Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Logline Critique Session Two: #11

TITLE: Across Two Universes
GENRE: Science Fiction

When aspiring actor Paul discovers after his mother's murder he's the clone of a TwenCen rock star, he fears his mother was killed to force him into music. To trick the murderer into confessing, Paul must travel to an alternate universe to learn how to impersonate the rock star, even if he risks not only his own identity, but his life.


  1. You might cut 'after his mother's murder' since you say his mother was killed almost right after it. "To trick the murderer into confessing' doesn't really grab me, and it also implies he knows who the murderer is, so that mystery is solved right away. Perhaps say 'to catch the murderer' Paul must travel . . ., that way you still have the mystery of who done it. There are some interesting elements here, but I think you could still play around with it a bit more.

  2. I've spent the last five minutes trying to figure out how to say what I wanted to say, then found out Barbara said it for me.

    There's a lack of tension in this because Paul knows who the killer is, and as a result, what we're left with is a vague threat to his life and a desire to see the guilty punished. If, on the other hand, he's traveling to an alternate universe to catch the killer, then the threat on his life is less vague, and the tension is restored.

  3. 'To trick the murderer into confessing' seems like a poor deal for somebody who has had to travel to an alternate universe. 'To bring the murderer to justice' is obviously a cliché, but it seems stronger than a simple confession.

    I'm left a little confused about why things are happening as well. Is the TwenCen rock star in this universe, or the alternate?

    I like the sound of the story!

  4. I don't get the motivation of the killer here. Someone is supposed to have killed his mother so that Paul HAS to become a musician? Just any musician or the one he is cloned from? Also, what does impersonating the rock star have to do with catching a killer? And how is this risking his identity? Is he going to be forced to live as that rock star forever?

    I think you need to work on being more specific about the conflict here so we know what he's up against.

  5. This sounds like an intriguing plot I would be interested in reading, but I did have a few suggestions.

    I'm sure this makes sense in the manuscript, but I didn't understand why discovering he's the clone of a rock star leads Paul to believe his mom was killed to force him into music. I think you could reword this to avoid the confusion. Something like:
    Aspiring actor Paul discovers he is a clone of a famous TwenCen rock star and his mother was killed to force him into music.

    Also, something like "To avenge his mother's murder..." might hint at higher stakes than "To trick the murderer into confessing..."

  6. Why did his mother have to die in order to force him into music? Give us more info on that, since that is almost the most interesting thing here. We also need a clearer consequence. What does risking his life mean here?

    It sounds like an interesting sci-fi story, you just have to clarify things in the logline.

  7. Right away I was taken aback by the title since it is so close to a recent YA SF novel "Across the Universe". There is potential in the clone idea for an SF novel, but the rock star idea, while unique, didn't really catch my interest as an SF reader. I don't know about the risking his own identity part -- even if he is a clone, personality is not due solely to genetics, as identical twins often have very different temperaments. The alternate universe bit didn't seem to follow from any of the preceding info.

  8. The first sentence is clunnky - you could take out 'after his mother's murder'. I don't understand why he would be forced to impersonate a rock star, but most of all I don't know what is stopping him from getting the confession.

  9. I'm hooked (my husband is a rock musician), but agree that this could be much more enticing. Combining most of the suggestions here, you could reword it someething like this:
    To avenge his mother's death, Paul must travel to an alternate universe when he discovers he's the clone of a TwenCen rock star, and not the aspiring actor he wants to be. Luring the murderer into confessing means not only losing his identity, but perhaps even his life.

    Great concept, tho... I'd really like to read this one through to the end.

  10. I think Spiral's suggestion is on the right track; maybe work from that. I'd leave out the aspiring actor part though.

  11. Hmm. I'm not sure about the concept to this story. First off, is that enough incentive to kill someone? Secondly... I don't know what to say. It all just seems contrived.

    I'm curious to see more of this, just to see if maybe the story line is confined by having to summarize it in so short a space.