When a visiting dignitary is murdered, the na?ve youngest prince of a fairy-tale kingdom becomes the Watson to a Holmes-like detective. But, when the detective is also killed, the prince must solve the mystery on his own before the situation escalates into all-out war.

    Penpusher Posted on April 18, 2020 in Fantasy.
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    3 Review(s)

      HI Todd,

      I like the unusual idea of a murder mystery being set in a fairy tale kingdom. ?Are you going to subvert the norms of ‘fairy tale’ or do you actually mean fantasy kingdom? ?My initial thoughts are:

      • Watson is an astute and brilliant doctor – I take it the prince would also be intelligent, if a little green?
      • I can see why we don’t want our visiting dignitaries being murdered, but I can’t see the connection to war in your logline. ?I take it the dignitary is from a rival land?
      • Would making the prince a princess add a little more conflict? ?A princess (or maybe the queen?) might come across many more obstacles.
      • Why is it for THIS prince to take on the task? ?If all out war is threatened, the rulers would do everything they can to solve the mystery and stop this… or are they the ones behind it? ?Is there conflict inside the royal family?
      • Murder mystery is not my field, but I feel your line needs a stronger hook than Holmes in a fairy tale.
      • Your logline is on the long side. ?I stripped out the Watson/Holmes element to get down to the crux of the issue (I’ve just reused your words as I don’t know what else the story entails)… A naive prince must find out who murdered a visiting dignitary before the situation escalates into all-out war. ?I would suggest starting with as concise a line as possible before adding/replacing words to make it what you want.

      Regards
      Trix

      Mentor Answered on April 18, 2020.

      Hi Trix,

      Thank you very much for your critique of my logline. I appreciate you taking the time.

      Part of the idea is that the “usual suspects” are stereotypical fairy tale villains. Although, of course, they are all red herrings.

      • Yes, the prince would have to be intelligent in order for it to be believable that he can solve the mystery in the end.
      • Yes, the dignitary is from a rival land, and is there for talks to prevent a war in the first place.
      • Hmm, having the main character be a princess might not be a bad idea. Especially if the murder victim is a prince who is there to marry her. This could increase both her motivation to solve the mystery, and the stakes of war if she fails.
      • The B story involves the main character realizing that his (her?) family isn’t as perfect as they seem at first glance. Hence, moving from being na?ve to more worldly-wise.
      • I used a longish logline in order to include the Mid Point Reversal. Ending at the first period didn’t seem strong enough. You’re right about that. I’ll rethink the hook and try to post something stronger later.

      Once again, thank you very much.

      Todd

      on April 19, 2020.
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        After revisiting my idea with Trix’s advice in mind, I’ve come up with a new version of the logline. A na?ve fairy-tale princess must solve the murder of her betrothed prince before the situation escalates into all-out war.

        ?

        Penpusher Answered on April 19, 2020.
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          Hi Todd,

          Sorry, I missed your MPR on my first read (not because it wasn’t clear, just because I must have been only 1 coffee down that morning! LOL)… totally understandable for a longer logline with an MPR. ?Having said that, so far I still prefer your second logline (another thought I had with the first was that a Holmes character is going to understandably draw a lot of limelight and it’s hard to lose a main protagonist character half way through the film (not that it can’t be done, it’s just hard to do well).

          I do prefer the princess to the prince 😉 and I really like the idea of them being betrothed… something neither of them probably want, but it’s being arranged to stop a war between both nations… and of course, if the princess has been vocal about her dislike of him (on account of her being naive to court politics) then she’s also likely to be a suspect…love that and there’s tonnes of conflict!

          I’m still not getting the leap from his death to warring nations though… It doesn’t have to be obvious, but it should be clear and less of a guess I’m feeling. ?Playing with the addition of an MPR, how about something along the lines of:

          A?wilful but na?ve fairy-tale princess must convince rulers to release her?from the arranged marriage intended to bring peace to?their feuding nations, but when her betrothed prince is murdered, she must clear her name and expose the real killer?before the situation escalates into all-out war.

          It’s probably too long… but just playing with options before you whittle it down 😉

          Mentor Answered on April 20, 2020.

          Sorry… the end of my post should have read:

          A?wilful but na?ve fairy-tale princess must convince rulers to release her?from the arranged marriage intended to bring peace to?their feuding nations, but when her betrothed prince is murdered, she must expose the real killer?before the situation escalates into all-out war.

          It’s probably too long… but just playing with options before you whittle it down. ?I’m also still not getting why it has to be HER that has to do it… If she was the last person to see him alive, then that may do it… you could then replace “she must expose the real killer” with “she must clear her name and expose the real killer” … but then the fact that she was the last to see him/why she’s the suspect would probably need to be in the logline.

          Hmmm…

          on April 20, 2020.

          So, that would move the murder to the midpoint? I must give that a lot of thought, because it could change everything. Her being ordered by her father (the king) to wed the prince could be the inciting incident, I suppose.

          Hmmm, indeed…

          on April 21, 2020.
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