Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Logline Critique Round Two #16

GENRE: Upper MG Fantasy

Twelve-year-old Conley Hoss hopes he’ll make friends when his family moves. Instead, his house starts talking to him—and leads him straight to trouble. When he accidentally resurrects a killer dragon in the cellar, Conley has to master dragon warfare before Kansas City burns. His quest drags his family into the guts of the world’s deadliest secret society: The Dragon Agency.


  1. There's a bit too much going on here for me. Sentence one and two could be removed and be more effective. I'm not understanding what dragon warfare, the dragon agency, and Kansas City have to do with the story. I would make this a bit more general. You want to entice the reader but if you give too many specific details it appears confusing. Make it more about the protagonist and what he wants, and what is standing in his way of getting that goal.

  2. Yeah - I think Alan8228 is right. You've got pieces here when you need one clear arc of character, goal and stakes. I think your "When he accidentally" sentence could function as the bulk of the logline. Maybe add some voice or personal motivation.

  3. So this has a goal, but the conflict does not appear to oppose it. How does mastering dragon warfare help him make a friend?

    Good luck!

  4. I recognize this story from Write Club, so it may be a little hard for me to be as objective about the logline as I would be if I were entirely unfamiliar with it. (And congratulations on making it to the final bout, BTW!) :)

    But I do agree that there's a bit too much going on here, and this would be stronger if you tightened it up and made sure it focuses on the central goal.

    It's interesting that one thing that didn't seem clear from the excerpts is also unclear here: what is the connection between the talking house and the dragon? My gut feeling about this logline would be to suggest leaving the mention of the house out altogether, since the central conflict apparently involves vanquishing dragons, not contending with a sentient house that has wicked intentions.

    But as Holly said, the way this logline begins indicates that Conley's goal is to make friends, and if that's the case, this isn't showing how succeeding at battling dragons is going to help him win friends. If his desire for friends is just part of the setup and not Conley's main goal in the book, you'll need to reword this to clarify what that goal is.

    Good luck with this story -- I think it has oodles of potential! :)

  5. I love the idea of a talking house-grabbed my attention. But I do feel there is too much told here, and it's not clear how it all connects.

    Sounds like a thrilling read.

  6. I agree with the others. There's a lot going on. I would recommend picking the dragon or the house. Either one sounds pretty awesome on their own. I like the Kansas City element because it's surprising in a dragon story. Good luck.

  7. This story sounds really fun.

    I do agree though. Is this a story about making friends? (from the first line that is suggested.) but after reading the rest it sounds more like it is a fantasy about killer dragons. I would try to tighten it up.

    that being said I personally liked the first few lines, the second actually hooked me with the talking house. I understood the stakes iwth the dragon warfare. I personally felt you could have ended at the Kansas City burns. Or as suggested by someone else be more generaly or his town will burn.