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Summitry
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  • Summitry Posted on March 4, 2019 in Thriller.

    Logline: “When the dark secrets of a timid family man are about to be exposed by an anonymous source, he must take on dangerous assignments over the course of one night, in an attempt to save his marriage and family.” (39 words)

    Overall, the logline describes a simple-sounding story. But as mentioned in previous reviews, parts which are vague and parts extraneous to the logline make it too long and weaken the overall logline.

    Breakdown:
    Protagonist: “a timid family man” —> This is okay. But I suggest a rewrite —  if the protagonist is religiously devout and thus strongly believes in the sanctity of marriage, for example, that could be expressed which makes any past actions which seem to go against his values have value and add more stakes.

    Antagonist: “an anonymous source” —> This could be cut from the logline. It tells the reader nothing about the antagonist. Consider changing this to a more general statement.(Will include example at end of review)

    Inciting incident: “When the dark secrets of a timid family man are about to be exposed by an anonymous source” —> The logline describes what appears to be the correct inciting incident, but this could be reworded. Also, ‘dark secrets’ is too vague.

    Goal: “he must take on dangerous assignments over the course of one night, in an attempt to save his marriage and family” —> As mentioned by another member, “in an attempt to save his marriage and family” isn’t useful to this logline. The goal of the story is to prevent the exposure of his secrets.

    An example, using elements from your logline: After he receives an anonymous letter threatening to expose his illicit affair, a devout Christian cop must impede a murder investigation to protect his secret. (25 words, 166 characters)

    • 156 views
    • 3 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on March 2, 2019 in Adventure.

    Logline: “When a nine-year-old, native American boy is struck by lightning and initiated to be the next tribal shaman, he must battle his vengeful Uncle who murdered his father, and protect the world from the dark forces that seek to destroy it.” (41 words)

    Try to keep loglines under 30 words. But, looking through your profile it does seem you’ve tried to address the feedback from previous versions. I suggest reading through other loglines and the feedback they receive to better understand the elements of a logline and their structure.
    Breakdown:

    Protagonist: “nine-year-old, native American boy” —> His age seems to have nothing to do with the story, so describing it only serves to take up space in the logline. What’s more important than specifying an age is describing the protagonist’s personality, or a physical trait which may hinder achieving the goal of the story and resolving the conflict. (ex: ‘naïve’, ‘reckless’, etc..)

    Antagonist: “his vengeful Uncle who murdered his father” —> This description raises more questions than it should. He’s vengeful, but the logline doesn’t describe what caused him to want vengeance. In fact, the logline describes a perfect reason why the protagonist would be vengeful: the uncle killed his father. Is the uncle envious because he wants to be the shaman? Is that why he murdered the father?

    Inciting incident: “When a nine-year-old, native American boy is struck by lightning and initiated to be the next tribal shaman”
    and
    Goal: “he must battle his vengeful Uncle who murdered his father, and protect the world from the dark forces that seek to destroy it.” —> The inciting incident should directly lead to protagonist pursuing the goal. Becoming a shaman is not an event which directly leads to the protagonist doing what is described as the goal. Also, the logline is a bit unclear. Is the protagonist’s goal to battle the uncle to protect the world? Or is the logline describing two separate goals? (It shouldn’t do that.)
    Becoming a shaman is likely an event which throws the protagonist into his new world, but it doesn’t make him do anything. In the story, there’s likely an event after this, an event possibly caused by the uncle which makes the protagonist realize he has no choice but to enter this conflict.
    Is the murder of the father in the story, or is it backstory?  This review is getting long, so I’ll refer you to a previous review of mine in which I discuss the inciting incident-goal relationship. (Linked —>here)

    I’ll throw in an example of a logline using elements from the original post: After his father is sacrificed, a young tribal shaman must use his newfound power to prevent his murderous uncle from completing a ritual to summon a mythical demon. (28 words, 166 characters).

    I hope this helps. I do think the premise of the story sounds interesting — I’m always interested in stories about Native Americans.

    • 160 views
    • 2 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 31, 2019 in Noir.

    Seems like a simple, solid idea. The logline also seems pretty good, but is a bit long.

    Logline: “When a stranger’s corpse appears in her bedroom and reveals he was murdered, an impetuous movie critic must piece together the clues and unmask the killer so she can rest in peace.” (32 words)

    Protagonist: “an impetuous movie critic” —> Usually, I only recommend describing a character by their career if it implies skills that the protagonist would be able to use in the conflict. In this case, I’m not sure ‘movie critic’ is effective. It takes two words.At least to me, being a film critic doesn’t really involve the type of investigative skills someone would need to solve a mystery. So I recommend either finding a way to shorten it to one word, or consider a different description.

