Logline Revision Critiques #26

TITLE: My Sister's Dating a Serial Killer
GENRE: YA Thriller
Original critique on MSFV

High school's a bummer for sixteen-year-old Cameo "Cammie" Carter who must stop her eighteen-year-old sister from dating a serial killer. The only way is to get hard evidence on him, but if Cammie doesn't hurry, the killer might just put her and her sister on his To Do Murder List.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel like this is close, but it needs just a little more detail. How does she know he's a serial killer? What hard evidence? And what specifically will happen if she doesn't hurry - will the killer find out she's investigating him? Again, I think it's already fairly strong, definitely intriguing, but some clarification could tighten things up.

Good luck!

xC0000005 said...

Not bad, but you don't need to tell me her real name and nickname. Just "Cammie Carter" will do, IMO. The list at the end would be a "To Murder" list, I think. Also, while I like the voice of the first sentence, it did leave me wondering if high school was a bummer because she had to break up her sister and a serial killer, or if it was a bummer AND she had to.

Bill Scott said...

It's close. IMHO, "High school's a bummer" is cliche in the YA market. A murder's To Do list would just be that, a "To Do" List. I think you can drop the Murder and it is stronger. Good luck

Cristin Bruggeman said...

I think this is a big improvement from the previous version. I also agree about dropping 'Murder' and making it 'to do' list.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooh i definitely think this is super close. Maybe just a few tweaks here and there. I was also wondering if highschool sucks because it's highschool, or specifically because of the serial killer. And if you could maybe hint at how she knows he's a serial killer etc.

Stephanie Garber said...

I liked this the first go around, and I still like it now! I agree that you could maybe cut out a few words. But I still love your concept, which you clearly express. I would totally read more!

GSMarlene said...

This is much crisper than the original. I still think "High school's a bummer" is cliche. I love "To Do Murder List" although someones suggestion of "To Murder List" works too.

Stacey said...

Very close- Perhaps rework the "bummer" into another high impact description word that fits (I lean towards something with "murder") and perhaps a little more info about the evidence. But unique concept I like it!

K Callard said...

I agree with what the others have said. I think it should be "To Do" list or "To Murder" list, but "To Do Murder List" sounds awkward.

I also think you can condense this more. Maybe something like: "Sixteen-year-old Cammie Carter has just discovered her big sister's dating a serial killer. Cammie has to find some hard evidence and break them up fast - before the killer puts Cammie and sister on his "To Do" list."

Good luck, I think you're really close.

Cali said...

Love the voice in the first line and the "To Do List." Might use a stronger word for "bummer," something to add to the theme or foreshadow an important event. Over-all very interesting premise!

Joan Stradling said...

The premise and title are great! Sounds like an interesting story.

I think it can be tightened a bit. The first line doesn't work for me. The "bummer" part is too generic. After that, I'm left with too many questions. How does she know he's a serial killer? Also, the "To Do Murder List" trips me up. I'd prefer "To Murder" list.

Maybe something like this:

Sixteen-year-old Cammie Carter suspects her older sister is dating a serial killer. In order to prove it, she must get hard evidence--before she and her sister are added to his "To Murder" list.

Wendy said...

Love what K Callard wrote above. That is the direction I would take it. The bit about high school didn't feel relevant or new, but the serial killer's "to do" list was the real draw. And just using Cammie works better, too. If her "real" name is important, that can go in the ms somewhere. Good luck with this!

Anita Saxena said...

I think this is a great concept. Just a few suggestions:

I don't think you need to call her Cameo "Cammie" Carter. How about just Cammie?

I agree with the others about cutting the part of high school being a bummer. So to make it succinct, how about:
Sixteen-year-old Cammie must stop her eighteen-year-old sister from dating a serial killer. Time is running out to find hard evidence to break them up before she and her sister become his next target.

I feel it could still be more descriptive about Cammie. Just a one word description. Is she a snoop? Sleuth? Shy? I'm assuming the sister might be stubborn since Cammie has to go through all this trouble to break them up. Rather than indicating sister's age tell, give us a one or two word description of her. Stubborn? Blinded by love?

DJ said...

I love the premise of the story but your logline still doesn't quite click. Luckily, K. Callard wrote an excellent version and if I were you, I'd use that puppy in a heartbeat! It just needed some condensing and a touch of excitement. Good luck!

PatEsden said...

I'm going to second tightening and K. Callard's suggestions.

Also I believe to-do list has a hyphen. I could be wrong, but I suggest you double check.

The Dieselpunkette said...

I like it for the most part, but the phrase "The only way is to get hard evidence on him" seemed awkward.

Jessica Hutchison said...

This is certainly an interesting concept and a much improved logline. You have some great suggestions but I'm going to try my hand at rewriting it again just to give you some options:

When sixteen-year-old Cammie discovers her big sister's dating a serial killer, she has to break them up fast before he puts them on his "To Do" list.

Good luck with this! :)

geewiz said...

I loved this the first time, and like what Joan suggested. As others have mentioned, lose the cliche and I know your story matches the quality fo the logline.

Annie Rains said...

I think you've outlined the stakes well. It definitely has me hooked.

KayC said...

For me, every high school student I've ever met thinks school is a bummer! Tell me something I don't know and get straight into the hook of her sister dating a serial killer. I like the version K Callard suggested.

I also prefer 'To Do' list. The fact that he is a serial killer already shows us what sort of list it will be.

This sounds like a great story. Good luck.

Rissa Snepp said...

This sounds like it may be an interesting read. Considering I'm the Johnny Come Late here, I don't have much else to add.

However, I don't know if it's just me here but it sounds as if Cammie may be a bit snarky, quirky, or just have a special way with words. She just seems like a unique character considering she's going after her sister's killer and high school sucks for her and all...So, I agree with the others with changing your "To Do Murder List" to "To Do List" but you could put a twist on it, that meshes with Cammie's personality, and make it To Gank, To Smoke, To OJ, etc....or something like that? :-/, that could be the worst advice ever. lol.

Like the others said, this logline needs a bit more tightening when it comes to sentence structure and adding more detail, but brief detail. Tell me something else about Cammie besides the fact that she isn't too keen on high school. Just a simple descriptive word can go a long way.

Princess Sara said...

I still like the concept, but I think this needs tightening. Perhaps: "When Cammie Carter's sister falls for a serial killer, Cammie races to find hard evidence before he puts both Carter sisters on his To Do list."

C. A. Schmidt said...

I like how you blend storyline and voice in this logline, giving us a sense of your character and style and a snapshot at what's at stake fore her. You might punch it up by saying "Cammie needs hard evidence on him, but if she doesn't hurry . . . "

Kelsey Sandy said...

I really like K Callard's revision. Sounds like an exciting book with some pretty high stakes! I also love sister relationships and hope this really shows through in the book. Good luck!

Melissa said...

I love the idea for this story. It's really different. I think this logline is pretty much perfect. The only thing I might tweak is the second line, just a tad. Maybe "If she can't get hard evidence, the killer...
But I would definitely read this!
Good luck!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, I like Princess Sara's suggestion. Sounds like a great story! I'm interested in learning how she finds out he's a serial killer.

Gina Fava said...

My 13 yr old daughter would read this! Sounds intriguing. But, I feel like it needs a little more detail about what the "hard evidence" might entail. Good job!

laura kozaitis said...

I think it sounds very exciting. I didn't look at the comments above yet, but what immediately jumps out at me is that a "To Do" list for a murder is just that. A "To Do Murder" list is redundant. I am also hoping you can work in a few hints about the hard evidence.