Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Logline Competition


There are logline competitions and blogfests happening all over our strange little corner of the blogosphere today. I was too late for Miss Snark’s competition, so I’ve entered the one on Steena Holmes’ blog, Chocolate Reality (writing and chocolate and a mother-of-three – I could be forgiven for thinking that Steena was me, couldn’t I?).

So here’s mine (now edited) edited  edited edited again:

Title: Balthasar’s Gift

Genre: Crime

South African journalist Maggie Cloete defies her news editor to investigate the murder of an AIDS activist. With threats against the seven AIDS orphans living in the dead man’s house, Maggie must risk her life and job to discover their enemy – before it’s too late.

Go to it, folks. Tell me what you think …


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

18 thoughts on “Logline Competition

  1. Hi Charlotte… is this for your book? OK, I read a few times. I love the “what’s at stake” business – unemployment for our protagonist and life-and-death at risk for the orphans. I also would hope to learn something about AIDS babies in the process of reading this, which is great. That said, is it weird of me to wonder on minutae like why he has adopted so many kids (is 7 a lot?), and is it just him or does he have a wife helping him raise the kids?

  2. Hello Charlotte. I love this logline – it is full of action words that make me want to jump in and read it – and that’s the idea, right, so good luck with the contest!

  3. I really like this.

    The only thing that makes me pause is the last line. I think you could give it a little more punch by putting the most critical element last. Here’s a suggestion:

    If she doesn’t solve the mystery – and fast – she’ll lose her job, and the orphans will die.

  4. I think you can somehow mention the South African setting: Journalist Maggie Cloete defies her news editor at the Pietermaritzburg’s Gazette… Also, is their a way of mentioning the threats to her and the children’s lives? If the murder has already happened, why will solving the mystery going to stop the children from being killed?

  5. It sounds great to me! I hate having to come up with this sort of thing, it’s ridiculously hard, but I feel you’ve nailed it, Charlotte.

  6. Hey Charlotte, I was looking for you on Steena’s site and I couldn’t find your link in the blogfest entrants list. I might have missed it, but just thought I’d mention it in case it isn’t listed 🙂

    Your book sounds really interesting. In terms of your logline, a couple of thoughts: (1) there was a bit of a disconnect for me in terms of the level of danger the orphans are in. I’m not sure, but “menacing” in the first line didn’t make me think they were about to be killed. I wonder if you can have a play around and see if there’s a different word you can use? (2) there’s just a bit of scope for misinterpretation I think in the use of “his house” in the first sentence (this could be read as the news editor’s house or the dead AIDS activist’s house – while it’s fairly obviously the latter, you may want to clarify), (3) ditto with the use of “they” in the second sentence – again I’m sure you mean the orphans, but perhaps replace “they” with “the orphans” and change “the orphans'” with “their” – just a thought.

    My last thought is more a plotline issue, but are there any other stakes for Maggie other than risking her job? I only ask because I got that plot point from your first sentence, in that she “defies her news editor”. That might free you up in the second sentence to talk about other personal stakes she might have, particularly if she’s in any personal danger from interfering.

    Hope this helps 🙂


  7. This is really good. I have a lot of questions, but I think they’re the kind I need to read the book to find the answers to. Exactly what a logline is supposed to do. 🙂

  8. All good from over here.

  9. Okay – I like this version. It’s a keeper.

    Cool concept – this story should draw some attention!

  10. Looks good. The only question I have is if the threats on the orphans are in conjunction with Maggie investigating?

  11. Ooh, I like this version 🙂


  12. I agree with Litlove – these things are ridiculously difficult to write.

    I like it, Charlotte – it’s got a great hook that’s succinctly expressed, you pack a lot of info into an admirably short space, we know immediately what’s at stake and who’s at risk… I say a job well done!

  13. Great job! It’s to the point and definitely holds the suspension. Best of luck!

    And it’s great to meet you–from one other writer/mother of three as well. :o)

  14. Very, very good Charlotte! To the point, and yes, like Stina I have questions, too, but they’ll prompt me to want to read on.

  15. I grabbed your logline 🙂 Nice to meet another mother of 3 who loves chocolate!

  16. Hi! Thanks for your crit over at my blog.

    This reads very well — sorry I missed the first versions but I got started late.

    It seems to have everything –clearly defined MC with personal and larger stakes, conflict and intrigue. Great job!

  17. Sounds very interesting. Is there a way to up the stakes by replacing “before it’s too late”? That sounds rather vague. If possible make it more specific. Maybe …before the killer finds her, or …before any of her protégés die, or something else like that. It would make the consequences much clearer.

  18. I would read it!

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