Friday, October 9, 2009


As promised, at least to myself and mentioned on this blog, I was going to go back after finishing the first draft of IV to compile all the bits and pieces I've learned over the past couple of years into my own form of writing bible.

I was reading some pointers on how to set your premise and had to relate it back to my manuscript. I now have a new bit to write in the first chapter - which will extend that out nicely, introduce the antagonist earlier and allow a 'penny dropping' moment for the reader later on - cool!

The point I was reading pretty much boils down to introducing the bad guy to your reader as early as possible, even if it's only a quick walk-on/walk-off type of thing. When s/he comes back later the reader will sit up and go 'hang on, wasn't that so-and-so from earlier!' and probably something like 'I knew there was something fishy about that one' - and they will feel smug and happy - and then they will realise that the writer allowed them to achieve that - and then they will be in awe as the penny drops - maawahh (cough, cough, splutter, splutter), sorry. Back in control now.

This morning I've been playing around with loglines as prompted by Alex (again - you really should read her blog). This seems like a fairly natural continuation of the premise stuff I was reading yesterday so I gave it a go.

A resourceful teenager with a knack for electronics and chemistry tries to foil a case of industrial espionage instigated by his dad’s professional rival, win the girl and complete a difficult school assignment – it’s going to be a busy weekend.

Using the breakdown headings supplied by Alex it looks something like this:

Who’s the story about: A resourceful teenager. Nathan Steele is a 15yo boy from a fairly well off family (not rich, but doing ok) who loves playing with electronics and has a natural flair for chemistry. He is much more comfortable soldering capacitors than talking with girls.

Setting: Not so clear. Not sure how to depict this within this sentence. The setting is a local suburb, but it could be anywhere in the world. The scenes switch between his home, school, a motel, his dad's work, and the protagonist's condo (pretty much). Everything happens within a couple of hours drive of each other. As this isn't specfic, maybe the setting isn't as important?? Not sure. What do you think?

Who’s the antagonist: His dad’s rival. I had to mention professional rival because this guy isn't trying to steal the wife, or the family or anything else. He's after a powerful computer program module.

What’s the conflict: Internal and external. He has the very real threat to his safety from criminals who get more desperate as things progress. He also has the complications of first love to deal with, normal growing up insecurities, tension between his parents, saving for a car, being dominated by other social outcasts at school, and a difficult homework assignment with a tight deadline. Lots of conflict :c)

What are the stakes: his dad’s career, physical (life and death for him and those he cares for), emotional (will his heart get broken/will he get to first base), his school grades (will he get the assignment done to maintain his grades).

Genre: YA thriller/action.

I'm not sure about it though. I had to add in the 'Instigated by his dad's professional rival' to be able to answer the antagonist question but I think it throws off the flow of the sentence too much.
Well, there you have it. What do you think? Would you consider reading it, or getting it for your favourite young male relative?


  1. I'd buy it for a young male relative : )

  2. Not sure about your logline. Are you insane? I think it's fantastic.

  3. I read the logline without realizing it was for your own book. I was trying to guess what famous YA book it was about, couldn't think of it, and read on in hopes you'd let me know so I'd be able to pick up a copy and read it.

    So yeah, I'd say it works just fine. :)

  4. Why is it you ladies always make me blush?

    Thank you

  5. I think it sounds very intriguing. Not only does it sound like a good book, I found myself thinking this would make a great movie.

    Good Luck,

  6. Thanks, Isabella. I think it would make a great flick as well - seeing how that's the way I envisage these things in the first place, but it's nice to hear someone else say it.

    Thanks for stopping and commenting, and for listing me on your blogs that you follow. Love your post on the robin. You have now been added to my reader - be seeing you...