(almost) Free critiques! (almost) Free critiques! *today through sunday*

yes, we feel the need to bribe repay you.

Help us out by commenting, with suggestions for our loglines, and you automatically win a free critique from one (or both) of us!

If you comment on our logline(s), which will be posted through Sunday, email us and include one of  the following (in the body of the email) :

1)your own logline
2)your query
3)your first page (any genre, only let us know what it is!)

We'll critique it and email it back to you. (it'll all be private. we won't post anything of yours on our blog.)

You have through SUNDAY to comment, help us out, and "win"! (of course, you'll ALL be winners)

email:  lynnea (dot) west (at) gmail (dot) com
in the subject line write:  free critique
(because "lynnea" is not very good at cleaning out her email inbox...and it's atrocious in there, i tell you!)

(christy will post hers today and tomorrow, erica will post hers on friday and saturday)

throughout the four days we'll also add helpful links and info we've come across while researching loglines and/or anything pitch-related.  cuz this blog's not just about us.  we want to help you all out, too!

Via erica and Linda @ the Critique Sisters, I've used a couple of links to help me with my logline "formula". 

Below is what I've come up with so far.  I DON'T  love any of them, so either vote for your favorite or show me another way to pitch the idea in a one sentence logline. 

First, the links:

one of my all-time fave (former) blogging agents, nathan bransford's formula (quoted from his blog, click below to visit and find about 900ish  more links on anything writing-related you need to know):

"The resulting very basic pitch is: When OPENING CONFLICT happens to CHARACTER(s), they have OVERCOME CONFLICT to COMPLETE QUEST. There are lots different ways of structuring these basic elements, but they should be there."

linda gray, one of the critique sisters, recenlty went to a writing conference and is passing her pitching knowledge along to the rest of us @ her blog (it's amazing, you should visit and follow).  to see more of the fabulous advice and links she provides, click the quote below:

"...one sentence that describes the heart of your story. ...ask yourself what it is that truly drives the story. What is it the characters are compelled to do and why?...think in terms of what the private stakes are for the character (life, liberty, etc.), and what the public stakes are—what thing bigger than, or outside, the character created the possibility of this situation."

Second, *drumroll* my loglines: (some deleted/revised from wednesday's post) 

a) A teenage girl, believed by inter-dimensional Transporters to be the subject of a prophecy, must prove her innocence by finding the cure for the epidemic she's accused of spreading.

b) Unless Dawn can stop the spread of an epidemic she’ll go down in history as the shadow-maker, the one who is prophesized to overtake the Earth and Themura dimensions.

c) A teenage artist’s sketches turn into landscapes from a secret dimension, one she learns her family has been hiding, and unless she can uncover the truth about herself, people she love will die while she stands accused.

d) An intuitive teenager realizes her gifts go beyond sensing lies and danger when she starts viewing auras and shadows around the people in her town, but she doesn't expect to be the one responsible for saving them all from an epidemic in order to keep from being accused of spreading it.




  1. I definitely like the last one the best because it is the most specific. I love that she's trying to prove she's not the one in the prophecy. Cool.

    Teenage girl is not very specific though. Can you think of an adjective that evokes conflict and adds something to the story?

    And who or what is the antagonist? Her boyfriend? If not, you could probably take him out, b/c he's more like a subplot. Who is she actually needing to prove herself to so she doesn't get killed or hurt?

    And that leads me to stakes. What are they? What will happen if she doesn't prove she's not the shadow-maker?

    Add those elements into the logline and it'll be awesome! And thanks for the offer! I'll send you my query soon!

  2. I'm too tired to concentrate lol but just coming by to say hello and I hope your logline is exquisite when completed.


  3. Good luck with your loglines...

    Unfortunately not my strong point....

  4. I liked option B best, but I also liked elements of D (the Transporter boyfriend, and it has more concrete details).

    You have to decide which plot thread is the strongest and most important. And make sure we get the goal, conflict and stakes in the logline. You don't have to say the MC's name unless there's something special about it (like historical figures).

    Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Christy,

    First, thank you so much for that generous tip-of-the-hat to Critique Sisters Corner. I'm truly touched!

    Second, I think you are practically there with your log line. I love the second one. My only suggestion is to replace "the subject of a prophecy" with specifics. How about something like:

    "A teenage girl, believed by inter-dimensional Transporters to be the shadow maker in an ancient prophecy of destruction, must prove her innocence by finding a cure for the epidemic she's accused of spreading."

    You probably have better language for the prophecy.

    The log line needs to hook your listener/reader, so they have a good handle on the storyline, and want to know more. I think this does that.

    Then you can use the great details from the other examples in your followup paragraph. Nicely done!

  6. p.s. forgot to say, I'm emailing you my logline and can't wait to get your critique! Thanks.

