Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Logline Critique Round #32

TITLE: Year of the Letters
GENRE: Adult Upmarket

After his soul-searching son is killed in Afghanistan, a pragmatic father discovers a notebook of secret letters his son wrote, when 11 years old, to his dead grandmother during the traumatic year that changed everything. Reading them reveals a son he never knew.

13 comments:

  1. I LOVE books with letters. I want to read this!!

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  2. This part threw me "letters his son wrote, when 11 years old," 'cause I initially read it as the father being 11, which didn't make sense of course. :)

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  3. I don't think we need the soul-searching. It's enough to know his son is killed. We do need to know what this father (please give him a name) wants here. Is it his goal to find out why his son joined the army? What exactly is he looking for when he discovers these letters? It sounds like your story is about a father searching for the answer to a question, but I don't know what the question is!

    Good luck!
    Holly

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  4. A logline expert I am not, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but if I were an agent, this logline might make me worry that all the conflict takes place in the past, that there's no forward-moving action. How do these letters affect whatever the father's doing in the present?

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  5. I like "soul searching" because it shows the son didn't join the army. Overall, I love this log line, but it might work better if you tighten it and leave out "when he was 11 years old." The genre you listed is upmarket, but this sounds very literary. Either way, you should give the father a goal.

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  6. The concept appeals to me.

    As it stands the novel is about a father suffering loss, then discovering old letters and reading them.

    The end.

    What else happens? What conflicts is the father overcoming during the discovery of a side of his son he didn't really know?

    This may sound random but I'm also thinking it would be neat if what the son went through in the letters parallel to what dad is doing now, almost as though they are speaking to each other or sharing the experience.

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  7. I love stories that involve letters. And in all the letter stories I can think of there's a deep connection between the actions of the present and the events of the past. Think the Color Purple and the Notebook. I'm not sure why the happenings of so long ago would make this father understand his deceased adult son. And you don't have to divulge the specifics in the log line, but I think that a clue as to the reason for this impact is worthy of a mention as well as the intention and the ultimate affect of the actions, for instance, "a father in search of...and discovers...". Good luck! It's a great plot line!

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  8. This sounds intriguing. I was confused about when the letter was written and why. I read it as though the son wrote it at the age of 11, but "traumatic year that changed everything" leads me to think that's referencing when he was killed. Just clarify the timeline a bit. Good luck!

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  9. I'm no expert, so take it or leave it, but I would trim it down to something like this:
    After his son, (son's name here), is killed, (father's name here) discovers a notebook of secret letters (son's name here) wrote to his dead grandmother when (son's name here) was 11 years old. Reading them reveals a son he never knew.

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  10. I'm no expert, so take it or leave it, but I would trim it down to something like this:
    After his son, (son's name here), is killed, (father's name here) discovers a notebook of secret letters (son's name here) wrote to his dead grandmother when (son's name here) was 11 years old. Reading them reveals a son he never knew.

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  11. I love the premise of your story. It's heartfelt and timely. The log-line seems a bit awkward when read out loud. I rather like zolosolo's simplification of the idea.

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