In a future where the wealthy live above the smog in floating cities, a group of scavengers – led by a buoyant teen – make the seemingly impossible ascent from the barren earth below in search of essential supplies for their people.
So poor people are looking for supplies by climbing or floating to where the rich are? What supplies? Why do they need the supplies? Why can’t they scavenge on the surface? What is the urgency? Is there a specific item they can only get by ascending? Is it imperative that they get that item and why?
As OlDustyDogg has pointed out, your logline raises more questions than it answers. I like the premise of segregated society, however this has been done so many times, you really need to consider what difference your approach has. My thoughts are:
- Who is the protagonist? The buoyant teen? This isn’t obvious, and you need to choose someone to carry your story (on that subject, why have you described the teen as ‘buoyant’? Considering the elites live in the clouds, this is a confusing choice of word – are they resilient or do they actually ‘float’?)
- Who is the antagonist?
- The conflict is implied, but the stakes aren’t. Why must they travel above the clouds? What are they looking for and what will happen if they don’t get it?
- Even though the society is segregated, the elite would never simply let the people on the ground die – who would clean their houses?! LOL. Seriously, the entire service industry is peopled by ordinary joes… The elite wouldn’t be the elite if they had no one to get their hands dirty for them.
- I feel like you have an interesting conceit – now you need to find your specific story.
Thanks both, good questions. I have answers to most of them. The issue is cramming enough into the logline without it turning into an outline – haha!
I’m finding this logline particularly difficult as I’m having to explain the functions of the world as well as the story itself (I’m not usually a fantasists, my stories are usually grounded/contained)
Will weigh all the above up and see how I can better summarise the story. Cheers!
I would watch this. 🙂
I’m not sure how much worldbuilding you really need in your logline. How about something like:
A rebellious teen leads a group of scavengers on a dangerous hunt for supplies in an elite city floating above the pollution of her planet.
It emphasises your protagonist and her/his goal + actions more, by placing that information first.
I saw Matt Nix talking about pitching this week, and he emphasised getting to the bit of your story that everyone will relate to, no matter whether they’re interested in your world or not. A rebellious teen on a dangerous mission might incite the curiosity of more people than a floating city. You know? I mean, I don’t know WHY? Who doesn’t love a good floating city? But just in case …
I did this very quickly with what you gave us with the original logline…
In a post-apocalyptic future where the poor live underground, a teen sets off on a perilous journey to the affluent city above, in search of life-saving supplies.
INTENTION: to get life-saving supplies. (figured might as well make it more intense.)
OBSTACLE: perilous journey/everything on that journey.
I’d probably push in on the obstacle. How can we make this worse for him? How can we make it harder?
I’d probably put more in like the teen’s wounded/dying father needs the supplies (this way it’s more primal) but it’s quite a lot to digest already.
Good luck with your writing!
Sounds similar to Elysium (2013), where the elite live in a luxurious satellite colony in space. Also the protagonist in that film had personal stakes — it’s a matter of life and death– with a ticking clock.
What are the life-or-death stakes for the protagonist and his motley crew ? What do they stand to lose if they don’t try to invade “heaven”, just accept their lot in “hell”? IOW: Why MUST they invade “heaven NOW”? What’s the urgent need?