Are defined as one sentence that captures the gist and passion of the story the writer is presenting as sellable copy.
So writers need to have them ready whenever they pitch their work. Just like query letters and synopses, they are at their fingertips.
Loglines Must Include:
- Protagonist’s character traits and protagonist’s goal
- Antagonist’s character traits and resulting conflict
- Setup—genre, setting, & tone
- Consequences of failure
Loglines Must Exclude:
- Names—use descriptive adjectives (character traits) for each character instead.
- Run-on sentences—to avoid leaving the editor/agent thinking the whole project reads as the example before them.
- Passive verbs—hooking the reader’s attention is critical.
How is it done?
Put all the above together and you get something like this:
After a disillusioned divorcee moves back to her hometown, she discovers her first love is engaged to her high-school rival; she must save him before the doomed couple set a wedding date.
It’s not perfect, probably too long, but I’ll work on it. What I would like you to notice is that I hinted at a quirky modern romance without outright stating it.
When to write it?
Some authors write a general premise or logline first because it helps keep them focused on what the story is about. A few even post it somewhere in their writing area to avoid excess editing after they’re done.
Why write a log-line?
Unless writing is only a hobby, you’ll want to sell your work. When pitching your story, it is easier if you have a logline readily available. Raindance.org says it this way:
“. . . Don’t tell the story, sell the story.”
I’m always glad to hear from you.