Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Logline Critique Round Two #30

GENRE: YA Coming of Age

If 14 year old city-raised Nina Henderson doesn’t fix her D grade in history, handle her class nemesis, become friends with a wolf, and learn about her heritage, she’ll never find out who her Indian chief father is.


  1. I think it's good! All you need, in my opinion, is to rearrange things a bit.

    "14-year-old city-raised Nina Henderson doesn't know who her father is. But she can find out. All she needs to do is fix her D grade in history, handle her class nemesis, become friends with a wolf, and learn about her Indian heritage."

    Good luck! Hope I could help!

  2. I agree with the above suggestion. It makes things clearer and shows the stakes involved. This has plenty of possibilities.

    Good luck.

  3. Agreed, ending a sentence (aside from dialogue) with "is" is awkward.

    Maybe some more mystery about her father would help. Do I really want to invest time reading this book when I already know that her father is an Indian chief? I think it gives too much away. Maybe something to the effect of "she'll never discover the origins of her mysterious father."

  4. This log line gives a lot of different conflicts, all promising. Are they all connected to the goal of finding out about her father? I couldn't see how a D in history related, but it might. A little more cause and effect linkage might be something to try, although the fruit salad approach can work fine sometimes too.

  5. This is definitely middle grade, not YA--she's not becoming an adult during the course of the story, but finding out who she is. Why does she want to find out about her father? What's at stake if she doesn't find out? And are all these random tasks related somehow? Is one person (nemesis) behind all this?

  6. I really like how this is written, and like the reorder suggestion above! At the same time I agree I'd be more hooked into actually reading the story to know why it matters to her to find her father. What will the consequences be if she doesn't find out? Will she have to keep living with her horrible step parents? I would also keep out Indian chief, since you already have indian heritage in there, so we know that's important.

    best of luck!

  7. I agree with JohnCC and Mark -- what are the consequences if she doesn't find out who her father was, other than the obvious -- it sucks to not know who your father was.

    You also make a point to say Nina was city-raised -- is she just ignorant of her heritage? Does she reject it in some way? Is there something of a relevant plot point here to include?

  8. You've got most of the required elements here, but this would come off stronger if you started off with her GOAL and then showed how these items are going to help her achieve it. As written, they sound like random, unconnected mini-goals she needs to achieve before she can achieve the big goal (they are supposed to be obstacles).

    Good luck!

  9. I personally find the term "Indian" derogatory, unless it means a citizen of India. Native Americans belong to tribes, and you should use the name of the tribe instead.

  10. I like it! You've set up her challenges and they are compelling-I want to read.

  11. I like the first suggestion of rearranging the order and phrasing. You could remove the awkward ending on "is" by saying she doesn't know "her father's identity." Better yet, turn it into what she wants:

    Fourteen-year-old city-raised Nina Henderson will do anything to uncover her father's identity.

    That gives her a goal as Holly suggested, and then those other factors are what she overcomes.

    As for YA or MG, it's hard to know w/o reading. This does sound moreso like upper MG (it's probably the befriending a wolf that's going there for me). Also the goals seem more targeted to younger readers. Tough call, but maybe sending out some queries and pitches will show you where it fits.