Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logline Critique Round Three #14

TITLE: Coming Alive
GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance

Twenty-year-old pre-med student, Payton, knows better than anyone that you can’t choose your family, especially a father with a God complex that lands him in jail. With her family’s name tarnished, she needs to hide her identity to be taken seriously as a medical school candidate. Everything goes according to plan until she runs into her ex-boyfriend, who does everything in his power to unearth her past, including the feelings she once felt for him.


  1. I'd like to see bigger consequences here. Is the worst thing that could happen is she doesn't get into med school? What is she hiding other than her father's prison stint? And why is the ex-boyfriend trying to unearth her past? Doesn't he know? And if he doesn't, is he trying to help or hurt her?

  2. I'm not sure I buy into the setup here. Why would Payton's father's criminal history affect her chances of getting into medical school? If anything, I think it would be a mark in her favor if she managed to qualify for admission in spite of a presumably difficult childhood.

    As for the logline, it could be tighter and more specific. I'd take out the phrase about choosing your family and the "God complex" and say what the father actually did to wind up in jail.

  3. On first read I thought this was a thriller--a father whose crime was so bad she has to hide her name, and a crazy ex-boyfriend intent on unearthing this and using it to make her love him again. But I'm not sure, and I echo the comment above about qualifying for admission. Being over 18, would she even have to give her parents' information?

  4. I agree about the admissions thing. A father in prison shouldn't hurt your chances for admission into medical school. Is it specifically what he did to get put in prison that she thinks will hurt her chances? If so, then we need to know about it. Why is the ex trying to unearth her past? Revenge, stupidity, what? I see that this is a new romance and I assume the main plotline is the romance and the med school and dad in prison are the subplot, but I need the stakes spelled out for me? Also, who is the romantic interest? That's your main plot and it should take precedence in your logline.

  5. I don't get a romance feel from this at all. The only potential love interest is the ex-boyfriend, and he's presented more as an antagonist. Is she falling for him again? Does getting involved with him threaten to reveal her past? (I don't know why it would; I'm just guessing here.)

    It's also too long. Here's a possible rewrite that trims it down some (but it still doesn't solve the problem of it not seeming like a romance):

    As a pre-med student, twenty-year-old Payton changes her name so no one will know her father is the doctor who [what did he do?] But when she runs into her ex-boyfriend, his quest to rekindle their relationship threatens to reveal her secret and end her medical career before it begins.

    Sorry, that last phrase is a terrible cliche. I'm sure you can do better.

  6. I agree with what everyone said about her father having nothing to do with her admission (unless he's on the staff of the med school, maybe!) Aside from that, her goal should be getting into med school (I think) and not being taken seriously. Also, the ex-boyfriend is irrelevant unless he is going to make this goal difficult (for example, but hurting her grades, MCAT results or volunteering opportunities).

    Good luck!