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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Princess of Phazania (Fantasy, Golden Fleece Reply with quote #50683

To save her mother, a young princess must brave the Sahara, to kill her father, who died over a millennia ago.


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James Patrick Joyce
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Princess of Phazania (Fantasy, Golden Fleece Reply with quote #50684

Cobinna wrote:
To save her mother, a young princess must brave the Sahara, to kill her father, who died over a millennia ago.


First, start with the "Young Princess", since you want your pitchee picturing her, not her mother.

What does "brave the Sahara" mean? It's not especially dangerous, if you're prepared.

The logline's purpose is to pitch the story you are telling, not to tease it or hint at it. No one is going to request a script because it was really-well hinty. But they might, if it's got a good hook.


Who is the Young Princess? Unless this is like a children's fable, is there a word that provides more character info than "young"? She's a princess, we will assume that she is young.

What is her goal that we see her seeking, through most of the movie? Does she spend most of the movie struggling with the sand and heat and cold, only to face her father in the climax? (that's the basic idea I get, from the logline) Or is there more to this story?

The trick with the last idea merely leaves me "meh". What does this mean? Since I have absolutely no idea, I mostly ignore it. Which doesn't help you. It's just more "hinty-hinty" material.

However, now that I'm thinking about it, if he died more than 1000 years ago and he's her father, how is she "young"?

Anyway... what's the story about, without any suggestions or hints?



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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50690

Welcome, Cob!

Agree with James. For a fantasy, a two-sentence log may help; the first, to establish the world and the second, to tell the protag's story.

Why call it a fantasy and then use a real-life location with its natural obstacles? The vague impression is of a "regular" story with mystical touches. Or clarify the fantasy in the typical log.

While a logline usually works for both craft and marketing, the purpose of a logline for craft is to nail the fundamentals of the story and to see if it's appealing- before spending months on the script. Is the story already written or is this logline the first step in that objective?


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50693

James/Robb,

Thanks a lot for your review. Your suggestions and questions helped me take a deeper dive and provided clarity. I rewrote the initial log-line hoping it provides more information and clarifies what the story is about. Thanks again for your review


In Medieval Africa, after the Queen is abducted, a reluctant princess struggles to save her mother and her kingdom from the one who would destroy them all - Her Father, who died a Millenia ago. But she must come to terms with the truth about her identity in order to prevent him from rising again.


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50699

You're welcome.

I thought the first one was at least about an adventure in the desert. The second offers less of a mental picture.

State what the struggle is. Rescuing her mother? If yes, paint more of that picture. Where is the mother? Why was she abducted? (Not that the logline can answer everything, but the answers will help you shape the logline, or help us help you.) Is the desert trek still part of this? Who or what gets in the way of the princess?

If the father hasn't yet risen again, then how is he a threat? Is he the main antag throughout the story or is there someone or something else?

Focus on one objective, like saving the mother, and imply the greater battle for the kingdom. Or if the greater battle is most of the story, then focus on that. What does the protag do most of the time?

Quote:
But she must come to terms with the truth about her identity

This doesn't belong in the logline and it's confusing. At the most, try to imply something about her identity or, if it's that major to the story, describe the princess that way. "Reluctant" is minor, describe her main trait, flaw, or issue that creates irony and/or extra conflict.

State the country or region, not the continent.


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50700

Thanks a bunch. Your comments are very helpful in focusing the story.

The story takes place in Medieval Sahara where there are really no specific countries but kingdoms. It is about an adventure in the desert but the bigger threats are not the elements.

Thanks for helping me work through this and focus the information.

When a Rebellious Saharan Princess, escapes the palace in search for her abducted mother, she discovers she is the key to preventing a millennia old conflict from brewing, between those who wish to revive an ancient evil and those that protect the instruments of his resurrection.

A Rebellious Saharan Princess with special gifts, escapes the palace in search for her abducted mother, but discovers she is the key to the survival or enslavement of the world.

A Rebellious Saharan Princess, escapes the palace in search for her abducted mother, but saving her mother could revive an ancient evil that could enslave the world.


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50703

Getting there...

The main thing still lacking is the story. Seems muddled between 'Save Mom' and something else.

If the adventure in the desert is most of Act II, then focus on that and also mention the larger stakes. If the desert is a small part of the story, then what else is there? Be specific.

