Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Logline Help

Have you heard of Miss Snarks First Victim before? If you haven't, you should! She is awesome, running these fabulous agent contests every month, and every once in a while she runs a Bakers Dozen contest where a dozen agents come and bid on your work.
I thought is would be fun to try it out. You should too. But here's the thing. What you are submitting is your logline. If you could only see my face now you would know what real despair is. Seriously, I gag on the word logline.

I need some major help from my fellow bloggers. I have two loglines here, the first is what I submitted originally for crits (because she does that too) and it was shredded as I thought it would be.

This is it: (and yes I know it doesn't even make sense)
Sixteen-year-old Kali Addison remembers the past before the Protectorate creates their utopian society, but when bombs destroy it all in the present, she’d better figure out why before there is no future.

Last night I worked on this second one and I do feel it has more of the components you need for a logline (inciting incident, goal, conflict, consequences), but I think it still lacks in a BIG way.

Here it is:
When the time machines seventeen-year-old Kali Addison’s dad invented are destroyed, she discovers the power to travel through time is within her. With a heavy handed government wanting to reproduce Kali for their own use and those who wiped out her dads work wanting her dead, she hardly has time to figure out who she really is. If one of them catch her before she does, it’s times up—for everyone.

So please, if you could give me some words of advice I would appreciate it. Cause seriously, I stink at these things and can use all the help I can get.

15 comments:

Guilie said...

Hey Deana :) The new one is certainly an improvement. I have mostly punctuation comments--hope they help.

When the time machines THAT seventeen-year-old Kali Addison's dad invented are destroyed, she discovers the power to travel through time is within her. But a heavy-handed government wants to reproduce Kali for their own purposes, and those who wiped out her dad's work want her dead. She has to figure out who she really is before she's caught, or time's up--for everyone.

Best of luck with this, and please do let us know how it goes.

Melodie Wright said...

When the time machines seventeen-year-old Kali Addison’s dad invented are destroyed, she discovers the power to travel through time is within her. With a heavy handed government wanting to reproduce Kali for their own use and those who wiped out her dads work wanting her dead, she hardly has time to figure out who she really is. If one of them catch her before she does, it’s times up—for everyone.

Agree with Guilie's punctuation advice. A few questions:
Do you need the words 'heavy-handed' or 'hardly'? And how is her identity related to time's up? Is she a human bomb?

Your story is a tough one to condense but I think you're close. Good luck!

Angela Cothran said...

Deana - I'm with you--loglines suck. It is so hard to know what to use.

I actually think this is really good. I just had one question. What does "figure out who she really is" mean? It is a little generic. My first impression is that it is an inner struggle, but I'm not sure. If you were specific here, I think that could really help.

You are brave. It's scary putting your work out like this. Make sure you post the updated version :)

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Here's my two cents:

When sixteen-year-old Kali Anderson discovers the power to travel through time within her, the (adj - US, New World, post apocolyptic, give us an idea of the setting here to describe evil gov) governement wants to reproduce her so they can (do what? Take over other time periods? Come into power in the past or future?). Now she must (do something - goal - finding out who she is is a little vague) or else (big bad that will happen if she fails).

You could also work your last sentence as "In order to XXX she must XXX."

I hope this helps. I'm still working on mine so please take it with a grain of salt. Good luck!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

My questions are: How does destroying the time machines help her discover the power to travel through time? Is she a clone or machine herself that can be easily reproduced? And why is it important for her to figure out who she is?

I don't know if you can distill or add something that answers those questions, but that's where I'm looking.

And I hate loglines too. I'm so familiar with my own story that I can't ever condense it.

Deana said...

Gullie- Thanks so much! I am the worst at grammar:)

Melodie- I don't need those, but I was told you need some words to catch the reader and I swear I am having the hardest time figuring those out. So you think I need to cut them?

Angela- I have been getting the vague comment a lot on finging out who she is. I am struggling with what is too much to tell and what isn't. She is a time elemental who has lived since the beginning of time. When time is messed with and if she is dead then time will cease to be. Ugh. Anyone elses brain going to explode?

Sheila- I really like your take on it, but I wonder how I would put in there that the gove wants to reproduce her because all the time machines were destroyed? Just talking out loud here.

E.R. King said...

I've already given my two cents, so I'll just say, follow your gut, take the advice that speaks to you, and knock the socks off a literary agent!

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

I think you're on the right track with this:

"She is a time elemental who has lived since the beginning of time. When time is messed with and if she is dead then time will cease to be."

Those are great stakes and I get a better feel for her. She doesn't just need to find out who/what she is. The self discovery is secondary - the big issue is what she can do with her new found powers. Or even that she must learn to unleash her powers or else she, and all time, will cease to exist. Me thinks you just need a little tweaking. Remember - rants are good! They can reveal some of the best story elements :)

Jenny said...

I have to agree with Sheila. Self-discovery isn't the main plot, and the time elemental idea is just such a cool concept that it captures my attention right away.

Monica B.W. said...

Hey Deana!

Thanks for sharing this with us :)
I like the premise of your ms! I love time travel—I remember my favorite book when I was like 10 was about time traveling. I find it fascinating! Also, I think you improved the logline, too.
And it’s funny, I also cringe at the word logline! :P

I agree with Guilie that you need a “that” before “seventeen-year-old.” I think it’s easier to understand that way. And the nitpicks she made sound really nice, too. I’d definitely keep all of them.

I have little to say, because it’s pretty good. But here it goes: (And it kind of is simmilar to what Angela said) I don’t quite get why she has to figure out who she really is, or time’s up for everyone. You have 63 words with Guilie’s suggestion, maybe you have a little space to be more specific? Like (lame example) she has to figure out who she really is and turn of the time traveling switch in her mind forever before she gets caught.(?)

I mean, I’d like a connection btwn her figuring out who she is and everything being over.
I hope this helps! And good luck! =)

Lynda R Young said...

Loglines, queries, synposes are all my greatest weakness. And of course they are what matters most for a first impression. Sigh.
Your new logline is great and you've already received heaps of great comments for improvements. I don't think I can add anything else.

alexia said...

I've been working on mine, too! I submitted for the Baker's Dozen today, but won't find out if I'm selected until next month... Good luck with yours!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

I too have been reworking my log lines obsessively over the past week- it's exhausting!

I agree that the 'time elemental' part is a great catch you have going for your book. Can you add that in?

What if you would cut the beginning and just start it as: When 17-yr-old Kali Addison discovers she's a time elemental with the power to travel through time, the heavy-handed govt. snatches her up in an attempt to reproduce her powers, but their experients on her threaten to kill her and if they do, it's times up- for everyone.

[Totally made up that last part as I don't really know the story] That way, everything's condensed into one sentence and you have the important/catchy info in, as well as the high stakes.

Just thoughts! Good luck!

Honestly, this sounds amazing and I totally want to read it!

Fairday Morrow said...

I have never heard of the Baker's Dozen- sounds very interesting Log lines are tricky! It looks like you have had a lot of help and ideas (and you already made improvements yourself). Hopefully you are feeling more confident. Let us know what your log line is currently (if you have made any more updates) and if you need any more help!

Arlee Bird said...

Oh gosh, I'm not so good at these types of things either. I do love time travel and you've hooked me with that part. I can see how the first one is very confusing, but other than a few grammatical errors the second one sounds pretty good.


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