After a police station is attacked, a supernatural mercenary in custody must work with mundane cops to defend it from a group of faeries seeking the powerful artifact she stole.

    Summitry Posted on August 20, 2017 in Fantasy.

    30 words.

    Working Title: The Iron Faerie

    Not sure about the wording of the logline. The plot is pretty set already. I’m still working on all of the details of the mythology of the story. It’s set in the same universe as my previous two loglines.

    Like I said the I’m not sure if I like the wording, so if anything is unclear: The protagonist is arrested or taken into custody, and she’s interrogated, and then the station is attacked. Think of “The Terminator”, many cops die, and the mercenary tries to convince the cops that it’s magic and to let her help, and eventually a small group of cops has to believe her and let her help.

    on August 20, 2017.

    Version 2: A supernatural mercenary in police custody must work with cops to defend the station from faeries seeking a dangerous artifact she’s protecting. (22 words)

    on August 22, 2017.
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    10 Review(s)

      Why don’t the police just give it back to the faeries… She stole, it’s their property?
      I understand her motivation,
      I understand the faeries motivation…
      I don’t understand why the police would try to keep the object from the faeries.

      Now if the artifact could be used by the faeries to release the dragons who have been hibernating for an eon, and their release would bring back magic and destroy what we call technology; thus ending the age of man end bringing back the age of the fae… then I could understand why the police, or a specific heroic officer might be reluctant to give it over.

      Singularity Answered on August 21, 2017.

      Well, one, she doesn’t come out and tell them what the faeries are seeking, and two, the faeries are too busy killing cops to ask for it nicely. Partly because the faeries view it as sport. The cops aren’t trying to keep it from the faeries, they’re trying to stop them from hurting people.
      I’m not a cop and don’t have any experience in law enforcement, so I may be wrong, but I don’t think cops simply give in to the demands of what they would view as terrorists.
      I was actually thinking I may change it to the mercenary protecting a person instead of an object.
      Thanks for your feedback, I’m still working out some details.

      on August 21, 2017.
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        I think your structure is flawed. A whole act dedicated to a single interrogation will not work. Some of the best writers and directors in the industry would struggle to make a single interrogation scene interesting much less a whole act.

        Secondly, you keep referencing The Terminator for the fight, but to remind you the police station attack in the first Terminator movie was one (albeit long and elaborate) scene, not all of act 2. I strongly suggest you re think the structure of your plot.

        Lastly, shifting dramatic points of view is very risky, as you are planning on breaking the flow of the plot for the audience each time you cut away from one character to the other. Best to write the story from a single dramatic point of view – either inside the police station or outside of it.

        Singularity Answered on August 25, 2017.
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          Not bad, it does need some streamlining, however before that, what do the faeries want with the artifact and why is it important to keep it safe from them? Adding that element to the logline, while streamlining it a bit will improve the logline greatly.

          Singularity Answered on August 20, 2017.

          She stole it. They want it back. Her being trapped in the police station gives them plenty of opportunity to retrieve it. She stole it for a client. I haven’t worked out all of the details, so I haven’t decided for the exact reason her client hired her, whether it’s because the group of faeries are going to use it for something or if client wants it for another reason.

          on August 20, 2017.
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            A police precinct must trust a prisoner with helping them survive an attack from supernatural fairies seeking an ancient artifact.

            Summitry Answered on August 20, 2017.

            I actually was going to use ‘precinct’ but I researched it, and as far as I can tell, a police precinct isn’t technically a building, it’s a district. But I guess it can also be used to refer to a building. Anyway, saying station is clearer.
            Your example changes to the perspective to that of the cops. And their only goal is to survive and get the threat under control.
            I think it’s important to state that the prisoner is used to dealing with the supernatural, stole the artifact, and she has a different stake than the cops: to protect that artifact.
            Just one nitpick: Faeries are supernatural, so there’s no need to describe them as such.

            on August 20, 2017.

            I think one should always be open to attacking loglines from multiple angles.

            If someone’s in custody then they are not in control of their  subsequent actions, so it would be hard to imagine how they become the main drivingforce. Therefore,

            I recommend beginning solely with the M.C. and not even mentioning the police for the logline sakes. Keep it short and to the point.

