Motivated by discussion and information gathered from the wonderful writers in my biweekly critique group I took upon myself the task of writing a logline and a tagline for my current manuscript (short story-mystery). Below are some tips for what is needed to write a good (great) logline. I gladly pass it along.
Logline vs. Tagline
Logline – one to two sentence description of a story – example of logline – A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard a grand ship headed on a ill-fated journey at sea (Titanic)
Tagline – under ten words that evoke emotion about a story (used in the film industry as a marketing tool) – example of tagline – For three men the Civil War wasn’t hell. It was practice! (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)
- You have worked so hard on your manuscript now you need to condense it into one (or two) sentences. Impossible right. But if you can’t do this, you can’t pitch your story. Also, if you can’t do this, it isn’t the logline, it is probably your story which needs work.
- The logline needs to provide the interesting elements of your story and make the reader want to read it. If you can’t pitch your idea in one or two sentences people will lose interest.
- A logline must have the following – protagonist, conflict/their goal and stakes.
- Don’t use your character’s name (instead tell us something about your character-use adjectives)
- Loglines are like poetry – write, revise and get feedback.
- Avoid clichés.
My logline – A comedic calamity-filled cemetery assistant takes on the task of solely solving a deceased socialite’s jewelry theft putting herself in jeopardy of becoming the cemetery’s next internment.
My tagline – The right accessory can prevent murder.
I hope this post generates you to write your own loglines and I would love to hear them if you so wish to comment me back.