I love loglines. We all know I love loglines. But what you might not know is why. Sure, loglines are the killer app of pitching and a great way to start a conversation, but they are even more valuable than that.
Last post, I talked about how a logline can give you clarity, how it can be your North Star. I’ve been writing a new project myself since then, and I had another epiphany (lucky you!) to share:
A great logline gives you juice.
When you write an exciting logline, something that captures the essence of the story you want to tell, having that vision in words helps you fulfill on the promise of the idea. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is easier.
And you shouldn’t feel obliged to stop at the logline; personally, I’m an outliner, not a pantser, so I work out most of the pitch in advance. I know going in that it’s a story I want to do, and — bonus! — I get to look forward to writing my favorite scenes. That carrot alone can get me through the second act slog.
I’m going to take my own advice and post the logline to my current work-in-progress right here: In my fantasy Steampunk novel, a young woman trained as an assassin must partner with her enemies to spy for queen and country. She may succeed in preventing a civil war… if only she can keep her colleagues from killing each other.
Is it a perfect logline? No. Does it make me want to write the story? Hell yes. It gives me direction and tone and a main character I adore.
You can’t write a screenplay in a day. But you can write a logline that makes you want to write a screenplay. Or a novel. Or a short story. Or a series pilot.
Here’s to finding your North Star.