You get one sentence to show the world what your screenplay’s about. Make that sentence count. Here’s how you can write an effective and informative logline.
2 Types of Loglines
The first logline you need to create is the logline to help you write your screenplay. This is a simple sentence or two that tells you what the heart of your story is. Whenever you become stuck while writing, look back at your logline to keep your story focused on fulfilling that sentence.
Logline 1 Example: A group of devoted blacksmiths smuggle weapons to the opposing army as war divides their village.
The second logline is the one you create to help you sell it. This is the logline you make sound exciting and alluring. You want people reading your logline to want to buy your screenplay. Keep this logline 1-2 sentences long.
Logline 2 Example: As an ongoing war divides a tiny village, a group of devoted blacksmiths smuggle weapons to the opposing army. The risk will cost them everything, but it still might not be enough.
A Character and a Problem
A logline breaks down into two simple pieces. The character. The problem. Who’s at the center of your story? The blacksmiths. What problem are they dealing with? A war that’s dividing their village. Those are the two elements of your logline. Keep it simple. Keep it clean.
You don’t want to add much else to your logline. Create something exciting, yet informative. By stating the character and the problem, you’re giving your audience everything they need to know. Anything more will just spoil your screenplay.
Let’s Create A Few Together
Now that we know the basics of creating a logline, let’s create a few together. Remember to include the character and problem. Don’t give us too much information about your screenplay. Just enough to create interest.
Logline 1: Our character is a vampire. Our problem is that he works for the Red Cross.
The logline to help write your screenplay: A vampire physician struggles to control his thirst when he accepts a job with the Red Cross.
The logline to help sell your screenplay: Of all the places a vampire physician could have worked, he picked the Red Cross. It’s only a matter of time before his thirst gets the better of him.
Logline 2: Our characters are a pair of sisters. Our problem is that one of them has been pushed off their cruise ship.
The logline to help write your screenplay: When one sister is pushed overboard, the other must fight to find her.
The logline to help sell your screenplay: A summer cruise takes a turn for the worst when a woman is pushed overboard. Now, her sister has to fight to find her, even if it means going overboard herself.
Do you have any tricks for creating loglines? Comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear how you market your screenplay.