I love loglines. There’s no better feeling than pulling together words that capture the spirit of your book in a perfect, compelling way. I teach a submissions class for the Lawson Writer's Academy and find that loglines are a major source of stress for my students.
Have you ever noticed that loglines are only fun to come up with when they’re NOT yours?
There’s a reason for that.
But first, there’s some confusion about taglines vs loglines, so let’s start there.
Examples illustrate the difference clearly:
Tagline - Don’t go in the water.
Logline – After a series of grisly shark attacks, a sheriff struggles to protect his small beach community against the bloodthirsty monster, in spite of the greedy chamber of commerce. (from J. Gideon Sarentinos)
So WHY is it so hard to write loglines for your own books? You’re too close to it. A logline is a concise, yet sweeping portrayal of your novel’s genre, conflict, characters and emotion. Did I mention in 25 words? Yeah, no problem.
There are formulas to come up with loglines:
All those work. They’ll give you a perfectly workable logline. A workmanlike logline.
But to me, that’s only a place to start.
THEN you need to add what Margie Lawson calls,
Something that make readers say, ‘Ohhhhh…”
Example: Smoke rolled into the sky, spreading over the dairy like an angry fist.
It could be as simple as an intriguing title. 40 Year Old Virgin? Who wouldn’t want to read on to find out about that?!
It could be the intriguing premise, stated by combining two disparate references:
Personally, I’m a fan of using an intriguing line from your book. It can be a good intro to your voice.
This is the line I used in my query for my novel, The Sweet Spot:
The grief counselor told the group to be grateful for what they had left. After lots of considering, Charla Rae decided she was thankful for the bull semen.
From Her Road Home:
You can't outrun nightmares on a motorcycle - Samantha Crozier knows because she’s tried.
Get the idea? Seem impossible? It’s not. Think about your book. SOMETHING was intriguing enough about the idea to make you spend months writing it. What was that? What was Different? Fun? Compelling?
Okay, your turn. If you'd like input on your logline, post it in the comments, and we'll help polish it until an agent will need to wear sunglasses to read it!
Read it, and 5 other great cowboy romances for just $3.99. Click here to pre-order!
Laura Drake is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women's Fiction and Romance.
She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot (May 2013), Nothing Sweeter (Jan 2014) and Sweet on You (August 2014.) The Sweet Spot has recently been named a Romance Writers of America® RITA® Finalist in both the Contemporary and Best First Book categories.
Her 'biker-chick' novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin's Superromance line (August, 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town. Reasons to Stay will release August, 2014.
This year Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
photo credit: Loco Steve via<ahref="http://photopin.com">photopin<ahref="http: ?="" 2.0=""by=""licenses=""creativecommons.org="">cc
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