    Antagonist: “the killer” —> Clearly described. This is okay.

    Goal: “must piece together the clues and unmask the killer so she can rest in peace.” —> This could be trimmed. I’m also confused. The corpse is described as ‘he’ but in this section the logline states: “so she can rest in peace.” Is this just a typo, or are you referring to the protagonist being able to rest in peace?

    Inciting incident: “When a stranger’s corpse appears in her bedroom and reveals he was murdered” —> Could be trimmed as well. Otherwise, is okay. It shares a causal relationship with the goal and the possible climaxes could be easily inferred from this event.
    >Climax: Either the protagonist solves the case or she doesn’t. —> Either is an inevitable outcome of the inciting incident.

    Example: After an undead stranger tells her he was murdered, an impetuous film critic must find the killer so the stranger may rest in peace. (24 words). 

    I hope this helps.

    • 376 views
    • 3 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 28, 2019 in SciFi.

    “When an angel is brutalized by two racist police officers, he finds himself in a face to face confrontation with his estranged daughter that will decide the fate of humanity.” (30 words)

    This version seems to be better than the previous.

    Protagonist: “an angel” —> How does an angel get hurt by humans? Why is he on Earth? Aside from that, the logline tells a reader very little about the protagonsit.

    Antagonist: His daughter? The logline doesn’t clearly imply or describe an antagonist.

    Goal: “decide the fate of humanity.” —> The logline doesn’t describe an objective goal. What specific outcome does the protagonist try to make happen? That’s what the logline should describe. Rather than “decide the fate of humanity” the logline should describe exactly the fate he’s seeking to make a reality.
    Inciting incident: “When an angel is brutalized by two racist police officers” —> How does this event lead to the protagonist having to decide humanity’s fate? The inciting incident should the direct cause of the protagonist’s goal.

    • 166 views
    • 2 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 25, 2019 in Romance.

    “During the 1950’s in segregated Louisiana, a working-class African American mother and wife struggles with unforeseen births, deaths and racial issues while pursuing an unconventional career.” (26 words)

    Protagonist: ” a working-class African American mother and wife” —> This could be trimmed some. Since the premise is based on the protagonist facing racism, I’d say it’s okay to include that, but “mother and wife” could just be turned into ‘woman’ or some other single-word identifier(such as, saying her profession—> ‘a black nurse’).

    Antagonist: The logline hints at antagonistic elements(racism) but since there is no goal stated in the logline, there is no clear character/force which is implied to directly oppose the protagonist.

    Goal: As I mentioned above, there is no objective goal described in the logline. What does she specifically want to accomplish? The logline is categorized as ‘Romance’. Who’s the love interest? The logline mentions “pursuing an unconventional career” —> Is that her objective? To get hired for a job?

    Inciting incident: No clear event is described in the logline. The inciting incident should share a casual relationship with the goal. It should be the single event which forces the protagonist to become a part of the conflict.
    Here is a previous answer of mine which discusses inciting incidents more: https://logline.it/answer/re-when-a-pirate-a-princess-and-an-outlander-discover-that-their-crystal-necklaces-have-magical-powers-the-three-women-go-on-an-adventure-that-leads-to-saving-the-world-from-darkness-3/

    I suggest reading the formula tab at the top of the page, reading other members’ loglines, and the reviews members leave for loglines in order to help better understand a logline’s elements.

    • 173 views
    • 4 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 24, 2019 in Adventure.

    “After a bionic test leaves an island unresponsive, a company investigator and his friends come to see that the test have become weaponized automatically and cannot leave the island or it will destroy the planet.” (35 words)

    The logline is confusing, long, and lacks important elements.

    Protagonist: “a company investigator and his friends” —> What company? There’s no company described in the logline. Or, if he doesn’t work for a specific company, do you mean he investigates companies? Also, his friends? Not coworkers, team? Are they on vacation?

    Antagonist: From what I can tell, it’s the island.

    Goal: There is no clear goal described in the logline. There is an implied, vague goal to prevent the destruction of the planet. Loglines should describe clear objectives. They want to shutdown the island’s systems. They want to reprogram the island’s systems to not destroy the world, etc.

