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Singularity
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  • Singularity Posted 4 days ago in Historical.

    It seems that the plot is something like:

    Unable to immigrate legally to America with his family in 192?, an impoverished Jewish teenager undertakes a harrowing 5 year trek through Russia, Europe and Latin America to enter illegally.

    (?= add the detail of the year his trek began)

    The subject matter certainly resonates with  current events along the southern border of the U.S.  (Understatement)

    This answer accepted by empr3ss. 4 days ago Earned 50 points.

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  • Singularity Posted 5 days ago in Drama.

    Jaheagle,

    Thanks for the elaboration on your story idea.

    Here is how I understand your revised logline.  The story starts off along one plot path:

    England 1962. When two teenage sisters, sibling rivals, make a demo disc, it launches their singing career.

    And then takes a detour down a seemingly different plot path:

    The naïve, younger sister is a problem drinker and loses her virginity. She finds out she’s pregnant and that her boyfriend is married. He persuades her to have an illegal abortion that ends up impacting her whole family.

    Now I’m confused.  What is the plot?  What is your story really about?  Is it about two sisters who struggle to have a singing career?  Or is it about a sister who aspires to be a singer but instead must deal with a lot of personal problems? Or…?

    I’m going to repeat an anecdote I read about a script writing technique Francis Ford Coppola used to write the screenplay for “The Godfather”.  About a year ago  I read “The Godfather Notebook”, a collection of notes Coppola made while writing and directing “The Godfather”.  His technique for condensing the sprawling book down to a shooting script was to come up with a one word description of the theme. After wrestling with the book for weeks, the one word description he came up with was:

    “Succession”

    The Godfather was a story of a struggle to determine who would succeed Don Vito Corleone.  That one word became his creative clothesline on which he hung all the subplots, all the locations, all the cast of characters.

    He wrote the word on an index card and fixed it next to his typewriter. That index card became his North Star for navigating through the book, for writing the script and for directing the movie.

    That technique, which I dub “the Coppola”, is what I try to use for my own projects. Operative word: try. It isn’t easy.  But it is clarifying; it forces me to prune, cut, slash until I discover the essence, the core concept of the story.   I can’t say I’ve been able to summarize all my projects in just one word. But at least I’ve been able to prune, cut, slash them down to a thematic phrase of 2-3 words.

    IOW:  shift your mental gears into reverse: Don’t try to describe your story in more words; instead, describe it in fewer words, as few as possible.

    So give it a try. What do you consider to be a one or two or three word phrase of your operative theme for this story?

    fwiw

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  • Singularity Posted 5 days ago in Drama.

    Agree with the others.  The inciting incident can be (from the character point of view) accidental,  sheer coincidence, but after that they must respond proactively.  That’s the  job of a protagonist, to be proactive.  So the logline (and plot) needs to be framed in terms of how they proactively seize the opportunity created by the inciting incident and run with it to build a singing career. (Although ultimately, what’s at stake is more than fame and fortune.)

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  • Singularity Posted 5 days ago in Biography.

    A biography that promises sex, witchcraft, and scandal — what’s not to like?  The challenge is that, based upon what I’ve been able to glean from googling, Ms. Norton’s led a chaotic, rambling life. How to bring a semblance of narrative order to so much disorder, wrangle a coherent plot out of so much incoherence?

    Have you decide on a particular plot strategy?  Like focusing on a singular episode that encapsulates who she was, her struggles to practice her beliefs and her art? Or  perhaps build a plot around an important relationship in her life?  Her tragic relationship with Eugene Goossens seems to be an obvious candidate.

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  • Singularity Posted 6 days ago in War.

    As the others have said.

    The logline sets up an interesting situation for a plot, but, alas, it fails to follow through with a genuine plot.  Taken at face value, it promises an episodic narrative (aka: a string of pearls) where one damn thing (crisis) happens… and then another damn thing happens… and then another.  And “one damn thing after another” is necessary for building a plot.  And all the damn things may be harrowing, full of jeopardy, conflict,.

    But they ares not sufficient.  To what dramatic climax are all the “one damn things after another” building?  What is the overarching objective goal of the protagonist?

    If you haven’t already done so, I suggest you try running your logline through the site’s logline generator..

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  • Singularity Posted 7 days ago in Thriller.

    >>>After a tragic death puts her family in financial jeopardy,Who and how so?
    Because of medical bills not covered by insurance?  Please clarify.

    >>>disgraced athlete
    What kind of athlete? Basketball, football, or…?  Professional or…?

    >>>partners with an old childhood friend to execute an insurance scheme that puts her on the wrong end of a revenge plot.
    This sends mixed signals as to what is the story about.  What is the main dramatic question of the plot?  Is it about a scam or revenge?  If the latter, what does the insurance scam have to do with getting revenge?

