Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Logline Critique Round Two #37

GENRE: YA Contemporary Romance

When sixteen-year-old Gigi Smith’s forced to trade the city for Stetson’s, she’s willing to do anything to get back home, to include finding buried treasure—that is, until she loses a one-on-one game with Army-bound ranch hand Rider James, who can’t seem to tear himself away from home and, now, from the boss’s granddaughter.


  1. I had to read this a few times to get with the story was about..at first I thought it was some kind of fantasy because I thought girl was trading an actual city for something..but then I realized the Stetson's thing was a country reference (I believe?)

    Maybe make that more clear like "forced to trade city life for Stetson boots" or something like that so we better understand she's being forced to a country setting when she's a city girl.

    The part where it start's "to include finding buried treasure" starts to read a little awkward and makes the whole sentence one long run on..I think you can break it up a bit to help with flow.

    Also I think for this you can just say "ranch hand" for Rider James so we get his setting ..the Army bound just adds another adjective and slows us down.

    Once I understood the concept though I was VERY intrigued so I think if you clean this up a bit it will be a sure hit :)

  2. I had trouble with the trading the city for stetson's as well. It wasn't until I got to ranch hand that I got what was being said.

    I don't think you need the hunt for buried treasure. The sentence works without it.

    The end works really well!

  3. I found this a bit confusing. Maybe splitting into 2 or 3 sentences might help. How about:

    When sixteen-year-old Gigi Smith’s forced to trade the city for Stetson’s [ranch?], she’s willing to do anything to get back home[--including searching for a] buried treasure[.] Until she loses a one-on-one game [to] Army-bound []Rider James, who can’t seem to tear himself away from home [or] the boss’s granddaughter.

    I like the buried treasure because it suggests there is more to the plot than the romance.

  4. I also like the idea, but the "trading the city for Stetson's" is awkward and confusing. Shouldn't that be plural, not possessive? And the last bit is very confusingly punctuated.

    If you clean it up (I like the start Patchi has made there) you'll be a lot better off.

  5. I first thought that Stetson was a hat? You either need to change the name or clarify. You can and should use more than one sentence. As is, this is awkward reading.

  6. I see the story behind the pitch, but it feels like a some filler is getting in the way. I do agree that the punctuation is also muddling this up a bit. The "[is] forced to" is not really needed, this could more simply say: Gigi Smith trades the city for a Stetson (this is the hat right? I'm thinking one hat singular).

    Then, why is she willing to get back home? The buried treasure kind of lost me, I think focusing on why she doesn't like where she is--did her parents send her to camp? To live with grandma in Montana? These are good details to include. I think we need to know where home is since it's mentioned twice, and I'm not sure if Rider's home is the same as the home Gigi longs for.

    Here's an attempt at a recraft:

    When sixteen-year-old Gigi Smith trades the city for a Stetson [and her grandmother's pull-out sofa (or something that indicates why/where she is sent off to)], she’ll do anything to get back to [name of city/state/or parent's house etc.]. But when she loses a one-on-one [type?] game with Army-bound ranch hand Rider James, who can’t seem to tear himself away from the boss’s granddaughter [is this Gigi?], then [what is the story conflict?]. She must do [x] or [y] will happen.

  7. I also had trouble getting this one straight in my head. Some elements felt superfluous (e.g. buried treasure?) and the mention of generic "home" twice but with (I assume) different frames of reference was somewhat confusing.

    Some possible places to reword:

    When sixteen-year-old Gigi Smith’s forced to trade the city for Stetson’s...

    I would say either pair a city name with Stetson or else have "city for the countryside" or somethig similar.

    "Army-bound ranch hand" was a mouthful.

    "from the boss’s granddaughter" I assume this refers to Gigi, but it's not explicit.

  8. I found this very confusing as it is written.

    First, I think you want to say "Gigi Smith is forced" not "Gigi Smith's forced." Also, I had no idea what "Stetson" was the first few times I read this. At first I though it was a town, but maybe you mean Stetson boots or hats? But you have it written as possessive with an 's not as plural.

    I also stumbled on "to include finding buried treasure." Do you mean "including finding buried treasure"? Is the buried treasure where she is in the country or back at home?

    And I didn't get who "the boss" is or "the granddaughter." Is the granddaughter Gigi?

    I would definitely try to rework this a bit.

    Good luck!

  9. I'm from Texas, so I know what a Stetson is and would suggest you write, "a Stetson." I like the clever turn of phrase of trading a city for a Stetson because it lets me know right away that she's moved to the country. Unfortunately, according to the comments above, not everyone knows what a Stetson is. That's a quandary: keep the clever turn of phrase or sacrifice it for clarity.

    As to the rest of your logline, finding buried treasure as a way to get back home doesn't make sense. Also, calling herself "the boss's granddaughter" is a switch in POV, which is not what you want to do in such a few short words.

  10. I'm really lost on this one. It sounds like she wants to go home but this Rider guy wants her to stay (that is, assuming she's the boss's granddaughter...I can't tell). If so, you need to clarify why she needs to go home and what will happen if she doesn't get there.

    Good luck!

  11. As others have said, it's really not clear what you mean by 'Stetson's', but it looks like the apostrophe is incorrect in any case. And 'to include finding buried treasure' is ungrammatical; in this sentence it would have to be 'including finding buried treasure.'

    Even with the correction, I think this is a tad unwieldy. I also found 'Army-bound ranch hand Rider James' too much of a mouthful; perhaps you could simplify or rephrase that. (Especially with his name being Rider--it's hard not to want to read that as 'rider' instead of as a first name!)

    Although the way you inserted 'now' is technically correct, it's also a bit clunky. Finally, if she's the boss's granddaughter, that definitely needs to be made clear.

    It does sounds like a promising setup for a YA romance; I think the scenario of a city girl reluctantly falling for a country boy has inherent appeal, and buried treasure could add an intriguing twist.

  12. Thank you for the great feedback everyone! I've taken down my notes and will get crackin! I'll be sure to head over to other loglines to offer my critique as well in the next couple of days. :)