Monday, November 1, 2010

LOGLINES Melting in Chocolate

Today, over on Chocolate Reality, Steena Holmes is hosting a Logline Blogfest!! I happened upon it the other day and thought Sure, I'll participate. What's the harm?


Miss Snark is having a fangtastic contest in December, which encompasses, yes...the dreaded logline. She's been offering critiques of loglines over the past few months in preparation for December. However, so many folks emailed to partake in those initial critiques that many were left out.

So Steena, in her awesomeness, decided to host this blogfest to help the rest of us out. I'm pasting three different versions of my logline below and am open to your critiques. The differences are quite subtle but there. Feel free to tell me what strikes you most, what you don't like, and/or the elements you feel work best together.

I'd love it if you'd take a gander over to her blog, too. She has links to other writers who are participating.

Thanks in advance!!
#1 ~ A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse, saving a preppie boy, before she literally loses her mind: her only alternative is death.
#2 ~ A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse to save a preppie boy before she loses her mind; accepting who she is may be her ultimate test.
#3 ~ A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse to save a preppie boy and keep her sanity; accepting who she is may be her ultimate test. 

40 comments:

  1. I like #3. It just flows better for me. I'm gonna hop over to Steena's blog now... Tootles!

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  2. Thanks for the opinion, PK. My only quandary is should I keep that ending, use the death one, or nix it and simply end with 'losing her mind or keeping her sanity'. *sigh* I've pondered this forever, it seems.

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  3. Sounds like an intriguing story. A couple of comments generally - firstly, I'd love the logline to give a bit more detail about the "losing her mind" subplot, as I found it a little on the vague side at the moment. For example, is it the case that she will die unless she saves the boy? Or does she need to accept who she is in order to be able to save the boy? Also, I've read that semi-colons in loglines are considered almost a full-stop, something to think about if you're trying to keep to the one sentence :)

    In terms of your 3 options, I thought #1 had more voice, though I stumbled a bit on reading the logline with the placement of the commas and my point about the uncertainty over the plotline. So given this I'd probably choose #2, with a few tweaks as per my comments.

    Great logline, thanks for sharing this with us. I hope my comments help :)

    Rach

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  4. Rachael pretty much read my mind. I love the snark in #1, but it reads funny. I would remove the semi colons and colons. If I knew more about it I could help reword a bit more. Sounds interesting though!
    Good luck!

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  5. I can so relate to agonizing over something for too long. I'm not sure I love the semicolon. I kind of want to know more of the stakes at the end about who she really is, though it's hard to squeeze it all into one sentence. What about:

    A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse to save a preppie boy and keep her sanity (or: and not go insane), but she'll be forced to accept who she really is, the ultimate test (or: a test she may not pass).

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  6. I vote #1 b/c her literally losing her mind is more interesting than the line " accepting who she is may be her ultimate test."
    ->> which seems overdone lately. I'd play up the other line. hope that helps!

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  7. I've also heard the same thing about semicolons.

    This sounds like a great story. I was a little confused (just a little, tho). Whose immortal curse is it? The boy's? Does that mean he won't die . . . which I guess defies the whole immortal thing? The insanity/losing her mind part is a nice touch. Shows the impact on her; otherwise, big deal if she doesn't save him.

    I thought 'losing her mind' gave it voice, but I was a little confused what it meant, so 'keep her santiy' might be the way to go (tho this is what I thought you meant anyway). And I also like the part about the 'ultimate test' instead of the 'alternative being her death'.

    (PS MSFV is having another logline crit session this week. Check out her blog. But if you enter, start refreshing your screen frequently the minute before it opens. I swear it opened before 7 pm EST according to my computer. I sent it at 6:59 pm (and it was already open) and made it in as the last entry).

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  8. Sounds like a great story - I love curses!

    Maybe use a dash instead of a semi colon. I liked the way 2 and 3 read over 1. But I'm not sure how the preppie boy is tied into the immortal curse and why she cares so much? Immortal curse is vague enough that I'm not sure exactly what it would be. Maybe aspects of this need to be more detailed or focused?

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  9. Great comments! I like #3 the best, but would also like to know more specifics--tough to do when you've got only one sentence, tho! ;)

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  10. Very cool blog!

    I like #2 best, but find all 3 of them vague. I think we need to know more about the curse, the preppy boy (why do we need to know he's preppy, however?) and the stakes. What's important about her accepting who she is? In a sense everyone must learn to do that at some point. So what's so special about her that that's part of the outcome?

    Good luck!

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  11. Hey Sheri,

    In addition to what others have said, I'd say that the losing her mind thing was problematic for me. Without the literally, it reads as cliche. With the literally... well, I'm a real stickler on that. It's a pet peeve of mine. If she won't LITERALLY lose her mind (as in, where is my mind? I can't find it! I know I left it here somewhere), then it doesn't work for me. Since I don't know what you mean by literally, I can't really say.

    Also, I didn't get a whole lot of uniqueness here. I don't really know the goal, or the stakes, or anything. It's all vauge (as others have said). This will let us be more invested and make things clearer as well.

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  12. Everyone, great comments. I just have one more thing to add I'd like to see the ultimate test and death come together somehow.

    Maybe- accepting death is her ultimate test. I don't know if this ties in with your story or not.

    Michael

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  13. Hi Sheri,
    I did find #1 to have the most voice, but there was something about the wording that made me stumble a bit and have to re-read it.

