To regain his status in the high ranks of the order after a shameful ban, an arrogant, yet talented sorcerer sets off to hunt one of the most vicious rebels in the realm.
The first clause of this logline can be cut, as it is obvious thathe wants to regain his status.
After a shameful ban an arrogant and talented sorcerer must…
The description of the goal could use some adjusting, as a rebel isn’t necessarily a bad thing and with out any context it isn’t clear what is the rebel a rebel against. If indeed the intention is for the sorcerer to be the MC and catching the rebel his goal, why not call the rebel an outlaw instead? This way the sorcerer will be doing something for the greater good as well as himself.
However the rebel as the MC sounds more interesting to me, and the sorcerer would be a well motivated antagonist in that case.
I’m concerned about the sorcerer’s motivation: it’s all about him. His motives are purely selfish. When a more sympathetic motive would be that he must hunt down the vicious rebel to save his people or maybe someone the rebel has kidnapped– instead of merely save his pride. Who cares, who wants to care, about an arrogant character who is only thinking and acting for himself?
Also, if the sorcerer is so talented, why was he banned? Maybe he has raw talent but he did have the patience to take the time to develop it. His arrogance led to him overreach, going beyond what he had the training and discipline to do — or control — with disastrous consequences for his tribe or clan.
What’s his character arc? The saga of Luke Skywalker didn’t begin with him as a cunning, let alone confident (certainly not arrogant) Jedi. He was a diamond in the rough who needed cutting and polishing. He had to learn, grow. He need mentors.
IOW: he had to take a Hero’s Journey– that’s the mythical-dramatic template that would seem to suited to the scenario in this logline. (If you’re not familiar with it, google the phrase. If you are familiar with the Hero’s Journey then I suggest your concept might benefit from a makeover with it in mind.)
>>>I wanted to use the word “unexpericend” but I thought it was a bad idea
How about “apprentice sorcerer”?
>>This here is going to be a Golden Fleece,
Okay — but all we have to go on is the logline, and I see no hint of that in the logline. In a “Golden Fleece” story, the hero must team up and go on a dangerous journey to obtain a valuable object. In your logline, the sorcerer is going after bad people — not a valuable object.
>>>rebel really has a cause,but that’s spoilers
A logline should advertise the strongest selling point — aka “hook”. What is it for this story? That the kid going after rebels or that’s he’s doing it for a cause? What is the story really about? As Blake Snyder might inquire (were he still in the land of living): Are you sure you’re not hiding the game ball? (See “Saved the Cat! Strikes Back”, p11)
> he goes against a very strong opponent, so basically him going against the rebel.
As I indicated earlier, I have a problem with his motivation being to exalt himself rather than save his community. Audiences root for characters who are selfless — not selfish. So I suggest deleting any reference to gaining or regaining his status.
Which is not to say, that in the story proper he can’t start out on his heroic struggle imperfectly motivated — that could be his character arc, growing internally to where he overcomes his arrogance, does the right thing for the right reason.
But loglines are about external, objective issues not internal, subjective issues. Loglines are about what a character needs to do with his life — his agon (struggle) –not about what wisdom he needs to learn about life (ethos). The ethos is apprehended (finally) and embraced as an unintended consequence of an intentional struggle.
It seems to me that describing him as arrogant is sufficient –that’s his character flaw, right? Implicit in the character flaw is the character arc, the journey to the opposite: humility.
So what have these actually done in the realm that makes them the “most vicious”? I suggest that needs more specificity.
More specifically, what injustice have they committed against the sorcerer? What is a direct causal link between their evil deeds and the life of the sorcerer — the inciting incident, if you will — that motivates him to hunt them down? I suggest making the motivation for his hunt personal as well as communal. Like they killed his family, or have kidnapped a love one (a sister or the woman he loves, hopes to marry).
Again, consider “Star Wars: A New Hope”. Young Luke is not ignorant of the war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, but it’s not his fight — he has no skin in the game. So he’s not motivated to overcome his own doubts and apprehension and answer Obi-Wan’s call. And then his uncle and aunt are killed.
Now it’s personal. Now he’s motivated. Now it’s a motivation the audience can relate to.
What is the strongest possible motive for the young man to go from being a sorcerer to being a warrior? They’re different roles with different skill sets. Would it not be the case that just because he’s got the right stuff to be a sorcerer it doesn’t mean those capabilities also mean he’s got the right stuff to be a warrior?
This has more insight than all facebook groups I’ve posted for feedback, so thank you very much. Everything you both say makes perfect sense. I will work on it a little more and repost it here to tell me what you think. Being my story, i think for me it has way more meaning, but since this logline is not for me,but for others, I guess it doesn’t matter what I think. Thanks again. 🙂
That’s why I wanted to add the “arrogant” part,so people would understand why he was banned. I am familiar with the hero’s journey and many other templates. This here is going to be a Golden Fleece, if you’ve read Blake Snider’s ‘save the cat’. The story is way more complicated than the logline, and the rebel really has a cause,but that’s spoilers and I haven’t even finished the script.
I’m ready to exclude the term “arrogant” since I see it causes some controversy. Tell me if you think the word “young” does more justice to the concept. What I’m trying to underline is that the sorcerer is relatively unexperienced for the task( not weak ). I wanted to use the word “unexpericend” but I thought it was a bad idea,because it might send the wrong impression. Imagine a resident in year 3 of medical school. He has experience, knows what he has to do, but it’s not there yet. To quote the above post, he’s a diamond in the rough. That’s what I’m trying to do with this guy here. The script has more space to underline this than the logline,but the logline is a big part of the project. Tell me which one of the following will make you read the script if you were a reader for a studio and why:
After a shameful exclusion from the order, a young, yet talented sorcerer sets off to hunt one of the most vicious outlaws in the realm.
To regain his status in the order, an arrogant, yet talented sorcerer sets off to hunt one of the most vicious outlaws that ever set foot in the realm.
In order to save the people and gain status in the order, a talented, yet young sorcerer sets off to hunt one of the most vicious outlaws that ever set foot in the realm.
The epic adventure of a young but talented sorcerer who sets off to hunt one of the most vicious outlaws of the realm.
A vicious, unknown rebel sets off to destroy the ruling forces of a society. His only impediment, a gifted but arrogant officer of the clan who’s fighting his own battle: he either eliminates the threat or gets banned from the guild. (I’ve tried starting with the antagonist)