When her baby sister is taken by a dark spirit, a Chippawa girl must go on a journey to find Asibikaashi, spider women to help save her sister.

    Penpusher Posted on March 14, 2020 in Adventure.
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    5 Review(s)

      A lot of things aren’t being made clear. Why did the dark spirit kidnap her sister? The stakes are obvious in the sense that she needs her sister back, but other than the risk of NOT getting her back, what are the stakes? What happens to the sister if she isn’t saved?

      Also, no connection between the dream catcher and saving the baby. Why is that her best option? This has already been mentioned as an issue but isn’t being addressed in the revisions. You might not need to mention it in the logline at all, as its relevance will be difficult to establish while trying to get across the basic storyline in a single sentence. The goal is to save her sister; HOW she saves her is something to be specified in a synopsis.

      “Set out on a journey” is superfluous as it adds nothing, and isn’t the imperative portion of the protagonist’s actions. Finding the dream catcher is, apparently, what’s important; what she has to do to find it is not…unless you’re more specific with what this journey entails. If she has to search a haunted forest or something, that indicates danger and drama, but a mere journey in and of itself is very bland and vague. However this also may be something not worth mentioning in a logline, as saving the sister is the important part; what road she takes to get to that point is a detail best left to a longer summary.

      As I’ve said repeatedly elsewhere, starting a logline with When weakens the immediacy of the protagonist’s conflict as well as the logline overall, by not first specifying the character with whom we as readers are meant to identify. Start with the girl, so we know whose story this is, then tell us what she’s up against.

      It could also use an adjective describing her. While “Chippewa” does give some sense of her culture and/or family, it doesn’t tell us much about her personally and individually…and just calling her a girl doesn’t provide a clear indication of her age, either…she could be eight or eighteen, which would make a huge difference in the degree of difficulty going out on her own will involve. If there’s some irony in the premise that can be made clear in the logline, that’s a good hook to make someone want to read more — why will this journey be difficult for her? What is her internal struggle that makes the external struggle even more of a challenge?

      Perhaps try something more like this:

      “A timid Chippewa teenager must save her kidnapped baby sister from a dark spirit intent on stealing the infant’s soul and taking control of their tribe.”

      That actually feels a bit wordy and awkward, but it has the protagonist, antagonist, conflict, and stakes all presented in a clear and understandable manner. You don’t have to tell everybody everything in a logline, you just have to make it clear what the story is about, and make it sound compelling without being confusing. If somebody has to ask a question just to understand the story, the logline has failed — but if they want to ask more about the story because they’re interested, the logline has succeeded.

      Someone reading this might want to know why the older sister is the one who has to save the baby, and not the mom or dad, but they’ll want to read the script to find out. They’re not questioning the validity of the story as presented, they’re curious about the circumstances which created the story presented…that’s what you want your logline to do.

      And proofread carefully for spelling!

      Mentor Answered on March 15, 2020.

      Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely review and go from there.

      on March 15, 2020.
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        Is Asibikaashi a proper name, or just “spider woman” in another language? If the former, you can drop it as proper names don’t belong in longlines. If the latter, you can drop “spider woman” and just use “the Asibikaashi”.

        But who is the MC, the Chippawa girl or the Asibikaashi? If the Chippawa girl, why does she need the Asibikaashi?  What help does this Asibikaashi give? Does she give the girl a dagger? A potion? Or show her the way to the dark spirits hiding place. Be specific.

        On the other hand, if Asibikaashi does most of the work of saving the baby and the girl simply looks on, then Asibikaashi is the MC and you should rewrite the logline from her POV.

        As Richiev says, you have an interesting idea. Now keep refining it.

        Mentor Answered on March 15, 2020.

        I revised it a little plus gave the title. The second one I did omit the name because the Chippewa girl is the main character.

        Title: Ayashe and the Dream Catcher

        When her baby sister is taken by a dark spirit, a Chippewa girl must set out on a journey to find Asibikaasi, a spider women goddess to retrieve a magical dream catcher to save her sister.

        When her baby sister is taken by a dark spirit, a Chippewa girl must set out on a journey to find the spider women goddess to retrieve a magical dream catcher to help save her sister.

        on March 15, 2020.
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          I am not sure about the very end of the logline, but overall it isn’t bad. It gets the big story points across.

          Singularity Answered on March 14, 2020.
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            I’m guessing that the logline would make perfect sense to anyone familiar with Chippewa mythology.  But 99%+ of the people in the movie industry who could green light the project aren’t Chippewa, aren’t familiar with the mythology.  So, alas,  it is highly unlikely that it will make sense to them either.  The story needs to be translated into terms that would make sense to  a non-Chippewa.

            I have no idea why the girl’s only option, or best option, is to find a spider goddess (“women goddess” is redundant”) and why that isn’t enough. Why the spider goddess must in turn retrieve a magical dream catcher (what/who is that?)  Nor why, for that matter, did a  “dark spirit”  (what’s that?) kidnap her younger sister.  For what purpose?  Why didn’t the dark spirit kidnap the girl?

            Just saying.

            Singularity Answered on March 15, 2020.

            Ok I see. I definitely want to simplify the Logline to get the script read. The question about the goddess and mythology. I plan for it be told buy a mother telling the story to a child in the beginning of first act. Still a work in progress, but I want to make the logline better.

            I omitted the goddess portion. Not sure yet how to reword the dark spirt part. A work in progress.

            When her baby sister is taken by a dark spirit, a Chippewa girl must set out on a journey to find a magical dream catcher I order to save her.

            on March 15, 2020.
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              What is a dream catcher?  What particular magical power does this entity have that girl needs?

              Which brings to my mind another issue I have noticed in other loglines where the protagonist goes in search of someone  endowed with magical powers.  As the revised logline is written it creates the impression that the girl is looking for someone to transfer the grunt work of rescuing her sister.

              But it’s the job description of the protagonist that she herself must do the grunt work of rescuing whoever needs to be rescued or solving the problem that needs to be solved.  In this case, the girl can enlist the help of the dream catcher as a mentor or ally, for wisdom, and even for some timely protection.  But ultimately, the task of rescuing her sister is the girl’s responsibility.  It’s her struggle, her challenge, her responsibility.

              This is the basic structure of hero’s journey and struggle as Joseph Campbell points out in extensive surveys of Occidental and Oriental mythology.  (See his discussion of “supernatural aid”  and “the ultimate boon” in “The Hero with a 1,000 Faces”.)

              So I suggest the logline be framed such that there is no question she will remain the true and singular protagonist from start to finish.  She seeking help — not someone to whom she can subcontract the hard work.


              Singularity Answered on March 15, 2020.
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