Logline Critique 30

Title: WORMS, BLOOD PUDDING, AND A SWASHBUCKLING ALBERT EINSTEIN

Upper MG Historical/Science fiction

Spencer Spence, twelve year old con artist extraordinaire, can work any con except the one he most desires—to finagle the rescue of his great-grandmother Maria, a gypsy war hero from World War II. Unfortunately, she was executed sixty years before he was even born, yet Spencer has a plan to save her still, a plan that includes worms, blood pudding, and a swashbuckling Albert Einstein.

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10 comments

  1. This sounds great. I’d buy it for my tween! Just confused about “to finagle the rescue of his great-grandmother Maria, a gypsy war hero from World War II” Should there be a comma after hero? Does he want to rescue her from World War II or is she a war hero from World War II? I am curious about what he needs to rescue her from.

  2. First, the title (!) It’s great. Intrigued from the start by the concept.
    Second, editors hate incorrect punctuation. ‘Twelve-year-old’. I’d put a period after ‘born’, delete ‘yet’, one ‘plan’, and start a new sentence with ‘Spencer’. The only thing I’d add is give us more specifics on Spencer’s qualifications. What makes him qualified to rescue her. Inquiring minds want to know. 😉

  3. The title is fantastic, as is the concept of a Gypsy war hero from WWII. But I got confused about how he’s going to save her, since she’s already dead. Time travel? And I also want to know how a twelve-year-old is already a con artist extraordinaire. Is he reincarnated? Something else magical going on? It seems like his con artist skills, wherever they came from, may not be the most helpful in accomplishing his goal (saving his great-grandmother). Can you make a connection between being a con artist and making a plan to save her? Regardless, I’d love to see where this goes. Good luck!

  4. I think this sounds fantastic. Something that comes off a little funny – you say he can’t do it, but he’s going to try – which makes the tenses of things sound off, if that makes sense. I might just leave out the “can’t” and start with him trying, something like:

    Spencer Spence, twelve year old con artist extraordinaire, can work any con, and he’s about to start his most dangerous yet – the rescue of his great-grandmother Maria, a gypsy and a World War II hero. There are a few problems – like the fact that she was executed sixty years before he was even born – but Spencer has a plan! A plan that includes worms, blood pudding, and a swashbuckling Albert Einstein.

    This is just a rough idea, and I don’t know it it’s in the tone of your story. Fun ideas!

  5. Love this! Love the title, the premise – everything about it is just so MG! I do really like J. Redman’s tweaks (although if it was me, I’d keep the word finagle – great word!).
    One general comment based on my own experience: I’d drop the “Upper” and just label it MG – until there’s an Upper MG shelf in bookstores, the Upper label won’t stick. 😦
    Otherwise, good luck with this one!

  6. Sounds like a fun story. I would add stakes. I’m assuming the stakes is his grandma dies if he fails however she is already dead so for me I’d like to see more at stake.

  7. I think you could delete “finagle the” and just leave it as “to rescue his…” I like your premise, and love the specific, unique details that will perk readers interest. Nice job and good luck!

  8. I feel like we’re missing the how here. Con artists generally steal or scam people out of things, but it sounds like he needs some kind of time travel or magical powers. This says it’s SFF so I’m guessing he has these. Either way, you need to say.

    And I agree with the others who’ve said it needs stakes. Unless GGma is going to save his life, I can’t really see why he needs to save her (aside from it being a nice thing to do). This is his goal here so it has to meet a need of his. Good luck!

  9. Your title definitely grabbed my attention! I really liked the log line save the “a gypsy war hero from World War II”. Personally, I think it’s slightly awkward and confusing. Perhaps dropping the ‘war’ after ‘gypsy’? It’s implied that she had something to do with the war simply by the mention of World War II.

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