Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Logline Critique Round 1 #39

TITLE: Shattered
GENRE: New Adult Fantasy

Eighteen-year-old Dawn’s not qualified to steal bubble gum, much less a powerful charm capable of releasing an imprisoned succubus. But to save her sisters from becoming demon chow, Dawn’s willing to do anything—even if it means sneaking past the charm’s steamy guardian, Kalan. Kalan has his own agenda, though, and seducing the charm-stealing Dawn is the first step in his plan.


  1. I really like how this turned out. I'd say "Eighteen-year-old Dawn [isn't] qualified" instead of 's not.

  2. Nice. I think it could be tightened up though.
    To save her sisters, eighteen-year-old Dawn must steal a powerful charm capable of releasing an imprisoned succubus.

    'Er something like that.

  3. Nit pick subjective observation - Is this fantasy or urban fantasy? I like it, but the word "bubble gum" felt out of place in the fantasy world of guardians, charms, and succubi.

  4. Great voice, and you get across the right info. Just some tightening suggestions:

    "Dawn isn't qualified" sounds smoother.

    You use the word charm three times in a short span of time. Maybe rephrase for one of those mentions?

    I wish the pitch ended by focusing on Dawn, not Kalan. She's the MC, and her problem should be at the forefront the whole way through.

  5. Sounds like a cool concept. To sharpen this, I would suggest cutting the first line--is anyone qualified to steal gum? I don't think you want people pondering that, it misses the point.

    You could rephrase to start with Dawn needing to save her sisters, even willing to steam a powerful charm... Maybe then add in what Kalan's agenda is to show the stakes for the story.

  6. Liked the gum thing,and liked the ending, but am worried I am the only one who doesn't know what a "succubus" is...
    Just Jill

  7. I really like the concept of this. I'm going to be nitpicky though..."stealing bubblegum" makes me think of Middle Grade.

  8. This is a cool premise. I think there's some stuff you can cut. I wouldn't start with the gum thing.

    Maybe trim it down a bit: Eighteen-year-old Dawn must steal a powerful charm capable of releasing an imprisoned succubus to save her sisters from becoming demon chow. But stealing the charm means sneaking past the steamy guardian, Kalan. Kalan has his own agenda. Seducing the charm-stealing Dawn is the first step in his plan.

  9. Hey!

    Thanks for all the great input. I'm sad none of you are fond of the bubble gum thing. I know I could take it out to tighten my logline, but my goal was to show voice and humor (which my betas say is my greatest strength).

    I'll see what I can do to shorten it, while also keeping it interesting.

    Thanks again!

  10. The bubblegum really catches the attention, and it would work if the rest of the logline were in a similar style. But I agree that the contrast between bubblegum and demons/succubus is a bit muddling. A logline needs to be distilled and pack and punch, I think. Your voice will come across in your excerpt. I think that's the big difference between a logline and a pitch. A pitch is much more voice-driven, while a logline is more plot-driven. Who's the MC, what are they fighting against, what's at stake? That's what you have to get in there. I think if you pare it down as has been suggested, you'll end up with a logline that really communicates the scope of your story. And then you can show off your quirkily awesome voice with your excerpt. :) Good luck!

  11. I really liked this logline. I love that picked up on the overall mood of your story. It was interesting to read, and, if I were an agent, I would request a full :-).

  12. I agree with the comment about bubble gum...it's too MG. Other than that, I would re-order this so you start off with her problem (her sisters have been kidnapped or taken I pressume) and then list her goal and the obstacles.

    Good luck!

  13. fun!!! I'd cut the last sentence - you get the romance gist in there with "steamy", so for a logline, we don't need the extra info.

  14. I didn't mind Kalan being in there! He is key to the book I'm sure. I would add "just" before "the first step" to give it some more umph! Reads well to me. I did wonder actually what Kalan could be up to.

  15. Should this be YA? I only ask b/c Dawn is 18.

    I like the way the logline unfolds. I'm curious about who has Dawn's sisters and why they'd trade them for the charm...and why this person thinks Dawn can get it, but I still think I'm hooked enough not to need more details.

    Well, you could say something about setting. I don't know if this is modern day New York city or a fantasy world of your own creating. The mention of bubble gum made me think this was urban fantasy.

    Ah, and is Kalan a succubus?

  16. Hey everyone!

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    A few people have asked questions, so I thought I'd post some answers.

    a) Is it fantasy? Or urban fantasy?

    I feel I could classify Shattered as epic, dark, mythic, portal and urban fantasy. Therefore, I just put fantasy.

    b)Should this be YA?

    I originally wrote Shattered thinking it would be YA. Then, about two or three months ago, I heard about New Adult. A blog post said NA is about finding your place in the world. Since Dawn is on her own for the first time, trying to find her place, I thought NA was a better classification.

    c) What is a succubus? Is Kalan a succubus?

    Succubi are female demons who, traditionally, "sex" people to death. Mine simply feed off life energy. Since they're female, Kalan is not a succubus.

  17. I've cut out the bubble gum bit. Here's what I have now:

    Eighteen-year-old Dawn’s no thief, but she’ll have to be if she wants to save her sisters from becoming demon chow. She’s tasked with stealing a powerful charm capable of releasing an imprisoned succubus—but first she’ll have to get past its steamy guardian, Kalan. Kalan has his own agenda, though, and seducing Dawn is the first step in his plan.

    Thank you all for the help!

  18. I think the second version works better, but you're presenting the obstacle as getting past the guardian, and that doesn't seem a big enough obstacle to carry a novel. I'm sure this isn't a novel about getting past the guardian. There must be more to it than that. What is the guardian's agenda and how is that a threat to Dawn? Include that.