            A supernatural mercenary must protect a (maguffin) from diabolical fairies before they use it to destroy mankind.

            on August 21, 2017.

            I view her being in custody as an obstacle. And it’s not like she’s mind controlled and can’t do anything, she’s in complete control of her actions. She’s the one who rallies the cops and gives them a crash course in the supernatural, she’s the one teaches them how to kill the faeries, and she’s the one who has largest stake in the story. She’s the driving force.
            Once the attack starts she’s doing everything she can to convince the detective interrogating her and the other cops that they’re being attacked by faeries and they won’t be able to survive without her help.
            I think your suggestion may be a better direction with not including an inciting incident.
            So maybe: A supernatural mercenary in police custody must work with cops to defend the station from faeries seeking a dangerous artifact she’s protecting. (22 words)

            Thanks for your feedback. 

            on August 21, 2017.
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              What’s  the peculiar power of the artifact that it needs to be protected from the bad faeries?  IOW: the stakes.

              “Raiders of the Lost Ark” wasn’t just about recovering the Ark of the Covenant because it was a legendary and sacred object.  The stakes were that the Nazis wanted to harness its supernatural power to create an invincible army.  The stakes were the outcome of the next World War.

              And it was also part of the hook.

              What do you conceive as your story hook?  And what are the stakes?  What do the good guys stand to lose if the bad guys get a hold of the artifact?

              Singularity Answered on August 20, 2017.

              So far I’ve been thinking that it’s part of a conflict between two Fae factions. But I may change it. Maybe a Fae vs human faction.
              For most of the story she doesn’t know what it is, she can’t even open it. She’s just trying to get her money.
              I’m not planning to hype up the power of the  object, not with characters saying “oh this is very dangerous. Oh it’s very powerful.” But it’s implicitly shown that the object is valuable. A group of faeries willing to kill anyone to get to it, the client paying a very high amount to retrieve it. Whatever its value is, it is shown through the actions of the characters.
              In the end, I may end up pulling a “Pulp Fiction” and not show it. Or maybe show a seemingly normal item and not explain why it’s sought out.(Imagine going through the whole movie wondering what the object is and then the box opens and it’s just what appears to be a clothing button.)
              In the end the object is just the MacGuffin. The object is just a way to force the character to learn to integrate into the human world after being raised elsewhere.
              I think she could be the story hook, but I suppose I don’t describe her at all in the logline to raise interest. I’ve created what I think is an interesting and compelling backstory. I’m still working out some details about the world and the characters.

              on August 21, 2017.
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                Dpg, since you’ve worked with police, I have a few details to ask about.

                Like above, I mentioned that I researched the difference between precinct and station. I know that in television and movies the building is referred to as a precinct, but what about in your experience? Also, since you worked in a city, how big were the stations? How many officers would be in the station in the middle of the day? Or at night?

                Also, about interrogation. I’m curious about the details of a person who is in custody but hasn’t been charged. How long can they be held, and under what circumstances would the police be able to hold them without charging?

                That’s all I can think of for now, but if you have any other details or thoughts I welcome them.

                Here’s some details, if they will help:

                There’s a detective who has been hunting after the protagonist for about a year. He has no concrete evidence but when they find her unconscious in a building that was damaged, she had weapons and equipment that indicate she’s the one he’s been looking for, associated with the deaths of multiple people, who’s bodies were taken soon after the police took them.

                In other words, is it plausible that the detective would be able to hold her for at least twelve hours with no charges and evidence that both indicates she was the murderer and other, more evidence that she isn’t? (such as, rock-solid alibis, in other words, she’s a pro and she doesn’t leave behind anything that can lead to her.)

                Thanks in advance.

                Summitry Answered on August 22, 2017.
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                  Is the whole film going to be set in the police station around this one fight? It doesn’t seem like there’s enough here for a full length feature, is this a short by any chance?

                  Singularity Answered on August 24, 2017.
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                    Hello Nir Shelter, thanks for the response.

