Logline Critique 29


Adult, Women’s Fiction

A mother obsessed with keeping her kids happy every minute of the day must chose between staying in a challenging marriage to protect her kids from sadness, or divorcing and having to figure out how not to live in fear of depression.

7 thoughts on “Logline Critique 29

  1. Sounds like a very true-to-life story! Perhaps an all-too-common situation, though. I’d love to see a flash of some unique, unusual aspect of the mother or the kids or the situation that will grab my attention in a stronger way. Good luck!

  2. I agree with Rebecca. Unfortunately, I read this and thought, “Who hasn’t?” – it could pretty much describe a number of people I know – and it doesn’t make me want to read it. I think (again, like Rebecca said, focussing on something specific from the ms would make it stand out.)
    Recently at a conference I was told “in order to be more universal, you have to be more specific” – the presenter explained, if I tell you I totally embarrassed myself in sixth grade, you might think, “who didn’t?” but if I told you in sixth grade we went on a field trip in my neighborhood and I told the teacher I knew a shortcut to where we were going, only to get us all lost and miss our presentation…well, I’m guessing you probably just winced – because you knew that embarrassment. I think this kind of specificity is what your logline is lacking. Your story is definitely one people could relate to – you just need a hook to make them want to read it.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Yes, you need more specificity. “Life is stranger than fiction” isn’t always true. We read to escape our boring lives. Include details in your logline that make it different, unique–think specific. Good luck!

  4. Keeping her kids happy doesn’t sound like high enough stakes. And fearing depression is also not compelling. Now, if she were prone to depression she might be afraid that having to be a single mom could throw her over the edge and she wouldn’t be able to cope, but even that might be a little thin.

  5. I tend to agree with the other comments that there needs to be a compelling hook to set your story apart. I think adding in some of the backstory and specifics might help flesh out some of the stakes for the mother. I’ve tried to add in my questions that I had while reading in hopes that this might help you.

    A mother (I’d add in her name – it will help personalize it for the reader) obsessed with keeping her kids happy every minute of the day (why? I think there is a lot here to add some stakes to the query. Is it because of her childhood? Her struggles with depression? Crazy perfect Pinterest boards? πŸ™‚ ) must chose between staying in a challenging marriage (Can you add just a few more words to describe the challenge? What makes this different from the other marriages? What is it about this marriage that makes a reader want to read it?) to protect her kids from sadness, or divorcing and having to figure out how not to live in fear of depression. (Is this something she’s experienced before? Are there any other consequences of the divorce that might be unusual?)

    I love the title and think that with a little more detail added into the query will make it stronger.

  6. I agree that we need to know more about her and why this marriage is so horrible. Also, keeping her kids happy/protecting them from sadness is not a tangible goal nor are these strong stakes. More than half of marriages end in divorce. Your average reader is going to think the kids will be fine either way. Finally, we need to know what actually happens here. If the story ends with the choice, that’s one thing, but if she chooses in the beginning and the story is about living with the consequences, then this needs to be changed to reflect that. Good luck!

  7. I think you arouse interest by just this “who hasn’t” or “Ah yes, I can relate” – and now we need a twist that makes our heart beat faster. Keeping her kids happy sounds great – is something challenging their happiness? What sadness? How will her depression endanger the kids? After initially getting our attention, I believe you need to raise the stakes, something that will step over the boundaries of normal, something that will make my heart lurch and say “Ah no, not that too!” just my opinion though πŸ˜‰

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