Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Logline Critique Round #28

TITLE: Murder's Web
GENRE: Adult Crime/Mystery

When PI and retired cop Rule Carson agrees to help defend a war-damaged black veteran charged with the murder of a white police officer. he begins to suspect his surrogate son may be the real murderer, a suspicion that ensnares him in a web of dishonesty threatening his life, his newly discovered love, and even his adopted son.


  1. This is really good but I have a couple nitpicky things. Are the surrogate son and adopted son the same person? It wouldn't make sense if they were, but these terms are too close not to be. Next, is it his goal to prove the veteran's innocence? If so, this could be stronger if you state that and then position the suspicion as more of an obstacle.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much to Holly and the four other readers for your helpful comments--each of you have touched on important aspects of my logline that require more finishing. I'm shocked, of course--but shouldn't be--that I missed seeing my mistake of using a period instead of a comma, as LM points out. It just goes to show one that editing never catches every mistake. And thank you to Miss Snark for her energy, encouragement, and generosity extended to all of us.

  2. A couple of things confuse me here. I think of a private investigator investigating, not defending (I think lawyer for defense). Also, consider retired cop turned PI (cause at first I thought PI was a name and there were two protags :) ) Surrogate and adopted son both being used confuses me. What makes him suspect the surrogate? That seems random.

    Also make sure you capitalize the first letter in a sentence.

  3. I think what don't hate me is referring to is the period after "white police officer," which, as I'm sure you've already noticed, should be a comma. As for the logline itself, I was really engaged until I got to the clause that starts with "a suspicion that..." You might consider cutting that whole clause and using that space to address some of the issues that Holly and others have raised, keeping your additions as punchy as the beginning you already have.

  4. This sounds really good, but I was confused by the use of adopted and surrogate son -- same people? If not, not sure it's important to mention the second one. I also was confused by the fact a PI is defending. If there's an explanation to that, it doesn't belong in the logline, but that means you should omit the fact that Rule Carson is a PI and cop altogether. Good luck!

  5. I agree with all the comments above. To save confusion, I would drop all mention of the adopted son. I love the description "war-damaged black veteran" and I like the hint of a romance in "newly discovered love".

    With regard to the confusion about a PI defending, maybe the clue is "agrees to help defend" - is he helping a lawyer friend in the defence? If so, perhaps state that more clearly.

  6. I might start: When retired cop ... (this is because I work at a university and 'PI' is what we call the faculty). I think everything is 'there' in your log-line. The only thing I noticed was the length. Breaking it into two sentences might give more punch--just a thought!