Mary believes that she is having a cryptic pregnancy, but her doctor and her boyfriend don’t believe her. After she gives birth at home her child is taken from her by mysterious government organization, Mary has to fight her own self doubt to recover her child and prove her sanity.
The phrase “cryptic pregnancy” can have two meanings. In mainstream medicine it means the woman is not aware she is pregnant, but medical tests, if performed, would prove she is pregnant. In alternative medicine it refers to a pregnancy that cannot be detected by medical tests. Needless to say, mainstream doctors consider the second definition bogus as there is no scientific basis for such a claim. Anyone who believes in alternative medicine would understand the second definition when reading your logline, while anyone adhering to science based medicine would understand the first definition and be baffled by your premise.
Once the woman has given birth she no longer needs to overcome “self doubts”. Any competent doctor can detect the telltale signs of childbirth. And the aftermath of a home birth would be enough to convince the police who, we would think, would start looking for the baby themselves.
Though you tell us she has a boyfriend, you do not tell us if he helps her get the baby back. If not, he is not important enough to the story to be mentioned in the logline.
Since it is a “mysterious government organization” that kidnaps the baby, this sounds more like a thriller than a horror film. Government organizations are often the antagonist in thrillers, but less so in horror. You don’t tell us why the Government wants the baby, so I assume this is the big reveal, but it might help the logline if you give us a hint.
First things first, we don’t need names in a logline. Instead, give us some information about her character. This is usually in the form of a defining characteristic and a noun (like her profession, age, etc).
I’d also check out the formula page to help with formatting. Usually, you start with the inciting incident, then introduce the character and tell us her goal.
In your story, the inciting incident is probably the moment she finds out she is pregnant.. although I want to clarify something. Does she believe she’s pregnant and her boyfriend and doctor don’t believe her? My understanding was that a cryptic pregnancy was one in which the pregnant woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant until she actually gives birth. So she can’t believe she’s having a cryptic pregnancy… cos then she’s not having a cryptic pregnancy. You could use “false pregnancy” or “phantom pregnancy” – in these situations the woman displays signs of being pregnant but isn’t.
My guess is that she’s actually pregnant but she’s told it’s a false pregnancy by her doctor and boyfriend (suggesting they’re in on the whole thing). My issue with this is if she believes she is actually pregnant you’re suggesting that simply by being told that she’s not will be enough for her to believe it. Surely she knows her own body better? Feels the baby kicking? Gets big enough to just know that she’s pregnant? At the very least, seeks a second opinion? This is the first hurdle… making this bit plausible.
The next bit is, once she’s had the baby, it’ll be fairly obvious she’s had a baby. Any doctor she went to would be able to confirm this. Again, she KNOWS she gave birth so where’s the self doubt? you don’t forget something like that! Other people might try and convince her otherwise but she KNOWS. That knowledge is going to be the thing that pushes her through the story to find the truth.
I think the first thing to do is work on these implausibilities. There could be an interesting story in here but it needs to be believable. Often, once you get the story right, the logline falls into place.
Have you ever seen Rosemary’s Baby? If not, I recommend it. It’s a similar(ish) idea and an exceptional film!
As the others have said.
If I think I understand what the unnatural “horror” aspect of the story is, it would seem to me that she would become pregnant in spite of being a 100% celibate, authentic virgin. No man has gotten so far as to 1st base with her. So of course, she would think it’s cryptic.
And then she delivers.
And then the child is kidnapped.
Kind of like a horror retelling of the Jesus birth story… in concept, it sounds good, but in its current form the logline isn’t working.
It’s too wordy and most readers won’t get past the logic flaws. Also, best to define one goal, and in this case, her sanity pales in comparison to finding her baby.