Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Logline Critique, Round 1 #5

TITLE: Sway
GENRE: YA contemporary fantasy

A twist on the English Green Man myth, SWAY is about a 17 year old American girl who learns the value of Free Will when she falls in love with a youth magically trapped in an ancient oak by the woodland god, Silvan. Struggling to balance her passion for nature and her desire for a long life, she fights to liberate the young man and stop Silvan from smothering the cities of Britain to grow a new Eden.

9 comments:

emeraldcite said...

I like this premise, but it's a bit wordy. Also, I would move the Green Man myth to the end. For example:

plot stuff ... in this modern retelling of the Green Man myth.

Don't prime me for it because it sets up a comparison to early. Instead, tell me afterward so I can say "A-ha!"

Holly Bodger said...

1. You need to get rid of everything between "A twist..." and "about a". You are not telling your logline to someone.
2. Start with your character and inciting incident (When a 17-year-old girl falls in love with a youth magically trapped in an ancient oak by the woodland god) and then tell us what this makes her want to do. I think this is liberate him. After that, we need to stakes which I think is Silvan smothering the cities, however I can't really tell how this is going to directly stop her from freeing the boy. You need to remain focused on how the antagonist is going to stop HER from meeting her goal and not what he is going to do in general. It's okay to mention this but it needs to be in context (for example, she must stop him from killing the love of her life as well as everyone else in the land...).

Good luck!
Holly

KimberlyFDR said...

Don't mention the Green Man myth until the end so that the story seems fresh, not like a retelling (as some of your audience won't know the myth). What's the main thrust of the novel? She has to stop Silvan, while also saving the trapped young man (I'd give character names here). Is Silvan threatening the young man directly, is that why the two goals are tied together? And why does she specifically have to stop Silvan? Why her?

AmieSalmonYAWriter said...

I love the premise of this one, however I do agree that it is somewhat wordy. I think you might be able to focus a little more on one key storyline. What's important?

Barbara said...

Why 'must' she do this? That, I think, is what is missing. She could easily say "I'm not dealing with this,' and head back to AMerica.

Is it her love for this boy that drives her forward? Is it her fear of what Silvan will do to Britain? WHat compels her to do what she is doing (motivation) And what will happen to her if she fails? (stakes) Perhaps work those into the blurb.

Stefanie Gaither said...

I've only skimmed the other comments, so forgive me if I'm just reiterating, but here are my thoughts:

-"A twist on the English Green Man myth"-- I wouldn't rely on agents/readers knowing what this is or what it's about. I would probably cut this, anyway, and get straight to your character and the inciting incident ("When she falls in love with a youth magically trapped in an ancient oak, etc...)

-"who learns the value of Free Will"-- this is stated rather blatantly, and makes it sound as though you're out to teach your readers a lesson as well, which is a turn-off for me. I'm all for books that explore values and themes--but only if they have characters worth exploring them with. Especially in your logline, I'm most interested in character.

-"falls in love with a youth magically trapped in an ancient oak "-- Definitely intriguing! Makes me think this isn't just some ordinary romance, which is great.Though I do wonder about the hows and whys of this, and if they couldn't be made a little more clear.

-"Struggling to balance her passion for nature and her desire for a long life"-- The way this is written, it sounds like these two things (her passion for nature and desire for long life) are at odds with one another. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that.

Overall, I like the premise here, and the clear picture we have of the antagonist and his goal, which is to smother Britain and create a new Eden. I'm not sure I see your main character's goals quite as clearly. Why is it so important for her to save this youth? Why is she the only one that can fight this battle against Silvan? Basically, why is this HER story instead of some random other person's? Also, I'd kind of like to know her name.

Best of luck with this!

Ramona Dark said...

I'd try not to say 'is about' or the title--all not necessary or part of a logline, and I agree about saving the green man bit until the end so it seems fresh. What about something like 'A seventeen-year old American girl struggles to balance her passion for nature with her desire to liberate a young man magically trapped in an ancient oak by a villain who wishes to smother the cities of Britain to grow a new Eden.' Okay, that's probably not good, but you get the idea. Good luck!

Melinda said...

Sounds intriguing, but I agree with the other commenters on how to make this tighter/stronger. I've never heard of the Green Man myth, but I think a reference like that is something you might want to leave out of the logline and save for the query.

Rebecca said...

You have great components of a logline here, it just needs to be a bit more succinct.

"A 17 year old American struggles to balance her passion for nature and her desire for a long life when she falls in love with a youth magically trapped in an ancient oak. Because she ( state reason why she has to stay and help him), she fights to liberate the young man and stop Silvan....."

Obviously just an example, but I think you're sentences are strong, and putting them in a different order might tighten everything up!:)