Logline Revision Critiques #16

TITLE: The Disappointment Country
GENRE: Adventure/thriller
Never dare someone who runs on one leg. When idealistic outdoorsman Cutter overcomes his amputation to build an “adventure ranch” in remote Colorado, a vengeful former mentor with a war-crimes secret schemes to take it over to hide a mercenary training operation. Cutter must survive wildfire set by a beautiful pawn and a midnight mountain bike chase to save Double Dare Ranch.


Sarah Ahiers said...

I don't think you need the first sentence. Everything in that sentence is covered later in the logline, so it's pretty much just taking up space and the logline is a bit on the long side as is.

You're also missing a "a" before "wildfire".

But the conflict and stakes are clear which is great!

GSMarlene said...

Of course, living in Colorado I don't think of it as remote! I think you mean a remote corner of Colorado.
The first sentence could be cut as the sentiment is covered later for Cutter, and making a statement like that just begs people to argue, which you don't want.
The second sentence has a LOT in it and I had to read slowly to make sure I got it. At first I though schemes should have been singular as in "war-crimes secret scheme" rather than someone was scheming. Hope that makes sense, but I think it would help to par it down a little, just the points relevant to the logline, not the novel.

Bill Scott said...

I like it. If you wanted to shorten as others suggest, you could start — "when one legged Cutter builds an adventure ranch, a vengeful ... "
Love the name Cutter for your protag.

DJ said...

I think there's too much going on here. We've got a good story line bogged down in details.I'd say simplify, but trust me, I know it's hard to do! Anyway, here's my bad example, taking creative license on the second part:

"When idealistic outdoorsman Cutter overcomes the loss of a leg to build an “adventure ranch” in remote Colorado, a vengeful former mentor schemes to take it over to hide his mercenary training operation. If Cutter doesn't fight back, he'll not only lose his ranch, but possibly his life."

I like the name Cutter, too. Brings back memories of Cutter John from Bloom County, one of the all-time best comic strips!

A Little Push said...

I agree with cutting the first sentence. The rest is good over all. A bit wordy - I'm not sure what the "war crimes secret" has to do with the rest, so I'm not sure it's necessary in the logline. Maybe just "a vengeful former mentor schemes to take it over..."

KayC said...

Like everyone else - I don't think you need the first sentence. I also don't think you need the last one, it just gets confusing. 'survive wildfire set by a beautiful pawn'???

I also wonder if 'opportunistic former mentor' might be better in the logline than 'vengeful' which begs the question, why? The war crimes reference is back story and not needed.

I like DJ's version as it reads a lot clearer.

Unknown said...

I liked the first sentence as an opening to the novel or a chapter but agree that here it adds to the bulk of the logline. Go with something similar to DJ's rewrite.

Sounds like a cool story and I love to see MCs that are differently abled :)

Unknown said...

This is a mouth-full and unfortunately one that I can't handle very well. As Jessica pointed out, I can see the first sentence as the starter point in a novel or even a synopsis, but not in a logline. A very good first sentence, btw.

Moreover, I don't know why it bothers me but instead of "former mentor" I think it'd work better as "ex-mentor." And maybe think about hacking off that war-crimes secret bit because I don't see where it fits in this logline. Those are just unnecessary details that can be replaced with needed details.

Essentially, this seems like an interesting read and a book I'd mail to my veteran Uncle. Good luck and hope to see this on the shelves sooner than later!

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

I like DJ's suggestions; maybe tweak and use them.

Wendy said...

Agree that I like DJ's suggestions.
What confused me is the description of Cutter as an idealistic outdoorsman. I got the feeling from reading the rest of the logline that Cutter had some sort of military background. How else is he linked to the former mentor with war crimes secrets? If that isn't the case, maybe you could clarify. Instead of telling us the mentor is vengeful-which I think is covered when you say he tried to take over Cutter's ranch-tell us what kind of mentor he was. What is their relationship? A former rock-climbing mentor, a former wilderness survival mentor...whatever.
Just my thoughts.

Princess Sara said...

I second DJ's suggestion. There's too much backstory here for a logline, and the third sentence is confusing and irrelevant to the purpose of a logline (i.e., to establish who your protagonist is and what the core conflict will be).