Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logline Critique Round Three #24

TITLE: Slave Trading Season
GENRE: MG Historical

After a twelve-year-old girl is freed from slave traders in 1845, she’s placed in a mission school where ministers change her name, her clothes, her religion, and everything else about her former life in the Congo. She must conform in order to find a new family. If she runs away to search for her friends, she risks getting stolen into slavery again.


  1. I like the premise but the logline feels like it needs a question.

    Should she conform in order to find a new family or run away to search for her friends and risk getting stolen into slavery again?

    Also, does she have a name? I think it would make it more personal if I knew her name.

  2. Great premise, and I think the logline is solid. I'll agree with Chelle, though, that I'd like to know the girl's name. I'd also like to know where the story takes place.

    When you say she must conform to find a new family, is the goal adoption, or to obtain a position as a free servant? I'm not sure how realistic it would be for a 12yo girl to be adopted in 1845, especially a black girl in the Americas (if that's where the story is set).

  3. Agree totally with the other commenters. It would be great to know her name and where the story takes place. Chelle's rewriting could also work. I think the story sounds incredibly strong and I would be interested in reading it. Best of luck!

  4. It's a really powerful story you have here. I would suggest trying to combine the second and third lines. This is ehh but: "Will [name] conform to win a place with a new family, or will she run away to find the life she knew, and risk slavery again?" Something like that? Good luck with this!

  5. This is such a sympathetic character! I would like to read this, but I have a couple of issues with what's here as a logline. Could you state (1) what [name] wants; and (2) the either/or related to her actions. What I THINK is that she resents being made to erase her identity, that her intention is to escape, not conform. And that the consequences of not escaping is, one way or the other, a form of slavery. Forced labor or forced rejection of her heritage.

    But then, I may be reading something into it that you didn't intend. Good luck with your story!

  6. The setup is great, but the way this logline is phrased, the MC sounds pretty passive. "Must conform" isn't the most exciting of actions she can choose. How about you consider combining the last two sentences: "She must decide between conforming to her new family or risking capture and being sold into slavery, to search for her old friends"? This way, it feels like her decision is still up in the air.

  7. Your setup needs to incite the goal, but it's actually inciting a situation which is then giving her a path to a goal, although I'm not actually sure this is her goal.

    Also, your stakes aren't balanced. You are saying that she must risk going back to being a slave in order to find her friends ( who I assume are also slaves but this is unclear). At the same time, it sounds like her goal is to have a family so it doesn't make sense why she would want to escape. If her actual goal is to find her friends, everything here needs to show how she will meet this goal.

    Good luck!

  8. I like this premise. (I don't care for the title, however--it seems rather unfeeling.) But I agree it might help to give the girl's name--either her original name or the new one she's been given, depending on how you use it in the book.

    Also, perhaps you could make it clearer that her friends were captured with her but not freed as she was, and consequently would have been sold as slaves while she was at the mission starting this new life. (I'm assuming that's the case.)