By: Jordan Smith
Let’s say you and I get onto an elevator together and I ask what your book is about. You could do one of two things.
You could start from the beginning and try to pitch me your entire 300-page novel in the brief elevator ride. If you take this approach, you’ll probably be eyeing the emergency stop button as the elevator gets closer and closer to my floor while you haven’t even gotten to the story’s hook yet. But, alas, you’re too late. We arrive at my floor and I get off rolling my eyes and wondering why I asked.
Or, instead of trying to pitch your entire book in such a short time, you could give me one sentence that summarizes your story’s hook and key elements. In the time that it takes to ride an elevator, you’ve hopefully tickled my fancy enough for me to give you my e-mail address and say, “I’ve gotta run now, but tell me more about this!”
That one-sentence pitch you gave me is called a logline. It’s a tool that originated in Hollywood and is used by screenwriters to pitch their screenplays to movie producers. Basically, it’s a one-sentence summary of a story.
Loglines aren’t exclusively for screenwriters, though. Every storyteller should be able to say in one sentence what his or her story is about. And so, let’s take a crash course in the art of crafting a great logline for your book.
Why Do I Need a Logline?
You might still be wondering why you need to be able to write a logline. Well, a logline is a way for you to do a few things:
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