This Post Will Teach You How to Write a Logline in 7 Easy Steps. This simple "plug and play" exercise will teach you how to write a clear, concise logline based on the elements from a story you've already written. It is also a fantastic tool for brainstorming new story ideas, and serves as a great "jumping off" point for developing an in depth story outline or treatment.
So, What is a Logline?
A logline is a short summary that explains the main plot of your story. It is typically one sentence, but can be broken down into two, if needed.
Why Do You Need a Logline?
A well written logline can create interest in your screenplay by producers, managers, agents, studios, networks and financiers.
Loglines are a writer's first opportunity to break into the industry. Here's a look at how identifying 7 story elements will get you crafting your next great logline in a matter of minutes!
Identify the following: I'm going to use AVATAR (2009) as an example.
Genre: science fiction action adventure
Setting: alien world Pandora
Protagonist: paraplegic marine assigned to infiltrate the native culture
Goal (the protagonist): to protect Pandora and the Na'vi people
Antagonist: human invaders who want to exploit the world's natural resources for profit
Stakes: the destruction of the world and all its symbiotic beings
Here is the logline format:
(Title) is a (+genre) set on (+setting) about (+protagonist) who must (+goal) take action (+antagonist) or else (+stakes).
Avatar is a science fiction action adventure set on the alien world Pandora about a paraplegic marine assigned to infiltrate the native culture who must protect Pandora and the Na'vi people from human invaders who want to exploit the world's natural resources for profit, which will destroy the world and all its symbiotic beings.
Now it's your turn to "plug and play" your story elements to Write a logline in 7 Easy Steps
Once you achieve this step you can reduce redundancies and tighten up the logline further. For example, the words: alien world, Na'vi, symbiotic being, all help establish the genre.
When writers send a query letter, they might choose to list out the title and genre separately. So a final logline might look like:
When a paraplegic marine wakes on a distant alien planet and is tasked with infiltrating the Na'vi culture, he must fight to protect them from human invaders who want to exploit their world for profit.
Remember, the goal is to craft each element into a compelling and accurate statement of your story. Identify your 7 story elements and post your loglines below.