Monday, October 17, 2011

Logline #42

Title:  The Company of Old Ladies
Genre:  Upmarket women's

In this coming-of-OLD-age novel, a sixty-something woman stumbles upon a young destitute Asian man and vows to be his benefactor until his funds arrive.  She invites him to stay with her and her equally unconventional roommate in a senior high-rise.  But when he moves in a malicious young woman, when valuable items start vanishing, and when her friend becomes deathly ill, she must either trust him or risk his taking advantage of her good will.  An Asian Tom Sawyer mixes it up with two aging members of the Ya-Ya sisterhood. 


  1. All the elements are here - it just needs some streamlining. I'd uncapitalize old. Seems like you're yelling. I suggest you delete the whole first phrase.

    I'd like a hint as to why she decides to become this particular man's benefactor. Then I would understand more why she'd put up with the later shenanigans.

    I suggest you leave out mention of the roommate. Not important enough for a logline.

    Too many 'when's in the third paragraph. You only need the first one.

    I don't understand the choice you set up. Trust him or risk his taking advantage - isn't that just one choice?

    For the logline, I suggest leaving out the last sentence. Save it for the query.

  2. I agree with Heather's suggestions. I like the phrase "coming-of-old-age novel," but agree that you don't have to capitalize "old." I'd also suggest saving the last sentence for the query.

    You may be able to combine the first two sentences--lose the part about stumbling upon him and just focus on the 60-something woman letting the destitute young man stay with her at the senior high-rise.

    Also, I found the phrase "moves in a malicious young woman" awkward. Maybe you can say "brings home a malicious young woman"? I'd focus on that and the items vanishing and cut the part about her friend becoming ill, as I assume he couldn't be responsible for that (unless he's poisoning her!). I also don't understand the choice she has to make--something like "decide whether to trust him or throw him out" might be a bit clearer, if that's accurate.

    Sounds like an interesting story--good luck!

  3. I'm wondering why you don't state the MC's actual age. I'm guessing this story is told from her POV, so saying she's sixty-something makes it sound like she doesn't know her own age.

    I can't make sense of your third sentence. Are there some extra words/typos in there? Do you mean to say, "But when a malicious young woman moves in, valuable items start vanishing and her friend becomes deathly ill. She [insert MC's name here so it doesn't sound like you're referring to the malicious young woman] must either trust him or risk his [I think I prefer 'him' here. This sentence would benefit from the Asian man's name.] taking advantage of her good will."

    This would also be stronger if we knew the MC's name, at least. I'd try to limit your characters to two, if possible, for a logline. I'm having a hard time focusing on what the MC wants out of all of this with the mention of so many characters.

    I agree to lose your last sentence for the purposes of a logline.

    This is quite the original idea. I'm impressed!

  4. I love the title!

    I agree with all of the above--this needs streamlining and as much as I like the first line, I don't think it's needed for the logline. I'm also confused by "she must either trust him or risk his taking advantage of her good will". Do you mean to say trusting him is risking his taking advantage of her good will? We need this clarified.

    I'd like to know the protagonist's name.

    I'd also get rid of the last line. Not needed for a logline.

    Hope this helps! Good luck! :)

  5. This sounds like an interesting story - very unique. I'm sure you'll work on the logline and incorporate the comments above. Good luck!