                    No, it’s not. First, the story changes between two different perspective characters, the mercenary’s partner is outside of the station working on a different part of the job. So it cuts between those two, and also the first act is of the interrogation and the police trying to figure out what’s going on. Then the second act is the fight. While the set up is like “The Terminator” as I said, the actual fight is like “Die Hard”. The fight takes up the second act, and then in the third act she’s out of the station and has to complete the mission of getting the object to her client.

                    My thinking is that the mercenary described in the logline has some sort of object to protect, and her partner is protecting a person. And they are both sought out by the Fae.

                    I don’t have an apt comparison for the third act, because I haven’t completely planned it out yet. Maybe it will be like “Logan” (2017).

                    Summitry Answered on August 24, 2017.
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                      A point of cognitive confusion for me when I first read the logline is how merely mortal cops can hold a supernatural being in custody.  What the…?   How can that happen if she is truly supernatural? Well, come to find out, she’s voluntarily submitting to custody.  But the logline  doesn’t inform us on that point.


                      Singularity Answered on August 25, 2017.
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                        Dpg and Nir Shelter, thanks for the feedback.

                        “merely mortal cops can hold a supernatural being in custody.”

                        I didn’t describe the character in the logline, because while what she is can be summed up in one word, it’s likely not a word most people are familiar with. She’s a changeling, as a child she was born to human parents and then she was snatched and taken to Faerie, the realm of the faeries. She was replaced with a fae child in her home. She was raised by faeries while her real parents raised a faerie. So while she was in Faerie her body did change a little, giving her one specific ability, but it isn’t enough to help her escape a building full cops who can still kill her with some bullets. And when she’s being held, since her limited ability is of faerie origin, it is weaken by iron and anything containing it. So once the cops have her she’s pretty much just a regular mortal.

                        “Well, come to find out, she’s voluntarily submitting to custody.”

                        I’m not sure how I led you to that conclusion, but it’s not the case. She’s taken into custody and is uncooperative until she realizes that they are under attack.

                        “A whole act dedicated to a single interrogation will not work.”

                        The interrogation isn’t the sole action going on in the first act. She’s taken into custody, and then she spends a good amount of time being completely uncooperative. And as I said there’s one or at most two scenes which are out of the police station following her partner.

                        ” but to remind you the police station attack in the first Terminator movie was one (albeit long and elaborate) scene, not all of act 2.”

                        I mentioned that the set-up is like the scene in “The Terminator”,  referencing only the part where they try to convince the police of the terminator’s existence, and then the fact that the terminator assaults the police station. Toward the end of the first act she tries to convince the cops to release her so she can fight the faeries. And, like I said above, the second act is like “Die Hard”, which took up the whole second act of that film.

                        These references to these movies are to help establish a visual image, something similar, it certainly won’t be exactly like any of the movies I’ve mentioned, so bringing up the length of any scenes or parts doesn’t really mean much.

                        “Lastly, shifting dramatic points of view is very risky, “

                        The main character is the one who is in custody, she has the character arc, and most scenes at least feature her. Maybe you got the idea that the partner outside of the station has about as many scenes as the main character, but that’s not the case. The outside partner is actively helping with the mission and her scenes inject some action into some of the slower parts of the film. She only has a few scenes without the main character until they come together.

                        “I think your structure is flawed”

                        I’ve mentioned before that unless a writer directly says something that doesn’t lead to good storytelling, then trying to judge a concept and plot based on a logline or any limited details provided isn’t a great assessment. In every post I’ve added more details that are in the story. Unless I share all of the beats or the script(which I haven’t written), any assessment on a plot isn’t that great. (Unless the writer describes a deus ex machina to resolve the climax or there are other fundamental storytelling issues that the writer clearly lays out.)

                        But in this post specifically any assessment of the plot structure is based on incomplete details. Saying that the structure is flawed because it’s all one interrogation for example…because the first 30 minutes or whatever is not just the interrogation. 

                        I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the feedback, but of any bit of description I give will seem flawed, you don’t have the whole story and plot to judge. That’s all I’m saying. 

                        Are there any suggestions for the logline? 

                        Thank you for your responses. I think I addressed all of your points.  I am still planning out the film so things may change.

                        Summitry Answered on August 26, 2017.
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