Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Logline Critique Round One #30

TITLE: Sarita
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary and Historical Fiction

Thirteen-year-old Sammy’s little brother takes pity on the “cold, pretty girl,” a 500 year old frozen Inca sacrifice victim their father is studying at the American Museum of Natural History, and turns up the thermostat. Can Sammy and the “ice princess” rise above their differences while Sarita gets a second chance at life?


  1. Woah. I really like it. The name Sarita comes out of nowhere. Also, you could add a sentence after the first that really pounds home the fact that the girl wakes up, because that's huge! Something like, "To their shock, Sarita wakes up and begins walking the halls of the museum." The way you phrase the first sentence makes it obvious that's where you're going, and the phrasing of the second sentence makes it obvious too, but a good punchy sentence to declare it would be nice and climactic.

  2. I really want to know the stakes here. What happens if they don't rise above their differences? What are their differences? This is an evocative setting/premise and I like the voice ("cold pretty girl" is great!), but what's the conflict? I'm guessing it's more than these two trying to learn how to be friends.

  3. This is a really interesting premise. That being said, I think everything is a bit muddled. I agree that you need to state your conflict more clearly. Also, leading us into the fact that Sarita is the thawed Incan would be helpful. I might also drop the quotes. Loglines are meant to be short, quotes are unnecessary fluff.

  4. Cool premise! I was thrown by the genre—seems like fantasy should be mentioned in there somewhere—so it took me a minute to realize the mummy actually came back to life.

  5. I love this concept! Personally I think it's clear from the 'second chance at life' that the frozen princess came back to life, but I can see how in the context of a logline it would probably be better to spell it out in the traditional 'when this happens, that happens' format.

    Also, I agree that the genre isn't right -- something can't be both contemporary and historical in any case -- and this is definitely either SF or fantasy.

  6. The first sentence is about Sammy's little brother, so why does it begin with the age of Sammy? I offer this variation:

    Thirteen-year-old Sammy is intrigued by the frozen Inca sacrificial victim but his little brother feels sorry for the "cold, pretty girl," and cranks up the thermostat.

    I don't think it's vital to a logline to specify which museum, or even Sammy's connection to it.

    It is important to pair Sammy and Sarita, though! Cool concept.

  7. I agree about this being a cool concept, no pun intended (okay, maybe a little!) Problem is, we need a little more info. We go from melting down Sarita (love that name- may use it for my next kitty!) to two kids not getting along. I agree with L.C. that you should try the "when this happens, that happens" format and see if that helps to clarify your premise.

    Really like the idea, though!

  8. I feel like I'm a beating a dead horse here, but please do not ask questions in loglines. You are supposed to be telling us about your character's journey, not asking us what we think. On to the logline...

    I don't see any goal here. I think Sammy's brother wants to help the ice princess (who may be Sarita but I can't tell) but if Sammy is your main character, then Sammy needs a goal and some obstacles and some stakes and I can't see any of these.

    Good luck!

  9. I think this could an awesome story-magical realism. My imagination is filling in the blanks which you must do. Does the heat breathe life into the Inca girl mummy? Does Sammy fall in love with her? Is there curse? Will he and family be doomed if he...? Keep in mind the pitch formula: Main character-inciting incident-conflict-goal- consequence if he/she doesn't achieve goal. All the best!

  10. Is Sammy the main character or his little brother? And why does Sammy have to get along with the ice princess if he wasn't the one to unthaw her? You need to be more specific about what his goal is - freeing the princess or just keeping the secret from his dad so he doesn't get in trouble?