Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Logline #14

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

While assistant stage-managing the senior center's production of Romeo and Juliet, twelve-year-old Tierra watches as her fabulous Gram falls off Juliet's balcony. Gram's hip isn't the only thing that shatters; Tierra's life is suddenly in pieces, too. With her guardian Gram headed for a nursing home, Tierra’s forced to move in with the globe-trotting mother she barely knows. Talk about stab-yourself-with-a-dagger tragic. And even worse than that? Wondering when her stranger-mother might just up and leave again.


  1. You have a nice MG voice in this, but there are some elements missing. Considering the necessity of brevity, I suggest cutting the lines: Gram's hip..., and Talk about....

    Now the adding. You give plenty of set up, character and conflict, even a smidge of consequences although I can't tell whether it's a good or bad thing for her mother to leave (you say the bad is "wondering"). I suggest you rewrite the last two sentences. What is Tierra's goal? Keeping her mother? Losing her mother? Go globe-trotting with her mother? Be specific.

  2. I will also add that it seems a bit wordy to me. Is there anyway you can tighten it a little by cutting some of the back story about Gram?

    Maybe...," 12-year-old Tierra's life is suddenly in pieces when she watches her guardian, Gram, fall from the balcony during the senior center's production of Romeo and Juliet."

    It might help if you're trying to cut down on words. Otherwise, it sounds like an interesting story!

  3. I like Rebecca's suggestion, and I agree with Heather about wanting to know Tierra's goal. The "talk about stab..." line demonstrates a lot of voice, but it doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the pitch. This sounds like a story full of heart and humor. Good luck with it.

  4. I love this! If I had to suggest something, I think you could cut down on the sentences~ try to get the story across in 2-4 instead of 6. Keep the voice, because it's awesome!

  5. I agree with Rebecca and Jess. Needs to be tightened up. Heather pointed out what is Tiara's goal and I wonder that as well.

    Love the voice and it sounds like a poignant mom/dtr story.

  6. Love your voice!

    It took me a couple reads to figure out "Gram" was her grandma and not the name of another character (like a different spelling of "Graham" or something).

    Comma before the "too" is an outdated grammar rule. It's fine to keep, but you can remove it if you want to.

    For the sake of brevity, you could just say, "While assisting with the senior center's production of..." (And if this is the only/predominant senior center in town, I'd capitalize it as "Senior Center.")

    You show off your awesome voice with the inciting incident (Gram's injury), but that takes up the first 3/4 of your logline. The goal and consequences need to have equal weight in comparison.

    I really love this story idea.

    Good luck!

  7. Everyone's kind of already said all my thoughts :)

    ...but to simplify, you wouldn't have to name the actual play.

    Also, I get what you mean by 'globe-trotting', but often people in jobs that keep them on the road all the time don't have much in the way of a permanent residence... at most, maybe a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, so I immediately wondered about the logistics... does the mother even live in the same city? Did Tierra have to change schools?

  8. I really like this - especially the knife part - not sure if Middle Graders will get it but I'd like to hope they do. Possibly a bit more conflict needed - seems like her only problem is wondering if her mum might leave, but I'm sure there'll be lots more funny conflict which could be hinted at too.

  9. The word "Gram" is used a lot. Is Tierra's life in pieces due to the first part of your log line or the second part? I'm a little confused there. Also I'm not a fan of these lines, "Talk about stab-yourself-with-a-dagger tragic" and "And even worse than that?" They don't seem to flow for me.

  10. I get the concept, and it is interesting, but I would suggest altering the first sentence--it read a bit confusing to me at first. Also, I agree with the others--is Tierra's goal trying to keep her mother? If so, why?

    Good luck! :)