    Good luck!

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  14. Thanks, everyone for your wonderful insight. Obviously, I'm struggling with this. I just can't figure out how to put the most important elements into one concise sentence. Ugh...

    Literally losing her mind - means just that - her sanity. At the scene of an accident, this boy takes a piece of her mortal essence to save her life and leaves. But this act also links her to his psychic vampire curse. Thus, the possibility of losing her mind. But the boy isn't sure if he wants to test her against his curse because of all his past mortal failures. What he doesn't know is that she is human but has gifts (special abilities) that she doesn't understand, gifts she ignores. In the end she realizes that she must accept her gift and use it to save him and herself, only her heart must stop beating to do so, and she must trust him to keep her alive.

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  15. Personally Sheri, I'm in love with the first one! I thought maybe you could try it like this...

    A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse, saving a preppie boy,at the same time, still trying to keep her sanity. Her only alternative... death.

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  16. How about:

    A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse to save a preppie boy, or risk literally losing her mind and dying.

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  17. I'm on the #1 bandwagon, too! The voice shines through the best but it does seem to have a problem flowing smoothly. To me it reads like "saving a preppie boy" is the curse.

    Perhaps try "A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse and save a preppie boy before she literally loses her mind. Her only alternative is death." Or something like it. The flow works better (IMO). But very intriguing premise!

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  18. I think everybody's entering that contest... lol! BY FAR #3 is the best... IMO. :o) <3

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  19. Oh, what fun (especially when I'm not coming up with one for my work, lol!)

    An immortal curse, drives a tenacious teen tomboy to save a preppie boy, before she loses her life and mind to fulfill the curse.

    I don't know if that helps, but saying she's 16 kind of stops the excitement. You may want to put the action words or the hook phrase first.

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  20. I like #2, Sheri. And how did I miss this blogfest?! I may have to post for it on Wednesday, just for fun and feedback. :-)

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  21. Lovin' #1 - it's the voice! I like Lola's suggestion - it takes away what most are having issues with.

    Good luck girl! I want to read the story :)

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  22. I like #1.

    I'm so curious about the rest of the story. Why is she going to lose her mind? Why is this prep special? What *kind* of immortal is she?

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  23. I agree with removing the age of the girl in the beginning. Otherwise, I love it. The voice of #1 is great!

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  24. Hello! Came over from Lisa's blog AND I am doing the logline fest. I like three better BUT I am wondering if there is anything more to the preppie boy than being preppie. Is that he is so very different from her, which is what I was getting. Is it a boy she loves or a friend or a stranger? I almost wish that we could post our queries along with the longlines to help. Anyway, I like the line of "losing her mind" but maybe you could freshen up the term a bit. Maybe it could be ...to save a (blank) boy and save her own life. Very cool concept : )

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  25. Sheri, I would also vote for number one (and maybe just drop the last line?) I like your "voice" in that one the best.

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  26. Everyone seems to love the first one, but I also am hung up on the colon. What about:

    A sixteen-year-old tenacious tomboy must break an immortal curse, saving a preppie boy, before she literally loses her mind ... or dies trying.

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  27. You all are so amazingly awesome! Thank you for all your suggestions. I'm in awe of the support. I've tried to reply to each of you who have an email addy attached to your blogger profile. For those of you who don't - Majoy Splats of Gratitude, your way!

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  28. I love #2! But as has been said, preferably a little more specific. This gives me an idea of what's happening, but I'm not entirely convinced yet! Still, I'm definitely intrigued! :D

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  29. Heya, I've just popped back again. With the info you've given about the boy, the vampire stuff, him taking part of her mind, etc, I think you've got heaps more interesting stuff to add than "preppie" - maybe see what other intriguing words you can come up with :)

    Rach

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  30. I'd vote for num 2, but I'd love to see a little more about WHY (or perhaps how?) she would lose her mind - that detail that would hook me in a little more. :)

    I love this logline contest idea! :)

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  31. I liked #1 best - I thought it made the stakes sound the highest. I really liked "her only alternative is death" - now those are some stakes!

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  32. Okay, I want to preface this comment by saying that I am no expert. This is merely my impression of what I read. Since we're all here to help each other turn out the best piece possible, I am zeroing in on the elements I think would improve your logline. Please take what you can use and disregard the rest.

    Here goes nothing. After reading the above synopsis you provided, I don't think any of the three options capture the conflict in the story.

    In a nutshell, I gathered that a vampire takes a dangerous risk in order to save the life of a human girl with supernatural gifts. When your heroine discovers that the vamp's decision put them both in jeopardy, then she will have to enter the world of the undead in order to forestall a looming threat. This is the conflict, the bones of your story.

    The part about your heroine losing her mind, or whether she is a tomboy and the vamp is preppy, does not hook me in any way. IMHO, you need to let the reader know what the stakes are, and in this case it is both of your character's immortal souls...I think.(: I hope this helps.

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  33. Interesting logline, maybe you could end it with, 'but the test for her is just beginning'

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  34. Great contest. I like number 1. It's a bit more specific IMHO. I agree. I think you need to get rid of the ; It's a period in disguise.

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  35. I think I like #3 best! I can't believe I didn't hear about this! I did make it into Miss Snark's last week though and got some great feedback. I can't wait for her contest!

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  36. Great work, Sheri!! :o) I like number 3 the best, but I would give your MC a name so that readers have a handle to use.

    Best of luck!

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