I'm not sure that I'm adding anything here, but I do agree that this doesn't feel like a logline. There are a lot of vague details that I think could be reserved for a query. I would have liked to hear more about why being one of nine is important when you do send in you query. Good luck!

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  16. This is quite long and confusing. How is this book a danger to her? And what does she need to do to succeed? It sounds like she needs help from two ruthless strangers but I don't understand what "help" looks like or why it will be difficult for her to get.

    Good luck!
    Holly

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  17. I think what you have is more a tease than a log line, but I'd still read it. Sounds interesting.

    My take is - Rowena is a courier, so who is she bringing the book to, who or what is the conspiracy seeking her? What happens if she doesn't get the book to whoever it was going to? What happens if the 'conspiracy' gets the book?

    Those are the things I thought should have been in the log line.

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  18. I agree that this is much too long, but you're gotten some great suggestions on how to shorten and tighten it. I just wanted to add that I hope you succeed because the concept sounds fantastic.

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