    The logline would benefit by being more specific and having a clearer focus. I suggest you run it through the logline generator app. The app is still in beta, but it’s a useful tool in shaping and sharpening a logline.

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  • Singularity Posted on August 8, 2019 in Drama.

    Great suggestion by yqwertz.  I would suggest the addition of one word:

    When she discovers an abandoned gold mine has contaminated the drinking water in her rural outback town, a disgraced school girl must expose the politicians who are covering it up before everyone falls ill.

    Something similar has actually happened in the rural Western community where I grew up.  Leachate of arsenic and  heavy metals into the river from an abandoned mine.  And it’s an  ongoing environmental hazard with abandoned mines all over the West.

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  • Singularity Posted on August 8, 2019 in Drama.

    Gilligaj:

    Some randomized thoughts:

    Frankly, I was more interested in the earlier “Recals” version you posted despite its complexity and my nit picking over the legal issue. Why?

    Well, I’m a rabid true believer in the principle that a strong hook is the most important element in a logline by a new writer trying to break into the business. That the paramount job of a logline is to sell the sizzle, not describe the steak.

    Ideally, a good logline does double duty:  it both sells the sizzle as well as describes the steak, the key elements of the plot.  But sometimes it may be necessary to write two loglines: one to market the script that spotlights the sizzle, and a second one to develop the script that focuses on describing the plot.

    This version of your story idea (with a  polish) may be useful as a logline for developing the script, but, IMHO, it doesn’t sell the sizzle. And what is the sizzle? A drug that enables people to stay awake 24/7/365. Which this version of the logline mentions but doesn’t highlight, doesn’t really focus on.

    And then I read in your last comment:

    >>>powerful and pyschotic ‘woke’

    Woke.

    That might be the story hook word, the word around which to brainstorm and organize the plot.  And pitch it:  “Woke’ could be the title of the script.  Heck, the name of the drug.

    I suggest you do a “Coppola” with that one word, as in Francis Ford Coppola, the technique he used to write and direct the screen adaptation of “The Godfather”.  (See my recent post in another logline thread on the “The Godfather Notebook”.)  See where it takes you, what new discoveries you make.

    fwiw

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  • Singularity Posted on August 8, 2019 in Horror.

    kcguru:

    Your latest version is probably good enough.  But as I am an an OCD nit picker, I am inclined to suggest a slightly more concise version, like:

    When a small town is attacked by zombie deer, an underachieving park ranger searches for a cure while fighting to save the townspeople from becoming an endangered species.

    (28 words versus 32 words)

    The enthusiastic trainee may be unnecessary for the logline unless, perhaps, you are playing the story as a dark comedy horror in which case the relationship between the two would be an important source of comic relief. I kind of see it as a comedy-horror flick, a parody of the trope, because of the “Bambi goes Beserk” twist/hook, innocent looking deer are an endangering species, not an endangered one.

    As for cutting out “keeping themselves”– it goes without saying they want to save themselves. So it need not be said.

    Whatever.  Zombie deer is a killer concept.   This is a film I would definitely want to see.  Very best wishes.

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  • Singularity Posted on August 8, 2019 in Drama.

    The bait on your story hook is a drug that eliminates the need for sleep.  It enables people to party all night — literally — and work all day. That’s the sizzle, the lead, the strongest selling point of your concept. I suggest the logline be reworked to put a stronger focus on it.

    You’re on the mark that the drug like everything else in life (including the Force) has a bright side and a dark side, positive and negative consequences.   However, the dark side, the side effects are a little vague. What are the side effects, anyway?

    And I don’t see how the sheriff nearing retirement is germane to the logline. As part of the script — no problem. But what value does it add to the logline?

    As I understand it, a descriptive tag in a logline for a character protagonist serves one of 3 major purposes:

    1]To ID a character flaw that jeopardizes the protagonist’s struggle to achieve his objective goal. Later or sooner, he’ll have to overcome it — or fail.

    2]To ID a psychic wound that can only be healed by achieving the objective goal. (Example: the protagonist is wracked with guilt by either a sin of omission or a sin of commission in his past and seeks absolution and redemption by achieving the objective goal in the future.)

    3]To ID an ability, a skill, a strength a character will need to succeed (eventually). Often it is initially disguised as a flaw, or of no consequence. (Like Raymond in the “The Rain Man”. He’s an idiot savant — with a photographic memory. And he can count cards.)

    If such a tag is assigned to the antagonist, then, obviously, it’s there to indicate why he presents a formidable foe, a serious threat to the protagonist.

    If the tag doesn’t serve one of those purpose, it’s superfluous in a logline.  Even if it fleshes out the character in the script.

    fwiw

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