Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ian's log lines

1. Three young mercenaries trapped in dead-end jobs get the opportunity for one shot at fortune and glory, so long as they can avoid getting killed in the pursuit of a fragile and highly-prized collectible.

I like this one better too, I think because the protagonists are immediately identified, and the first verbal is strong ("trapped"). I would suggest trimming and intensifying that "Get the opportunity"-- maybe "risk all" or "gamble all"? Go for high stakes terms to show the urgency, and be wary of the stacked verbs (can avoid getting killed). Try " ... so long as they don't get killed pursuing a ..."

Also, if it's important, maybe say what the collectible is?

Good work-- just watch those "wriggle words" in your verb phrases.



sonja said...

Great comments, Alicia. Checking for stacked verbs in my query letter! Thanks for the tip.

For whatever it's worth, I don't think the collectible should be mentioned (because it's a bottle, not like a rare religious artifact or something). I got hung up on that in the second log line.

Jean said...

I know this isn't the best place to put this comment but...

I just had to say a special thanks to Theresa for posting the log line info.

I finally got a chance to seriously play with it the other night and discovered a major issue with my main character that colors everything she does during the novel, and how she relates to the people in her life.

I now know her hidden motives and that really helps get her "right."

I probably would have figured it out later but you just saved me a lot of rewriting.:-)

Thanks bunches and great blog!

Anonymous said...

Jean, I like your reaction. Generally writers moan, "You just ruined everything!"


Taymalin said...

I'm with Jean. I'm just starting a rewrite, and doing the logline exercise helped me get a good handle on the characters and the story.

The stakes in my novel are higher now, and I have solid motivations for every character.

Thanks for everything.