A repressed vampire princess has a one-night stand with a mysterious stranger from the wrong side of the river, sparking an unexpected chain of events and opening her to a whole new world.
The main comments we received on our logline were that it was vague; they wanted to know what kind of events were sparked and give more specifics. The problem we struggle with is we can’t say much about the chain of events , because then there is no reason to read the book. Someone suggested that we just put the first unexpected event. That is still a tough one, because it’s a major plot point and it’s also a surprise. We don’t want to give it away. So, how do we make it more specific without giving it away at the same time?
The next issue was to add more conflict and tension to build the hook; they wanted to know what she will lose and what she will gain, and give the story’s stakes and the choices. We had to agree with these comments. We were lacking our main character’s conflict(s). This is a somewhat easier fix, but still…what conflict do we choose to put in the logline?
Lastly, there was one person who said we needed to get rid of “mysterious stranger”. It was too cliche and they wanted to know more about hero. We picked mysterious stranger because, although our book is multiple points of view, the reader doesn’t find out about the hero until the heroine does. We can’t say anything specific about the hero or it will ruin the story. How do we dump this cliche yet keep our stranger/hero “mysterious”?
On the plus side, one person said they liked the contrast between “repressed” and “opening her”. Everyone’s comments were very nice and helpful. Now we had to figure out where to start….
You’ve all read a book, seen a movie, watched a TV show…. How do you sum up everything in one or two sentences? This was our dilemma. Especially when we already did it, more than once, and it wasn’t “good enough”. *sigh* I decided the first thing I can do is research…again…and see what I can find. The best thing I found was someone had put a comment on the Query Tracker Forum with a comprised list of logline information they’d found. One of the most helpful points on this post was a logline should be what happens in the first act, otherwise the reader is going to be frustrated that it doesn’t happen until later in the book. It cannot ignore the first part of the book. That takes care of what conflict to put in the logline. The first one. Armed with this knowledge and all the formulas, we put in our own information while keeping in mind what everyone said in their comments.
A week and a half later, lots of emails, and even a day spent together to work on this, we came up with:
A vampire princess awaiting an arranged betrothal has a one-night stand with an enigmatic stranger, forcing her to choose between duty and love. When she discovers this encounter unexpectedly bonds them together, it alters her future forever.
Breaking it down our heroine’s outer conflict is that she is awaiting her arranged betrothal and her inner conflict is she has to choose between duty and love. The inciting incident for this is her one-night stand with an enigmatic stranger—not a mysterious one—and the first incident in the chain of events is that she is now bonded to the stranger/hero. The end is still vague, but this part happens later in the book. We have already presented her conflict and what she will gain: the respect of her parents and people versus love, and what she will lose: her parents’ respect and possibly her status versus the man she loves and a chance to be happy.
Unfortunately we had to cut “repressed” and “opening her to a whole new world”. We put why she was repressed instead of the word to make sure readers knew the heroine’s conflict. And with adding more about her inner conflict, we had to cut the end and change it around since a logline can only be so long.
Tomorrow K.T. Crowley has given the contestants who entered the Third Round of Logline Critiques a chance to post their revised loglines for feedback on her blog. Hopefully, this time we came up with a good one and the readers will agree. We certainty hope you like it.