Posts tagged ‘writing a logline’

October 25, 2011

What Agents Have to Say About Loglines has a new article about writing loglines that get attention. It’s a fascinating read, and I recommend taking a look at the full article here. But if you’re in a rush, here is what a few successful agents told Inktip they’re looking for in a logline:

Nouns + Verbs + Irony = Logline

No proper nouns needed ergo…

Clause 13 – A security guard father-to-be (noun) pisses off (verb) real super heroes (noun) by accidentally killing one (verb), and has to run for his life(verb)-when he learns you don’t have to be super to be a hero (irony.)

When writers do this, they nail it.

I learned from the best: Blake Snyder, RIP.

Barbara Bitela, The Silver/Bitela Agency

It should be in the active voice. No more than 2 lines or so. Mention what it’s in the tone of or vein of, but never say in the vein of ________meets_________. A lot of people find this annoying. Convey the genre and the central conflict of the script. Avoid run on sentences. If you can’t fit in one sentence, make it two.

For example, “Hang Up and Drive” by Bob Gale:

To impress a girl, a teenager figures out how to call bad drivers in their cars and harass them for their poor driving…only to inadvertently become the target of an infamous ‘freeway killer’.

An Anonymous Coordinator at APA 

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April 13, 2011

Logline Writing Basics

This is one of those aspects of being a screenwriter that I always struggle with – compellingly summing up my story in a sentence or two. It sounds like it should be easy enough, but a poor logline can be the Achilles heel of a great script. If you can’t sell it in a logline, no one will give it a chance.

Here’s an article from the Story Bodyguard on writing a clear, concise, compelling logline:

When you create your logline you are aiming for succinct and emotional.  Choose active, colorful verbs.  The action of the story is what creates interest.

The logline is about 35 words so every word must count to give impact to the story.  This is your quick pitch whether written or verbal.  Give it punch.

You need to know the basic beginning, middle and end of your story as well as the main theme (even if they change later) in order to write the logline.

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