Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Logline Critique Round Three #38

TITLE: The Meaning of Orchids
GENRE: Women's Fiction

After her 15th one-night stand, Shane Phillips, born physically female but genetically male, embarks on a journey to discover womanhood. But she as digs beneath the surface of gender identity, she soon learns that womanhood carries with it risks that she could not have imagined.

15 comments:

  1. The second sentance is very vague. What are the risks of being a woman? She has been a woman since birth, so likely was raised as a girl, so I am not sure why she is suddenly discovering womanhood?

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  2. I wonder about the "after the 15th one-night stand" too. The second part of that sentence is what makes your premise stand out. The one-night stand part doesn't mean anything to us in the hook as it is presented. It may be too short to try to tie that in here.

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  3. Elaborate more on the risks of womanhood. There is room to add more detail, describe more of what is at stake. Also, not sure about the 15th one night stand? What is it about womanhood that Shane wants to discover?

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  4. I'm not sure why this particular one-night stand was so bad that she decides to discover womanhood. Also, "risks" is too vague. We need something more concrete to latch onto.

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  5. Suggest: "After too many one night stands ..." I think the premise could prove interesting. In effect, you have an outsider's point of view of womanhood. Good luck.

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  6. I think this is too vague. It gives us no stakes and no idea what the story is really about. What it does give is a really interesting character. But to be enticing, the logline needs to give more information about what the character's journey will be.

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  7. Wow that first line is so intriguing.

    The second confuses me a tad--what does she mean by 'womanhood'? What, specifically are the risks (which I assume define your plot/action)?

    Good luck on your work, Orchids.

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  8. If she is born genetically male, why is she trying to discover womanhood? I don't know much about it, but shouldn't she be trying to discover a sex-change operation? Are the risks for all women or just men born in a woman's body? How is discovering womanhood going to fix the basic problem? Or does the journey to discover womanhood convince her that she is genetically male?
    This whole thing just really confuses me. Sorry.

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  9. I think you picked the wrong word. Genes are the things that tell our bodies how to grow. If your character is genetically male, then your character's body will be male. If your character is genetically female, their body will be female. Period.
    I *think* what you're trying to say is that your character is a transvestite, in which case the character would be born genetically/physically female and MENTALLY male. Or some other word... but "physically" and "genetically" can't be different.

    Otherwise, I echo anon 7:02 - if he's a boy born in a girl's body, why is he trying to discover womanhood?

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  10. This is vague and the goal is not tangible. What does discovering womanhood look like and how will she achieve it? And what will try to stop her?

    Good luck!
    Holly

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  11. Anon E. Moose--you are factually wrong. People with XY gonadal dysgenesis (aka Swyer syndrome) appear female but have one X and one Y chromosome, just as cismales do. The female appearance is caused by the SRY gene failing to produce testosterone during gestation. There are also people with two X chromosomes (who are thus genetically female) who present as male--it's called de la Chapelle syndrome, and it's caused by the SRY gene crossing over to an X chromosome by mistake.


    Also, a transvestite is NOT AT ALL the same thing as a transwoman, which is what I think you were going for. However, the character described in the logline is intersex, not trans...and yes, that is genetically possible!

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  12. I think you need to be more specific on her quest and what risks womanhood carries. You clearly have a story but this is too vague to get what happens. Best of luck to you on a challenging topic.

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  13. The question I wanted answered, that I think would help clarify the character's goal, is whether Shane has been living as a male or a female. If she's always lived as a woman, then what aspects of womanhood is she trying to understand? Or has she lived as a man but now wants to discover what living as a woman would be like? Clarity in this area plus specifics of the risks she'll be facing would make this interesting idea pop.

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  14. Thank you, Princess Sara, for the much-needed biology lesson! I had heard of this before but definitely needed it spelled out in simpler terms ("Swyer Syndrome for Dummies"). Wow- what an interesting concept for a story.

    However, I think the logline may also need to be in "dummies" form. Since this is rare, or at least, not well-publicized (no Swyer Syndrome "reality show" as of yet), our author will have to do some explaining to get the point across. Add in the questions Abbe brought up and go from there.

    "Shane Phillips has Swyer Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes her to appear female, yet she has both X and Y chromosomes. Living as a man, Shane was left with emptiness and a longing for more. But when she tried living as a woman, something happened that was so amazing, agents ran to the phone to call the author and beg for the MS!"

    Okay, so I have nowhere to go with this idea, but I think the syndrome does have to be briefly explained in the logline because it's so unique (no quick and easy loglines for you!) But what a great premise~ I want to read this for sure!

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