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Singularity
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  • Singularity Posted 8 hours ago in Fantasy.

    Billy14:

    In my book, the most important element a logline needs is a clear, strong, irresistible hook.  Speaking as a potential audience of one, I am intrigued but not yet hooked on the premise in your logline.  I’m a fish swimming around the hook, curious — but not quite tempted to bite.

    One reason I’m not yet biting is because it seems to me the logline confuses means with ends.

    The ” rite of death and rebirth…” is a standard issue aspect of a Hero’s Journey, but that rite is usually implicit.  And it’s a necessary step, an unavoidable means, toward reaching the  objective goal.  But the rite of passage leading to the defeat of the guardian cannot be the objective goal, the end game of the young magician’s heroic journey.  Rather it is is the High Noon, moment-of-truth event;  it is the “final exam” he will have to pass/survive in order to obtain the ultimate objective goal, that is, the “boon” (Joseph Campbell), the “reward ” (Christopher Vogler).

    The battle with the guardian is a means to an end?  What is that ultimate end, the boon, the reward?  It is not evident to me what that ultimate objective goal is.

    For stories that are fantastic, other worldly, stories set in the future (Fantasy, Horror, SciFi), I pose another question:  what archetype under girds the story?  What universal, psychological, social and existential motifs from the real world are mapped in the unreal world of the story?  I consider that mapping to be crucial. In order to get an audience to hook into and buy the story world, they must apprehend elements in the story world that are familiar to them in the real world, elements that they can correlate to their own experience.

    I look for two archetypal factors:  the kind of Heroic Journey being undertaken and the kind of archetypal character and character arc being evoked.  I presume you are familiar with how the archetypal the Heroic Journey under girds “Star Wars: The New Hope”.  But I wish to draw attention to the particular character and character arc of the protagonist.  Luke Skywalker is being called to become a Jedi Knight, called to fight the evil Empire.  So his character role is that of the Warrior, and the arc is the training he must undergo to become a valiant, heroic Warrior.  That character arc entails certain expectations of where the will begin (farm boy), what he will have to learn (how to use the force) and where he will end his journey (Jedi Master).

    Now then.  The obvious archetypal role for the protagonist in your story is Magician.  As with all archetypal roles, there is a positive and negative aspect.  The positive is that of the mature Magician who functions as a Transformer, a Change Maker for the greater good.  The negative is that of the Trickster who uses magic for mischief, for selfish purposes.

    I seems to me that the implied character arc for a young magician would be that he starts out as a fumbling Trickster; he doesn’t know how to use magic well, and, worse, he uses it to “have fun”,  work mischief, to amuse himself, advance his own selfish interests.  He must stop being a Trickster, learn how to be a Magician — and his training will be hard every step of the way, not just in the High Noon fight with the guardian

    I would like to see a stronger hint of that arc in the logline.  And the most succinct  way to imply his character arc in a logline is by how he is described.  Well, the logline says he’s ambitious.  Okay, that suggests ego inflation and selfishness.  What is he ambitious to do?  At the start of the story, what does he want to do with magic? Acquire power for his own selfish use?  And is he skilled and careful, or unskilled and reckless?

    FWIW

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  • Singularity Posted 1 day ago in Fantasy.

    The description of the opponent as a  guardian carries a connotation that seems to be at odds with his assigned role in the story.  By that I mean the definition of “guardian”  conveys the sense of a benevolent, not a malevolent role.

    “Guardian:  one who has the care of the person or property of another.” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

    So what threat does the guardian pose to the magic world and to the protagonist? Why MUST a character who seems to be performing a benevolent role(taking the word “guardian” in its normative sense) be defeated?

    And what are the stakes?  If the protagonist fails his to defeat him what will he suffer as a result?  And how will the magical kingdom suffer?  What is payoff if he succeeds?  And what boon his victory provide to the magical kingdom?

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  • Singularity Posted 3 days ago in Drama.

