Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Logline Critique Round One #36

TITLE: Dear John
GENRE: Young Adult Fiction

From jail a resilient teen untangles herself from the dark clutches of her human trafficker while writing letters to the men who bought her for sex.


  1. This is an intriguing idea, but I wondered why she was in jail, and what she wrote in those letters. Is she trying to lure the men into a trap? Is she creating a false "relationship" with them so they'll slip and confess their crime in writing? The premise is interesting, but it needs more details to fully hook the reader.

    Best wishes!

  2. I'd like to know more about the main character other than she's resilient (I would expect that if she's survived human trafficking, even if she is in jail). What motivates her and what's at stake with these letters? Is she trying to prove her innocence? Trying to forgive herself/the Johns? You have room to give us more detail so that we're hooked.

  3. I don't think there's enough of a hook for me here. Why is she in jail?
    A human trafficker and people who bought her seem like things that happened to her, stuff that happens in the story, but I'm not sure what the story is about.

  4. I agree that it needs a few more details, but I'm still fascinated. It sounds like a really intriguing story already, and having those extra details would give emotional oomph to match the fascination of the premise.

  5. Could you keep these elements, but rewrite this in a way that doesn't make everything sound resolved? This seems like an intriguing premise, but I'm not hooked because it sounds like she writes the letters and is fine. Is there something that happens after she writes the letters? Or more at stake as she writes them? If I know it all works out, then I'm not as hooked.

  6. This idea is intriguing but as is, there is not enough to hook me. What are her stakes? Where is this going?

  7. This sounds like a powerful story. What I'm unclear on is whether this begins with her in jail, or whether she is arrested at some point during the story. I think a statement why or how she ended up in jail is needed to set the premise.

    It might serve the pitch better to state what she specifically did to untangle herself--this says "while" writing letters, so I assume she is also doing something else to free herself.

    I think you should end with a "if/then" statement. If she does/doesn't do this by a deadline (a court hearing maybe) then ... and name the big crisis point.

  8. I think you could give us more than one sentence here, and I found the "From jail" opening awkward. Also, I'd quite like a name:

    In jail for prostitution, Jenny struggles to untangle...
    She begins by writing letters to the men who bought her for sex BECAUSE...

    If she's in jail for murder, so much the better.

  9. Ouch! I sense some dark humor at play. This reads like a psychological study. "Dark clutches" might be a stretch. Could you say something specific about the untangling? I'm not sure if she's working through her issues, or setting up the capture/arrest of the human trafficker.

    Sounds like it will be a gripping story.

  10. I'm definitely hooked by this. Very intriguing. Question - do the letters involve a trap or a plan to get back at the people who hurt her? If so, hint at that. Also, what's the consequence if the trap fails? Is her life at risk?

  11. This is a premise, not a logline. Why is she in jail and why does she need to untangle herself and what does that even mean? It needs to be a tangible goal and I can't see what untangling looks like. Finally, who is trying to stop her from said untangling? It almost sounds like this is a story about her trying to clear her name/get freed from jail by proving she wasn't a prostitute but you don't say any of this so I'm just guessing.

    Good luck!

  12. The logline makes it sound like the action all happened before this book began, so now the main character is in jail writing letters. If she's in jail, she's already safe from the trafficker and men who bought her. I'm wondering what she has to untangle and why she's in jail if she's the victim.