After being threatened by an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord if forced to move against his rivals else it would mean certain death for him and his kin.

    Penpusher Posted on December 25, 2018 in Fantasy.

    Please post revisions of loglines in the same the thread. Especially if it’s still on the first page. I personally prefer to post my revision right here as a comment so all versions are visible at the top. Others post them as separate reviews in the thread.

    on December 25, 2018.

    Oh…sorry I was going to delete the original one. Well, still am but just have not found the button to do so. 

    on December 25, 2018.

    Revision 1:
    After facing near defeat at the hands of an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord moves against the vampire counts in an effort to unite his kin against this mysterious enemy, or else their downfall would be inescapable.

    Took some advise, did some thinking and some rewording. Thoughts?

    on December 25, 2018.

    I believe only the admins can delete posts. I don’t think it’s particularly necessary to delete it, but just be aware to only make a new thread of the same logline when the thread is a few pages in.

    on December 26, 2018.

    Revision 2:
    After a legion of blessed champions massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts and unite his kin to defeat this new enemy.

    @Dkpough1 If you don’t mind me using the middle portion from an example you gave earlier, I made the necessary changes to fit the context of the story. Still, it feels…off? Idk. Might just be that this feels odd to me and its just fine lol. I mean, I am my worst critic. Hum….thoughts?

    on December 27, 2018.

    Revision 3:
    After suffering near defeat by an army of holy knights, a vampire warlord sets out to usurp the dishonorable vampire counts to unite his people against a common enemy. (29 words)

    Okay, third round. I think I got this, mostly. My only concern is weather or not this line “usurp the dishonorable vampire counts” still raises too many questions. I hope its fine as is, but if not…I am not quite sure I can dumb that down any further than I have. Thoughts?

    on December 29, 2018.
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    6 Review(s)

      In response to previous thread:
      “What hooks one person might not hook another.”
      Consider who your target audience is. What will get them interested? That’s what a producer will be thinking about. It’s just something to consider about your story.

      “The Protagonists action in saving the woman’s life is what sets everything in motion.”
      What happens after this, because of saving this woman? Or before? That may really be the inciting incident.

      ” I don’t believe I am at a point of understanding this to really be a reliable source of advise on these.”
      No one gives perfect advice. Being able to identify problems with other people’s loglines immensely helps with understanding the structure to be able to apply to your own. I suggest looking through other reviewers’ feedback on various loglines. What do they look for? Focus on the elements of a logline, and look for them in other people’s.

      On the logline: “After being threatened by an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord if forced to move against his rivals else it would mean certain death for him and his kin.”

      I think this logline is too vague. For one thing, if the adversary is unknown, then why does the vampire warlord consider them a threat? “forced to move against” is also too vague. Sure, it means something, but it’s ambiguous. Is he making a move to take territory? Resources? Is the protagonist trying to kill them all? What specific objective goal must he accomplish? And how does that prevent the death of his kin?

      Summitry Answered on December 25, 2018.

      No one person can give perfect advise. At least not in the general sense and I did not mean to imply that was the case. However, I personally do not see any value in trying to ‘instruct’ others to improve at something I am new or unfamiliar with. That would be like having someone who has never seen a programming language try to teach you how to program. I am not going to avoid giving advise, but I will wait till I feel I have a decent grasp with the craft before I start sharing my opinions on other people’s pieces. 

      On point two, I came to the same conclusion, hens the change in the start of this attempt at the logline. 

      On the two points you picked out from this first version, I am skeptical about being more specific for one reason. As a writer, I have grown to learn that by getting your reader to ask questions or want more information is a strong tactic to draw them to the start of the narrative or in this case, the summary. So, if my objective is to get a director to want to learn more and move on to the summary of the movie or show, would the same tactic not still apply? It feels to me that it would be in my interest to give enough detail to provide a basic understanding of the plot, but not so much that a final opinion can be giving on that line alone without seeing the full summary at the least. 

