Every writer and producer needs to know how to craft a perfect logline. This helps get your story out to executives faster, in a clear concise manner that grabs them and gets them to pay attention to your story idea.
The way to do this is by nailing how to write a great logline, which you can pitch to them orally or written.
Understanding what a logline is and what it does, are important to help you create the best logline you can possibly craft.
A Logline is a brief summary of your story idea, in one or two well-formed sentences that hooks the reader and describes the central conflict of your story.
It is preferable 25- 28 words long that quickly describes what your entire story is about. It uses strong active verbs and adjectives and is written in beginning –middle-end format.
What a logline does:
1.It’s a tool to sell your idea.
2. The Logline captures the essence of the title of your film.
3. It captures the theme of your story e.g is it corruption, betrayal and so forth.
4. The logline gives a sense of intrigue, leading whoever you’re pitching to, to read the synopsis.
5. A Logline gives us a setting, place, time and universe.
There’s two formulas I know of and use, that help you nail the process of writing your logline
The first formula is;
PROTAGONIST+ GOAL+ OBSTACLE
Let’s break it down
Protagonist: Name, Age, Occupation, Character Trait/Fatal flaw. This is the person who wants something badly in your story and is driving your story. (There are those who are of the school of thought that you shouldn’t include your character’s name in the Logline, then there are those who say you should. So I’ll leave you to decide for yourself on this)
Goal: What does the character want/need. Make sure the goal of your Protagonist is tangible and concrete, it need to be clear.
Obstacle: Antagonist or Antagonistic forces. Who or what is stopping your Protagonist from getting what they want badly?
The second formula is;
An INCITING INCIDENT happens (SPECIFIC PROTAGONIST) must (ACTION/ OBJECTIVE/STAKES against (ANTAGONIST)
Let’s break it down:
An inciting Incident: This is something that radically upsets the balance in a protagonists’ life.
Specific Protagonist: The character who is most affected by the inciting incident. The one who drives your story.
Action/Objective/Stakes: The Protagonist must take an action and pursue their goal because the stakes are high for them and they have to restore normalcy in their lives.
Antagonist: The one who’s opposing your Protagonist and placing obstacles in their way, trying to stop them from getting what they want. It can be someone or an antagonist force e.g Nature.
Some Examples of Loglines to help you see the pattern
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Hope this article helps you nail writing your Loglines.
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