I'm Testing a Logline for My Next Novel; What Do You Think?
"When a woman enrolls in a psychology class, she realizes she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome - and so are all of her friends." I'm field-testing the above logline for a book I'm thinking of writing. It would be mainstream fiction/women. I need to get out of my own head and find out what other people think of the idea. So, what do you think? Would anybody understand what the story is about from just that logline?

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  • Lynne Morgan Spreen

    I'm glad you have found clarity and peace, Kat. I grew up in a violent household so I know how deeply ingrained those experiences are, and what a grip they can get on you. I'm glad to know you. Best wishes with your work.

  • Kat Tansey

    I like the strong title -- one of the things I learned working on the abuse hotline is that our pain is our pain, we needn't compare to someone else's bigger badder pain... The idea of the many small ways is something most people will relate to...

    I don't know where to find a copy of Prisoners of Wedlock -- it was made in 1981, Farrah Fawcett did the voiceover -- maybe on google in her media files?

    My journey through the writing, the work, the POW aha -- was all part of my healing process.

    The way I see it today is that my choices were mindless, as so many of our choices are. Many years later, after spending time laid up with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I began meditating. This journey is chronicled in Choosing to Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master. After almost 20 years as a meditator, I am on a mission to help people see that they can learn to meditate, and that it will most assuredly change their lives...

  • Lynne Morgan Spreen

    Kat, when you said "many of us are there in small ways and don't or can't acknowledge it..." - that lit me up. THATS the essence of what I love to write about and what motivates me about Stockholm Summer. I wonder if the title is too strong - my characters will mostly be experiencing the "many small ways" and only one (I think; still planning the story) will actually suffer physical abuse. But for me the fascination is in seeing women change to emulate/comply with - unconsciously - their husbands or significant others. For example, I have a relative who was so disciplined as a young woman (in the area of finance and physical fitness, most obviously) but then she married a guy who turned her into an obese bankrupt (in the days before the national economy tanked). I say "turned her into" but of course it takes two, and that's what fascinates me...how do we (because I did it, too) give up our SELVES? How do we allow that creeping Stockholm Syndrome to take hold? What happens if and when we finally recognize what is happening?

    You can see my obsession with this topic. Is there any way I can get hold of your documentary? Is it available for purchase, or on Netflix? I'm so impressed that you went so far to understand your POW status (I've got to borrow that phrase. It's wonderful.)

  • Kat Tansey

    I don't know how many people would know what Stockholm Syndrome is, but it does get your attention. And I like the tag -- and so are all of her friends... Makes me want to know more--- How could all of her friends suffer from SS too? What is SS?

    The idea of all these women becoming emotionally attached to their captors is intriguing to me. Having been in an abusive marriage, I researched SS throughly, also POW's -- did a documentary in early 90's on POW - Prisoner of Wedlock. I taught a class on how to help battered women for a women's hotline group. What I learned from all that is this -- people who look at a battered woman and can't imagine how she got there are pretty much fooling themselves. Many of us are there in small ways and don't or can't acknowledge it. In fact, most of us are positive about some form of media that has captured us and rented space in our mind...

    I for one am curious about where you are heading with this...

  • Lynne Morgan Spreen

    Mary, you've kind of confirmed that it might just fly. I'll probably tweak it a bit as time passes but still, it did interest you, so it's got legs, I think.
    Also, this is an experiment.
    After having to figure out my logline and bookflap AFTER the fact, for the novel I just completed, I swore that I'd never again finish (or even start) a book before I FIRST figure out where the heck I want it to go. Maybe this will spare me the endless revisions and the cutting of dozens of pages of story that doesn't fit!
    Thanks so much.

  • Mary Keating

    Hi there Lynne - I had to dig deep into my brain this afternoon before recalling Stockholm Syndrome as it is not a term much used in every day conversation. With that said, it is catchy and causes one to stop, think and dig. As a stand alone line in mainsream fiction, there will certainly be potential readers who don't know what you are talking about. However, depending on how the logline is packaged into the book and how the cover material is presented - it might be perfect. So, in a round about way - I am not certain I was of much help. The logline peaked my interest enough to think about it - so maybe it worked but I tend to research and ponder all the time. I would love to know more about this book. Please share!