When a Goth Detective is tasked with solving a murder at a very optimistic circus, he must solve the case to be able to escape the happiness.
The industry standard formulation for a logline (see “Formula” at the top of the web page) is that an inciting incident triggers a protagonist to pursue an objective goal.
So what’s is the ultimate objective goal in this situation? Isn’t it to solve the crime? I can see the comedy potential of the clash of temperaments — but that clash is a complication to his objective goal. It isn’t the inciting incident that precipitates his objective goal. The inciting incident is the murder. The objective goal that arises from that is he must solve the crime. The clashing temperaments is a complication.
I guess I meant that the people running the circus were optimistic, although that seems to be a lot harder to fit into a logline.
When a Goth Detective is tasked with solving a murder at a circus full of very optimistic people, he must solve the case to be able to escape the happiness.
How about that?
I’m thinking maybe you don’t need the word “optimistic.” It sounds like you are trying to contrast a “goth” mentality with a cheerful one. I think the audience will know that circus people are overly happy while performing…but, you could also include something in the story that shows how circus people may act differently (not so happy) off-stage (not something for the logline…but for the story).
If the MC begins as “goth” and your obj for him is to NOT change, then having him be successful wont allow him to ARC. That’s not a good thing.
What is really the reasonable objective for this detective while he’s in the circus environment? I truly hope you have one for him.
Ok so I’ve updated my logline based on the feedback and I’ve slightly changed the story because I don’t necessarily want it to be a murder anymore, but here goes:
When a clown unexpectedly dies while touring, a Goth Detective is tasked with solving this mysterious case.