      So, by the logic you suggest, how does giving the director all the details up front cause or encourage them to turn the page or move on to the summary? What is left to keep their interest if they are already being provided everything they need to make a final judgement? 

      on December 25, 2018.
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        Lead characters are pro-active, your lead character is reactive.

        When something bad happens, a lead character will come up with a plan of action: A goal…
        He may succeed, he may fail, that is not needed in the logline, but the goal or the plan of action is needed.

        Singularity Answered on December 25, 2018.

        Thank you for your feedback. I made some changes and I think I corrected the issue you cited. At least I hope I did lol.

        on December 25, 2018.
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          After a legion of blessed champions massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts and unite his kin to defeat this new enemy.” (26 words)

          I suggest changing ‘counts’ to ‘nobles’. While it is an accurate description, when I read the first version that used it I thought you may have meant ‘courts’.

          I think as is, “usurp the vampire counts” is too disconnected from “unite his kin”. What is the ultimate plan of action? I assume it’s to raise a fighting force. So how does usurping the vampire counts lead to the unification of his kin?
          To point back to my example, I said “a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts in order to take control of their armies”.

          In my version, usurping the vampire counts is what leads to him gaining his fighting force – he takes control of their armies, that’s the purpose of the action. It’s a single plan of attack, both actions to accomplish his goal: defeat the enemy.

          So, my advice is to connect the two actions, or delete one from the logline.

          Summitry Answered on December 27, 2018.

          I see the logic you present, but I am personally concerned that this is starting to get pulled away from the focus of the story. In the novel, it remains true that the attack against him and the few that follow him is what pushes him to act against the Vampire Counts. However, from his point of view, he is not acting our of interest of building military might, but out of the belief that if his kin can’t unify themselves, then they would all be wiped out. As most to all vampires are warriors by trade, it does not take much to build an army. Really, all he would have to do is warn the counts of the opposition and have everyone agree to a temporary truce to deal with the problem. He decides not to because of the distrustful nature of the counts. I think I have to reconsider how the story is being presented in this line. Let me take a day to review this and carefully consider the approach.

          on December 27, 2018.
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            “how does giving the director all the details up front cause or encourage them to turn the page or move on to the summary?”

            A logline normally shouldn’t spoil a story. A logline is used to sell the idea of a script to someone in the film industry – it should give them a pretty clear picture of what the story is about. You certainly can’t fit all of the details of a story in a 30-word sentence, but is should show them that all of the elements of a story is there and give them a reason to invest their time in reading a script, at the least. A general rule is: a logline reader having to ask for clarification is not great.
            Basically: The script itself is what should encourage a producer to turn the page. The logline is what you use to get to them to read the script.

            “After facing near defeat at the hands of an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord moves against the vampire counts in an effort to unite his kin against this mysterious enemy, or else their downfall would be inescapable.”(37 words)

            I do think this is better. I also think it still raises questions needed for clarification.
            Such as:
            I’m confused as to how exactly “moves against the vampire counts” leads to uniting his kin. Loglines should avoid descriptions which require in-universe context to understand. It seems like he’s trying to raise an army, or at least some sort of fighting force.
            The inciting incident is okay. I suggest you changing it to be more specific, and that could help in the logline.

            An example(I’m using elements from your logline, but making up some as well): After a masked vampire hunter massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts in order to take control of their armies and defeat the hunter. (28 words).

            Describing a specific inciting incident can be used to implicitly set up stakes. The goal is clearly stated (“defeat the hunter”). Describing the adversary as “masked vampire hunter” sets up that the character is unidentified, and that the character is a threat to vampires. It also allows me to use one word for further references(“hunter”).
            Again, I mentioned “moves against the vampire counts” is actually a bit too vague. “usurp the vampire counts” to take control their armies describes a clear action.

