Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #16

TITLE: Sparkle
GENRE: MG fantasy

Twelve-winters-old Mika Brevik, an Arctic elf, must learn to manipulate the aurora borealis and recover a magic scroll to save her village from perma-freeze. As the daughter of the best Engineer the village of Sparkle has ever known, her life seems to have been planned for her since she was born. But Mika will trade her lavender boots for a chance to make her own choices. She gets that chance, but everything she loves might fade like the aurora borealis, wisps of light that vanish into the freezing air.


  1. I like the sense of setting you give in this logline, but it seems a little long. I think you could cut and clarify a few things. The first sentence is very interesting and seems like the main conflict, but then you introduce another conflict with wanting to choose her own life. How does her struggle to be her own elf fit into the village conflict? Right now I'm not clear on that, but I do like the use of language in the last line.

  2. What a different idea. That interests me a lot. It seems to me that you can cull a few unnecessary words to make this snappier.

    My main concern with this is that the story seems to center around Mika's quest for independence and not the perma-freeze threatening her villiage (even thought that's what you tell us about first).

    I think you should choose one or the other to develope the logline around. Not both.

  3. Cool!

    The first sentence says almost everything. I'd just add a few details from the following sentences (that she's the daughter of a great Engineer, and that she wants to do this on her own), and then you can really tighten this up.

  4. I think the first sentence is in the wrong place--you have the plot in this sentence, and then you follow it with background information in the next. Start with the second sentence (you can work in necessary information by changing "her life" to "twelve-winters-old Mika Brevik's life", etc.) and work from there. Then, instead of the last sentence, which isn't as powerful as it could be right now, tell us what Mika has to do and why she has to be the one to do it--the information that you have in the first sentence, and maybe just a little bit more.

    One little thing: I think your third sentence would read smoother if you wrote "But Mika would trade her lavender boots" instead of "But Mika will trade her lavender boots", but that's just my opinion.

    This sounds perfect for MG fantasy and like an interesting concept. With just a little bit of rearranging, I think this logline would work really well.

  5. This has "sparkle", I like the idea.

    Perhaps using this instead, "..her life seems predestined, but Mika will trade..." Instead of "...her life seems to have been planned for her since she was born." Shaves off some word count and tightens it up.

    I really like this premise. Good Luck!

  6. The first sentence here really hooked me—I love “twelve-winters-old” and that this story seems like it could touch on a real-world issue like climate change through a fun, fantastical setup (though maybe I’m reading too much into things!). I also really like the detail of the lavender boots. I agree with TL’s and Becca’s suggestions above for narrowing the focus and rearranging the order of the logline to make the hook stronger. Sounds like a really fun read!

  7. This is a wonderfully original premise - and I like the voice in the logline. I think you just need to link - or show the conflict in - the two goals: manipulate the AB to save her village but also live her own life and dreams. If you can make it clear that meeting BOTH those goals is the core conflict for her I think it would make a lot of sense. Good luck!

  8. I agree with the others that this can be pared down and focused on one conflict.

    "As the daughter of the best Engineer the village of Sparkle has ever known" is a long/clunky introductory clause to get through. Maybe you could say " her village, Sparkle, from perma-freeze" in the previous sentence, and then say, "As the daughter of the best Engineer Sparkle has ever known" in this sentence.

    The lavender boots line is cute and has nice voice, but I'm wondering why the boots were so important and why that was presumably a difficult trade.

    I don't think you need to say "aurora borealis" a second time. Just say "aurora." I also don't think you need to say "wisps of light" as it's understand what an aurora is.

    I love the voice and that your story involves the aurora. Good luck!

  9. I'm trying to find an inciting incident here. I think it's the trading of the boots. If so, you can introduce Mika in up to one line but then you need to get to the incident and what that makes her decide to do. Once you've established that, we need more information about what ACTUALLY happens (not what might happen) to cause conflict for Mika.

    Finally, this needs to be written in the present tense. For example, "When Mika..., she..."

    Good luck!

  10. Thank you, everyone, for the encouraging words and the critiques! I'm learning a lot from the comments, not just on my own logline, but from the others too. I've revised my logline, based on your feedback. Here it is, for anyone who wants to take a second look:

    As the daughter of the best Engineer in Sparkle, twelve-winters-old Mika, an Arctic elf, seems predestined to follow her father’s footsteps, except those footsteps don’t include mistakes that could destroy her village. When a magical scroll is stolen, Mika believes she is responsible, and sets out to find the thief. She must learn to manipulate the aurora borealis and recover the scroll to save her village from perma-freeze. If she fails, everything she loves would fade, like wisps of light, into the Arctic air.

    Thanks again! You guys are awesome!

  11. What I thought was great about the original logline and the revision here is that your voice really shines through. And that's hard to do in such a short space. I thought it was great - kinda bummed you lost the lavender boots in the second one - I kinda liked them...

  12. Oh, dear. It's hard to figure out whether to put information in or do something else for voice. I'll play around with this some more, to see if there's a good middle ground.

    Thanks, Rena.

    - Logline author

  13. What a fascinating idea. I used to live in AK, and see the Northern Lights regularly, so this really resonates with me. I agree with others that your logline is a bit long. Also, perhaps be more specific with the last sentence. E.g. Give us a concrete example/s of how her life will change. Great job!