Alligators Overhead Trailer

Monday, October 6, 2014

How About Those Loglines?

Lately, I've been seeing a lot about LOGLINES on different blogs. These little devils are tricky and not easy to write. I speak from experience. My loglines started out darned sucky, they've progressed to somewhat satisfactory, and I'm still hoping to write brilliant ones one of these days.

I find these steps help me start.




*Be sure to include your MC, what they need or want and why they can't get it.

*Don't name the character in the logline, but clearly identify them. 

a zombie
a lizard
a gas station attendant

*Use one adjective to describe your character. Be sure this adjective is unique to that character in the story. 

a talented zombie
a heroic lizard
a clairvoyant gas station attendant


*Give the MC's main goal clearly and succinctly. 

A talented zombie wants to perform Hamlet before he's destroyed.
A heroic lizard must save his community from a Cat.
A clairvoyant gas station attendant must prevent his own murder.


*Tell who/what the antagonist is, but don't overshadow the MC, so this bit should be short and concise. 

A talented zombie must elude his sister, a zealous zombie hunter, so he can perform Hamlet before she destroys him.

A heroic lizard must escape life threatening enemies to save his community from a Cat.

A clairvoyant gas station attendant must track down his killer to prevent his own murder. 

There's more, but I'll stop here for now. I need to practice this much, then I'll get back with more ideas about how I'd write that "perfect" logline.



In my Hat's Off Corner 

SAMANTHA GEARY JONES

CARRIE BUTLER/PK HREZO

My Quote for the Day



"When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." Elenore Roosevelt.

55 comments:

  1. I like that checklist! I have a harder time with the synopsis. (I'm better with fewer words. I'm sure that doesn't surprise you.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the commenter gene, Alex. Very valuable to have that one.

      Delete
  2. It sounds like a fun way to come up with a story, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use it. If I can't get the logline, I don't write the story.

      Delete
  3. Loglines are the devilish cousin to the Short Synopsis and Query Letter. I think your checklist makes a lot of sense in breaking the logline down in an easy to follow formula.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's worked for me. I at least have a way to start.

      Delete
  4. Excellent break down on loglines! And, despite not being a fan of Zombies, I might go for story about one that really wants to perform Hamlet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I chuckled while writing that one. I'm definitely not a zombie fan, but I love Hamlet!

      Delete
  5. Such a simple and straightforward way to create those dreaded loglines! Thanks for sharing!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like things as simple as possible. My brain can wrap around it so much more easily!

      Delete
  6. Ooo, that actually is super helpful. You had me figuring out log lines for my stories as I read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This list really helped me when I was struggling. It still helps me because I struggle with loglines all the time.

      Delete
  7. Great advice/list. I will practice, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm counting on practice to get better. Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  8. What a great way of breaking the logline down. I'm definitely bookmarking this for the future. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now I wanna watch an animated movie about a heroic lizard :) Can he have a timid raccoon as his sidekick?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Trying to write a logline like this for one of my WIPs was what clued me in to the fact that I had chosen the wrong main character for the story! A devilishly important thing to discover before I actually started writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet! Glad you are so smart. You saved yourself tons of time.

      Delete
  11. This info is great!
    From the outline I'm working on, and some of the content, I'm going to practise writing a log line. One of these days. It will be my first. *bites nails*
    Hat's Off to the Tree Of Life collaboration. Sam just announced that the book trailer is almost ready for a preview.
    And I just finished How I Found The Write Path - it's such a heartfelt collection...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for these tips. I hate writing loglines. It takes me forever. I'll look at your ideas for the next one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You make it sound almost easy. Thanks for the examples.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ah, yes, the away you break it down makes it easy to write a logline!

    ReplyDelete
  15. by george, you've done it! Save the Cat has similar advice, but this is much easier to see in basic steps!! i love it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What great advice! You really breakdown the logline in a way that makes sense to me. They are tricky. Thanks! :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's awesome. I have a horrible time coming up with loglines. This helps so much. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Those are awesome tips! I haven't tried a logline yet, but you make me want to try it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice tips!! I'm not good at shortening something into a simple line.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wasn't sure what you meant at first until you gave the descriptions and now I want you to create a story for each one:) I love the quote and it's so true so that means the Kardashians will soon leave us...bring out the bubbly

    ReplyDelete
  21. Gosh, I'm pitiful! I've been wrestling with synopses and finally came away with my sanity intact. Now I hear of 'loglines'! ...But at least I'm lauging like a fool! WHEN will you be coming out with the Heroic Three-Fer (zombie, lizard and gas station attendant)? I'm good for a copy. You aren't? Dang!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh yeah those log lines are hard to write. I really struggle with them. I usually end up writing three sentences, then replacing the periods with the word and.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Helpful stuff, Lee. I find that I have to think hard to come up with something half decent.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Using one adjective is always the hardest part for me. I want the world to know so much about said character. It's always a struggle to choose. Thanks for the great tips, CLee!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I like this post! A lot of helpful stuff here. I hadn't thought of throwing an adjective in. I notice all of the final revisions have the word "must". Do you think that's a must?

    This is the one I've been playing with:

    A woman is abducted by a painter who is obsessed with her.

    But that's passive. I'm guessing we should avoid passive log lines as well?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ooh I love this! I'm definitely taking notes :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. Those are really helpful tips for writing log lines! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Interesting ways to approach it. I find that the tension must be there from the get go. And some hope. If I have those two elements in a line, I know I've got it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great tips, Lee. And I love the quote you shared with your readers. I try to contribute and give back to the world in every way I can because I know how important acts of kindness are to the universe.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great logline tips. I'm not good at writing them either, but they sure to help me stay on track when drafting the story.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great tips! I'm planning on starting with a log line before I write my next book, which should be now, but just haven't had a moment to breathe. Thanks for the timely reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am saving this. I need all the help I can get with loglines, blurbs, synopses...it's so hard to condense a novel into a few lines.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Good post.
    I have to be careful not to get loglines and taglines confused.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Awesome post. Definitely one worthy of keeping in the bookmarks.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Lee - this is great .. something I struggle with - so to have loglines succinctly set out is good news .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sounds different from a tagline. But I should write loglines for those 'short' descriptions.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great tips!!! I hadn't even heard the term "logline" until now!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'd never heard of a logline until recently. Fun exercise coming up with some.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  39. Gosh I want to know more about the lizard saving all of us from the Cat. Cats are evil. Please don't tell my cat I said that. He already hates me :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am going to have to give this a try. Can I declare a day off so I can write fun stuff and try things like this? :) There will have to be some dark chocolate present too, I'm thinking. For inspiration, you know. :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. These are amazing tips. THank you!!!!

    ReplyDelete

Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.