  7. Thank you ladies for the CSC mention! Much love! Here are my thoughts on your logline:

    Unless Dawn can stop the spread of an epidemic she’ll go down in history as the shadow-maker, the one who is prophesized to overtake the Earth and Themura dimensions.

    I combined a few of your lines. I hope I caught the heart of the story!

  8. Alas, I'm a bit out of my depth here. :( But your post title is extremely clever.

    But if it's coming down to a vote, I'd go for C. I'm not sure about mentioning her name, though.

  9. I appreciate your stopping by, commenting, honesty and suggestions. I'll keep plugging away at it. (I think I scared lots of other people away! Hope it wasn't the atrocity of the loglines!) Christy

  10. Okay... I liked the simplicity of the first but thought some of the details were important, so that is how I approached this... start with A, but then pasted some extra and rearranged a bit. This is what I came up with:

    A teenage artist’s prophetic sketches cause inter-dimensional Transporters to believe she is the source of an epidemic in a prophecy, so to prove her innocence and save the people she loves, she must find the cure.

  11. (I just read comments and really like Linda's suggestion)

  12. Hart, we all know you're just double posting in an attempt to stay ahead of me

  13. Well two can play at that game!

  14. Hi Christy! Wow - from the bits and pieces in all of your loglines, the story sounds absolutely fascinating! A tip I've heard is to try to pick the most unique aspect of your story and to include it in the log line. Something to set you apart. I'd also suggest using Dawn's name, and her age to id this as YA.

    As to the actual wording...well. I'll give it a shot (just picking an age here...)

    16-year-old Dawn discovers she's destined to destroy not only her world, but also the alter-dimension Themura and be known through history as The Shadow-maker, unless she can find the cure to a deadly epidemic.

    Best of luck to you!

  15. Okay, I am back to gideon86... this is crazy my last five comments haven't registered so, if you don't mind I will leave five in a row to see what happens tomorrow.

    If This keeps up MIKE will get me and I WILL NOT let that happen...LOL


    ignore the next four.

  16. Once more.

    I need to get back up to 35 above Heather heheh!

  17. MIKE Calm down...

    This is a legitimate test...

    Number three...


    Number five...

    The results tomorrow or later today....

    Thanks ladies,

  19. OH, here is the official count I have 122 at this time.....

  20. well, now thanks to michael, my comments look less pathetic for this post. but, um, while you were at it you might as well have given my logline a try or five... :0) christy

    and thanks to you who offered advice and ideas today. hart, i liked linda's from yesterday, too.

  21. I'm back and still NO CHANGE... MIKE put a HEX on me!

    Here's my suggestion. I like what Linda suggested, but I think it would read better used Dawn's name.

    "Chased by inter-dimensional transporters, Dawn's new boyfriend, a transporter himself believes her to be the shadow maker in an ancient prophecy of destruction and must prove her innocence by finding a cure for the epidemic she's accused of spreading."

  22. I liked A the best. Simple wording and all. I'm not the best to give my opinion just yet, because I have NO idea how I'll write mine. I think I'm avoiding it until the very last minute when I'm ready to write my query letter.

  23. Thanks for the liniks. I like logline c best. It sounded very alluring :O)

  24. Oh, what a neat opportunity for a free critique! Great idea!

    I like the third one best! (c) The first two focus on consequences without giving you any reason to know or care about the MC. Kind of the same problem with (d). Just not specific enough to "care" about the character, I think.

    c) "A teenage artist’s sketches turn into landscapes from a secret dimension,"

    Now I know something about the MC that's interesting! I like this part!

    "one she learns her family has been hiding,"

    This is another dramatic tidbit, but I think you need to reword it, maybe?

    "and unless she can uncover the truth about herself, people she love will die while she stands accused."

    this part about uncovering the truth sounds cliched and too vague. Find something really specific (like the first part of the logline with her sketches and her famiy in hiding) to put here.

    Hope this helps! I'm just going off my gut :)

  25. I like A the best as a logline. It seems to sum it all up simply. The other two could work if made into a multi-sentence pitch. Sounds like a really cool book!

    And, we are like twin blogging now, because I put up my pitches based on Nate's advice today. So, if you have time please take a peek on my blog!

  26. Hope I'm doing this right by giving you feedback in the comments.

    I like a combo of 1 and 2. I haven't read the book and don't even know the age of your character, so I'm making up some stuff here. I also have made some assumptions about the book without much to go on. But, at least this might get the creative juices rolling:

    After learning her sketches are actually landscapes from a secret dimension, 13-year-old NAME must interpret the auras and shadows of the people around her to stop an epidemic and clear her family name.

    I'd love some feedback on my logline. I'll send it via email.

    Life of Lois


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