            Like I said before, I made up the logline but incorporated elements from yours, so it’s very unlikely that I’ve described your actual idea, but it is an example for you to examine.
            If you think it’s necessary, give further explanation of the elements that  aren’t clear to someone familiar with the story, and it may help us to be able to include those elements in our examples, if they are needed.

            Summitry Answered on December 26, 2018.

            Hum, okay okay, i see what you are getting at. Hum…
            I am exhausted today with all the Christmas stuff going on with my family so I will be back early tomorrow to go for round 3 at this. Thank you again for the advise. This is making more sense now…lets see if I understand it fully lol.

            on December 26, 2018.

            Just remember, logline critique and story critique are two separate things.

            Granted both happen on the site because sometimes writing the logline will expose story flaws
            Which is why some people suggest creating the logline first.

            However most the time the critique is just of the logline,
            In other words: The story (Whether written or in your head) is solid or even great, but the logline isn’t doing the story justice.

            on December 26, 2018.
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              “In the novel”

              Is this an adaptation of a published work?

              ” However, from his point of view, he is not acting our of interest of building military might, but out of the belief that if his kin can’t unify themselves, then they would all be wiped out. “

              From my understanding, his plan is get all the other vampires to stop bickering or slacking off or what not, so they’ll be able to resist a common enemy. So then, if he’s intending to kill off the current leadership, is he planning on stepping up to the task? Unify his kind under himself?
              Basically, what does unify describe? So it’s not to build an army, but just so they can defend themselves?
              Right now, I think what you’re describing is — as Richiev mentioned earlier — too reactive and not proactive. The description in your comment sounds more like the point of “unify his kin” is to ‘survive’ more than ‘defeat’.

              Anyway, to throw out an example: After a legion of blessed champions massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire nobility to unite the vampire factions to defeat this new enemy. (27 words)

              Because if you say ‘kin’, I don’t immediately think of all vampires(or at least all of the ones in whatever area this is set in), which seems to be what you mean. I think of it more like a single clan or faction, which is fractured, and not multiple factions which are opposed and in their current state wouldn’t be able to defend against an external threat. 

              Summitry Answered on December 27, 2018.
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                Sorry if the following happens to repeat feedback you’ve already gotten – I didn’t read through all the notes posted to this thread.

                As a rule of thumb, Loglines are best constructed using the least amount of absolutely clear detail. Most working decision makers will have multiple loglines thrown at them every week. If they can’t immediately understand your story, they’ll shut down and won’t waste time/energy on absorbing any more information.

                Going off your Revision 2, the logline raises more questions than it answers. For example:
                – “…blessed champions…” is unclear; what are they the champions of? In what way are they blessed? Blessed by whom?
                – If the MC is a vampire and he’s fighting the vampire counts, how is he uniting his kin if he’s also fighting them?
                – Who precisely is he trying to usurp? All the counts? Just a few leaders? Usually, usurping is done to gain control over a single seat of power, whereas here it’s implied that one character will try to take over several. This sounds like less of an attempt to usurp and more of an attempt to overthrow the ruling class by one person to gain power – in other words, a dictatorship. Think about pretty much any dictatorship throughout history – they all thought they were doing the best thing for the people, but how did that work out…?

                Producers may or may not take issue with the above, but the fact is that these are legitimate questions, which require clarification. If you end up explaining such complex details (in a pitch) to producers, you can bet on them switching off and likely passing on the concept.

                Singularity Answered on December 28, 2018.

                To save on time here, I am going to reply to two people in this comment section.

                @Dkpough1: Not to be rude but would you object to conversational replies being in comments and not reviews please? It confuses me. I keep thinking someone new is dropping reviews.

                @Dkpough1 and @Nir Shelter: I am lost at this point. I can’t sum u[p the entire novel in a single sentence now matter how hard I try. Every attempt leaves something unexplained and as you both swear up and down that this is not going to work in the long run, I keep having to break this down to be more and more detailed. If I keep that up I can absolutely positively promise this is not being done in a single sentence. Two, if I am lucky at best. I am confident of this because of the depth or originality I have pushed into this.

