What Is a Logline?
Do you ever get all flustered and at a loss for words when someone asks you what your book’s about? That’s where a logline comes in handy. I used to be afraid to talk to people in case they asked me about my work, my writing, my book. I didn’t have the slightest clue what to say and would trip over my words, blurting out something like, “It’s a nice story about a Dwarf”, which doesn’t tell my audience anything about the story or compel them in any way to read it. Then I attended a writer’s conference and found out about loglines.
A logline is an extended premise sentence. It tells your readers more about your story. Your short premise catches their attention and the logline gets them hooked. The idea is to leave them wanting more without giving away your entire plot. The logline is what you use as your ‘Elevator Pitch’.
The Importance of a Logline
The logline, therefore, is meant to be answered in the time it takes the elevator to get to the next floor, because that’s sometimes all the time you have with someone in person, and it’s the time most people online will take to decide if they want to spend time getting to know more. It’s also a gem for social media such as Facebook where you have the opportunity to post more words than on Twitter and can be used as keywords in a description on SEO such as Google Plus and Pinterest.
6 Key Components of Writing a Logline
- Main Character – the hero/protagonist
- Their Situation – their daily life
- Their Objective – what they want that they don’t have
- Their Opponent – the person or thing that gets in their way
- The Change — something happens to change her circumstances
- Disaster – you’ll need an epic battle or devastating event
Example of a Logline
- Main Character
- Her Present Situation (occupation, relationship etc).
She works as a fashion sales rep.
- The Objective (what she wants).
She wants to start her own business as a fashion designer.
- The Opponent (the antagonist can be a person or situation).
She doesn’t have money to go to design school.
- The Change
She meets a designer who offers to take her on as her assistant and pay her enough to go to school in the evenings.
Her boss takes credit for all of Sue’s designs then fires her.
Here’s all the information in one concise sentence:
“Sue, an ambitious young fashion sales rep dreaming of making a name for herself in the lucrative world of fashion design, lacks the money to attend design school until a well-known designer offers her the chance to train and work alongside her, but the opportunity turns sour when Sue’s mentor shows her true colours”.
This is the sentence you use as your logline/elevator pitch.
Here are their loglines–
“Colin Wade is on a mission. A mission to study a singularity – the enigmatic centre of a black hole. But things are definitely not going according to plan, as Colin finds himself in an area of space with no visible stars at all until a lone blue light threatens to engulf the ship in a strange fire. Colin will need all of his cunning, and plenty of unlikely help, to solve the mystery of the singularity, or else find himself lost in space indefinitely.”
“Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. After a series of terrorist attacks in 2053, martial law has been declared in Canada and the military has taken over. When a radical Christian group claims responsibility, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and ensure they are not stepping outside the confines of the law.”
Oooooo… see how compelling these loglines are? Do they entice you to read one of the books?
Write your own premise and logline and test them out on a trusted friend then face your audience with confidence!
Til next time,