Does being rebellious make the adventure easier or harder on the princess? Seems easier. It also seems to describe how she is after her mother is abducted. Is she rebellious beforehand? If no, what is she?

Since the father is not the active antag, state who or what gets in the princess' way.

Quote:
she discovers she is the key to preventing
with special gifts


Could the real story be in these words? How is she a key and what are the gifts?

Quote:
between those who wish to revive an ancient evil and those that protect the instruments of his resurrection.


If the protectors don't want him revived, then why not destroy the instruments?

Someone from the first group sounds like the antag.

In general, this part feels tired as many movies, shows, and whatnot have done it. If there's something new about this, then it belongs in the logline.

Quote:
but saving her mother could revive an ancient evil that could enslave the world.


Intriguing dilemma! Now phrase it in a way where we can visualize what it means.


It may help to write a few sentences instead of trying another logline. First work on presenting the story and then we can help make it a logline. Use direct words and specifics to create a mental picture.


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50708

This has been the most helpful and knowledgeable experience. Trying to distill a story in just a few words is daunting but rewarding, enabling me to get to the essence.

Here are a few lines or more presenting the story idea.


They thought I was dead. They were wrong. They are always wrong. Wrong about everything. I did not die at the Well. He did. We had been slaves and puns to the humans for so long. It is time to get our world back. For Dragons to rule again. We will rule again, once I regain my true form. I can’t continue to live in this Human. What a weak vessel he is. My venom has kept both of us alive for millennia, but time is running out. She is the key. She has to find the parts of me that has been scattered and hidden throughout the land. The bond has to be broken. And with my return will come the return of the Dragons.

Twenty days ago, during the Gani festival, celebrating the death of the Dragon King, my mother, the Queen, was taken. As heir to the throne, I am bound by duty to stay and rule. It has always been my mothers desire that I become Queen after her, but that is not my desire. I wish to lead the warriors to battle, not facilitate trade and diplomacy between neighboring kingdoms that populate the Sahara. I have special abilities. I run faster and further, jump higher and further, than anyone in the kingdom. I am stronger, more agile, bruise less and heal faster. My grandmother calls me the child of the prophecy, the one that speaks about killing the Dragon king. But how do you kill someone that died over a millennia ago?

The warriors came back empty from the search. What would you have done? Me too! But in hindsight, I would have done it differently. Especially, since I found out that my blood is one of the 5 items required to unbound the Dragon King from his Human vessel. But my mother. How could she? With him?


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50709

That's certainly a novel response. Though, sorry to say, only a little helpful.

Is the dragon literal? Is a dragon's "soul" resting inside the 1,000 year-old corpse of the king and, through some process, the soul will transform into a dragon? And this one dragon will enslave the world?

Quote:
I can’t continue to live in this Human. What a weak vessel he is. My venom has kept both of us alive for millennia, but time is running out.


What human, the dead king? Is he dead or not? Who's both of us?

Quote:
I have special abilities. I run faster


Does the protag have these abilities in order to give her a fair chance at defeating the group or king or whoever? Would it be more dramatic if she's a regular person who perhaps gains abilities through training and whatnot? The logline may not get into it, but I'm curious to learn more about why you see her having special abilities.

Quote:
My grandmother calls me the child of the prophecy,

Not sure if it pays to follow the lead of prophecy and 'The One' stories- like Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lego Movie- or drop this part of the idea as it doesn't seem integral and has been done so many times.

Quote:
the one that speaks about killing the Dragon king. But how do you kill someone that died over a millennia ago?


Confusing. Is the story about destroying the king's remains before he can return? Is it about the protag on the run from x who wants her blood and not getting the blood will kill the king?

Quote:
But my mother. How could she? With him?


I don't understand the mother part. Is she abducted to draw out the protag or is she in on it and wants to resurrect the king?


Not that this captures everything or that I'm sure it's accurate, but this kind of logline may be helpful:

In a Saharan kingdom in the Middle Ages, a new and reluctant Queen battles a secret order that seeks her blood to revive their ancient ruler who will...

The protag was called a princess until now, but she's really the new Queen, right?

I left out the mother because she seems secondary, a ruse to draw out the princess. If yes, that's a detail for the script. But if yes, what kind of ruse is that? Why would they think the new Queen would leave the palace to search for her mother? Gives me the impression that the protag should be second-in-line, not first. Or is a loyal servant to the Queen who is unaware she is really a daughter; the Queen's ruse to keep her safe.


