When a cop is killed during her last con, the Chinese-Australian suspect finds herself hiding out in a small conservative town in NSW where she takes the persona of a Chinese Medicine healer but finds herself healing the town and herself.

    Logliner Posted on May 7, 2019 in Drama.

    When you said (The Chinese Australian) sort of feels like you are referring to an organization, opposed to an Individual.

    I’d have Said (A Chinese Australian).  And the isn’t a clear distinction with the way in which you structured your sentence, between your Protagonist and The cop who was killed.

    Your objective for your protagonist isn’t clear and the obstacles prevent her from achieving her goals.

    I’m assuming that the obstacle could be that she’s on the run, and is trying to avoid the police. but that becomes hard to picture because I don’t actually know what she wants.  I’m also wondering what is she healing herself from and is that the objective, but If so I’m finding that hard to see how it’s relevant to the narrative.

    The inciting incident is when the cop gets killed right, I think if you worked more around that, it could be easier to give your logline more clarity. Keep in mind the structure of a logline. 

    Different people have different ways of constructing loglines although certain elements like the inciting incident should be present Answering these questions, I hope they help.

    1-Who is your main character and what makes them interesting

    2-What do they want

    3-What’s in their way

    on June 12, 2019.

    (preventing)*

    on June 12, 2019.
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      I  think making the protagonist Chinese and female makes for a more interesting character.  And  the 2nd half of the logline, pretending to be a Chinese medicine healer turns on her ethnicity.  Further,it may increase the audience for the film.  The Chinese film market is on the verge of eclipsing the US and becoming the world’s largest film market.  So  this has the potential of being distributed in China as well as in Australia.

      However, the protagonist sure does a lot of “finding”.  She finds herself in a small town and then she finds herself  healing the town.  This “finding” conveys the impression that the plot is acting on her rather than she is acting to determine the direction of the plot.  But loglines  should frame the action in terms of what a protagonist intentionally seeks to do, not what unintentionally happens .  So a logline for developing a script might be something like:

      After a cop is killed while pulling off her latest crime, a Chinese-Australian con artist hides out in a small town pretending to be a Chinese medicine healer.
      (28 words)

      However, a logine for selling the finished script, one that incorporates a Midpoint plot reversal/twist ( aka: MPR ) might read something like:

      A Chinese-Australian con artist on the lam hides in a remote town pretending to be a traditional medicine healer. But her cover is threatened when the her cures work, attracting unwanted attention from the outside media.
      (36 words)

      This version focuses on an element not mentioned in the original logline:  the unintended negative objective consequences of her new profession, rather than the unintended positive subjective consequences.  No doubt, the unintended subjective consequences is surely an important and ironic story element.  And I’m not sure the author has the story twist in mind that I have inserted.

      But I suggest that there is a logical and emotional systole and diastole to the flow of drama narrative that requires a 3rd Act moral reckoning with past misdeeds.  Any psychological “cure” must entail a confrontation with the ghosts of the past.

      And  what would trigger that reckoning?  Ironically, that her cures are all too successful, attracting unwanted publicity that threatens to blow her cover.

      fwiw

      Singularity Answered on June 13, 2019.
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        Location is somewhat irrelevant. Her being half Chinese is probably not. Would it make any difference if this story took place in the USA or UK?

        Currently she doesn’t really have a goal. I agree with David, it’s hard to picture when it’s not clear what she actually wants. Why does she need healing? Why does the town need healing?

        It reminds me quite heavily of “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar” although that film is a comedy (which I can’t imagine yours wouldn’t be to be honest… someone posing as a Chinese medicine healer…). In that film, three drag queens are on a road trip to Hollywood and along the way a cop tries to rape one of them, resulting in them knocking him unconscious (although they believe they killed him). Their car breaks down a little further down the road and they find themselves in a small conservative town and they have no choice but to wait in the town for car parts to arrive. Whilst they are there, they all learn something about themselves and they change the town too. Simple.

        Your idea is similar, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but with To Wong Foo, it’s probably the car breaking down that’s the inciting incident. Their goal is to get to Hollywood, when their car breaks down their goal is to get their car fixed so they can get to Hollywood.  The antagonistic forces are the police, certain members of the town, time (as it delays the car part) – all of these things potentially stop them going to Hollywood. Interestingly though, the drag queen’s sub-plots form a much bigger part of the whole film than the A-story.

        A very similar approach could be taken for your idea. The protagonist needs to have an over-arching goal and that needs to relate more heavily to the inciting incident. Everything that happens in this town are your sub-plots and whilst they can be suggested in the logline, we actually need your whole A-story to make a good logline.

        Hope this helps.

        Overlord Answered on June 13, 2019.
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