Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Logline Critique Round Three #40

TITLE: FLUTTER
GENRE: Upper MG (magical realism)

Twelve-year-old Mandy finds an ancestor’s journal at Grandpa’s farm, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school she’s an outsider, the “Insect Girl.” Her absentee mother shows up with superstar plans for her Winged Wonder – but a Hollywood life with the mother she longed for means moving away from the friends who stood by her, and from Grandpa, who loved her before the whole world knew her name.

19 comments:

  1. I like this, especially the mother conflict and theme of finding that getting what you want can be disappointing.

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  2. I like it, but it's a tad complex. Can she just find "a journal", leave out the farm and only invoke Grandpa at the end? That might tighten it up a bit.

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  3. The story is great, but I think you can trim the logline. I would say focus on the mother/fame conflict. How about:

    Twelve-year-old Mandy finds an ancestor’s journal at Grandpa’s farm, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Her absentee mother shows up to take Mandy from "Insect Girl" to "Winged Wonder," but a Hollywood life with the mother Mandy longed for means moving away from those who loved her before the whole world knew her name.

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  4. I really like this! Your first sentence really drew me in. But I do feel the rest of this is a little long. You might want to consider cutting your second sentence, I don't think you really need it.

    Good luck!

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  5. This isn't reading upper middle grade, particularly with a 12yo protagonist. I would say it's squarely middle grade. I don't think you need the exclamation point... And I also wonder if there's a stronger, more descriptive/interesting word than "fantastic."

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  6. I agree that this should be labeled MG (not upper). I would shorten this by exchanging some of the action verbs to add more excitment... i.e. change "finds" to "discovers"; "Shows up" to "appears" ... stuff like that, and re-work the middle to eliminate uneccesary words (Insect Girl and Winged Wonder - I would choose the one w/ the most impact. Does the icky school nickname present a worse conflic than the mother's superstar term? Otherwise - this sounds quite intriging.

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  7. This one has a lot of personality in it, and I like that a lot. I agree with some of the others, though, about it being a bit too long.

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  8. I like it. A bit long for my tastes, but I'm I don't see anything I'd cut, so good job.

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  9. I like this also. But it becomes convoluted. Just because you know everything about the plot doesn't mean you need to tell the reader everything. Just tease.

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  10. This sounds like a great story! I especially like "Insect Girl". The only thing I noticed was it felt inconsistent when it says she's an outsider at school, but then has to leave her friends who stood by her. I guess the outsider part made me feel she had no friends. Other than that sounds like a fun plot with an emotional layer with the estranged mom. Good job!

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  11. Wow, thanks for the helpful feedback! I'm trying to trim and clarify. This version cuts 8 words...is it enough?

    Abandoned years ago on Grandpa’s farm, twelve-year-old Mandy discovers an ancestor’s journal, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school she’s an outsider, the “Insect Girl.” Her absentee-mother shows up with Hollywood plans for her Winged Wonder – but it means leaving the two friends who stood by her, and Grandpa, who loved her before the whole world knew her name.

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  12. I've been trying to delete my comment above, without success. I think I've got a better version, which adds her crush (that's why it's "Upper" MG). Thanks again!

    Abandoned years ago on Grandpa’s farm, twelve-year-old Mandy discovers an ancestor’s journal, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school she’s an outsider, the “Insect Girl.” Her absentee-mother shows up with Hollywood plans for her Winged Wonder – but it means leaving Grandpa and the two friends who stuck by her – and one is her crush, sweet Danny T.

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  13. I love this, and I would definitely read it. But the newer version introducing her crust really rocks. I have only one suggestion, I think if you drop the last (and) it will make the ending pop!

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  14. I agree that outsider and leaving her friends is a bit of a conflict. I like the added part about her crush. The way the first part reads is that Mandy is the one abandoned for years on the farm, or is that right? If it's the journal, maybe start with: Twelve-year-old Mandy finds an old journal on her Grandpa's farm, reads a spell out loud and wakes up with strange, leathery wings.

    I'd get rid of the !

    Sounds like a good read. MG all the way! I have a MG zombie book with humor I am currently querying. :)

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  15. I love the sound of all of this.

    I do wonder if you can cut some and still add a little hint of the crush. The beginning reads as if the journal OR the girl was abandoned so I'd cut that. How about:

    Twelve-year-old Mandy discovers an ancestor’s journal on her grandpa's farm, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school she doesn't quite fit in. Her absentee-mother shows up with Hollywood plans for her Winged Wonder – but it means leaving the only friend who stood by her, a new crush, and Grandpa, who loved her before the whole world knew her name.

    Just a thought. Good luck!

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  16. This is good but the goal is buried. What does she want? Love? Acceptance? To fly? You need to set this up first and then show why Hollywood etc... will make it difficult for her to achieve.

    Good luck!
    Holly

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  17. Late to the party.
    I like your last version.
    I think you could cut "outsider" and go straight to "insect girl." And for the last sentence, maybe end with "... leaving the ones who've always stood by her--Grandpa, her best friend, and her crush sweet Danny." (?)
    Did I read a couple pages of this at an SCBWI critique session a few months ago?

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  18. Thanks for the feedback, sgf. I'm in a critique group, and I'm a member of SCBWI (Florida), but the two aren't connected. :)

    I've tweaked the logline to focus more on the crush. It might still be a work in progress:

    Twelve-year-old Mandy discovers an ancestor’s journal at Grandpa’s farm, reads a flying spell…and awakens with strange, leathery wings! Flying is fantastic, but at school she’s now an outsider, too different. Her absentee mother shows up with superstar plans for her Winged Wonder Girl – but a Hollywood life with the mother she longed for means leaving Grandpa and the two friends who stuck by her – and one is her crush, who just might be crushing back.

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