Thursday, October 21, 2010

Logline Critique Session One: #24

TITLE: Music Theory
GENRE: YA Contemp

Carissa thought she found the love of her life. That is until she learned Eric was being paid by her parents to "keep an eye" on her. Now she's not sure she can trust him, or that she loves him.


  1. Hmm...I think I was more interested before I read "or that she loves him." If she doesn't love him, what are the stakes? She can just walk away from the relationship. But if she still loves him...well, now that's a problem.

  2. I think sentence #3 is unnecessary and redundant. Give us more of the stakes, or leave it with the first two lines.

  3. Oh, I remember this query from YA Lit Chat Query Kick Around. This logline clears up some questions I had. Use this in the query!

    And since I know some more of the story, I'd say "keep an eye on her during the cross-country band tour she and her music school friends are invited to attend."

    And I'd keep the last phrase. Sure it could be considered redundant but to me, it's her voice. While we shouldn't love people we can't trust, our hearts don't always listen to our heads. I think that bit of indecision tells us alot about her in a few words.

  4. I would remove the last sentence. The 'That is' in the second sentence tell us about her indecision toward him.

  5. Protag - Carissa (the title makes me think maybe she's a musician? That would be a nice touch to add if it's true - tell me something about her)

    Inciting incident - she finds out that her new boyfriend is paid to be with her?

    Conflict - she needs to decide if she can trust him?



    Reading this, the book is about a girl who needs to decide if she loves a boy.

    There's hints in here at something better - what about her makes her parents HIRE someone to "keep an eye" on her? What are they afraid of?

    She's not sure she "trusts" him - what does she need to trust him with? Does she have a secret? Is it related to why her parents are paying someone to watch her?

    Where does the "Music" come in?

    What mountain does she have to climb in order to get whatever it is that she wants?

  6. What makes her think she's found the love of her life...I think the first sentence needs to be more powerful. How old is she? Why does she need to be watched? What does the boy do to lose her trust? I know I know, it's a lot to include in a log line...

  7. I really like the title, and I think, like others, it would be good to include the music aspect in the log line. It's an interesting scenario, but doesn't really give me an idea of where it's going. Is it a love story? Coming of age? Thriller? This could be played out any # of ways.

  8. My question is, what are the stakes? Another thing I might add (and my writing partner pointed this out to ME), is what is it about this story that makes it unique?

  9. I get the feeling there's something missing. Other than that, it doesn't really speak to me.

  10. This instantly made me think of "10 Things I Hate About You" (and like every other remake of the Shakespear play), so I think you might want to emphasize how this is different, like what stands out. The cross-country trip someone else mentioned would be a good way to do this. Also, I really didn't like the last phrase about loving him. Tell me something more dire!

  11. The first thing I'd recommend here is to remove Carissa's name and describe her instead. From your title, I'm assuming she's a musician. What kind of girl is she? If you describe her as a creative musician, I learn a lot more about her than I do when learning her name. So I'd go with something along the lines of: "An [adjective] musician falls in love with an [adjective] [noun that describes Eric] until she learns that her parents hired him as a watchdog. Now she's unsure if he's telling the truth when he says he loves her, or if he really loves the money her parents pay him." Something like that gets more at the heart of the conflict, would explain why she can't trust the man paid to protect her, and ups the emotion. Also, I'm wondering why her parents aren't there to keep an eye on her...something explaining their motivation may help ground the reader in the story and believe it could actually happen. And parents don't always hire men the same age as their daughter as guards, so explaining why her watcher is young enough for her to fall in love with might also help.

  12. I would merge your first two sentences into one: "Carissa (or 'a teenage musician' if you decide to take K Cooper's advice, which I think is good) thought she had found the love of her life until she learned Eric was being paid by her parents to "keep an eye" on her."

    The break in sentences jarred me, because the 'thought' in the first sentence means she hasn't found the love of her life and I want to know why immediately.

    I'd also replace the third sentence. It doesn't hook me into the story. I'm wondering why Eric has been paid to keep an eye on her, but I think you could use this last sentence to give us a clearer idea about the story. As Kathleen said, this could go a number of ways. Give us a hint as to what Carissa does now.