Monthly Archives: November 2012

Follow up to another logline for Carrion

At the end of last week I resubmitted my logline for Carrion to Logline it!. If the first batch of replies helped fine-tune my initial submission this second round has focused it even more.

Darrin Nightingale says:
RESUBMISSION: When the government embarks on a genocidal programme against junkies, a self-righteous policeman battles to save his drug using sister.

Lucius Paisley says:
Is it possible to use a different word for “junkies”?

Then you won’t have to use the term “drug using”, since most people would correctly assume that she is a drug user.

For instance – “…genocidal programme against drug abusers, a self-righteous policeman battles to save his sister.”

Also, who is the policeman battling against exactly? The government? His police force? Drug abusers? I think some clarity here may also help.

Darrin Nightingale says:
I use the term junkies because it is more often than not it is used as a derogatory way to describe anyone who take illicit drugs. The government in the story views anyone who takes drugs as junkies. I use the term alternate “drug using” partly to make the point that not all drug users are junkies. But also to reiterate the point that you have a government agent, a prohibitionist, fighting to save a sister targeted for genocide. How about a logline that reads?

When the government targets junkies for genocide, a self-righteous policeman fights to save his drug using sister.

Thanks for your input.

cynosurer says:
I still think the self righteousness works best as a part of the battle and not a character description.

When the government embarks on a genocidal program against junkies, a/an policeman must confront the system and his own self-righteousness to save his drug using sister.

insert: in your face, hard nosed, street hardened, crusty, old, jaded, tough as nails, washed up…
I don’t know how you make it work with the sister. Siblings, having grown up together, aren’t usually very tolerant of the ‘choices’ their siblings make – hence the self righteous ‘you suffer the consequences of your choices’ attitude. It might work better to make it a niece or granddaughter. I would think the extra bit of seperation would actually aid in his conversion… or the widow of his OD’ed brother if you want her to be his contemporary. Just some thoughts. That I have these thought may just mean you need to add a description to the sister other than drug using as her being one is implied by the fact that she needs saving from this program (and ‘program’ would be the Hollywood/Yankee spelling).

cynosurer says:
I had the word ‘insert’ bracketed by the less than greater than symbols between ‘a/an’ and policeman. The brackets must have ‘deleted’ that. So “insert” a description there or choose one of the cliches that I listed.

elizabethban says:
I think it’s the genocidal program that’s unclear. How about,

‘When the government threatens to execute all junkies to stop a drug epidemic, a member of the arresting police force must battle his own self-righteousness in order to be able to save his sister.’

I think sister is spot on. And she should be a younger sister who disobeyed all her bother’s so called ‘advice’. Of course, he never asks why she is doing what she does, just assumes it’s to show him up and embarrass him. He is a pretty narcissistic character, unable to empathise – until this edict, of course.
Anyway, just a suggestion.

Darrin Nightingale says:
As I understand it, genocide means “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.” Perhaps a more concise articulation of the governments intention is to say that the government is targeting junkies for genocide. The genocidal programme is a programme to kill anyone who takes drugs. It starts when the govenment release swarms of drug eating insects that go on to attack users. The government then deny medical attention those users. As the programme progresses the government declares martial law, sweep the city, shooting users on sight. Fundamentally the government’s intention is genocide. They intend to kill all junkies/drug users. Your understanding of the brother/sister relationship is spot on. There’s a fifteen year age difference between the two of them. So when their parents are killed in a car crash and he has to take care of her, it creates all kinds of tensions. Tensions that come to a head when he arrests his sister for possession at the beginning of the story. With that in mind, what about a logline that reads.

When the government targets junkies for genocide, a self-righteous policeman fights to save his drug using sister.

Thanks for your input.

It interesting to see the huge difference between the logline I initially posted and the one that now seems the most concise telling of the story. Gone are any reference to drug eating insects. Something that seemed to be irreplaceable early in my attempts at a logline. Instead they’ve been replaced by the intention of the insects, genocide. Here’s first and final loglines side by side for you to compare.

When the government release swarms of drug eating insects to kill the junkie population a self-righteous policeman risks everything as he struggles to save his drug using sister from the tyrannical forces of prohibition.

When the government targets junkies for genocide, a self-righteous policeman fights to save his drug using sister.


Another logline for Carrion

A week ago I submitted a logline for Carrion to Logline It!. Overall it was pretty rewarding experience. I had some really positive responses. You can see how I got on in my previous post My experience with Logline It! I was going over some stuff today and came up with an even more accurate logline for Carrion.

When the government embarks on a genocidal programme against junkies, a self-righteous policeman battles to save his drug using sister.

I’m resubmiting it to Logline It!. Let’s see what they think.

The iceberg opponent

I’ve been going over the plot for Carrion while skipping through Anatomy of Story by John Truby. In the chapter outlining Twenty-Two-Step Story Structure there is a section called The Iceberg Opponent. Truby argues that in order to make your antagonist as dangerous as possible you should create a hierarchy of opponents and “hide the hierarchy from the hero and the audience.” This worries me slightly because Adam’s opponents aren’t really hidden from him. The only element really hidden from him is the true nature of prohibition. I’m not sure if that’s enough? Adam’s main opponent is Reiner. He’s the one who want’s to stop Adam achieving his desire; save Christine. As the plot develops Adam encounters ever more hostile forces. But the insects, police and military he battles to save Christine are less a hidden opponents and more a hierarchy of force. Why would they hide? As I noted in my previous post “prohibitionist’s aren’t shy about tell us they think users should be killed.” In an earlier chapter of Anatomy of Story, Truby urges you to “always look for the deepest conflict that your hero and opponent are fighting over.” I mentioned this briefly in The antagonist’s antagonist that deep down Adam and Reiner are actually fighting over the kind of society they live in. Which version will prosper? “Will it be a society of freedom ultimately chosen by Adam or will it be a society of security demanded by Reiner?” So this is a fight for freedom or security. And if you dig even deeper security is actually an analogue of power. I often quip prohibition isn’t about public health, it’s about public control. It’s a aphoristic way of saying prohibition is a mechanism used to control the population. Adam’s real opponent, the opponent hidden at the deepest part of the iceberg, is actually power. But not just any power, the power to destroy an entire class of people because they don’t fit their view of how you should live in the world. What Reiner is actually fighting for is tyranny.

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