When the town bully humiliates him, a mild-mannered cowboy sets out to reclaim his dignity, only to accidentally kill the man, and set off his violent outlaw family.
You are ending the logline with what sets the story in motion.
If the problem is the family of the bully he killed is after him, then the story begins when he kills the bully.
“When he accidentally kills the bully who tormented him, a mild-mannered cowboy must now outrun the bullies family who has vowed to kill him.”
I had some other versions of this – but thought I’d lead with the shortest.
When the town bully humiliates him, a mild-mannered cowboy sets out to reclaim his dignity, only to accidentally kill the man, and set off his violent outlaw family, who soon take over the town. – last 6 words I thought were redundant.
When the town bully humiliates him, a mild-mannered cowboy sets out to reclaim his dignity, only to accidentally kill the man, and set off his family – a gang of violent outlaws. – again, I thought the one I used was quicker. But I dunno, this one seems clearer to me.
What are your thoughts?
Hey, love the premise – I’m not sure on ‘town bully’ to me it sounds a little childlike which I don’t think is the tone you’re going for. Maybe ‘local hoodlum’ or something like that could work?
Seems you’re mostly deliberating how to end the logline… how about – ‘only to accidentally kill the hoodlum, enraging their violent, outlaw family.’
Whatever you go for, sounds like my kind of story. Good luck!
Hey. Thanks AHarper. Yeah – I’ll think about “town bully”. I kept thinking it should start out small – not unlike a bully in the playground.
The theme throughout is how violence escalates. You have this mild mannered guy who decides to fight back for once but it soon escalates into something far worse and involves the whole town.
Should you fight back? Should you stand your ground? Should one fight violence with more violence? Will it end?
The one you posted is the best out of the three. Its a good concept IMO but I’m no expert. Seems like it could be a comedy. Maybe he ‘accidentally’ kills the outlaws out for vengeance as well.
What is the cowboy going to do about his new predicament?
Maybe the outlaw family already runs the town and he wants to free the people from oppression.
Otherwise he could skip town, problem solved. Why does he stay to fight?