Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logline Critique Round Three #10

TITLE: Maria's Beads
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

A mysterious Mexican shaman, a curandera, gives 12-year-old Maria Cortez, beads from the powerful mara’kame spirits, just before she learns that her best friend has a fatal disease and her parents refuse medical care for her.

Can Maria discover the secret of the magic beads in time to gain the strength and knowledge to save her friend’s life?


  1. This is intriguing, but I feel like your word order gives the Shaman more importance than Maria. Put her first getting a mysterious powerful gift and then, my preference is not to ask a question, but make it an imperative to keep me leaning forward. Maria must discover...
    I'd read it.

  2. I like this but agree with SMKrafty that changing the word order would shift the focus to where it needs to be. Something like:

    Twelve year old Maria Cortez is given beads from the powerful mara'kame spirits just before she learns that her best friend has a potentially fatal disease. ______'s parents are refusing medical care. Maria must discover...

  3. Nice title and the suggestions given above are good.

    I felt you had too many commas in the first paragraph (I'd take out the comma after Cortez and the one after spirits)

    Also, is this fantasy or magical realism? I'm thinking magical realism.

    Sounds like a fab story.

  4. This sounds like an intriguing story, but I'm not sure you need to use the word curandera, since most people know shaman. Good luck!

  5. I agree with the suggestions to cut the word curandera, rearrange the elements, and get rid of the question. The stakes, her friend's life, seem plenty high, but I'd like more of a feeling for the obstacles she must overcome? If her goal is to learn to use the beads, what's stopping her? What makes this so difficult that it will fill a whole book?

    I've never read anything involving this kind of magic, so it feels new and fresh. Good luck with it.

  6. You have buried your goal in a question and it needs to be incited from what happens to her friend. After that, you need to tell us why saving her friend will be hard and it can't be vague like acquiring knowledge.

    It's hard to tell this from a logline but it sounds like she is being given the beads before she has a goal when most plots would have her actively trying to win the beads in order to save her friend. If this is true, I'd suggest you consult a beat sheet in order to make sure you plot elements are in the right order.

    Good luck!

  7. I like this one, but I agree that the order needs to be changed up a bit, probably starting with "When twelve-year-old Maria Cortez..."

    Also, as Holly said, it would be stronger if you could be more specific about what she'll have to do to learn how to use the beads to save her friend. Ending with the question isn't really working here.