Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logline Critique Round Three #28

TITLE: Somebody That I Used To Know
GENRE: YA Contemporary

A shy sixteen-year-old enrolls in a military academy to help her soldier father find the evidence he needs to put the assassins after him in jail. But when it turns out Dad is after more than justice, she must retrieve the top-secret missile schematics she inadvertently helped him steal, or the security of her school—and the nation—will be at risk.


  1. Okay, so I had to read this one a few times before I could get a handle on it. I think it conveys the some of the right information, but I think it is lacking a few key details and could be tightened up a bit.

    First, I would name the main character and change the order of the first sentence.

    When assassins target her father, __________, a shy sixteen year-old, enrolls in a military academy and finds evidence he needs to put them in jail. But dad is after more than just justice. _________ must retrieve the top-secret missile schematics that she stole before her dad...

    I assume dad is after revenge but I'm not sure how missile schematics play into that. Is dad building a missile and planning to blow up the assassins? What happens, specifically, if she doesn't stop him. I think the stakes are too vague.

  2. Fun title. I think this sounds like a suspense--no? You got some helpful suggestions above. Good luck.

  3. I agree to name the MC--don't tell us the story from afar. Get us right in there with the MC, feeling the tension.

    Besides the advice already given, in the last sentence, you mention the nation after the school, as if its not as important. The safety of a whole nation is way maore important than the school (and I don't understand how top-secret missile specs affect a school).

    I'm intrigued by the idea, though, that her dad is using her.

  4. Intriguing...

    Is shy important, and how shy can she be if she's willing to cheat on an application (and doesn't that take at least a background check), and help her father, who is obviously not a great guy if he's willing to use his child this way. What exactly is Dad after? At least a hint, please.
    Seems like she's more stupid than shy if she's willing to steal top-secret information and be used by Dad.
    I agree that the link between the security of her school needs to be explicated, especially what it has to do with the stolen schematics

  5. I'm not sure how much you need the shyness of your MC to be mentioned. Also, I'd like to know her name right off the bat.

    I don't think you need the 'soldier' before "father" anyway, for some reason it really threw me off. Honestly, your logline sounds like it's more about the dad than it is your MC.

    One suggestion I could give is to try writing this in your MC's voice first then switching the tenses in to third person and seeing how that reads. Summarize her story from her perspective.

  6. Without naming the MC, this reads oddly. This setup puts the father front and center, and he's not the MC. I agree with the above that naming her and rearranging the sentences will help to clear up the events and stakes. The way it's presented, an unnamed teenager somehow steals top secrets plans despite having little training and no clearance. Is there a way you can take out shy and the school, and use that space to explain your MC?
    I also don't think the part about her school is necessary. Saving the nation and betraying (?) family is probably high enough stakes.

  7. Parts of this are vague. What does "more than justice" mean and how does this put her school and the nation at risk? And how do missile schematics have anything to do with putting assassins in jail? You need to write this in the order of inciting incident > goal > obstacles > stakes so we can see how it all connects together.

    Good luck!