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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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.
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.