– When a distraught chemist evades culpability for killing her overbearing boss during a heated argument, she must fend off a psychotic blackmailer’s escalating demands.
The purpose of a logline is to persuade someone to read the script. Whenever possible, I suggest a logline utilize rhetorical devices because the purpose of rhetorical devices is to persuade an audience to take a course of action. In this case, take up and read the script. Hence, a rhetorical device can amplify the persuasive impact of a logline.
The reason I used “must plot” in my suggested version ass to leverage the rhetorical device of antithesis, that is, placing two contrasting or opposing ideas in relation to each other. So the first time she murders accidentally, the second time intentionally. That is implicit in your premise; I suggest making it explicit.
First of all, I think you have an interesting premise.
Second, my standard m.o. is to read loglines literally, for what they actually say, not what I think the writer meant to say. I can’t read your mind; I can only read what you have written.
Now then: taking your logline at face value, it says she covers it up… and then she’s blackmailed. So obviously, she hasn’t covered it up. If she had, there would be no threat of black mail. So which is it?
I think it’s safe to leave her cover up attempt unstated, implied because that would be the likely human behavior for the genre. My suggested version says there happened to be one witness and he leverages his knowledge to blackmail her.
Blackmail her in what way? I’m not sure what you mean by “insatiable”. The world connotes an appetite, a desire that can’t be satisfied. Is he demanding sexual favors as payment for his silence? That would certainly be deeply troubling for her, and reason enough why she would want to kill him. In what way does his blackmail threaten her life?
Let me see if I can unpack the premise as I understand it:
After accidentally killing her boss in a heated argument, the sole eyewitness blackmails her with demands for sexual favors.
So far, so good. Not for the character, but for the premise and logline in that the form of blackmail is specific.
BUT, if I understand your logline correctly, the demands for sexual favors are not enough to incite her to plot his death. Only after his blackmail demands escalate to demands that she perform “criminal acts”, does she decide she must kill him. Well, there is no mention of “criminal acts’ in the latest version of the logline. Further, “criminal acts” is vague — it can mean anything from shoplifting to murder. Exactly what kind of “criminal acts” triggers her decision and action to kill him?
Finally, I get the sense that the demands for “criminal acts” constitute the MPR, the midpoint reversal of her plot trajectory. Reversal in that she finally reverses roles from being his passive victim to becoming his proactive adversary — she stops taking it, uh, literally lying down and starts fighting back. That’s okay, it’s street legal to include an MPR in a logline (as I did recently for a logline for the movie “Allied”) but I just want to be sure that is how you intend to map out the plot.
Thanks for the further clarifications.
>> bent on destroying her.
But is that really his intention? Based upon the further details you provided, he seems bent on exploiting her skills as a chemist to cook meth.
And now that I know that she’s a chemist, it seems to me that is a crucial bit of information that needs to be in the logline. She needs to be defined as such. Because that he would demand she cook meth only makes sense if she’s got chemistry chops.
Frankly, I think that his blackmailing her by demanding sexual favors is more than enough reason for her to want to kill him. What I think would be more interesting is a logline and plot that focuses on the chemistry that develops between the two characters rather than any chemistry in a meth lab.
But it’s your story.