Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Logline Critique Session Three #4

GENRE: YA Paranormal

After a werewolf kills Kat's father, she deals the only way she can--she rips out his throat. Now the outcast teenage werecougar must go against everything her family believes to find happiness with new boy in town Remi--a werewolf. When Remi was hired by the wolf council to woo Kat and steal her family's magic, he thought it would be easy money. He never counted on finding love.


  1. You start out great (and I just love the first line!), but you lost me when you switch to Remi's POV. I think this would be greatly improved if you keep the focus on Kat and lose those last two lines. Also, if you could add in a specific detail or two into the "now the outcast..." line about why it goes against what her family believes, that would help make the hook stand out more.

  2. I love the first line! What spunk and attitude. And then you lose me completely. I'm not sure how "outcast" applies to someone so ferocious, nor am I willing to believe she'd go against everything her family believes to find happiness and fall in love with a werewolf...especially since she was the one vengeful enough to rip out the other werewolf's throat. What I'm getting at here is that there's a complete lack of Kat's motivation. And to fix it, I recommend you stick to one POV. Either Remi's or Kat's POV has to be ignored. In a logline so short, you only have time to focus on the main character, and if there are two main characters, stick to one. To boost it from Kat's POV, you need to focus on WHY she'd fall in love with a werewolf and how she obviously must fight those feelings. If your book has her just falling straight head over heels without any resistance I wouldn't believe it. Also, you must remember that even in romance, love is never the main conflict. It's certainly at the forefront, and it ups the ante when it comes to the real conflict, but besides falling in love, what are Kat's goals? Her motivation post-vengeance? Her physical (NOT emotional) conflict? For example:

    After a werewolf kills Kat's father, she deals the only way she can--she rips out his throat. Now this teenage werecougar must [goal] because [motivation], but she quickly learns there's more than one werewolf out to ruin her life when [conflict with Remi, which can include love, but CANNOT be all about love].

    If you wanted to do it from Remi's POV, I'd start with him being hired to steal magic from a werecougar's family, but again, love cannot be the main conflict (otherwise it makes for a shallow story...think Twilight, there's always something else threatening Bella's life, which makes Edward's love for her more conflicted). So, what is his main conflict? Get it in there, with something along the lines of the Kat formula.

  3. Hmmmmmmm.

    What I know about loglines could be written on a postage stamp. With a whitewash brush. But...

    'If your book has her just falling straight head over heels without any resistance I wouldn't believe it.'

    There's rocks round here call me granfer, but I just about remember sixteen. Falling in love was easy. I saw it happening all around me. Heck, people fell in love just because it was Saturday night. Or because their best friend fancied the guy/ girl/ artichoke. Of course, it was other people, and I for sure wasn't the target. Being short, fat and ugly (I majored in bald later) took care of that. But it happened.

    Also, and it's not clear here, I'm willing to bet this Remi didn't just walk up to Kat and say 'Hi! I'm a werewolf! What are you doing Saturday?'. He's tagged as 'the new _boy_ in town'. My emphasis. So maybe Kat doesn't fall for a werewolf, she falls for a boy. If so, then perhaps the log could be clearer.

    I agree the 'outcast' and 'everything her family believes in' aren't clear. But then I have warped ideas about loglines. This, to me, is a writer trying to go the 'mini-query' route. As anybody who remembers my own offering (liked by a rare few, less liked by others), I'm not a fan of that route. But then, I was never very good at Rules :-).

  4. The two POV's don't work, I think, because it doesn't make clear whose story this is. There is also no connection between the father's murder and Kat's act of revenge, and Remi. Does he have any connection to the Were who killed Kat's father or is that a totally separate incident?

    As written, it seems separate. It seems a Were kills her dad, the family hates werewolves, and then she falls in love with one. I suspect there's more to it than that, but that's what your log line gives me.

    Why is it important to steal her family's magic? And what will happen to Kat and her family if Remi succeeds? I think those two questions need to be answered here.

  5. The switch to Remi mid-stream was jarring, and you should focus on only the main character anyway. But, besides the paranormal setting, what is it that distinguishes this story from all the other Taming of the Shrew plots? Because I came away with a been-there-done-that feeling.

  6. I agree 100% with K. Cooper, but stress that the present tense would read better for your logline.

    Your title was well written to suggest the main conflict between Remi and Kat, and I get the irony here. So after cleaning up, I'd read on.

  7. I have to agree with the others. It is jarring to change midstream. I also think you can streamline your wording. After several logline fests they always seem to stress less is more. Keep it simple and direct.

    On a positive note the premise is fantastic. This could be excellent if you focus and choose your words carefully.

  8. Sorry to repeat, but I agree that the pov switch threw me off. I love that first line. The switch to Remi killed the ferocity of it thought, and I'm not sure what the consequences are of her falling in love with a werewolf.

  9. I agree that this starts out great but the switch to Remi is jarring. Also, I don't understand how she could be compelled to find happiness with a new boy in town. It seems more likely that she would choose to do this, despite the fact that it is against her family's wishes.

  10. Love love love the first line. What is the consequence of her ripping out the throat of a werewolf? And how does that affect her?

    Definitely intriguing.

    But I did get a little lost in the second half.

  11. I loved this opening because I love girl protags who take care of things themselves!

    The second half just feels a bit disjointed from the first half. Shouldn't Kat be just as wary because Remi is a werewolf? Doesn't the first sentence mean that she hates werewolves? Or does she fall for Remi before she learns the truth?

  12. Stong start, but I ended up confused. The first two sentences sound like Kat is the MC. The last two sound like Remi is the MC. I also would like to know what's at stake here.

    But I do love the premise - this sounds like a book I'd like to read!

  13. Yep, the first line is great. The second line isn't as good, and the switch is Remi is confusing, as others have mentioned. I think for the purposes of a logline, just focus on one character and keep it simple. You can include a bit about how Remi's motivations for wooing Kat may not be all they seem, but don't switch to his POV.

  14. In agreement with the others - another thing I learned here - be careful introducing fictional creatures (werecouger). Also, not to be nitpicky, but always, always check spelling, grammar, puncuation. (I think you need an "a" or a "the" before "new boy in town." Editors pick up on those little things - yup, they do. Good Luck tho, as this genre/market (werewovles, vampires, etc) is a bit oversaturated and you'll need a really solid twist to stay original.