Thursday, September 6, 2012

on writing success - log lines

I've read before that the log line of your novel should be the first paragraph in
a query (QueryShark says to avoid them).  Some call it a hook, and mean it to
catch the agent's attention, not explain the entire story in one sentence.  Other
times I've read it's best to have in your pocket in case you need to give a verbal
pitch.  Either way, it's important to come up with one for your project.

All log lines should have:

An adjective about the hero.
An adjective about the bad guy.
A goal we can relate to.
A Killer title

Questions to help you into writing the log line:

1. What genre is the book?
2. Who is the main character?
3. What makes her unique?
4. What is the inciting incident?
5. What is your main character’s goal?
6. What is the major conflict your character will face?
7. What is the consequence if the main character fails?

Some famous log lines:

Seventeen year old Bella Swan falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen only
to find out he might want to kill her more than love her.
- TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer

Eleven year old famous wizard, Harry Potter, is sent to wizarding school to learn
magic, but ends up solving a mystery over life and death all with the most evil of
wizards, Lord Voldemort, trying to kill him.

Sixteen year old Clary Fray discovers, after her mother's kidnapping, that she
belongs to a world of Shadow Hunters, a nephilum force protecting humans
from downworlders (vampires, werewolves, and faeries).
- CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare

An angel, Bethany, is sent to Earth on a mission, but falling in love wasn't part of
the plan.  - HALO by Alexandra Adornetto (Source)

Get brainstorming!

Semi-arbitrary illustration by Ema Trapsa

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