Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #34

TITLE: Feral
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

17-year-old Emma inherited a blood-curse--a fey curse that causes her to shapeshift--from her birth parents. When she crosses paths with a powerful and vindictive faerie who can twist her curse and steal her freewill, Emma's left with two choices: run for her life or fight for her freedom.


  1. This sounds interesting. However your first line bogged me down a bit with it being broken up. Try putting "from her birth parents" earlier. Or perhaps you don't need that since "inherited" says that. I want to know, does she run or stand and fight? I imagine she runs at first, but discovers that doesn't work and has to fight. I am also curious as to what the faerie does with Emma's curse, or what she makes Emma do. Oh, the possibilities.

  2. i think you could just do "fey-curse" and ditch the "blood-curse"--too repetitive.

  3. My first thought was, "Well, which is it? A blood curse or a fey curse?" I don't think you need the hyphened off portion at all. "...inherited a curse that causes her to shapeshift..." is fine.

    Would it be possible to clarify what exactly this evil faerie does to her? "twist her curse and steal her freewill" feels a bit vague. Could you use an actual instance?

    I'm wondering why running is one of her choices. Does she think she can escape the faerie? Why wouldn't he follow her if he can use her like that? Wouldn't she want to fight to free herself anyway? I think this confusion comes from the fact, that aside from being cursed, we know nothing about Emma. And I know, there's practically no place for that in a logline, but if you had one word to describe her, what would it be? Would that word help clarify why she doesn't want to fight? I don't know how big of a conflict this is in your book, but I think if you narrowed it down here, you could up the urgency.

    Just my two cents, of course. :) Good luck!

  4. Interesting premise! For editing, I think you could cut "from her birth parents" since it's already said she inherited it. Also, choose blood curse or fey-curse - you don't need to mention both.

    The big thing to look at, in my opinion, are the real stakes. Having her freewill stolen is horrible, but what is the faerie making her do? Rob banks? Kill babies? And what will happen if she runs or fights back - is there a possibility the faerie will kill her or take it out on her family? I wanted to know more.

  5. I think you could whittle this down to one sentence with more effect: A 17 yr old shapeshifter crosses paths with a vindictive (why vindictive, btw? is there a vendetta against the parents or something?) faerie who she must (fill in blank)

  6. This sounds really good! I'd definitely read it. I agree with what others have said about the redundancy in the first sentence, and I really liked staceylee's suggestion. We don't really need to know in the logline that the shapeshifting is due to a curse. Now, in a query, I think it would help your story stand out a little more--the fact that the shapeshifting is the work of the fey.

  7. I'd cut down on wording. "17-year-old Emma can shapeshift, a curse she inherited from her parents." I'd also like to know how the faeries can twist her curse (able to control her and order shapeshifting?) A bit more specifics would help clarify.

  8. Interesting! It feels a little wordy to me. I too would like to see one kind of curse (fey or blood?). Also, I would pick "powerful" or "vindictive" to describe the faerie. This is a log line, so you don't have to get into the details.

    It's hard to put my finger on, but I almost feel like I want a hint of the faerie's motivations, since you used the word "can" (twist her curse & steal her free will). I'm not sure how to go about fixing that, but it felt on the vague side to me.

    Good work!

  9. I agree with Heather...

    It might behoove you to say, " ...a (fey/blood) curse that causes her to shapeshift..." It would be more to the point. I'd cut the bit about receiving the curse from her parents because you already said the word "inherited". (the reason WHY she inherited seems minute and probably should be kept a mystery so people will want to discover why and read the book.)

    Also, I feel as though you could "tighten up" the second sentence when you talk about the heroine's enemy...

    Perhaps, "When she meets a (vindictive/powerful) faerie who (MODIVATION)..." What does the evil faerie want? Perhaps choose between the adjectives "Powerful" or "Vindictive", it seems too wordy here. I can assume that because the Faerie is powerful, she might be vindictive and vice versa. Also, you could see if there a different word that could incorporate both meanings. Again, some mystery is good. :)

    I also question if Emma is taken prisoner. The reason why I'm asking is because I'm not sure "Flee" and "Freedom" fit here because there is nothing that tells me what she wants to be free of. The curse? The Faerie? Herself?

    Also, if the ending IS necessary to your logline, then "To flee" could also mean the same as "Freedom". So perhaps a contrast in vocabulary?

  10. Axe "blood-curse" and "from her birth parents". If she inherited it, we pretty much know it's from her folks.

    Give us the actual event at the "crosses paths". Did the evil faerie attack her? She she spot him in the supermarket? Either way, it's a better visual than simply crossing paths.

    I like the premise. Good luck!

  11. The first sentence is her backstory. While you need a bit of it, you need to work it into one line that both introduces her and the inciting incident (which, I assume, is crossing paths with the faerie). After that, we need a goal but you've skipped to the choice. I think you are trying to say that she wants to keep her freewill and the faerie wants to take it. If so, try to add some more information about how the faerie will take it or why Emma would want to fight her instead of running. It sounds like running is a good option as written here because we have no stakes for staying.

    Good luck!

  12. I like the premise of your story. Though I do agree with the others in that you need to tighten and clarify the first sentence and give us an idea of what she's being forced to do. Clarify the stakes. Nice Job.

  13. love it, just needs a bit of tweaking

    seventeen-year-old Emma inherited a fey curse that causes her to shapeshift. When she a vindictive faerie is after her power, Emma is left with two choices: run for her life or fight for her freedom

  14. I don't think you need two mentions of a curse within the first sentence. I would choose one and go with it. I'm also not sure you need 'from her birth parents'. Unless Emma is a bacterium, she's not going to be inheriting anything from anyone other than her parents. With these parts gone, you could give us a few more details about the faerie and exactly how Emma could fight her.