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Crafting the perfect logline

Crafting the perfect logline Crafting the perfect logline
In this article:

    A logline is an essential part of the pitching process, but it’s also a helpful tool for thinking about your story. A logline is a one sentence description of your story designed to quickly grab a reader’s attention. Thinking about a logline can help you clarify your story’s hook and determine if your opening chapter is Immediate enough.

    What to include in a logline

    A logline will generally contain the following elements: 

    Protagonist + Inciting Incident + Protagonist’s Goal + Central Conflict

    • The Protagonist is the main character of the story
    • The Inciting Incident is the moment that kicks off the plot
    • The Protagonist’s Goal is the thing the protagonist is trying to achieve
    • The Central Conflict is the main problem or question the protagonist is trying to solve.

    Your first chapter should include at least 2/4 of these elements. 

    An Inciting Incident hook should introduce us to all of these elements. A Flash Forward hook should make us aware of the Protagonist, the Goal, and the Central Conflict. A Threat Teaser hook should strongly emphasize the Central Conflict and implies the Goal. 

    Go through your opening chapter and identify where you introduce each of these elements. If something is missing, that might be an indicator you need to revise your opening chapter to make it more dynamic, and is usually an indicator you’ve focused too much on exposition or backstory, rather than the front story.  

    Writing your Logline

    The great news is now that you’ve gone through this exercise and identified your Protagonist and their Goal, the Inciting Incident, Goal, and Central Conflict, you have the basic structure of your logline ready to go. 

    Try this formula as a way to get a feel for writing your logline: 

    When [Inciting Incident] happens, [Protagonist] must [action] in order to [Goal]  

    Long curving line Long curving line Long curving line