Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Logline Critique Round Three #22

TITLE: Waterstone
GENRE: Literary/ Historical

Mattie Calhoun’s road has reached a fork: she can continue her life of subsistence survival in her rural cabin or try something magical—step into her dead father’s shoes and dowse a well. Her failure to inherit his gift sends her to indentured servitude at the Bell boardinghouse, then to the terrifying freedom of the open road to Atlanta, and finally to the Phoenix City itself, both more brutal and wondrous than she ever imagined.


  1. I like this.
    But it seems more of a synopsis. The conflict and the stakes are there at the beginning. Perhaps emphasize that?

  2. I agree with the previous post. Perhaps leave out the destinations. It might be enough that she leaves her home and tries to survive as a dowser without the gift.

    It sounds like an interesting journey!

  3. Great title! Two such different and foundational elements combined in one word. And only one word! Power and a bit of mystery - nice job there.
    Great logline but maybe a little too long. Tighten, don't reveal so much/ This is a story I'd love to read.

  4. This is my logline. Yes, you all are so right about the synopsis. Thanks. Here's another shot:
    Mattie Calhoun, now an orphan, has yearned all her life for two conflicting gifts from her Pa, a water diviner—family love and magical adventure. Trying to attain them catalyzes her journey. Her efforts to prove herself worthy by dowsing a well end in failure, sentencing her to indentured servitude at Bell boardinghouse, where her love for Hill Bell leads to shameful pregnancy and flight along the terrifying road to freedom in Atlanta.

  5. Georgia Girl, I like your revised first sentence. It still sounds like a lot going on, so try to focus on the most necessary hook for the rest of the logline.
    Maybe something like:
    When she fails to dowse a well, she's sentenced to indentured servitude and must overcome ???<-(something simple, maybe 2 words) to gain her freedom.

  6. Even the revision is still confusing. You need to start by telling us what she wants and why she wants it NOW. Your goal cannot be something she has had her entire life. It must be incited.

    Once you have done this, tell us what will prevent her from getting her goal. You've listed some bad things that happen but they all sound random if you don't connect them to this journey.

    Good luck!