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You Can Write The Perfect Logline!

By Author: Roger Peterson
Total Articles: 40

Loglines are admittedly very important. They are the first thing about your script that movie and television executives will read. A good logline can "get you in the door." A bad logline can slam that door right in your face. However, many writers beginning their career obsess over writing a logline for their piece. This can lead to way, way too much time being spent on writing the logline. Even worse, many writers will procrastinate by waiting for "inspiration to strike" when they could be writing.
World-class sculptor Richard Serra once said of inspiration, "I certainly don't sit around and talk about. I certainly don't go out and brainstorm, because I'll tell you something, Inspiration is for amateurs." Inspiration is something of a myth. You can sit around all day waiting for inspiration to strike, or you can actually do something. You don't need inspiration to write a good logline, you need to actually write a good logline. Waiting for a good logline to magically come into your head is just another way to procrastinate, and procrastination is a good writer's worst enemy.
Writing a good logline doesn't take you very much time at all. In fact, you should actually limit the amount of time that you a lot yourself to make sure that you get it done. At the very most, writing a logline should take you an hour. Actually, you should have at least four or five different loglines done in that time. Loglines should be at absolute most three sentences. There is absolutely no reason why you can't write at most fifteen sentences in an hour, no matter how carefully thought out and edited those sentences are.
Think about what a logline truly needs. You need an interesting character with flaws, trying to achieve an interesting and universal goal, while coming up against obstacles that will entertaining to watch him or her come up against. That's pretty much it other than maybe genre and setting. You should be able to come up with multiple versions of that sentence or two in an hour. If you can't I really don't know what to tell you. Maybe you haven't read your own script. Maybe your script is so complex that it would be unfilmable.
There are some things that you should not do in that hour. Don't attempt to practice writing loglines by writing loglines for other people's movies. You need to write your own logline. Don't sit around waiting for genius to strike. It probably won't. Don't watch movies. Don't read a book about how to write loglines. If you can come up with a movie idea and have the capability to write, you can write a logline. There's only one way to write a great logline. Sit down and start writing it.

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