Kitty

Just Jess: Writing & Editing

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Revised Logline Critique Round - #18
Kitty
justjess
Title: Unwritten
Genre: Contemporary Fiction with Strong Romantic Elements

When pop superstar Katherine Hayes’ estranged mother launches a vicious smear campaign against her, the positive image she’s worked so hard for is tarnished. Now Kate must overcome the psychological effects of a childhood trauma to regain the respect of her fans and discovers success means nothing without the college professor who’s stolen her heart.

Read the original logline on MSFV.

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I love the first sentence of this, and the whole daughter versus mom conflict. For me, though, it kind of falls apart in the second half. The childhood trauma thing feels like it comes out of nowhere; is it directly related to the mom? I'm assuming yes, but I'd like some specifics. Same with the professor-- it feels disconnected from what I think the main conflict is, and sort of tacked on in a way that makes it seem like an irrelevant afterthought. I almost think it would be stronger without it, as written. You may need to ask yourself how important her love for him is to the CENTRAL plot. Loglines aren't really the place for subplots.

Good luck!

-Stefanie

I agreed with Stefanie. The two sentences almost didn't seem to be from the same story. I was confused as to what the main conflict and goals were. With the first sentence, I thought it would be about keeping her rep intact in the face of her mother's slander (taking place in the present), but the second seemed to be talking about a different conflict, one that happened in the MC's childhood. Great ideas though!

I agree with the other commenters. I think the reader can figure out the mc's childhood wasn't so hot if her mother launches a vicious smear campaign.

Think about antecedents - "...image she's" refers to the mother. You might want the mc's name here. Then: "Now she must regain the respect of her fans or ....consequences.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Based on the comments so far, I've come up with this revised logline that hopefully ties together the 2 sentences. Does this sound better:

When pop superstar Katherine Hayes’ estranged mother launches a vicious smear campaign against her, Kate’s positive image is tarnished and a budding romance with college professor Josh Randall is thrown into jeopardy. With details of a traumatic childhood assault now front page news, Kate must battle a debilitating stress disorder to regain the respect of her fans and fight for her chance at love.

I think this revision makes it more complicated. It starts off well, but I think the smear campaign is enough--I don't think you need the assault or the stress disorder. Maybe:
"When pop superstar Katherine Hayes’ estranged mother launches a vicious smear campaign against her, Kate’s positive image is tarnished and a budding romance with college professor Josh Randall is thrown into jeopardy. With traumatic details about her past splashed across the front page, Kate must battle to regain the respect of her fans and fight for her chance at love."

Good luck!

I too love the first sentence. The rest needs to tie in more. I think if you explained more about the childhood trauma that might work. The college professor either needs to be included more in the first area-where we hear about her problems or it might be able to be cut.

I'm getting thrown information and getting lost. What childhood trauma? Where was the college professor in all of this? What was the focus of the smear campaign? Many questions, but not a lot of answers.

A few things:
1. I think you can streamline the description a little to just "pop star Katherine".
2. Your inciting incident is not leading to your goal. You need to word this like, "When Katherine's mother..., Katherine realizes she must GOAL." What you've written about her image being tarnished is already implied by the smear campaign.
3. I'm not sure how her goal "overcome the psychological effects of a childhood trauma" is going to result in her regaining the respect of her fans. Did she lose their respect because of the trauma? For example, if she was abused, you are saying they no longer respect her because she was abused but if she comes out and says she fine, she will be popular again.
4. How is her discovery connected to her goal? Does she have to choose between the two or is this relationship threatened by her journey? We really need to see more of the "If A, then B, but if C, then no A..." kind of thing here.

Holly

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