A troubled ex-con moves back to his hometown looking for work where he discovers that the city is rapidly changing to keep up with the modern world and is tempted by an illegal job offered to him by some of his childhood friends.
I agree with Richiev. The “troubles” should be more explicit to give him a reason for taking the job. You actually only say that he is tempted to take the job – not that he actually takes it. What’s his goal here?
I feel like he should be the one struggling to keep up with the modern world. Your logline says “the city is rapidly changing to keep up” but doesn’t suggest how this ex-con is dealing with it. Has he just been let out of prison and is institutionalised (Brooks was here) or has he been out for a while?
What’s the hook? I feel like this is very similar to countless other tales of criminals struggling not to take “one last job”. Why is this one different?
“A troubled ex-con moves back to his hometown looking for work where he discovers that the city is rapidly changing to keep up with the modern world and is tempted by an illegal job offered to him by some of his childhood friends.” (43 words)
I agree with Richiev and mikepedley85’s reviews.
This logline heavily implies that the inciting incident would be the offering of the job. The logline doesn’t, however, give a clear goal, or really give any indication of a goal at all. It really just sets up a situation to make a decision: take the job or not.
I think basically everything in this attempt is background which is unnecessary for a logline. The inciting incident should be the event which causes him to choose. For example, if he gambled all of his money away and this offer will make him back his life savings; the inciting incident would be that he loses his money, and his goal to is get money.
Examining this attempt and breaking it into the logline elements:
Inciting incident: Implied to be illegal job offer.
Protagonist: Troubled ex-con.
I suggest thinking about these elements for a revision.
Long and poorly worded. The city is tempted? And which is the focus of the story, his trouble adjusting to the changing town or the draw of returning to criminal ways? Both things can be in the script, but only one is needed in the logline. Trim it down to the four essentials — protagonist, antagonist, conflict, stakes — and phrase it so it flows.
The logline is too long and lacks clarity.
The very basic components (as I understand them) are:
An ex con – MC – good.
Inciting event – the city changing – not good.
What one single event makes it clear to the MC that the city is changing? In what way did this event impact the hero directly?
Goal – unclear – not good.
What specifically must the hero to do as a result of the city changing?