What is a logline and how do you create one?
Think of your logline as your second impression, the first impression is the title of your script. It is a summary of the story that hooks and teases the reader into wanting to know more. It tells the reader what the story is about. Most importantly it needs to pop and get their attention. Bottom line it sells your story, so make it count!
A logline is usually one sentence but no more than two sentences. If it is more than one sentence then it isn’t high concept which is okay.
Most of the time a second sentence will include a tagline, based on a true story or adapted from a novel. Something like that.
For TV shows / series you will need two loglines. One for the show/series as a overview and one for the pilot episode which is focused on what the pilot is about.
Every word should be as descriptive as possible.
It should be written in an active voice.
Here is a formula that can help you create a logline.
When [Inciting incident] happens, [the Protagonist] decides to do [Action] against [the Antagonist].
Another way to view it as:
When [Trigger] happens to [Who] they [Struggle] and [Must] achieve a [Goal] in order to [Achieve Victory].
Inciting Incident – This describes the emotional central conflict of the story that captures the readers attention. It is the reason for the story. It should grab and hook the reader.
Protagonist and Antagonist – Do not use a character’s name. Instead describe your protagonist and antagonist using strong adjectives that makes them unique and gives us a since to who they are.
Action – This describes what the protagonist must do (the goal) in the story and what the stakes are if they do not do it. It should be visual and clear in the mind. Don’t be too vague. Irony can be a good thing to use. Opposites attract the reader’s attention. It should cover up to the midpoint of the story.
Write multiple drafts and test them out to find out which one works the best. Try mixing the order around.
To get some ideas on how to write a logline look on the back of any DVD or Blu-ray movie or check out IMDB... Although, it is not the same thing but it will give you some ideas.