Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Logline Critique Round Three #26

TITLE: ROOTS AND TREETOPS
GENRE: Adult Fiction

After reading an e-mail from a stranger claiming to know her birthmother, a homemaker, with the help of her adopted mom and a DNA test, discovers her roots and must decide if she wants a relationship with her long lost family.

18 comments:

  1. I would add the name of the homemaker to make it more personal. But more importantly: what's the unique sell of your story that makes it different from all the other stories of adoptees deciding whether to meet their birth parents?

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  2. I would also like the name of the protag. And give us a little more on the stakes. Is there unresolved emotional trauma thats tearing apart her family? Does she need the biological info to help a sick family member? Family is good, but give us something with a little more hook.

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  3. I would use the protag name instead of homemaker. There needs to be more details about her struggles. Why is it such a big decision? What does she have to lose/gain?

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  4. I agree with everyone else. The rest makes for a great logline. Good luck.

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  5. Is this any better?

    After randomly registering on an adoption reunion forum, thirty something wife and mother of two Miranda receives an e-mail from a stranger claiming to know her birth family. Miranda embarks on a quest to prove the claim is legitimate, convince her adopted mom and brother they aren't being replaced, and fears she may discover she's the spawn of a crack-addicted prostitute looking for a handout or worse - Richard Gere. Maybe ignorance is bliss.


    Thanks for your honesty!

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. I like the imagery of your title, and can imagine the emotional roller-coaster your hero must ride.

    I'm guessing the story doesn't end with her decision. Is there something off-center about the bio family that scares her?

    Her current family doesn't seem to be threatened by her pursuit. Maybe you can show higher stakes for your protagonist.

    Echoing a previous comment, I'd suggest pulling out what's unique about this woman's story. I'm sure it's there!

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  8. You've stated the situation but not the unique heart of the conflict nor what makes this story of finding a birth mother a compelling read. The basic storyline shows up on TV documentary segments all the time. How is your protagonist different enough to warrant our reading attention? You need sharper hook. Drop "homemaker" - too boring a description in the hook. Love the title - that alone would pull me in to read at least the first page of your book as I shop around a bookstore.

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  9. Yes, your revised logline is better. It has just a bit of a grammatical problem, though. She embarks to prove...and to convince...but fears....

    Good luck!

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  10. I like the premise and I like the second logline better. It's a little wordy, so make sure you need each and every word. Could you use 'homemaker Miranda' instead of 'thirty-something mother of two'?

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  11. I am always walking the word tightrope, attempting to find the perfect balance between too much and not enough!

    I thought I was too desriptive on the second try. I almost did as you suggested but went wild ;).

    Thanks Marybk!

    Georgia Girl - mucho gracias for the suggestions. I'll add those little words that make a big difference.

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  12. Good job in revision. It has a little different feel to it...bit of tongue in cheek. Great attitude about crits and rewrites. Cheers :)

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  13. The revision is better but it lacks personal motivation. Why must she do this now and what does she have to lose if she fails?

    Holly

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  14. I hoped I'd get Bodgered! YES! I respect and appreciate your opinion. Thank you. Here's revision number two.


    ^^^^^^^ NEW & IMPROVED LOGLINE BELOW ^^^^^^^

    After randomly registering on an adoption reunion forum,

    homemaker Miranda receives an e-mail from a stranger

    claiming to know her birth family. Miranda embarks on a

    quest to prove the claim is legitimate and to convince her

    adopted family they aren't being replaced. Her questions

    about health and heritage would finally be answered but

    is it worth exposing herself, her husband and her

    daughters to strangers who may have ulterior motives.

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  15. It starts off strong but kind of unravels at homemaker. Can you just use the character's name instead?
    Also, this seems to me like part of the story but not the whole deal. What is stopping her from pursuing her long-lost family? State this in your pitch. What does she risk if she finds them? Or doesn't? Is there a dark past uncovered? Even if this is a quieter more introspective book, surely there is conflict at play, so make sure to show it.

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  16. I've been trying to comment using my initial reaction rather than reading other responses, but that's not working so well!

    I will comment on your new pitch:

    After randomly [Why random? She had no purpose at all? I would take this out, but you could say why she registered; I doubt it was random] registering on an adoption reunion forum, homemaker [I still don't think this descriptor is needed] Miranda receives an e-mail from a stranger claiming to know her birth family. Miranda embarks on a

    quest [this is wordy--look for a single strong verb like "determines"] to prove the claim is legitimate and to convince her
    adopted family they aren't being replaced. Her questions about health and heritage would finally be answered but is it worth exposing herself, her husband and her daughters to strangers who may have ulterior motives.

    The stakes right now feel a bit much like speculation of the unknown. They could be crackheads, or they could be middle class churchgoers. I don't know if worry is enough stakes.

    I think this sources from why she searched the adoption forum; I don't believe it was random. Did she uncover something about herself that led her to search? Why is she so fearful? I know this is lot to capture in a logline, but as another commenter suggested, what makes this story about searching for adoptive parents unique? What is really at stake for her besides potential disappointment?

    I hope you take this as constructive because I think your story probably has a lot more to it than what's shown here. If not though, I think working in larger conflict and stakes will strengthen your story. good luck!

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  17. As I see it now it is a thirty something homemaker who is suddenly prompted to look for her biological mother. Conflict arises when adoptive mom and brother feel the danger of being replaced if biological mother is found. What about her own family? Kids and husband? What are the stakes here? Will she lose her family? Will her relationships change? I think you have great book but the logline needs some specifics. Good luck!

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