Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Logline Critique Round Three #26

TITLE: The Faithful
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

When astute gangster Raine Morgan accidentally kills the warrior god Dawber, a divine war between old enemies ravages his heathen port town. Thrust into the middle of a conflict he's struggling to understand, he must decide whether to sacrifice himself or fight the fallen gods, destroying everything he loves in the process.


  1. Hmm. I'm not sure about this. It's easy to read and I feel like I get a good idea of the story and what the feel of it will be, but at the same time I feel like there's still a bit too much going on in this? I can't quite put my finger on it, and I'm looking forward to seeing what feedback others give this, because I think it's the sort of thing that will be helpful to me with my loglines, too.

  2. Okay, so this one confused me at first. I think I need less adjectives and more actual details.

    I assume Raine Morgan is the main character, but you don't actually name him as the MC. Who are the old enemies? If they are important enough to the plot to make the logline, then should you name them? How would Raine sacraficing himself fix things? The stakes are too vague for me. I want specifics. Oh, and if you tell me that Raine accidentally killed someone, again, I want to know the details.

    When ganster Raine Morgan accidentally kills Dawber, the warrior god (how), he feels responsibe for the divine war that ensues...

    What does Raine have to do to fix the problem, what's his plan, and what will happen (specifically) if he fails?

  3. The first sentence of this is okay. A little clarity would help here. Consider "...war between old enemies ERUPTS..."

    The second sentence is too vague and a little confusing.

    o "...he must decide whether to sacrifice himself" by falling on his sword, strapping on a vest bomb and walking into the enemy camp, or? Say what his personal risk is.

    o "or fight the fallen gods". Why would he fight fallen gods? As opposed to who?

    I'm not understanding his choices.

    o "...destroying everything he loves", like what? His town is already ravaged. His future as a gangster?

    I'm not understanding his consequences or his goal.

  4. I too do not quite understand what is at stake. Destroying everything he loves vs. his own sacrifice seems a bit of a no-brainer; would he not have an option that saves both himself and his town?

    You might try trimming out that he's struggling to understand the conflict; he's in the middle of it, there's bound to be confusion involved. Also, cutting "astute," "warrior," and "heathen" will tighten your logline without losing the overall gist of the story.

  5. It sounds like the whole point of the book is for him to decide if he should have a goal and I doubt that is actually true (it probably just means that you've written this using your first act which is never wise!) you need to use the setup here to incite his goal and then present the conflicts.

    Good luck!

  6. You've got some interesting elements here but also some things that you don't need or that are too vague to be enticing.

    I would cut "between old enemies" because of its vagueness. As it stands, we don't even know if they're Raine's old enemies or if there are two groups of enemies fighting against each other.

    You could condense "ravaging his heathen port town" (does it matter that it's heathen? or that it's a port?) Just say divine war breaks out, threatening earth or humanity.

    You can drop the part about him being thrust into the middle of the conflict because I assume that. If he's on the sidelines, there's no story. You probably don't even need the fact that he's struggling to understand the conflict. Most characters in the midst of a divine war would have that problem.

    By getting rid of the things you don't need to tell the story, you have room to add specifics to the stakes. As Holly said, your book probably isn't about his decision. It's about what he does after he makes the decision.

    Can you clarify Raine's options? What does it mean for him to sacrifice himself? Die? Because he might die fighting the gods, so it seems like both his choices are the same.

    What exactly is his goal? To end the war? What does he need to do to accomplish that goal? What obstacle stands in his way? Once you have those elements, you have the raw materials for your logline. Then it's just a matter of rearranging them for maximum clarity and impact.

  7. I agree with everyone above. They have some good comments on what makes this so bogged down.
    Additionally, I think the reason the stakes might not be working is because they're both pretty negative. What's the difference between the two? What's the good that can come out of this?

    Good luck!

  8. As L.M. Miller said, the problem here is that neither of his options has any appeal--as you've presented it, Raine loses either way. And I doubt that's really the situation in the novel--if it is, it would be quite a downer, and I'm afraid I certainly wouldn't want to read it.

    So I agree that you need to rethink what his goal and the stakes really are.