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 #3

TITLE: Gombay Dust
GENRE: Fantasy-Allegorical tale


When a principal Wind-God is given a crucial order, which will save his rapidly deteriorating Community, he struggles with whether to obey at once, or follow his conscience and manipulate the command to help his three young daughters gain immortality. If he chooses the latter, he will have to, among other things, sabotage his only son, and accept deadly consequences.


Torn between a vow and duty, a love-struck Wind-God chooses to help his daughters gain power instead of following an order by The Source. His decision to disobey could mean interfering with the evolution of his community and risks sabotaging his only son’s legacy.


Anonymous said...

Some nice progress here. Vow and duty seem too much alike, so perhaps love and duty? You say he's lovestruck but you don't elaborate on that, so perhaps take it out. Also, it seems like you should say "must choose between" instead of "chooses" so the reader will be curious to read and see what happens. In the last sentence you say the negative repercussions but not the positive potential outcomes of his choice. It's still not clear why he would choose to risk so much.

Huntress said...

This is very confusing, even for an avowed lover of fantasy like myself.

I don't have a clear cut picture of what his mission/confrontation is and how it will affect his community and son. Every word in a pitch should further the reader's information. Cut non-essential words (interfering with the evolution) and tell the reader exactly what this means.

Jess said...

I like where this is going and it sounds like a good story, but it still uses too many "world-building" terms--things we can't really understand until we're enmeshed in the story itself. Take that stuff out and give us the basics, the specifics of the plot. I still don't know exactly what's happening here.

Nicole Zoltack said...

There's a lot of worldbuilding details that aren't needed. And you say the Wind-God is love-struck... by whom? If it's not important enough to say whom he is in love with, it's not important enough to include that detail.

Instead of following The Source's order, the Wind-God helps his daughters gain power despite possibly sabotaging his only son’s legacy.

What is The Source's order? And his son's legacy?

Anonymous said...

I am in no doubt now, that no writer of a fiction novel should have to also write their logline. This stuff is haaaard.
okay, I beleive I have taken everyone's comments into consideration and here is another attempt:

A Wind-God offers his daughters his gift of creativity instead of passing it to his son as ordered by the Source. Now he must decide if proving he and his daughter are worthy of recognition is worth challenging a legacy, which predicts his son will save the community from extinction if given the gift.

Trish Esden said...

I found the original version clearer. Still, it would work better for me if I knew what the crucial order and the deadly consequences were.

I also found myself wondering if this is a retelling or derived from a specific culture? If it is, then that would be part of your hook and I suggest you include it in the logline. Is this a Native American Wind-god or a Nordic Wind-god?

Trish Esden said...

Shoot. I just saw your revision. It's great. And you are right. This is hard!

Rachael Harrie said...

Hi, I've seen your further revision in the comments above, and I've taken that into account as well :)

I think this would be a really interesting story, but I'm still stumbling over quite a few questions/things which aren't clear. To my mind (and this is only one opinion, of course), the questions your logline raises are interfering with you getting your fantastic plot across. For example, your first sentence alone raises the following questions in my mind (1) what's a Wind-God, (2) what's a "gift of creativity", (3) what's "the Source," (4) why can he/it order the Wind-God around - aren't Gods the highest beings? and (5) how do you give away a gift of creativity? In the second sentence, (1) why does he need to prove anything? (2) why does he care about recognition? (3) recognition from whom? (4) legacy from whom? (5) which community? and (6) how will they become extinct?

I think a lot of this is "world-building" as per the comments you've received above - I can see why you'd tear your hair out to explain it simply :(

Another comment, you mention daughters in the first sentence, but only one daughter in the second - was this intentional? The other concern I have is the order of the sentences - the first sentence talks about him having already made his decision, but the second sentence implies that he must decide if he and his daughter are worthy of recognition - but he's already made the choice to challenge the legacy as per the first sentence. In this respect, are these two sentences round the wrong way?

I wonder, can you use words we'd understand for this genre? For example, instead of "legacy" perhaps "prophecy" might give more meaning in our minds...

Rather than just leave you with a bunch of (probably unhelpful) comments, I've had a go at an alternative. What about "A Wind-God offers his daughters his [gift of creativity] and so seeks to overturn a prophecy that his son will save the [community of the Gods] from extinction by [cataclysmic event]. Without the [gift of creativity], his son will [consequence], but the Wind-God [why is he trying to overturn the legacy, why doesn't he want to save the community?]."

Of course, I'm only guessing as to the plot, so adjust as necessary :)

I do hope this helps.


aisyahputrisetiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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