    Hmm.  If the priest’s objective goal is to visit his mother, what is his subjective need for doing so? (Subjective needs are not usually explicitly stated in a logline, but it strengthens the logline when the subjective need is implicit.)

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  • Singularity Posted 4 days ago in Crime.

    I am curious as to how she would be able to more than compensate for her blindness with other senses.  A hyper-acute sense of hearing would only work if she’s present at the scene of the crime, at the time of the crime.  A hyper-acute sense of smell might work — she’s could be a human blood hound.

    Otherwise she would have to have hyper-developed cognitive abilities to adduce and deduce from the evidence —  a handicapped female version of Sherlock Holmes.  Or it’s just plain magic: she develops an extrasensory ability to envision what happened and who dunnit.

    And agree with Paul Clarke that because of her handicap she would have  to be teamed up with a partner who can compensate for her handicap.  And, of course, it would have to be an Odd Couple relationship.

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  • Singularity Posted 4 days ago in Romance.

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Maybe something like:

    A toxic male rejected by every woman he courts hires a life coach to show him how to be a modern, sensitive man.
    (23 words)

    Rejected by every woman he courts:  I suggest that his problem is more than just being accused; he’s rejected over and over and over. Violently rejected. Act 1 could have scenes like the ones in “Groundhog Day” where Rita rejects Phil again and again and again with slaps to his face. So a series of escalating rejections: Girls laugh in his face and storm away, slap his face, fling drinks in his face, kick him in the shins; the topper to the running gag is when he’s laughed at,  slapped in the face and kicked him in the groin by the same girl.

    Life coach: Trendy and, imho, makes more sense.  If he’s so toxic, how would he have won the friendship of any girl in his youth?

    Or maybe he begs for the last one to reject him, the one who kicked him in the groin, to “domestic” him.  She refuses, of course, until he offers to pay.

    Whatever, the premise has a lot of possibilities. Lots of options to play with.  Best wishes.

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  • Singularity Posted 4 days ago in Romance.

    I am a vegan, a   soy boy, (also a flax freak, bran brat, oat oaf, omega-3-6-9 man, and a cruciferous cultist) and I’m confused.  “Alpha” I understand, but “Alfa”?  And “beta” refers to… well, what in contrast to whatever “Alfa” refers to?

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  • Singularity Posted 6 days ago in SciFi.

    >>>Ulterior motivation

    Which is?  The prime motivating event, conviction, or value should be disclosed, not hidden.

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  • Singularity Posted 6 days ago in SciFi.

    How does fighting with distinction in a laser war qualify the protagonist to work as a spy?

    And the notion of fighting in a “Laser War” is more interesting than seducing and spying.  It seems to me the story hook is in prologue to the plot rather than the plot proper.

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  • Singularity Posted 6 days ago in SciFi.

    I suggest the inciting incident should be toward the front of the logline, not buried at the end.

    I have a question:  what is the “official” justification in this story world of yours for  needing to kill off non-likeables?  What motivates the powers-that-be in your story world to resort to this culling of losers?   What “threat” do the losers in this story world pose to the established order that the ruling order uses to justify this termination policy?

    Stalin and Mao didn’t just purge — murder– tens of millions of innocent people; they also manufactured an official reason why they had to do it, (Their victims were counter-revolutionaries, covert capitalists, enemies of the people, traitors, etc.)

    In every story world, there needs to be a “rational reason” for the irrational and unjust rules of the dominant order.  Like in the movie, I just loglined, “Equals” where human emotion is treated as pathological disease and love is punishable by death.  Why? Because emotion is the source of evil, of social strife and war. Hence, from birth all humans are subject to doses of drugs that “cure” humans of their emotions so there can be a collective utopia of peace, social cohesion and productivity.

    How does failing to live up to minimum “likeability” standards pose a threat to the crime-free world of the story world?  (I can see them being banned from the internet, their cell phones confiscated — but killed?)

    As I said, I find the premise interesting, but I haven’t (yet) been able to suspend disbelief and buy into the story world.

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