Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #22

TITLE: Into Nevermore
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

Earth was never supposed to be Felix Ward’s home. He belongs on the unusual planet of Firma where he’s supposed to start training as a Divinite. After he’s transported to his new world, he witnesses his puckish mentor, Link, being kidnapped by cloaked figures and dragged into the forest. The Elders might think it’s just another one of Link’s pranks, but Felix can’t shake the feeling it’s something far more sinister. In order to save his mentor, and begin his training, he must disobey the headmaster and enter the mysterious Nevermore Woods, where the Warden awaits.


  1. This sounds interesting, but I think you could make some cuts. There are a lot of details and characters here that would be useful in a longer synopsis but probably aren't necessary for a logline. You don't have the opportunity here to explain all of these terms, so it would be helpful to boil it down to the most important points:

    Kid moves unexpectedly to a new planet, sees his mentor kidnapped and has to figure out how to save him. This involves going into a mysterious place guarded(?) by the Warden.

    The last sentence seems like the true conflict of the story and is a very good line. Are the Nevermore Woods where Link was dragged into? If so, you should mention that in the original statement about Link. I assume so, but it's not clear here. I'm also not sure from the last statement if the Warden is a bad guy he has to defeat or something else entirely.

    I think you have a good start here and just need to boil it down a bit. Good luck!

  2. Hmm, this is quite long and I don't know why we should care about Felix and Link. What are the stakes if Felix can't find Link? That's all I would add to what @michelleimason wrote above. Otherwise, cool premise.

  3. Being kidnapped IS sinister, even if the Elders don't believe it. Your hero should be resolute. To help with wordiness, the Elders line could probably be omitted as it is neither the inciting incident nor the consequences of the storyline.

  4. The first sentence is really catchy, but since leaving earth doesn’t seem to be a big plot point, I don’t think the logline actually gets going until the third sentence. And after that, things are a little confusing because I don’t know what Elders or a Warden (or a Divinite, if you keep that) are, and I don’t really feel like I understand what’s at stake for Felix. What will the Warden do to him if he’s caught? What happens if he doesn’t start his training—does he have to go back to earth?

    A couple of word choice quibbles; “puckish” isn’t an adjective that I’m immediately familiar with, so I’m guessing most American middle grade readers wouldn’t be, either. And the phrase “in order to” is unnecessarily wordy and can almost always be shortened to just “to.”

  5. You've had some great suggestions above. Beware not to be repetitive with words, such as "supposed" in your first two sentences.

  6. Maybe it's just me but if I see anyone called "Link" in a fantasy story, I think Zelda. I would seriously consider changing this name. It'd be like having a witch called Hermione not in a Harry Potter book. But again, just my opinion.

    Other than this, I really like the sound of it. It's a bit long for a logline I'd say. For instance, I don't think you need " cloaked figures and dragged into the forest." Saying he was kidnapped is enough.

    Good luck!

  7. Thank you for all the feedback. I've heard other adults say the thing about Zelda, but the kids I beta'd it with liked the association and thought it was 'cool'. What to do?

    My original logline was:
    A boy, who never belonged on Earth, is transported to the unusual world of Firma to start training as a Divinite, but to begin he must first save his mentor from the Nevermore Woods.

    I think I need to find a middle ground between the two.

    Again, thank you so much, I really appreciate it! x

  8. Your story sounds like fun! I agree with the other commenters about shortening this. For example, the "cloaked figures and dragged into the forest" isn't necessary. It's enough to know his mentor was kidnapped.

    I want to know what makes the planet of Firma unusual. Then, there are too many characters. Cloaked figures, elders, headmaster, and Warden... it gets confusing. Who's the major bad guy? Focus on him.

    I like your original logline, and yes, I agree you need to find the middle ground. Good luck!

  9. I've read both versions and I think you need to start with what really incites this story. Why is he transported to the new world NOW? Once you've established this, you can tell us about the kidnapping and why he thinks he must save Link (as well as what he must do to succeed).

    Good luck!

  10. I agree with what others have posted. The logline seems to get going after the first few sentences. Not belonging on earth doesn't seem to add much to his character, solid leave that out. As Holly suggests, start with the inciting incident. Is it the move to Earth? The kidnapping of his mentor?

  11. This alternates between present and past tense. Pick one. Maybe "Felix belongs on..." and skip the first line - incorporating it later. Don't know if you need the word "puckish" here - not sure if we need to know this about Link quite yet. Also - maybe active voice is better here "...Link is kidnapped...." I would cut the "and begin his training" from the last sentence - just leave it "In order to save his mentor, he must disobey...."

    Hmm. The shorter one you posted above does work much better - but it's almost too short. Yes. Something in between the two might work well.



  12. It seems your story actually begins when he disobeys the elders and treks into the woods. You might start the logline there. After that, tells us what happens in the woods. What do the cloaked figures or the Warden do to stop him from saving his mentor? How does he oppose them? What will happen to him if doesn't rescue his mentor? Those are the things I think are missing.