Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Logline Critique Session Two: #17

TITLE: Squeaky Clean
GENRE: Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Katerina Chernov knew it was going to be hard to escape her family of petty criminals, but she didn't expect her brother Dima to bribe his way into her new boarding school. Kat is determined to remake herself into the quintessential law-abiding citizen by becoming student council vice president, but with devious Dima running against her, the price of victory may be a return to her criminal ways.

19 comments:

  1. This tells me her age, where she is, gives me a dollop of backstory. Overall, very good.

    My critterly self would change the verbs in the first sentence to something with more action instead of "...it was going to be hard..."

    And you might beef up the conflict. What is her brother doing to tip her over the edge? What nefarious actions did she commit before turning a new leaf?
    Good job.

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  2. Agreed with huntress. Give a few examples of things Dima's doing against her, and maybe rephrase the first line (I got a little tripped on it, too) but overall VERY good. I know what her goal is, what's standing in her way, and what the stakes are.

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  3. I like this. It feels a little long, but that might just be my imagination. But you've covered all the bases, and made me want to read more, so well done.

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  4. My only concern here is that with boarding school, a criminal family, and a sixteen year old named Kat, it sounds a lot like Heist Society at first take. I'd honestly give the heroine a different first name so that it doesn't jump out like that. I'm sure the book isn't really similar under the surface, but I'd want to avoid the comparison, myself.

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  5. I like this. A lot. Would definitely read on.

    Good job!

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  6. I liked it. I think it works. It makes me feel like I know exactly what I'm getting without giving everything away. Nicely done!

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  7. i did like this, but do agree with the heist society comment above.

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  8. Ditto Robin and Angela. To fix the problem, you could play up the sibling relationship and the fact that the book actually takes place at the boarding school, since HEIST SOCIETY's MC (also named Kat) leaves her school in the first chapter.

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  9. My only question was why does the brother want to go to boarding school? What's he gain from going there and running against her? Otherwise, great job!

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  10. I agree with the suggestions above, but would look forward to reading this. I'm intrigued by their names.

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  11. I think you need to start off with who she is and what she wants. ie, "Sixteen-year-old Katerina Chernov wants to escape her family of petty criminals and thinks becoming student council vice president is just the way to do it."

    Then move on to the conflict. ie, "But when her brother Dima bribes his way into her new boarding school and announces that he is running against Kat, Kat must decide if winning is important enough if it means returning to her criminals ways."

    [Maybe not these words exactly]

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  12. Got lots of questions...if raised by criminals, wouldn't she think that's the way to go? What made her different?
    Agree with Michelle. Why does her brother want to go to her boarding school instead of going about his own crimes?

    Maybe I'm getting too logical about all this, but...how do petty criminals make enough money to send their daughter to boarding school? I might buy it more if they stole millions. And if Katerina wants to escape from her family, why take their money and go to boarding school? Why not get a job and work to do good?

    And if she wants to be law-abiding, how can running for vice president make her return to her criminal ways? what are her criminal ways?

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  13. I liked this and I would read it. Good job!

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  14. I like the idea that she is hoping to escape her family background and is potentially thwarted by her meddling brother. She seems far too young to be involved in the family business, as in the Russian mafia as they would not likely involve their daughters in the business, from what I know of it. So I have a hard time seeing how she would have her own criminal ways unless you mean she would hire someone to take him out. I can't really buy that. She might be exposed as coming from a Red Mafia family background and some people might think that was horrible, but alternatively, some people might think it was cool. So I'm not quite buying the premise.

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  15. It did exactly what you intended. It made me want to read the book. That's the point of the logline. You have a great voice here. I would like to know why Dima was so determined to get into the school with her and why he wanted to run against her. There must be some reason behind this, other than him being a spiteful brother.

    Great job!

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  16. Intriguing? Yes. But agree its a bit wordy. You have all the components necessary. And since I haven't read HEIST SOCIETY, I didn't make any connections, but it may be worth revising/renaming to avoid similarities. I had a librarian once ask me to change the name of a minor character because when my MC was with her, the names were identical to the MC's in Magic Treehouse .... I never even knew?!?!?

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  17. I know I'm coming in late, but wanted to show my ignorance by asking how numerous are coed boarding schools? I don't know any, but I'm not a big b.s. expert ;-)

    Otherwise, I agree with the majority on what needs to be clarified or strengthened. Think it's a great start, otherwise!

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