I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Logline Critique Session Two Revisited #8

TITLE: Bird Brain
GENRE: Contemporary Middle-Grade

ORIGINAL LOGLINE:

Simon, a great birder and not-so-good baseball player, makes a deal to play catcher in the big tournament in exchange for his teammates joining his bird-a-thon team, but misplaces his birding zen as he becomes obsessed with winning the bird-a-thon.

REVISED LOGLINE:

Bird-lover Simon wants to win the bird-a-thon competition for his hospitalized mentor but as his last-minute team struggles to tell the difference between chickadees and turkey vultures, he gets an inside tip on a rare bird sighting. Simon must decide whether to publicize the information or use it to his team's advantage as he sorts through what it means to be a winner and how to best honor his mentor.

4 comments:

PatEsden said...

I read your query on your blog yesterday and think it's great. I think you aren't doing yourself a favor by not including the baseball aspect of the story in the logline. Baseball vs. birding is the story's hook. For that reason I much prefer your first version.

'Simon, a great birder and not-so-good baseball player, makes a deal to play catcher in the big tournament in exchange for his teammates joining his bird-a-thon team.'

I think this part is clear and works well. I'm trying to recall how your query ends because I liked it. Is it something that you can add to the sentence above?

I think your second sentence could include the fun part about the turkey vultures and end with what is as stake (his mentor's respect?)

Sorry I could be of more help, if I have a chance I'll try to find your blog post and see if it brings anything to mind.

DJ said...

Hmmm...I think I like your original.The revision is too long, although I love getting more details because I think this is such a great story. But I don't have any suggestions for you right now because I truly suck at loglines. Truly and absolutely.

PatEsden said...

When eleven-year-old bird lover Simon Downey makes a deal to catch in a baseball tournament in exchange for his friends joining his bird-a-thon team, he discovers it’s as difficult teaching others to identify birds as it is to maintain a squat in the middle of high-speed pitches and swinging bats.

(It wasn't the end of your query I was thinking of--its was this part. I think this alone is darn close to a good logline, but my brain is feeling a bit logline scrambled right now)

Rachael Harrie said...

Hi, I like Pat's suggestion for your logline. Perhaps if you use that for a starting point, and then see if you can introduce a little bit about the stakes and keeping his mentor's respect, as Pat suggested in the first comment.

Hope this helps.

Rach

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