Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Logline Critique Round Two #5

TITLE: Magick 7.0
GENRE: Post-apocalyptic science fantasy (YA)

On the remains of a shattered planet where the heroes are fully licensed and sidekicks are tax deductible, an orphan with a secret past battles a ten thousand-year-old scientist trapped in cryo-stasis in order to save her friends and prevent an ancient computer from destroying the very fabric of reality.


  1. This works for me. And I'm impressed at how you managed to write it in a single sentence without making me stumble through it the first time I read it. Sounds like a great premise, too.

  2. I think this is almost there. I was a bit tripped up on "where the heroes are fully licensed and sidekicks are tax deductible"

    I'm not sure how that fits in with the rest. Otherwise this sounds like a really cool sci fi.

  3. I agree that this sounds like an interesting SF. What about her secret past is important to the story? How does she battle someone trapped in cryo-stasis? How will the "fabric of reality" be destroyed?

  4. I like the first part of this with the mention of heroes and sidekicks, but I'm confused about how she would battle someone in cryo-stasis and what exactly she needs to save her friends from. It would be okay to split this into two sentences if it helps you clarify these elements.

  5. I'm not sure what this introductory text has to do with the main character. Why would she care about tax-deductions and licensed heroes? And why is she battling this scientist NOW? You need to incite this goal with whatever it is that happens to start the plot. Finally, don't use vague and cliché terms like "the very fabric of reality". Tell us what she ACTUALLY has to lose here (her friends, I assume, unless there is more).

    Good luck!

  6. Seconding Holly's comment: it sounds like you've created an interesting world, but I don't understand how the MC fits into it. Is she a hero, a sidekick, or neither?

    I'd also drop the "secret past." If you don't tell us what that past is and how it affects her actions now, those are wasted words.

  7. Ok, I loved the phrase "side kicks are tax deductible." And this has a clear setup. My only question is how can a frozen scientist wreck havoc on the world? What is the scientist trying to do? Or is he/she the one behind the ancient computer?

  8. My thanks to everyone for the very helpful feedback. Here's an updated (and also considerable different) version:

    When an orphan who is a clone of the "Creator" accidentally triggers the stupidest prophecy ever, it kills all her friends, sends her on a quest to destroy the world, and generally puts her in a bad mood. And if she doesn't find a way to reverse these events and permanently lock the computer that controls reality, then the ten-thousand-year-old scientist who wants to erase this world in order to regain his own will finish the quest for her.

  9. I do like the "sidekicks are tax deductible" line and hope you might be able to work it into a query letter.

    Regarding your rewrite, honestly I'm a bit confused. I'm going to attempt to break things out:

    -Orphan is an unwilling participant in prophecy that is forcing her on a quest to destroy the world. Therefore, she wants to reverse prophecy, which will also revive her friends. OK.
    -Locking the computer will reverse the prophecy. (Though not sure how this would work as "locking" implies the reality would remain in the current state, not reverse.)
    -Scientist also has a quest to destroy the world. (Seems like the scientist would sit back and let the orphan destroy the world for him.)

    I'm intrigued by the idea of the orphan not wanting to be part of the prophecy. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it strikes me as an antagonist itself, and I'm actually more interested in it than the scientist.

    So I guess what I'm getting at is, there is a lot going on here that could use some simplification. A good place to start might be eliminating one of the antagonists (if my reading of it is correct).

    Also, I would cut out "who is a clone of the 'Creator'"--it doesn't seem to add anything to just the pitch (though based on the old version, I'm guessing this is her secret).

    Best of luck!