Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Logline Critique Round One #9

TITLE: Havoc's Knot
GENRE: Upper MG Epic Fantasy

After finding himself on a foreign world, Jake’s attempt to return home by fulfilling a stolen prophecy transforms into a race to defeat the wolf king before everyone he has come to love is exterminated.


  1. This is quite confusing. Are the people he loves on this foreign world too or is he trying to beat the wolf king home? And why dies the wolf king want to exterminate them?

    Good luck!

  2. why is it important that we know that the prophecy is stolen? How can the wolf king kill those who are at his off world home? I think you need to clarify.

  3. I think it would clear up some confusion if you divided this into at least two sentences. I got lost in the middle and had to re-read. I assume the people he has "come to love" are people he's met in this new world, so I didn't have a problem with that, but it might be good to know if the wolf king is exterminating them on purpose or if it's a side effect of something else and what exactly the king is trying to accomplish.

  4. The word choices here make this confusing. Example:

    "A foreign world" could mean anything from a different planet--one just like ours or very different in some unique way--to the next country over that has a different culture than he's used to.

    I don't understand how a prophecy can be stolen. Does that mean it was written on a piece of paper he stole? Or that he's trying to "steal" the role of the fulfiller of the prophecy from the person it's supposed to apply to?

    In a fantasy, my first assumption with the word "race" is a different race of people or beings. Especially when you have a wolf king right after it. Made me have to read the sentence twice before I figured out you meant racing against something rather than "a race".

    "Everyone he has come to love." Is that in the new world or the one he left?

    "Exterminated" isn't the word you want. That implies something large scale like a genocide or a nuclear war. He couldn't have "come to love" that many people. Unless you mean he's come to love this world and wants to save it?

  5. Beyond what Walter said, I was confused on how a prophecy could be stolen. That might need its own sentence, if you kept it. I also found it disorienting that he was on a foreign world, which calls for more setup (how did he get there?). These are doubtless crucial elements to your novel that might just be worth cutting from a logline, so as to keep the main thrust readily understandable.

  6. I hope this doesn't seem too random, but when you only have a few words to try and convey something powerful you should try to use words with Germanic origin rather than French. There's some psychology about how the first thousand words we learn as children (Germanic)affect our emotions more than higher vocabulary. So, it feels a bit jarring to have love and exterminated in the same sentence. It doesn't have the same effect as 'killed' or 'murdered'.

    Especially since you're writing MG, it might help to bring your language down a bit and reconsider words like 'transforms' (changes?) and 'defeat'(beat?). Just a thought.

  7. I believe it should be "in foreign world" , rather than "on".

    Kind of a run-on, maybe split it into two sentences.

  8. Sorry, I'm left with only questions here. How did he end up on (in) a foreign world? What is the stolen prophecy and why was it stolen? Why is the wolf king trying to kill everyone?

  9. As most have said already, this needs to be made clearer. Abbe and Leah (and everyone else for that matter) have made great suggestions. Taking this to two lines may help you convey the story better.

  10. Thanks for all the responses!

    I made some edits. How's this:

    After art nerd, Jake, accidentally touches a museum sword, he finds himself lost in a world where people blur the line between human and animal. His only chance to return to Earth, or save his new friends from genocide, is by fulfilling a prophecy about defeating the wolf king. There’s one hitch, only Jake knows the prophecy is not about him.