Mark Gimenez and Loglines

Posted on Posted in Story Structure

As a follow on from the previous post on the creation of Loglines – I thought it would be kewl to apply the same strategy to a recent thriller novel ‘The Abduction’ from Mark Gimenez and see what I can come up with.
‘High Concept’ Logline for ‘The Abduction’ by Mark Gimenez.


The Main Protagonist = Ben Brice. Who will drive the detective elements of the Action Line.
But – also provides the main Personal Line in the story.


1. The Protagonist’s main character trait that begins his or her transformational arc.
He is an alcoholic living with his dog in a remote cabin. His main trait is the bitter guilt he feels about not being able to save the life of a girl during the Vietnam war = his ghost. Demonstrated by his alcoholism and loss of his family.

2. The Protagonist’s main function in the story.

Ben must become the detective who will never give up the search for his granddaughter, even when the FBI believe that she is probably already dead.

3.The main story conflict and the central question of the story.

Will Ben be able to find Gracie, his granddaughter, safe and well, before time runs out?

4. The Antagonist or forces of antagonism.

Ben has to face the army officers whose career he destroyed when he gave evidence against them for war crimes. Those same men are responsible for the kidnap – and it soon becomes clear that he is indirectly responsible for the crime.
There is a hierarchy of opponents working here.
Ben has to face his own internal demons, the ghost in his past, the FBI and local law enforcement officers who are unwilling to act, and heavily armed men, and take direct bloody action to save his granddaughter.

5. The Protagonist’s goal and transformational arc.

At the end of the story, Ben has saved the life of a child, is reunited with his estranged son and wife, has stopped drinking and the ghost from his past has been removed.
My idea for a simple LogLine for this Thriller would be something like this:
When the granddaughter of an alcoholic Vietnam war veteran is kidnapped, he refuses to give up the search and sets out to find her, and in the process becomes reconciled to the trauma of his past mistakes.
For comparison, the actual Blurb on the website for the book
[ ] =
‘Is there a Plan to our lives?…or are our lives just a series of random events?
Ben Brice lives alone in a remote cabin outside Taos and drowns his memories of Vietnam in Jim Beam. But when Gracie, his ten-year-old granddaughter, is abducted outside Dallas, Ben puts down the bottle and goes in search of her, afraid that his dark past has come back to haunt her. Or is it just a random coincidence?’
NOTE – this LogLine also includes the Theme of the book – the idea of life having a Plan of sorts.
The One Page Synopsis reads like this –
Ben Brice lives alone in the New Mexico wilderness, where he builds furniture and battles memories of Vietnam with oceans of Jim Beam.
Miles away in Texas, his estranged son, John, an Internet geek-turned-billionaire, half-watches his daughter Gracie’s soccer game while on his cell phone.
When her mother, Elizabeth, arrives, the coach reports that her “brother” has already collected Gracie. But she has no brother- the girl was kidnapped.
The FBI gets called, as does Ben Brice.
Though rebuffed by his family as a pathetic drunk, Ben hopes to help save his beloved granddaughter.
With dozens of Feds and cops camped out in the house, the family offers a reward of $25 million.
Then the cops, searching out known sex offenders in the area, find Gracie’s jersey and traces of her blood in the car of Gary Jennings, an employee of John Brice.
They bring Jennings in, the case is closed, and Gracie is presumed dead.
Ben, however, does not believe Gracie is dead, nor does he believe that Jennings is the abductor.
After uncovering an FBI lead that placed two men with a blonde girl in Idaho, Ben and John decide to check it out.
As the race against time continues, family secrets from their past make Gracie’s survival more uncertain than ever
NOTE – the focus is on the Inciting Incident and the role of Ben Brice.
Each line is a Plot Point. A turning point which forces Ben to make decisions and take action.
Conclusions? ‘The Abduction is a 500 page, probably 130, 000 word book. And the author has created an Action Line and Personal Line which can be expressed in a one sentence logline.
Awesome. As my American friends would say.
AND it is a brilliant book which is firmly on my keeper shelf. :-)

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