Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Logline Critique Session Two: #9

TITLE: Styx and Stones
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

Found half dead on her doorstep, Blake wakes up with a gig she never applied for-- the Charon. Teaming up with Aiden, her brother's best friend, is her only option after a slew of unusual deaths at their high school. They've only got her ominous visions and six days to stop all Hades from breaking loose.


  1. I ... have no idea what's happening here. I think it would make more sense if I knew what a "Charon" was.

    Also, she's "found" "half-dead" and "wakes" here. Simplify all that into "Blake wakes up half-dead on her doorstep ..." (I'm assuming the "half-dead" part is very important and not just an exaggeration)

    Why do the unusual deaths lead to the only option of teaming up with the seemingly random "brother's best friend"? Shouldn't they lead to ... police? Or her teaming up with someone she has more of a connection with? Maybe the deaths at school something something and the only person who will believe her is Aiden?

    I'm also not following the connection between "unusual deaths" and "all Hades from breaking loose" which is a cliche and thus leeches all tension from the phrase.

    The "ominous visions" is a nice touch, but visions of what? How are they using them? What do they have to do with stopping the problem?

    I think most of the pieces are here, I'm just getting a muddled sense of them.

  2. I like the references to Greek mythology, but you may need to spell them out more. If she has a new gig, perhaps it is "becoming the new Charon, the ferryman on the river Styx." Not sure if this is accurate because it's not clear in your logline what that means. The second line isn't clear either. What's so special about Aiden and what's with the deaths at the high school? I like the "all Hades from breaking loose."

  3. This was vague. Who found her on her doorstep? I'm guessing Aiden, but it's just a guess. It could be anyone. And I don't know what 'the Charon' is, so instead of going 'Ooh!' I'm going 'Huh?' Why is teaming up with Aiden her only option, and why is she teaming up with him? To avoid her own death? To stop more deaths? And is 'all Hades breaking loose' to be taken metaphoricaly or literally?

    While I can figure out what this log line probably means and intends, I don't think it actually says that.

  4. I like the title, it's catchy.
    Charon is the ferry man who takes the souls over to Hades, but apparently there aren't as many people versed in Greek mythology,so you may want to clarify that a bit. The all Hades breaking loose was a cute line as well.

  5. You start off with two sentences, both of which sound like inciting incidents. Does her outer goal start when she wakes up as the Charon (what is this?) or when there are a slew of deaths at the school? Also, what is the or else here? Everyone on the planet dies???

  6. You have loads of voice here (fun title) but as others have stated, you need to clarify. I'm thinking this would be a fun read from your voice alone. Make sure you let us know how your project is unique, since there's a lot of mythology being queried. Good luck!

  7. For starters, this is only supposed to be one or two sentences.

    What is a Charon?

    I'm thinking this might have something to do with Greek Mythology because of "styx" and "Hades" but I'm not sure. Right now it's confusing. Why is teaming up with Aiden her only option? Option for what? And what does "stop all Hades from breaking loose" mean? I don't think you can get much vaguer than that.

    Love the voice. That's what grabbed me. Now you just have to figure out how to make this clearer, and you'll nail it. :D

  8. I really love the last line. The first line is confusing. I'm echoing previous comments, but who found her? I think you could do something like "Teaming up with her brother's best friend is Blake's only option after a slew of unusual deaths leaves her with a job she never applied for - (describe it here)." And drop that first sentence all together.

  9. You leave out a lot of info, like why teaming up with her brother's best friend is her only option? What else is going on here? What is at stake?

    I feel this might be a humoristic story, a witty one, judging it from the voice and title.

  10. You lost me at "the Charon." You can't use specific new terms like this in a logline. You could skip the first sentence and just say "Teaming up with her brother's best friend is Blake's only option after a slew of ..." But I think you'll want to have her ominous visions in the first sentence. Condense!

  11. Great title, great premise, just needs a bit of work. I'm not much help because I suck at these things, but I like it even though I had no idea what a Charo was, and to me, Styx is an awesome 70's band. But it still hooked me.

  12. I was one of those people who got lost at 'Charon'. And also, the 'ominous visions' are a bit vague.

  13. Great title and enticing concept. The others' comments are dead on (pun intended-heehee). Other than polishing this up, I really like it and would read it. And as Greek mythology has become increasingly popular (Thanks, Rick!), you want to be sure it stands out as unique ...

  14. Thanks for all the input. I revised and hopefully it's closer though it still needs some work:

    "Blake Porter wakes up in the hospital with the worst gig in Greek mythology-- The Charon (you know, the ferryman who rows souls over the river Styx). Now she's having visions of death that are coming true and she and her best friend Aiden have got six days to stop them before all Hades breaks loose."

    Like I said, it's not perfect but it's closer. Any suggestions?

  15. What was she doing in the hospital?

    How does her best friend fit into this?

    She's having visions of death that are coming true? How so?

    You have to write this as if the person reading didn't see the previous version and has no idea what you're on about. Also, you need to be able to incorporate all that information in only a couple of sentences. My questions are meant as a request for an extension of semantics, not an expansion of length.

    This sounds interesting.

  16. Revision is better, but leaves the question of how she got in the hospital. Maybe start it like: After a car accident/attack/whatever, Blake wakes up with the worst gig...

    And then maybe cut out the mention of the friend altogether, since there's not room in the logline to explain how he fits in.

    And when you say 'stop them,' I'm guessing you mean the deaths, but how can she if they're already coming true? Or do you mean stop the visions?

  17. How does being a Charon have to do with solving murders and omnious visions? Perhaps, for the sake of a logline, you can summarize this by saying she wakes up with omnious powers that lead her to solve murders. Logline = 1-2 short and concise sentences. If you have enough room to flesh out Aiden's character and who he is, it's too long and unnecessary.

    That being said, thanks for doing a different kind of paranormal! My eyes usually glaze over when I see "YA Paranormal Romance". Good concept.