Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Logline Critique Round #21

TITLE: The Bone Cypher
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Nineteen-year-old War Messenger Nicola must bear the bone cypher, a dispatch which eludes detection burned into her bones.
Though seers foretell a silver-haired girl will end the war, Nicola seeks only to survive the navigation of reluctant allies, smiling foes, ghosts, mages and the heartbreak she finds along the way.


  1. This is a cool concept for a story! Cool title too.

    I feel this logline is trying to cram in too much while also feeling too vague. And I would end it on a more stakes-high note than heartbreak. I don't mind that heartbreak is in there somewhere, but I wouldn't end it on that one. What is really at stake if she DOESNT survive to deliver the bone cypher?

  2. As written, this first sentence makes it sound like the detection is burned into her bones. I think you're trying to say that she needs to carry a message that is burned into her bones. It would help to know why she is carrying it and to whom, as well as what will happen if she doesn't get there. Stories are journeys from A to B with a whole bunch of bumps along the way. We need to know your A and B here.

    Good luck!

  3. Cool idea! I think you need to have a more tangible goal.....put "ending the war" at the end rather than in the middle. I might leave out "smiling foes", for me it takes away from "reluctant allies" which has an interesting edge to it.

  4. Cool idea.

    The first sentence should be " Nineteen-year-old War Messenger Nicola bears the bone cipher that is burned into her bones. Or is sounds doesn't makes sense. I dropped the "must" as I don't think it's needed. The second line, though cool, doesn't tell me anything. What I'm not getting is what she wants and what is stopping her from getting it.

  5. Very cool concept! I am confused about what is exactly burned into her bones. I also felt the goal is missing -- but I like all the obstacles along the way. Good luck!

  6. To end the war a nineteen-year-old War Messenger bears the bone cypher, a dispatch burned into her bones which she must deliver past the front lines to allies in the west.

    Tested by reluctant associates, ghosts and Storm Mages, her failure could spell the loss of the continent to the machinations of a magic-wielding tyrant.

  7. Wow! Good job on hooking me and inspiring me to read on.

  8. Extremely cool idea. But in the 2nd sentence I stopped cold ... is Nicola silver-haired? Also, I'm not sure you need to mention that she's a war messenger to get your point across. That she has a message burned into her bones is chilling!