I signed up for a Loglines class at WANATribe. WANA – “we are not alone” – is a social community for creative types, a place to encourage & support each other through the writing & publishing process. It was started by Kristen Lamb, who I’ve pointed to numerous times here. You can read all about them from the link, and follow the hashtag #MyWANA on Twitter.
But you’re wondering what a logline is, right? You’ve seen them and heard them before, especially regarding movies. For a writer, it’s the ‘elevator pitch’ – you have 30 seconds to describe your novel to an agent (or to a friend/reader/family member).
Our Loglines instructor, Marcy Kennedy, provided this example:
A professor of archeology is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do.
You recognize that one, don’t you? It makes you want to find out what happens, right?
A logline is “character + conflict + stakes.” (from Marcy’s handout.)
So, how do you condense 90,000+ words down to 25-30 words? It’s not easy.
What’s great about this class is that it’s held discussion forum style. We talk about our characters & plot & stakes. Marcy knows how to ask the right questions, gets us to distill the essence of the story.
My first stab at the logline wasn’t very exciting:
A history scholar must confront his father about the past and the secrets that are destroying their relationship.
Here’s what she’s helped me come up with so far:
Deprived of his father’s love and approval growing up, a history scholar must convince his now aging father to reveal family secrets that will either tear them apart or allow him to become the man his father was never able to be.
Are you intrigued? (I hope so!) I’ll probably be tinkering with it as the class winds up this week, but it’s close. Now I just need to finalize the book blurb and dive into my final round of revisions, which I’ll be starting in about 2 weeks. Sometime toward the end of November, I’m planning a cover reveal!! (I’m so excited!)