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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Log Line:
(wikki definition)
a brief summary of a television program or movie, often providing both a synopsis of the program's plot, and an emotional "hook" to stimulate interest.

(also taken from wikkipedia)

Charlie Brown is finally invited to a Halloween party; Snoopy engages the Red Baron in a dogfight; and Linus waits patiently in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin.

-- Log Line for It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, as retrieved from titantv.com on 2005-10-25.

"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again."
-- Log Line for The Wizard of Oz, attributed to Richard Polito of the Marin Independent Journal, who writes humorously sarcastic briefs for the paper's daily TV listings.

So... does your book have a log line yet?

Picture yourself in an elevator, and in walks your Dream Agent. They ask what you do, you say you're an author, and now you have 30 seconds to tell them what your story is about. What do you say?

Wednesday Workout: Write a log line.

Write something serious. Write something funny. Write something that would grab your attention.

Leave your favorite log line in the comments section :o)


  1. My current logline for EotF: A woman must learn to forgive those who killed her mother, in order to save herself.

  2. I'm playing with UDs log lines:

    1) Her family, the government, the council of worlds – everyone wants Kit Marlowe dead. Everyone except Kit, special forces pilot and pop star, who is determined to disappoint everyone. Again.

    2) Kit Marlowe, special forces pilot and pop star, is desperate to survive. Even if that means confronting the family she’s always run from, trusting the man who scares her most, and starting an inter-planetary rebellion.

    It still isn't working though. I need something shorter and snappier.

  3. At least you get a sense of character and genre in yours.

  4. UGH! I'm struggling with this very problem for my MG novel that I am submitting to agents. It's HARD! I feel like screaming, "Why can't I do this?" Back to the drawing board. I think your post may help me. UGH I hope so anyway.

  5. Alabama, 1918. Quil Sweeney is 17, poor, and working in a haunted mansion. When she falls for the master of the house, she unearths a dangerous past - and personal demons - better left buried.

    Gah, this is hard. But a great writing workout!

  6. Sacrificing herself for her friends, Jinna becomes the nation's feared elite, who hold the answers to family's identity.

    Meh! I've tried. Can I have a cookie now?

  7. Feywriter- Mine are still too long. They work for a summary sentence, but not a log line that you might put on the front of the book. I like yours :o)

    Robyn- You can do it!

    Anna Claire- That looks very intriguing.

    Yuna- I'm kinda confused by "feared elite" but that could be just fatigue. Is that for II?

  8. Short log line: A murder mystery set in space.

    Long one: When a girl wakes up early from cryogenic sleep on a space ship, she must find the murderer before he unplugs her parents.

  9. Beth- P.S. I'm really tired and didn't catch lack of grammar. That sounds scary... sorry for the Valley Girl accent :o)

  10. Ah, we hates summaries, precious. O:)


    I'm stealing this from Sparky, since she is awesome and insightful, and because I can:

    (current WIP)
    An emotionally broken necromancer seeks a way to heal himself before his magic destroys him. Also, goblins.

    So, in all seriousness, the second sentence would probably not stay. But that's still the gist of it. ;) (And yes, it DOES have goblins.)


  11. Er no. Logline is for Termion. Logline was off top of head, and yes not great.

  12. I struggle with log lines so much. They are as painful to me as the synopsis. Right now my query has a hook vs. a log line because I couldn't come up with one that worked.

    My hook:

    There are people who know sixteen-year-old Willow Sinclair’s big secret. Unfortunately, Willow isn’t one of them.