Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Logline Critique Round Two #2

TITLE: Shifter
GENRE: YA Fantasy

An outcast thief gets caught up in a war when she unknowingly steals the aggressor’s most powerful weapon. Now she must decide whether to protect herself and run, or help save the people who see her as an enemy.


  1. The first sentence needs a goal. It sounds like it may be this weapon (or whatever she thinks the thing is when she steals it). If so, you need to reword the first sentence to make it clear why she needs it and what she has to lose if she doesn't keep it.

    Good luck!

  2. I kind of want to know what the weapon is. I love your second line. x

  3. I agree with Kristi. I want to know what the weapon is. As your logline is now, it's kind of vague. It sounds like marketing jargon. "Increase sales! Grow your business!" How? With what?

    I really like that this girl is a thief, and I think you should play up that aspect if you can.

    A sixteen-year-old girl, already outcast for being a thief, uses her sticky fingers again to unknowingly steal the mystical sword of Azaroth, a weapon that can turn enemies into stone...

    Okay, this isn't incredible but do you get the idea? Best of luck!

  4. This was a great start. I think there are a few unnecessary words, so some tightening would be helpful to amp up the suspense. Maybe see about choosing some words that set the tone of the story a little more.

  5. A few thoughts come to mind:

    1) The term "aggressor" is vague. I would suggest being specific (not necessarily a name, since it would mean nothing in a logline, but a better description).
    2) The phrase "protect herself" is also vague. Protect herself from what? The aggressor? The weapon?
    3) The phrase "see her as an enemy" is also vague in this context. Typically a thief would be regarded as an enemy by anyone, so does this mean something different? My sense is that it does, but I'm not sure.
    4) And, as others have pointed out, I would specify the weapon.

    I hope that helps some. Good luck!

  6. I agree be more specific than "aggressor" such as "War Chief of the goblins."

    rather than say "she must decide" what if you use the format "if she doesn't _____goal she will ________consequences.

    I don't get a sense of her goal, no idea why she would want to help the people who see her as an enemy.

    try "now in order to ________goal she must help the people who see her as an enemy"

    good luck!

  7. Thanks for the feedback so far, I see many have suggested that I specify the weapon. However, a big part of the story is the mystery of the weapon (it's a magic totem -jewel - necklace) that isn't fully solved until just before the climax. How would I go about making that more specific?

  8. I love main characters who stumble into conflicts that are bigger than they expected.

    In this case, I think the clear choice is to protect herself and run. We don't usually talk much about motivation in log lines, but I don't see any reason for the outcast thief to do anything for anybody but herself.

    Consider starting with, "An outcast thief steals a/an [agressor's/warlord's/tyrant's/invader's]
    most powerful weapon..... After that, what are the stakes in this war? What are her difficult choices? What are the consequences for her actions?

    What a bargaining chip! Could she take over?

    Log lines are hard. Good luck--you have a compelling premise.

  9. I'd probably include that the most powerful weapon is a necklace, since that seems unexpected. Normally, you think sword or magic spell or ritual when dealing with fantasy. So having this weapon as a necklace is rather intriguing. Good luck.

  10. I like the premise and I think you outline the stakes really well. I really got a sense of the conflict between protecting oneself versus helping others - especially if she is a thief who usually looks after herself.

    Good work!

  11. Ashley, from your comment, it sounds like your story is about much more than you are showing in your logline. If you don't want to reveal what the necklace does, can you tell us a little bit more about why she stole it? And is the aggressor hunting her down to get it back? Chris made a good point above. If your character is a criminal, she probably would take the money and run to protect herself. Is there something making her want to stay that makes her decision more difficult? I think we're all just looking for ways to raise the stakes.