Loglines

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.”

Well, I satisfied my curiosity about loglines and shared what I srping flowers for emaginette, boquet image for emaginette, emaginette's flowersdiscovered. I hope it helps. If I’ve made an error or if you would like adding to the post please feel free to comment.

I’m always glad to hear from you.

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17 responses to “Loglines

  1. I hate writing these but I hate writing synopses more. Great post. I printed it out for my notebook on hot tips.

  2. Wow, this is really good! I always struggle with my loglines with each novel, but I see what you mean about using it as a guideline/keep one focused. Which reminds me, I have to write for my next story. ugh. I’m already getting itchy at the thought,,lol. I have yours as a guidline though. Thanks for posting this, Em. :<3

  3. Love this. I never thought of what needed to be in mine but I ended up having everything you mentioned. Yay me!

  4. Never heard of loglines before, but great advice!

  5. Still working on my logline. Arrgh, condensing an entire story into a sentence? I’ve got it down to 60 words though! 🙂 Good post!

  6. I didn’t know they had a name! I write my own sometimes when doing reviews, especially for short stories. It is difficult, but I like the challenge. I almost always write my own synopsis when I do reviews too. That’s even harder until I figure out where to begin. Then it just flows.Great post. Saving it in my tips folder:)

  7. Great tips Em. I always write a logline before I start writing a story. It keeps me on track and reminds me of the overarching conflict.

  8. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you
    create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it
    for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

    • When you join WordPress there are themes you can select. I chose ‘Twenty Eleven’ because I can personalize it.

      I hope this helps. My email is on my about page if you have anymore questions. 🙂

  9. Pingback: High Concept | Shout With Emaginette

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