Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 3 #6

GENRE: Middle Grade Adventure

Trapped since birth in an underground city, twelve-year-old Ethan Williams and his friends will do anything to reach the surface, even if it means going through the Deep Caves. When their adventure lands them in another settlement whose leaders already stopped one surface mission, they have to escape all over again or risk being trapped forever in a place much worse than the Underground City.


  1. Just a few things caught my attention here. In the first line you have "an underground city" and in the end you name it as "the Underground City." Pick one. That's an easy fix. I'm also wondering, if Ethan and Co. were born underground, how do they know about the surface? Why do they consider themselves trapped? I guess I don't really feel the stakes since they've been underground all their lives.

  2. Love the name of this. Great title. IN my opinion for middle grade.

    I think you have a great first line.

    But you lose me on the second. I thought this was going to be a story about getting to the surface, but it sounds like it's more focused on this other settlement. And the desperation to get to the surface is replaced by the need to not et caught and escape again.

    I really don't like the word 'again' in loglines because it makes me feel the story is repetitive. And I haven't even read it.

  3. This book has one of the greatest titles EVER!! I'd like to know why the Deep Caves are so feared. The underground worlds storyline sounds incredibly COOL to me, so I would definitely be hooked into reading this book!


  4. This is great. I have no advice to improve, just wanted to say that :)

  5. Love this! Just fix the inconsistency with the underground city - that is my only suggestion.

    Nice job!

  6. Very cool sounding book but I must admist I was a little lost about the one surface mission. Does that mean that all the underground lands can't go to the surface and why was what I kept wondering.

  7. I really love this. The conflict is clear and the voice is great, not to mention the title is fantastic. I'd read it. :)

  8. I agree with above, love the title, think the first sentence rocks. Second sentence still feels clunky, like there are too many words. Hi there, beta!

  9. It's a little unclear to me what they are trying to do. Are they just trying to look at the surface, turn around and go back or are they trying to move there? And why are they doing this? Because they are curious? Hate their lives in the underground? It sounds like it's the latter. If so, you need to lead with this as it is their primary motivation.

    I also don't understand what these Deep Caves are or what it means for them to go through them. Are they scary? Dangerous? Do they get through them only to find themselves somewhere worse?

    Finally, your goal seems to change at the end. They wanted to reach the surface but then it changes to escaping the other settlement. If the book is about them reaching the surface, you need to word the settlement part as one of many obstacles (including the Deep Caves). For example, "If they want to reach the surface before some kind of deadline, they need to get through the Deep Caves and battle whatever it is they find in the other settlement..."

    Good luck!

  10. This is incredibly helpful! In case anyone is looking through the comments before making another one, here's a revised version:

    Trapped since birth in the Underground City, twelve-year-old Ethan Williams will do anything to reach the surface, even if it means going through the Deep Caves that already claimed two experienced cavers. To avoid the same fate, Ethan and his friends will battle claustrophobia, a vicious bat colony, and cave-dwelling bullies who take extreme measures to ensure the kids never restore their families to the surface.

  11. I think that this logline is a good length and does a good job of setting up the story and laying out the quest and consequences. (I think you also do a good job distinguishing the plot from that of City of Ember, which I thought of as soon as I saw the phrase “underground city.”)

    My biggest hang-up here is actually the title. It doesn’t seem to match the tone (or much of the content) of your logline, and it reminds me of the book The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which is not at all the same genre or kind of story as this one…

  12. Love the title! The original logline was OK, but felt a little too vague. However, I love what you did with the revised version! This feels like it really matches the title and allows more insight into the stakes and motivations. Well done! :)

  13. I liked the first sentence here a lot. Then you lost me. "Another settlement whose leaders already stopped one surface mission" - what settlement? what is a surface mission? "a place much worse" can you be a little more descriptive than that? it seems a bit generic...

    However I do think this is a great idea for a story and the pitch intrigues me even though its wording needs a bit of work...