Writing a Killer Logline

A Killer Logline is a Must Have

During the old days of Hollywood, the studios had scripts piled high in their offices. The executives didn’t want to have to search through the scripts to find one they were interested in.

So they had their assistants write a very brief synopsis of the plot on the spine of the script. One sentence, or perhaps two, that enabled the busy executive to make a decision. These short summaries are called loglines.

Imagine that – executives didn’t even open the script when considering it. Does that remind you of anything? Literary agents and publishers are, of course, notorious for sending work back unread. Why was it unread? They didn’t like your covering letter so they didn’t even bother to read it. Why didn’t they like your covering letter? Because the logline was weak.

In the studio system, executives decided whether to back movies based on nothing but the logline. The same is still true in publishing.

Read the full article.

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