Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Logline Critique Round Two #19


Eve and Jane, eleven-year-old girls separated by a hundred years, become fast friends when they discover each other through a diary, long forgotten in a dusty sea chest. But Jane, who dreams of leaving her farm on Martha’s Vineyard, boards a whaling ship that Eve soon learns is doomed to disaster. As Eve faces difficult choices in the present, will the bonds of their unusual friendship be deep enough to save Jane in the past?


  1. I like this concept but have seen this premise in many novels lately. Also, I'm confused at how Eve can have anything to do with Jane if they are separated by 100 years. I had to check your genre to "get" that something supernatural is at work here. Perhaps weave some hints of the fantasy element to us in this logline so that their connection will make more sense.

  2. I recognize this!
    Maybe saying something like, "they discover each other through the magic of a diary ..." would solve the issue the other poster mentioned?
    My only other thought was that "Eve faces difficult choices" is vague and could perhaps either be made more specific or cut?
    Aside from those small details, I think this reads really well! Maybe could add an adjective for Eve, since Jane, with her dreams, comes across more clearly? The main conflict and consequences are clear and compelling! Nice!

  3. This is kind of a done concept but that doesn't mean it can't be compelling done right. The logline is a little confusing though, I think because you got bogged down in too many details maybe?

    Also, the logistics of this are confusing to me. How do they communicate with each other? Or is the friendship all in Eve's head?

  4. --I liked your logline, but was confused on some bits. And perhaps I'm not on the up and up, but the only book I've read with a magical diary (which I'm assuming it is, I was confused there) involved was Tom Riddle and Harry Potter thing going on, and I'd love to read a story with a diary like that.
    --Also, this is a pretty long logline and there is much unnecessary info here. I think that third sentence can be cut down to just about Jane boarding the whaling ship, the farm on Martha's vineyard is something you can save for a synopsis, not the logline. And like someone else said, how do they become fast friends? I know a supernatural/magical element must be involved here but if you could briefly explain or work it in your logline it would improve wonders.

  5. I like the concept here but also felt a bit confused, having to look back to see which girl was the older character esp. since both names are old-fashioned. Sounds like an intriguing tale.

  6. This sounds intriguing to me. The story seems clear for a logline. I think it's Ok to leave the reader with questions on the logline. How they communicate and what choices Eve will face can be answered in more than just a few sentences. Nicely done.

  7. I'm having a little problem with the setup. Consider sticking with one POV, possibly the one in the present.

    Eve discovers a hundred year old diary in a sea chest and makes a magical connection with it's author, Jane. When Eve learns that Jane has boarded a doomed whaling ship, she must... in the present, to save her friend in the past.

    Not a great example, but something like that.

  8. I agree with the above posters. This sounds like a charming premise, but needs a little bit more tightening for the logline to really shine.

  9. Excellent! I want to know more, enough to pick up the book and see if it will intrigue me to read the whole story. You've given sufficient background to pique my interest but not enough to give it all away in a logline. Separated by 100 years - oh yeah, I want to know why and how the initial connection was made. Good job!

  10. Thank you so much everyone! I love how there seem to be two camps. I have no idea what the perfect log line is--I guess it's best to keep reading all of them.

  11. This would be quite good if you clear up the magic of the diary and kill the question at the end (you should NEVER ask questions in a logline or a query!)

    Good luck!

  12. I think you have some great advice Kristen!

    I don't agree about killing the question at the end though. I think the kind of questions to avoid are the ones directed at the agent... this is more of leaving the ending open to make the agent want to read the ms to find out the answer.

  13. The story seems solid except that I'm not sure if Jane is aware of Eve or not, and the nature of the Diary - whether the diary is the speculative element or not.

    Also, the question at the end, I think the problem is that it doesn't make that much sense. Friendship in and of itself doesn't save anyone's life, it's what friendship makes people do. So it seems like the question is basically saying, does Eve care enough to do anything to help Jane. Which, if the story is all about them becoming friends, you'd think that they'd get to the point that Eve would lift a finger to help her friend, and then it ends up being a rhetorical question. You might just need to get more specific as to what Eve is capable of doing, or maybe change it to something like "Can Eve do anything to save her friend?"