    Inciting incident: “After a bionic test leaves an island unresponsive,” —> How is an island unresponsive? How is an island responsive in the first place? Unresponsive to what? An inciting incident should force the protagonist into the main conflict, to pursue their objective goal. How does this do that? It doesn’t affect him. The inciting incident should specifically affect the protagonist.
    Luke Skywalker’s family is killed by the Empire.
    John McClane’s wife and coworkers are taken hostage.
    Bryan Mills’ daughter is taken.
    Tony Stark is kidnapped by terrorists and forced to build weapons. —> These are all events which personally affect the protagonist.
    How does an island being unresponsive affect the protagonist?
    If the story is about an investigation, then the inciting incident should describe the moment the protagonist is forced to decide to take the case. 

    • 205 views
    • 5 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 24, 2019 in SciFi.

    “A stubborn, US ex-soldier (28) is resurrected from hell to change humanity for the better, upon sacrificing his soul to hell.” (20 words)

    Protagonist: “A stubborn, US ex-soldier (28)” —> No need to include age. Otherwise, this is okay.

    Antagonist: Implied to be all of humanity. Is there is specific character who serves as the main antagonist?

    Goal: “to change humanity for the better” —> This is vague. Loglines should describe a specific objective. Think of the climax of the story. What will be accomplished at that point? The logline’s goal should describe that.
    For example, in “Star Wars”, Luke’s goal may be to defeat the Empire, but his specific objective is to destroy the Death Star.

    Inciting incident: ” is resurrected from hell” —> This is okay, but the logline should explicitly describe how this forces him to pursue the goal. Is he given a mission, forced to by the Devil.? The inciting incident should describe the event which absolutely forces the protagonist to pursue his objective goal.
    For example, in “Star Wars”, Luke is essentially recruited to join the Rebellion by Ben Kenobi, but he is forced to choose to do so when he finds that his family has been killed by Stormtroopers.
    It’s at this moment when he says, “I want to come with you to Alderaan. There is nothing here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.”(emphasis mine) —> Where is that moment in this story? The moment which forces the protagonist to choose, and forces them to choose to engage in the main conflict. I analyze these elements in “Star Wars” more in this thread: https://logline.it/answer/re-when-a-pirate-a-princess-and-an-outlander-discover-that-their-crystal-necklaces-have-magical-powers-the-three-women-go-on-an-adventure-that-leads-to-saving-the-world-from-darkness-3/

    An example, using elements from this logline: After the Devil orders him to assassinate a dictator, a resurrected soldier must use his hellish powers to face the dictator’s army and kill him. (25 words)

    This may not be how your story goes at all, but I tried to use all of the elements of a logline to give you a framework to use for a revision. 

    I hope this helps.

    • 192 views
    • 4 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 24, 2019 in Action.

    “After being rejected by his daughter (21), a corrupt NYPD officer (47) decides to turn over a new leaf and initiate a massive undercover operation in order to prove his daughter that he’s changed and make her proud of him.” (38 words)

    Protagonist: ” corrupt NYPD officer (47)” —> As mentioned before, there is no need to include an age. If his age has something to do with the story, imply it with an adjective. (ex: a veteran detective). Otherwise, this is okay.

    Antagonist: Seems to be implied that  it would be the criminals he’s going undercover with. Also okay.

    Goal: “decides to turn over a new leaf and initiate a massive undercover operation in order to prove his daughter that he’s changed and make her proud of him.” —> A logline should not describe two goals. It should describe the objective. This logline is categorized as ‘Action’. The relationship with the daughter does not seem to fall in line with an objective which would lead to action.
    For example, take a look at “Die Hard”(1988). McClane’s objective goal is to defeat the terrorists. As a result, he learns the lesson he needs in order to fulfill his subjective goal by mending his relationship with his estranged wife. As I mentioned before, a logline should only explicitly describe the objective goal. The subjective plotline can be implied, but it should not be the focus(this is one of the reasons the logline is so long.)

    Inciting incident: “After being rejected by his daughter (21)”  —> Again, no need to include age. Above I’ve discussed that the logline seems to be focusing on the incorrect goal, which also means this inciting incident does not properly reflect the event which forces the protagonist to pursue his objective goal.
    Which leads to the ‘Climax’: From this logline, I can infer that an inevitable outcome based on the goal is that the protagonist either kills/arrests the bad guy, or is defeated himself. Working backward, what is the event which forces him to pursue this specific goal?
    To use “Die Hard” again as an example:
    Inciting incident: when the terrorists take his wife and her coworkers hostage.
    Goal: To defeat free the hostages by defeating the terrorists.
    >Climax: terrorists are defeated, hostages saved.

