Just Jess: Writing & Editing

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Revised Logline Critique Round - #13
Title: Drifting in Darkness
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Suspense

Recent college graduate Darcia Daniels only wants three things: a job to pay the bills, the ability to control her psychic “disability” and her hot, new neighbor; and she’s willing to keep secrets to get them. But when she discovers her neighbor is keeping secrets of his own, she must embrace her psychic gift to decipher friend from foe.

Read the original logline on MSFV.

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My comments here are mostly structural, rather than content-based.

Even though the Oxford comma has fallen from grace, I think you need it in your first line (after 'disability'). Without it, it seems like Darcia wants the ability to control her hot new neighbor. I also don't think you need a comma between 'hot' and 'new' when talking about the neighbor.

I would recommend not using both a colon and a semi-colon in one sentence. You may not even need the 'and she's willing to keep secrets' at the end of the line, since for me it seems to serve mostly to set up the line about the neighbor.

This logline also doesn't give me a strong enough sense of menace or antagonism -- the neighbor might be an antagonist as well as a love interest, but Darcia doesn't know, and the logline gives us no sense of other threats. I'd see if there was a way to either convey the neighbor's antagonism more clearly if he is that antagonist, or indicate other threats so I know the scope of the story.

This is good, but I feel like we've only gotten as far as the inciting incident. What is her goal? Embracing is a little vague. What are the consequences if she fails? The deciphering friend from foe seems more like part of the problem.

Little stuff: strike "only" I can't believe she doesn't want a few more things...maybe chocolate

Clean up to something like: "and she will keep her secrets to..."

I liked the first sentence overall, but the second was still a little vague. I couldn't quite figure out what the secretive neighbor had to do with deciphering friend from foe. Is he the main antagonist? If he's an antagonist/love interest, that could be really cool, but I couldn't tell that from the logline.

This is a little vague for me. What are his secrets? I feel like the "hot boy with secrets" plot is a little worn-out in the Paranormal Romance genre, so here I think you really need to be specific and show us what makes your hot paranormal guy unique.

Also, is deciphering friend from foe her main goal? That sounds more like a complication to me--not a conflict that could drive an entire plot. What are the stakes here?

I agree with ninja_turbo about the Oxord comma, and also about maybe taking out the line about her being "willing to keep secrets to get them". I don't think that line really adds anything.

Good luck!

This is a tighter logline than the original, but I miss the serial killer aspect. I think it gave your premise the hook to make it stand out as unique. If you look at where you've spent your words, there's a good portion going to pretty ordinary things. The sentences flow well, but you need your words to be working harder for you.

I would work to describe the plot focusing on: Darcia Daniels, the hot new neighbor, and psychic ability that gives her clues about the serial killer on the loose. (And I'd skip the fact that she doesn't like her pyschic ability because that's to be expected and doesn't sound that exciting.)

Good luck!

Thanks to everyone for your comments! Somewhere between round 1 and this revision there must be the perfect logline.

Is the fact she's a recent college graduate important to the story? If not, cut it. Also, I'd add a bit more to the "hot, new neighbor" bit in order to match the flow of the first two wants. Also, I'm unclear on her goal. Is it to save the neighbor? Save herself because of a threat?

Okay, let's try combining some of the elements of your two versions:

"Yearning for romance with a hot new neighbor, recent college graduate Darcia Daniels finds it difficult to keep her psychic "disability" a secret. But when she discovers the neighbor is keeping secrets of his own, she must embrace her gift to catch a serial killer and decipher friend from foe."

I'm not sure if that works, but it combines some of the elements--I'm still not positive what the stakes are, after reading both loglines. If the neighbor's secret is related to the serial killer, I'd put those elements closer together, too.

You're on the right track! Good luck.

As written, it sounds like Darcia has her goals before the inciting incident occurs and this can't happen. The incident has to incite the goal. Of course, if her goal is to decipher friend from foe, this might be okay but then you'd need to shorten the beginning and give us the rest of the plot. How is she going to do this? Who is going to stop her? What happens when she's done? Does the book end when she knows who the bad guy is?


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