Logline Revision Critiques #22

TITLE: DEATHLESS
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Original critique on MSFV

When an army of ancient monsters threatens to overrun her country, 17-year-old fugitive, Zee, joins the army to win a reprieve from her death sentence, only to discover that she is the key to awakening the centuries-old goddesses the monsters are fighting to free.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's a lot going on here. I see from your earlier version that it'll be tricky to condense all of the worldbuilding/exposition into a few sentences. I do think this is an improvement, since it focuses on the main conflict and the stakes. It gets a bit hard to follow in the second sentence, though, with all the information you've packed in there. Maybe you could leave out "centuries-old" since we can usually assume that goddesses are ancient if not immortal.

Good luck!

Stephanie Garber said...

I really like the idea of Zee joining the army to win a reprieve from her death sentence! But, I feel there is a little too much going on in this one sentence to really draw me in. I think that if you could simplify this a little more it would be really strong.

Good luck!

GSMarlene said...

This is pretty good, but it is a mouthful if you say it outloud. I think it might be just a bit sharper if you break it into 2 sentences, one that sets up the situation and another that clarifies the stakes. Hmm, just realized I have probably done the exact same thing in mine!

Sarah Ahiers said...

I do like this a lot, but there really is a lot to take in. I would cut any extra words that you don't need just to try and smooth this out some, so we can really internalize all the info you've given us.
But i love the stakes and the conflict and i'd check this out!

Stacey said...

Nice impact with death sentence! She is a fugitive- leads me to think there will be a lot going on, I like that. I don't doubt this will be an exciting story to read:) I agree on streamlining, though, as I was pulled in from the beginning.

K Callard said...

I agree with the others. I think if you could find a way to split this into 2 sentences and simplify a bit you'd be golden.

Good luck.

Cali said...

Your premise is intriging! but it is a mouthful. It's difficult to include every important detail when writing a fantasy logline/blurb,and dropping a few words can make a big difference. I like the idea of dropping "centuries-old."

Joan Stradling said...

I agree with the others that you have too much going on. There's no way you'll be able to fit everything into a couple of sentences. You're too close to your story--it happens to all of us.

Try simplifying to something like this:

Hoping to escape her death sentence, Seventeen-year-old Zee joins an army of ancient monsters. Unfortunately, she's the key to awakening the goddess the monsters are trying to free.

That's still not perfect, but hopefully gives you ideas. =)

Anita Saxena said...

I guess I'm going to be the odd one out here. I've read over it several times and I think it's great. I don't think it's a lot to take in. You tell me about the setting, what makes the protagonist unique and introduce a couple great conflicts. Well done.

Fiction Writer said...

Break this into two sentences for greater clarity. Also, where does the death sentence come in and how is she key to awakening the godess?

Just a little more clarifying...

Good luck!

PatEsden said...

I love how the story's twist is clear in this logline.

I was trying to figure out how to reorganize what you have to make it flow a bit smoother. Joan's suggested rewrite is similar to what I was thinking.

Wendy said...

I agree that Joan's condensed version above has good punch. I'm still not sure whose army (people or monsters) your protagonist joins, and wonder if it's necessary to know she is a fugitive. Knowing she's under a death sentence is huge stakes. It just wasn't clear whether releasing the goddesses is a good thing or a bad thing. Will Zee want to help or hinder?
Good luck!

KayC said...

This is so much better than the original, but still not quite there. The suggestions above are all good. There is also the alternative of restructuring to something like below which clarifies which army she is fighting for and sets up the conflict with the goddess. This is just how I have interpreted your log line and it might be completely wrong. It's just meant as an example of another way you could approach it.

When ancient monsters invade her country to free their trapped goddess, 17-year-old Zee joins the army, hoping to win a reprieve from her death sentence. Things get complicated when she discovers her destiny is linked to the goddess, and not in a good way.

I hope I haven't just confused you - I know I go stir crazy looking at my log line and trying to work out a way to incorporate all the great advice! Ultimately just read all the suggestions (and most of them are similar so you get a good feel for what you need to do) and go with what feels right for you.

Good luck

Jessica Hutchison said...

KayC's done it again :) I love her rewrite. I think it keeps most of the important info and improves the flow.

I love the idea of this story :)

Victoria Dixon said...

I think everyone's hit on my feeling. I read this three times to make sure I followed. There's a bit too much. Do we need to know the monsters are ancient right now, for instance. But more importantly, this logline is one sentence. I think it would benefit by being two sentences or even three if one is short and zippy. I like the idea of joining an army to escape instant death. That's zippy. Just polish the rest.

Rissa Snepp said...

This is an intriguing idea and I have a knack for picking up books with totally awesome, complicated, action packed, twists and turns here and there plot lines. Even though it is definitely a mouth-full, I can handle the mouth-full and i understood it perfectly fine on my first read!

Now not every reader is like me and may need you re-work this a bit, but hey, good luck in doing so!

Princess Sara said...

The idea is intriguing, but the wording could be a lot clearer and crisper. Perhaps: "Seventeen-year-old Zee joins the army to escape her own death sentence. But when her blood proves the key to awakening the warrior goddesses of the enemy, she may lose her life after all."

Kristine Nielson said...

I'm going to be the odd (wo)man out and say I liked your first version better. It's true that logically one should move to a place where one is valued, but one's definition of home isn't subject to logical argument. I definitely would have picked up the book in the first log line. This one...I'm not so sure. In this one it's not clear why Zee is facing a death sentence. The way this is written makes me think she's a murderer.

The combination of the two make it sound like it's a good thing her country is trying to kill anyone with golden blood.

amongst said...

I like this better than the original. I think if you cut/cut/cut you are on your way!