A bounty hunter arriving from an alternate reality holds bar patrons hostage in order to trap a fugitive killer but soon discovers one of the hostages may be more dangerous than the expected fugitive.
Hate to recycle what I’ve said before, kbfilmworks, but this version seems to be the setup, not the plot. The plot is about what he does — must do — after the unexpected happens.
I don’t know if you’ve done a draft, but as I imagine it, “…soon discovers one of the hostages may be more dangerous than the expected fugitive.” would occur around page 30 or so. It seems to be the event that pivots the story in a new direction, on a new trajectory that would constitute the rest of the story. In that case, everything before that moment would be setup.
I think it’s difficult when commenting on a logline to separate the feeling of natural curiosity about a story or concept and wanting to know more – on the one hand – and thinking that the logline offers insufficient detail.
That’s not to say I disagree with dpg’s comments about the logline only addresssing the setup. He’s right. The problem with continually re-writing a logline is being blinded to the forest by the trees. And then with each additional comment – often about story or concept – the detail increases until the logline becomes cluttered and ineffective.
My personal approach when commenting on other writer’s efforts is to attempt to rewrite the logline – with added sizzle (dpg’s word) – on the basis of the original logline without seeking additional info. Is this more useful than seeking additional info? Maybe we could discuss it.
“A bounty hunter arriving from an alternate reality holds bar patrons hostage in order to trap a fugitive but when a killer able to manipulate time and reality shows up, the hunter becomes the hunted”.
I have had this question for a while. Why would the killer care about the hostages?
If you are looking to reduce words “arriving” could be dropped. The “alternate reality” covers arrival.
I think everyone is coming from the same point. It is a great scenario, but why are we here watching these people? I know it is in the story. Can you get the essence of why into the logline?
I once read the Titanic logline, it was something like “a girl from high society trying to escape her controlling fiancé falls in love with a penny less artist on board Titanic”.
All focused on something to care about.
A bounty hunter holds bar patrons hostage in order to trap a fugitive but when a killer able to manipulate time and reality shows up, the hunter becomes the hunted.
While “arriving from the alternate reality” may be part of the story, I don’t see how it causally connects to the arrival of the killer for the purpose of the logline or anything else that ensues in the plot.
The bounty hunter is not in his alternate reality; he’s in the reality of the bar where he becomes the hunter instead of the hunted. That, as far as I can see, is the plot.
The killer is on the run from the alternate universe and is on a mission to merge with his prime universe self because the two of them cannot exist in the same universe – it’s a paradox. The doppelganger is one of the hostages.
So, on the basis of something to care about:
“A bounty hunter from an alternate universe fights to stop a killer able to manipulate time and reality from taking over the body and identity of an innocent man”.
dpg, I’m not sure I follow your train of thought. I’ve just tried to do what CraigD suggested and brought the victim into the logline as ‘something to care about’. Maybe it wasn’t clear in previous iterations that the prime universe double is just an innocent average Joe – what you describe as the stakes character.
My point is that if you want to play around with the paradox of a doppelganger relationship, go further.
In fact, go the whole nine yards: make his greatest foe a female who threatens to “steal his body and identity”. She threatens to literally be the kiss of death for him. [An interesting twist on Aristophanes speech in Plato’s Symposium as well as the archetypal/contrasexual psychology of Carl Jung, btw.]
If the hunter is going to become the hunted, why not?
That’s way too much thematic baggage. My idea of movies is memorable images and emotions. I do love abstraction in movies but movies written around the desire to elucidate a theme? Sorry but I’m a storyteller not an intellectual. That aside, many thanks, I’m now really happy with the logline.
I’m still have trouble getting a handle on your concept. (And ditto with you on the angle I pitched.) A fundamental problem is that the world want to dramatize only exists in your head. That’s not your fault, of course. It’s the nature of the challenge frequently presented by sci-fi and fantasy genres.
The reference to Plato and Jung was a mistake for the purposes of this thread. But at least I can point to cultural and literary references for my version as a hook on which to hang the idea. I can say “It’s something like this” to help people grasp the concept.
Is there a pop culture or literary reference you can point to and say: “this story is something like this” that will help me and others to grasp your concept?
You have in mind the notion of a doppelganger. That’s an excellent idea. It’s been used a number of times in stories and movies. Now, why is that? What is the hook in the idea of a doppelganger that makes people want to write about it? The hook that makes YOU want to use it in your story?
It seems to me that the hook for the writer (and audience) is the situation of a person meeting his mirror opposite. That is the only aspect of your story that hooks my interest (in case you hadn’t noticed). All the other powers and abilities maybe be Interesting — but I don’t think they are as compelling as the idea of a High Noon showdown between a protagonist and antagonist who are mirror opposites.
So why do you want to make the antagonist one part in the doppelganger relation —but give the other part to a supporting character?
If the core conceit of your story is that of a doppelganger, than it seems to me that the protagonist ought to be part of the core conceit, the character who is confronted, threatened by his doppelganger. Not a supporting character. IMHO, it’s too potent of a dramatic technique to assign it to a supporting character. The protagonist should own it, and the central conflict that results.
(And if the doppelganger is not the central gimmick, imho, it ought to be.)
The central conceit of the “Star Wars” franchise (and you’re hoping for a franchise out of your idea, are you not?) is the Force. Which George Lucas did not assign to a supporting character, not to Han Solo, not to Chewbacca, not to the droids, not even to Princess Leia (a sexist lapse, imho). He assigned the Force — all its potential power and all its potential danger– to the protagonist, Luke Skywalker. And to his mortal adversary, Darth Vader.
The Force is the Big Idea, the gimmick, the organizing principle, the hook, the sizzle AND the steak for the entire “Star Wars” franchise; It’s the gotta-have in every plot of every episode.
You wanna build a franchise? What is your Big Idea, your central gimmick, akin to the Force, the gotta-have that will be central to every episode of this franchise?