When six brutal water-related murders are uncovered on the same day, an aquaphobic detective must uncover the killer’s identity as the clues become increasingly more personal.
Never start a logline with When. Start with the protagonist then provide the antagonist, conflict, & stakes. Avoid commas. 25-30 words max, the shorter the better. No vague notions or questionable phrases.
“Water-related” is unclear. Drownings? Various locations? Stabbed in the rain? Don’t make us ask questions to comprehend your story; make us want to read more of it because we’re interested. And the fact they’re “uncovered” on the same day also raises questions: did they occur on the same day? Are they only finding them now? Was it all part of some big reveal? Does the story take place all in one day? How can clues become increasingly personal if they’re all discovered at the same time? Doesn’t make sense. And a logline has to make perfect sense, with no extraneous detail muddying the waters…so to speak. Try simplifying everything:
An aquaphobic detective investigates a series of brutal seaside murders with increasingly more personal clues.
That covers everything. It defines the hero and implies the villain (murders mean a murderer), “seaside” clarifies conflict (aquaphobics fear water), and the stakes are always clear with a murder investigation (no more murders please). Plus the “increasingly personal” aspect indicates continually raised stakes, which is always good.
You might want to clarify, water-related murders, Does that mean, in the bathtub? in a lake? In the ocean? Were surfers killed? Were divers killed?
Were they killed in a boat? Were they killed in a moat? Please tell us if you can, please tell us Sam I am…
While I think mrliteral’s version is an improvement, it still leaves me mystified as to what it means that “the clues become increasingly more personal.” More personal in what sense? That the clues implicate the detective as the prime suspect? Or that the clues implicate him as the next victim?
And what is the story hook?