Writing your logline is an imperative step to writing your “back of the book” and other marketing copy that will inspire audiences to buy your work. Here are the steps necessary to create an exciting logline!
Step One: The Goal
Write down your main character’s Goal. Do NOT make this theoretical. It must be a tangible goal. “To get the girl.” “To find the treasure.” “To walk on the moon.”
Step Two: The Motivation
Write down your character’s motivation for achieving this goal. “To save his mother from losing her home.” “To prove to his father that he’s worth something.” “So he can apply for a job with the university.”
Step Three: External Obstacles
Write down your main character’s major three external obstacles. These MUST be tangible obstacles, not emotional obstacles. “Her angry ex-boyfriend and his shotgun.” “A speeding train.” “A little old lady with a 12 foot alligator for a pet.”
Step Four: Internal Obstacles
Write down your main character’s major three internal obstacles. “Her fear of opening herself back up to love.” “His desire for power.” “Her refusal to betray her faith.”
Step Five: Setting
Now write down a description of the setting. “A quiet town in Montgomery Alabama.” “A haunted mansion on the hill.” “An underground river beneath Mt. Whitney.”
Now take all these goodies and find a way to cram them into a single sentence. Yes it will be long, but you can do it! “In a young man’s attempt to get back his girl from a haunted mansion on the hill, he must battle her evil ex-boyfriend and his shotgun, a speeding train, and her grandmother’s 12 foot alligator if he wants to prove to his father that’s he’s worth anything and overcome his fear of opening himself back up to love.”
Tips & Warnings
- You’ll probably need to rewrite this a dozen times before you get it right.
- Once you’ve got it, show it to other people and ask for their candid opinion — would you see this movie?
- If you are not getting it right, pay someone to help you – this logline will be used in all of your marketing!
- Bad loglines are the kiss of death, so spend time on this!
- Do not get theoretical. Stick to the facts.