The clarification of the story may improve if you have an STC genre in mind. Do you see this as a Superhero tale or Epic Fleece or what?

Try answering more of the questions in a straight and brief manner before attempting another logline or other form of response. Aside from everything else, the two main questions are:

What is the protag after?

Who or what gets in her way?


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50710

This has been a great eye opener. Thank you

That's certainly a novel response. Though, sorry to say, only a little helpful.

Is the dragon literal? Is a dragon's "soul" resting inside the 1,000 year-old corpse of the king and, through some process, the soul will transform into a dragon? And this one dragon will enslave the world?

The dragon is literal. A special tribe of people were able to bond (Physically, mentally etc) with the Dragons. The death of one often meant the death of the other. The corruption of one, meant the corruption of the other. But a special technique known only to a few allowed for the exchange of souls. Meaning that the dragon can exchange bodies with the human and vice versa.

Now this particular Dragon bonded with the then King ( also evil), but his desire was to enslave the humans with other corrupted Dragons. A dragon can only give birth once in their lifetime. So this Dragon, with other corrupted Dragons, during the war with the humans, stored their Eggs away for their future Army.

Quote:
I can’t continue to live in this Human. What a weak vessel he is. My venom has kept both of us alive for millennia, but time is running out.


What human, the dead king? Is he dead or not? Who's both of us?

Since they are merged, the king is not actually dead but the Dragons power and will is stronger.

Quote:
I have special abilities. I run faster


Does the protag have these abilities in order to give her a fair chance at defeating the group or king or whoever? Would it be more dramatic if she's a regular person who perhaps gains abilities through training and whatnot? The logline may not get into it, but I'm curious to learn more about why you see her having special abilities.

She has this special abilities as the result of her being the daughter of the Dragon King. She perfected this ability through training. The men and women of her Kingdom are warriors, who love to fight.

Quote:
My grandmother calls me the child of the prophecy,

Not sure if it pays to follow the lead of prophecy and 'The One' stories- like Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lego Movie- or drop this part of the idea as it doesn't seem integral and has been done so many times.

That could be considered. But she really doesn’t care for it. But I was trying to tie in the fact that it was prophesied that the Evil King and his Dragon will die by the hands of one stronger than a man. But the Dragon was killed by the Princess’s ancestor who was a man. So the prophecy seemed to be fulfilled but actually wasn’t

Quote:
the one that speaks about killing the Dragon king. But how do you kill someone that died over a millennia ago?


Confusing. Is the story about destroying the king's remains before he can return? Is it about the protag on the run from x who wants her blood and not getting the blood will kill the king?

Good Question. The remains have been hidden and not destroyed because it is proof of her family’s legitimacy and claim to the throne. Her blood is the final piece, since she is the daughter. All pieces together can be used to unbond and separate the Dragon from the human.

Quote:
But my mother. How could she? With him?


I don't understand the mother part. Is she abducted to draw out the protag or is she in on it and wants to resurrect the king?

The mother slept and got impregnated by the Dragon King.


Not that this captures everything or that I'm sure it's accurate, but this kind of logline may be helpful:

In a Saharan kingdom in the Middle Ages, a new and reluctant Queen battles a secret order that seeks her blood to revive their ancient ruler who will...

Nice. I will work with this

The protag was called a princess until now, but she's really the new Queen, right?

No, she is not the new Queen, since she escaped the palace before the coronation

I left out the mother because she seems secondary, a ruse to draw out the princess. If yes, that's a detail for the script. But if yes, what kind of ruse is that? Why would they think the new Queen would leave the palace to search for her mother? Gives me the impression that the protag should be second-in-line, not first. Or is a loyal servant to the Queen who is unaware she is really a daughter; the Queen's ruse to keep her safe.

The Queen was abducted because her knowledge of the artifacts. This knowledge is passed down to the next ruler.


The clarification of the story may improve if you have an STC genre in mind. Do you see this as a Superhero tale or Epic Fleece or what?

I see this as an Epic Fleece. The search for the artifacts before the minions of the Dragon Kings can get to them


Try answering more of the questions in a straight and brief manner before attempting another logline or other form of response. Aside from everything else, the two main questions are:

What is the protag after?