    From that inciting incident, the final showdown between McClane and Gruber is an inevtiable outcome. They share a causal relationship.

    To make up an example using elements from your logline: After his informant tells him about a massive arms deal, a corrupt cop must use the opportunity to go undercover with a street gang to arrest the city’s kingpin. (29 words)

    I suggest considering these elements for a revision. I also suggest reviewing other members’ loglines, the feedback they receive, and also the formula tab at the top of the webpage.

    • 303 views
    • 3 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 20, 2019 in Coming of Age.

    There are multiple logline versions in this thread, and they share some of the same problems, so I will focus on the original post.
    I recommend reading the formula tab at the top of the page and reading through other members’ loglines and the feedback they receive to better understand logline format and elements.

    Logline: “Just when she starts fitting in at her new high school, 17 year old Maddie’s werewolf father goes on another killing spree, and she has to keep the dark secret from her new school crush.” (35 words)

    To start, “Just when she starts fitting in at her new high school” is unnecessary for a logline. Loglines should include minimal background details and should focus on the core of the story.

    Protagonist: “17 year old Maddie” —> Loglines shouldn’t use the names of fictional characters unless they are from an established franchise. And describing a character’s age does very little to help with understanding the character.
    To use “Taken” as an example: A retired CIA agent. —> This tells a logline reader that 1) he’s retired, 2)He was in the CIA, and to a general audience that means he’s acquired a “particular set of skills”.

    Inciting incident: “werewolf father goes on another killing spree” —> This is an okay inciting incident, but the real problem seems to be with the goal.

    Example(Taken): After his daughter is kidnapped. —> Boom, a clear event, which forces the protagonist into action.

    Goal: “and she has to keep the dark secret from her new school crush” —> Why does this matter? Her father is killing people and she’s worried about someone finding out that he’s a werewolf? This also isn’t a clear objective to accomplish. It’s an indefinite goal which isn’t the type that works for a story. This also doesn’t seem to describe a causal relationship with the inciting incident. If her father’s been a werewolf for however long, why is that she just now starts to try to keep it a secret? In other words, the inciting incident doesn’t force her to pursue her goal.

    Example: he(Mills) must find and rescue his daughter. —> A clear goal formed because of the inciting incident. With a definite endpoint, a clear objective, and is described visually.

    Antagonist: I am unclear about who the antagonist would be from this logline. If her goal is to prevent someone from finding something out, then who is directly opposing her? Why would anyone care?

    Example(Taken): the kidnappers.

    I recommend considering these elements for a revision.

    • 187 views
    • 3 reviews
    • 0 votes
  • Summitry Posted on January 18, 2019 in Thriller.

    Logline:  “When his wife appears on his organisation’s hitlist 10 years after they told him she was murdered, a nostalgic assassin seeks to join forces with her to unravel the depths of the company’s deception.” (34 words)

    Protagonist: ” a nostalgic assassin” —> Okay. Consider using an adjective which hints at character arc.

    Antagonist: “company” —> Okay.

    Inciting incident: “When his wife appears on his organisation’s hitlist 10 years after they told him she was murdered” —> I don’t think, as written, this event shares the causal relationship an inciting incident should have with the goal. If the inciting incident is that his wife(presumed dead or not) has been targeted for a hit, then I would think that the goal would be to protect her, or carry out the hit himself. But the goal seems to be to investigate. I understand what you’re going for, but to me, as written, the event doesn’t share that relationship with the stated goal.
    Essentially, the goal seems to be investigating(at least that’s what I think “unravel the depths of the company’s deception” means) but the inciting incident doesn’t present the mystery. It presents a mystery, but not the one that is the main conflict.

    Goal: ” seeks to join forces with her to unravel the depths of the company’s deception” —> This is unclear. What exactly are they looking for? She’s alive, that was the deception. The logline does not clearly describe what they are trying to unravel.
    ->Climax: Reading the logline, I can’t exactly determine what the climax would be. As I mentioned before, saying “When his wife appears on his organisation’s hitlist” means that the inciting incident is that is wife is being targeted, and to me, an inevitable outcome of that would be either he protects her from antagonists, or he tries to kill her himself.

    • 311 views
    • 4 reviews
    • 0 votes