                @Dkpough1: You keep pointing out that the MC is being reactive and how this is a negtive thing for the story, and yet movies like Rogue One who start with a reactive character did great. Sure, its got the Star Wars brand label all over it, but it had to start as a one liner pitch just like any other movie. And I am  positive that is not the only movie with a reactive character that has done well. I could go on a limb and just flat out argue that no mater what you do, the character almost ALWAYS starts reactive as they do not push for their goal until something happens to cause it. Thus, reacting to an incident that drives them towards a goal. Again, reactive.  Even in your example you can still argue he is acting in Response to the event. Personally I feel like this is going to come down to POV more often than who is right and who is wrong.

                @Nir Shelter: Yes this is based on a novel but no, the novel is not a published work.

                All:
                As far as I see it, there are one if not two problems I can not seam to escape.
                1: It constantly needs more detail to explain the setting.
                2: (Though I have my doubts) The MC is only being reactive.

                I can fix the first, but I only see that working in a two sentence logline. (If those even exist)
                The second, for reasons i have already explained, is debatable. Very debatable apparently.
                Forgive me if I sound irritated, not going to lie, I am. Not because you keep mentioning it but because I just can not see an alternate means that can not be taken in a way that the MC is assumed to be reacting. And if its really that bad to have a reactive character (at least for the beginning), then this is going nowhere at the moment. I could sit here and spit out a fully summary of the novel but I am not here to have someone else figure this out for me. That would just be cheep. In my opinion.

                Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to give up on it. I just have absolutely no idea how to get past both of these issues and keep this in a single sentence which what I keep being told. Its frustrating and irritating to say the least…

                on December 28, 2018.

                I think you’re misunderstanding what we mean by when we mention reactive. Obviously, a character will react at some point during the story, and will be mostly reactive during the first half. However, the goal the protagonist pursues and the plan they use to achieve it should be proactive. You mention “Rogue One”, and there happens to be a video essay describing exactly how Jyn’s passiveness affects the story. (I don’t  agree completely with the analysis of Rogue One, but his points on characters are still informative.)

                The way you describe it, the point of “unite his kin” isn’t an active action leading to the goal: “defeat the enemy”. The way that “unite his kin” seems to function is: ‘survive’. Surviving, as a goal, isn’t particularly active.

                As I mentioned before: for loglines – especially fantasy – it’s best to use generic terms for things so there is no need to explain. Nir Shelter specifically mentioned “blessed champions” – that could be changed to something like “holy knights” or something.

                on December 29, 2018.

                So, it would be better just to use the most basic terms to describe everything, even if they don’t fully fit the appropriate description? I mean, ‘Holy Knights’ works fine, though I am not sure how that alone fixes all the questions when saying ‘Blessed Champions’ would be the same thing? Then again, not everyone goes around using the term Blessed Champion. No problem there I guess. But what of everything revolving around the politics. Even as Nir Shelter mentioned, the line about usurping the counts still raises questions, 3 in his case. Seeing that this is the action he takes to solve his issues, can that even be broken down further? Or might that just be nitpicking?

                @Nir Shelter: Note that when you asked how fighting his own people would unite them, keep in mind that there has never been a non-bloody civil war of any kind though history. The Roman Empire united the majority of the known world through conquest. Yes, there was a great deal of blood spent to build the empire to what it became and the same logic applies here as the Counts are most defiantly not going to just step down. If they did, there would be no story for starters and its completely against their character.

                And yes, I did mention Rogue One. Its one of the few films I know of that has half the film built on a reactive character. But agreed, this is not a debate about Rogue One. Okay, I will give this another shot. Not sure how well this is going to go but really, this makes my brain hurt more than writing a novel chapter…

                on December 29, 2018.
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