Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kelley's log line

I found your site through The Query Shark, and would love to get involved in the ER community. It looks like fun.

Aldon “Crash
Dally is a carefree hobo and leader of Chicago’s Shantytown. When teenage runaway Mary Burns stumbles into his realm, suddenly the police are everywhere. IMary has a secret that could destroy a powerful politican, and the two must run hard and fast to save her life, and put an end to the violent tent city shakedowns.

I like the first sentence. It describes him well, though "leader" is a bit weak for an outlaw type. See if you can find a stronger leadership word, because his outsiderness is your hook there.

I'd also suggest giving a sense of the time period. You can put that after "Chicago's", like Chicago's Depression-era shantytown.
That's the sort of insertion that doesn't get a lot of conscious notice, but is absorbed by the reader.
The second line:
When teenage runaway Mary Burns stumbles into his realm, suddenly the police are everywhere.
This is suddenly not about Crash, and you're losing some vitality. You could start with something like "His power is threatened when..." or "His realm is threatened when..." That is, don't lose your focus here.

With the last line, I think you're compressing too much and yet adding too much detail. We don't need to know why her secret is dangerous. What we need to know is why Crash is willing to risk all to save her. That is, when you say that a politician is threatened, that's about the pol's motivation. What's Crash's? That is, in this tight paragraph, you'll create more drama if you keep it unified on Crash.
Great idea! I love the Shantytown angle.


Julie Harrington said...

Eek, I'm going to be boring and say, "ITA with Alicia's suggestions." LOL.


em said...

I like Alicia's suggestions:). But I thought the term carefree and leader was a strange pairing. And maybe instead of destroy a powerful politician, what about take down?

Edittorrent said...

em, I like "take down." It kind of goes with Crash's outsider status. "Destroy" sounds too powerful.

Jeanne Ryan said...

I'd like a better sense of this character by knowing what kind of leader he is. A strong word with negative connotations is "Boss." Is he charismatic? Reluctant? Carefree and leader don't go well together. Leaders care or they don't take on the burden of leadership.

"run hard and fast" this is a case where the adverbs kill the idea. A stronger verb would be more powerful.

"and the two" "and put an end" is awkward phrasing.

Hope some of that helps