The princess has never cared for the kingdom matters but is now concerned with the fate of the world. Initially, she left her ordinary world to search for her mother, but her now desire is to find the artifacts to prevent the Dragon King from his plans

Who or what gets in her way?

In a love subplot, she falls for the Bad Guy#2, who was guiding her through her journey but she was unaware that he was the Dragon King's right hand man.


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50712

Kudos for the responses. I'm not into dragons so all the details within that world left me a bit dizzy!

Are the bonding and exchanging from mythology or your imagination? It's okay to have a fantasy society where dragons once roamed (or do roam) and some like the princess have special abilities, but then the rest- and there's so much of it- feels contrived just for the sake of a desired story. The bonding, corruption, exchanging, only one birth, storing of eggs, blood is one of five things, the prophecy, the passed-down knowledge, etc. And beyond contrived, some feel like they're the "Best of" story devices from other epics.

Also note how a majority of the last post is about the backstory. The A Story can still be sharper.

Have you considered simpler scenarios? For example, a few dragons ("regular" ones) still exist and the princess is hunted by Antag because he found a document about her ancestor who was able to mentally bond with a dragon; Antag wants her so that he can end up mind-controlling a dragon for his nefarious goal. This example has only a little bonding, no exchanging, nothing about births, no eggs, no prophecy, and no passed-down knowledge. The feel and setting are the same and the personal stuff is the same, young princess doesn't want the throne...and all that.

Never mind a logline, it must be a red flag when it takes so long to explain the foundation of the story.

What's the one or two things in all of this that most excite you and make you want to spend months working on it?


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50713

Thank you Robb,

i now view the log-line as the most important step in crafting a story. It helps clarify what story you want to tell.

What I am most excited about is crafting a "pre story" that revolves around one of the most powerful female warriors in history in a location that is hardly written about.

The bonding and exchanging of human/Dragon are from my imagination. But the killing of the Dragon (some say serpent) by the ancestor of the Princess, who eventually became a legendary Saharan Warrior Queen during the Medieval period, is from history.

I do agree with you that it is taking a lot of effort to come up with a backstory, tying the Princess to the dragon king and it could be simplified and sharpened.

Here is another attempt

After the Queen is abducted, a Rebellious Medieval Saharan Princess, must retrieve the Dragon Slayer Relics for the Queen’s abductors, but saving her mother could enslave her Kingdom.


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50715

Quote:
But the killing of the Dragon (some say serpent) by the ancestor of the Princess, who eventually became a legendary Saharan Warrior Queen during the Medieval period, is from history.


Now you say this? And it'll be a challenge getting a "based on true events" vibe with a dragon. ;-)

The new logline is better in terms of a mental picture. Though it's still an issue in terms of story if it's the same one as the previous post. Are you sticking with everything from before?

Even if so, this may help for the next take:

The story of the reluctant princess who became a legendary warrior queen in Medieval Sahara. After her mother is abducted, (character name) battles x in a search (across the kingdom?) for the ransom- relics from her ancestor, a dragon slayer, that can resurrect the king of dragons.

Long, but clarity and impact are more important. Normally a character's name doesn't work in a logline, but here it does, at least with this long one.


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RobbRoss
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50716

X is the antag, person or thing. If the abductors sit back and wait for the princess to bring them the relic, then someone or something else is the active antag and needs to be in the logline.

Across the kingdom is an example of how to sharpen the mental picture. Now I remember the desert part so perhaps "...battles the elements in a quest across the desert to find..." That's if the desert is a big chunk of Act II, not necessarily all. If it's the thing in Act II most getting in the protag's way.

And yet if it is, is that the best antag to turn a princess into a warrior? So far 'princess into warrior' sounds like the real hook, not 'desert adventure' or 'dragon ancestry.'


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Cobinna
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote #50717

Robb,

My education continues. The question is always how much of the to say in the log-line without given the story away and still make it captivating enough.

Here is the latest attempt

The story of the Reluctant Princess who became a Legendary Warrior Queen in Medieval Sahara. After her mother is abducted, Princess Amina battles the Ancient Order Sau in the lands beneath the Sahara for the ransom, relics from her ancestor, the Dragon Slayer, that can resurrect the King of Dragons.


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