Logline Critique 2

Title: A Complex Solution

YA contemporary

When Amanda Thompson, a critically depressed teen loses her parents in a car accident, she finds no more reason to live and attempts suicide by slitting her wrists.
As she recovers and begins school in a new town, she meets an extraordinary boy who draws her out of her depression and helps her cope with further pain when she discovers a shocking secret from her parents past which could change her life forever.
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8 comments

  1. This logline isn’t bad, but I think you could tighten it up a little and add some more specifics. The first sentence looks like it’s mostly set-up – do these events take place in the story, or before the story? Either way, you could try something more like “After attempting suicide following the deaths of her parents, clinically depressed (I’m not sure “critically depressed” is a term) x-year-old Amanda Thompson has to start over in a new school and new town. There she meets… (I wonder if you find a more descriptive term than “extraordinary” to give us an idea of who this boy is -stoner poet, sensitive jock? ) who helps her deal with the pain of (again, you get a bit vague here. I know you don’t want to give away the story, but could you hint at the “shocking secret” – did they kill themselves? were they having affairs? were they secretly wanted criminals? – if you get more specific with the secret, then you could give us a more specific stake: “change her life forever” is one of my pet peeves)
    Hope this helps. Good luck with it!

    • Thanks K. I had a really difficult time shoring this logline up. I will take your advice and begin with “After attempting suicide…” since that’s where the story actually begins. I wanted to hint at the secret, but thought it would definitely put me over the 75 word limit. And yes, ‘change her life forever’ is cliché, even if it is true in this instance. Obviously, I have work to do with this logline. You’ve given me a good start and some great ideas to work with. Thanks!

  2. I had some good suggestions for this one but K summed them up probably better than I would have! In my opinion, changing the beginning will definitely make the logline stronger. And adding specifics about the secret (to the extent you can without giving everything away) will help set up the stakes. Is there a choice she has to make after learning the secret? If so, what are the consequences of each choice? Adding something along those lines will draw the reader in more. Good luck!

  3. Just a couple of nits here. In the first sentence, set off “a critically depressed teen” with two commas (before and after) rather than just one. And add an apostrophe after ‘parents’ to make it a plural possessive. Other than that, this looks really interesting! Good luck!

  4. Basically, everyone took what I was going to say and I don’t want to get all repetitive on you. One thing though, after “attempted suicide” I’m not sure you need “by slitting her wrists”. Attempted suicide is enough of an explanation, cutting the second part would save you words. I do want to point out, like K said, I’d like a better description on the boy, just saying “extraordinary” is a little cliche. Try not to set him up as “just another love interest”, I’m sure he’s more unique than that, show it! Overall, I love the sound of this and the way you explain the stakes makes me very intrigued!

  5. Hi, I think you’ve got a good premise and an issue-based story – right on target for the YA market. The framework you got from Kaye is really great so I’d run with that 🙂

  6. Thank you all for your insight and your helpful comments. I have indeed changed the beginning to what Kaye suggested and fleshed out the secret a bit. Yes, there are consequences when she learns of the secret. She must swiftly act on what she learns and her love interest is central to solving the mystery and keeping her from falling back into depression.

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