Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Logline Critique Round Two #11

TITLE: Ghost Girl
GENRE: YA Fiction

Teenage ghosthunter Kyla Berkheart must use her unique Otherworldly skills to communicate with the spirits in a haunted asylum, or face exile from the paranormal community. Or maybe she'll die.


  1. I don't think you need "Or maybe she'll die." It's vague and uninteresting. If you want to add the death threat to up the stakes, make it personal. Otherwise, the logline worked for me.

  2. I agree I like this and it's a clear clean pitch but I don't think you need the or maybe she'll die. It feels like an afterthought. I think the stakes of exile from her community seem high enough. but like Patchi said if you need to include death definitely make it personal.

    Also I'm not sure why Otherworldly is capitalized.

  3. Yeah, i think the "Or maybe she'll die" bit is trying to be clever, but i think it falls flat. Making it personal would work, because right now, when i think of ghosthunters, i don't think of them in mortal danger.

  4. Who's forcing her? What is she risking by doing it? I'd love some clue as to what her personal issues might be that create the internal conflict here.

  5. Setting and character are intriguing. I'm lost, however, on what the main thrust of the story is, namely, why do they need her to communicate with these spirits (i.e. what is so important that they would kick her out)?

  6. So my first question is why? Why does SHE need to do this NOW? You haven't really incited this as a goal; you've just stated it like it's a fact. Aside from that, you also need to be more specific about her goal. What does she need to communicate and for how long? Basically, what does she have to do in order to be done (that's the real goal) and who wants to stop her from doing it?

    Finally, I agree that the last line can go or can be merged with the other stakes.

    Good luck!

  7. This is nice and lean, but maybe a little too lean. I’d like to know what obstacle she faces. What’s stopping her from communicating with the spirits? What’s threatening her life? And does she really need to just communicate with the spirits or does she need to accomplish something else?

    One other thing I’d like to know is what makes this stand out from other ghost hunter stories. (For example, in Anna Dressed In Blood, the ghost hunter falls in love with one of the ghosts.) You know what makes your story unique. Find a way to show that in the logline.

  8. The "Or maybe she'll die" made me laugh; it could potentially come off like the writer doesn't know what will happen. I would nix that and go with more specific stakes, or add more specifics to the first sentence. Why she needs to communicate with the spirits and if that communication requires the spirits to make a choice, or for her to make a choice.

    Recently I heard from a published author who mentioned that her agent said YA ghost stories are tough to sell right now. Trends come and go, and you never know what will truly sell until it's out there, but if you can show the uniqueness of your story, that's key. What about your character is unique, can you show this in the pitch? If her life is threatened, what will happen--will she be banished to another realm, will her family also be cursed? I think the foundation is here. Good luck!

  9. I'm afraid I laughed at the 'Or maybe she'll die' too. It sounds like it's just dropped in there out of nowhere--it's almost as if you were making fun of your own book, and I don't think that's what you mean to do.

    Other than that, this is nice and simple, but as others have said, it doesn't tell us why the paranormal community wants Kyla to communicate with these spirits, and--if she has this skill and uses it regularly as a ghost hunter--why it would be a problem for her. (Perhaps the fact that they're haunting an asylum means they're deranged spirits, and more dangerous than ordinary ghosts?!)