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How To Write A Logline Made Simple
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One of the bits of common wisdom when it comes to how to write a logline is that they should be short. But why should it be so? After all, you've got big ideas and a complex, intriguing story - how and why should you be expected to distill it down to just one or two sentences? Doesn't your script deserve more than that?
The truth is, if you don't know how to write a logline for your screenplay that is concise, you will have an enormously difficult time convincing anyone to buy your script and produce your movie idea. You need to be able to cut to the chase and explain what your film is about without rambling or having to do a blow by blow account of the action.
The good news is that although some will tell you differently, you don't have to fit it all into just one sentence. What you do have to accept when it comes to how to write a logline is that you must learn to talk about your movie in a very concise way and be able to tell people what it is about without having to tell them the entire story scene by scene.
It goes beyond just how to write a logline - if you can't talk about your movie idea in a clear, concise way, you most likely aren't sure about what you want to accomplish with your script and what the main points of the movie are. It's crucial that you know your idea well enough that you have a crystal clear grasp of the theme and purpose of this film and be able to express that as one simple idea. If you'll think back to your school days it was always remarkably difficult to sum up books and ideas that you neglected to study. The same goes for your screenplay ideas.
Trying to do that in one sentence is a bit of a tall order but almost all film ideas can be distilled into just two or three precise sentences. Don't waste too much time trying to do mental gymnastics to cram it all into one run-on sentence. That's just foolish and not as effect as using a few concise sentences that will clearly express your ideas.
Don't drive yourself mad trying to write the perfect logline as described by screenplay writing textbooks. You don't have to play games with the language to write an effective logline, the idea is to communicate your ideas, not show that you are a master of playing word games. If your logline is only remarkable because it is one sentence, you aren't winning the game.
Do take care that you don't drift off into writing a full synopsis of your film but if it does take two or three sentences to describe your movie and what makes it unique, then that's the length that your logline should be. When it comes to how to write a logline, you need to remember these things:
You need to say what genre the movie is and the target audience. This will give some much needed context for the rest of your logline.
Who your main character is and what they are trying to accomplish. Be sure to mention what makes this character unique.
What obstacles or antagonists are standing in the way of your main character's journey to accomplish their goal.
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