Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #18

TITLE: Dying Is Not An Option
GENRE: Crime Fiction

Police officer Claire Hartman believes in three things: control, independence, and that dying is not an option.  When she becomes the target of a gang member’s wrath, everything and everyone she loves is jeopardized.  She struggles to find her partner’s murderer while learning that sometimes everything one believes is wrong.


  1. 'while learning that sometimes everything one believes is wrong'

    Awkward line. I'd repharse to make it clearer.

    And why isn't dying an option ? It seems a bit odd. To me.

    I am confused about how her partner is dead. Is that the catalyst of the story? Is that what sparks her change? Why is she a target of a gang member's wrath? How is everything and everyone she love jeapordized.

    There seems to be a lot of questions for me popping up with this. And the three sentences you have don't seem to connect.

    What's the main conflict? Her inner battle with what she believes is true? Coping with her parners death? Trying to find her partners murderer? Or avoiding the gang member's wrath?

    I'd pick one of these things to develope the log line around.

  2. I agree with above comments. A bit confusing, needs focus. Also, I would recommend not using the title in the logline...

  3. Maybe it's just me, but the second sentence read a bit awkward to me. I can't tell if "jeopardized" works in the sentence, or if it should be written "in jeopardy".

    Again, I could be wrong. Any thoughts?

  4. I like the general feel of this but have some concerns about individual parts of it.

    Control sounds appropriate for a police officer, independence doesn't. I agree about not repeating the title -- perhaps you could say something like "death is unacceptable." The other problem I have with the phrase is I'm not sure who it applies to -- Claire? Other police? The bad guy? The person the bad guy is after? Her partner? and so forth.

    I also wonder about the word "everything" in the second sentence. Does this refer to beliefs? If so, I'd suggest saying it here -- "everything she believes and everyone she loves." That, of course, would mess up your last line, but it feels partially redundant anyway. Would suggest you rework that to get a little more information in about the murder of the partner and how that relates to the gang (assuming it does).

    I hope there's an opportunity to post reworked loglines. I'd really like to see how you revise this.

    Good luck!

  5. "control" and "independence" contradict, but I get where you're coming from. I think the overall logline is good, but I think you can, as stated in the previous comments, fix some awkward sentences and work on the flowing. :)

  6. I like the first two lines but then it feels like the third one comes out of nowhere. Does the gang member kill her partner? If so, what is the secret here--finding him? And what does "everything and everyone" mean? He threatens her cat? Her house plants? Try to be more specific with your stakes. People can relate to wanting to protect someone specific like a friend; they can't relate to wanting to protect everything.

    The final part of the final line is a little too vague and cliche. It also sounds like she is struggling to do this with the same effort that she is struggling to find the murderer, when in fact, she probably learns this unintentionally.

    Good luck!

  7. Agree with the comments above. But what type of independence? As a PO she needs to lean on her fellow officers. Maybe identity?

  8. Rather than repeat the title in you first sentence, I'd change it into "staying alive," or something like that. Besides the repetition, the phrase ruins the rhythm of the sentence.

    I wonder if you've tried to put too many subplots into your logline. Focus on one, whether it's the death of her partner, or her being targeted, or something else. What does she want to do about it, and what prevents her from achieving that goal?

  9. What can I say? I loved this. Sharp, short, intriguing, well- written and to the point. I only had to read it once, which is a huge plus for loglines! Great job!