NonFiction ~~- The 10 Commandments Of ScreenWriting

How To Write A Great Logline Fast, Every Time

Communication 2952 Characters =~3Min. Reading Time
A logline is a one- or two-sentence encapsulation of your story.

A logline is the "TV-Guide" tiny blurb that makes the watcher tune in to your "show."
Your logline highlights the character, conflict, and uniqueness of your story.

Here is logline money in your bank: the coolest logline creation machine in existence:



SHREKA loner ogre and a chatterbox donkeyendeavor to save a princessfrom their boss, a tyrannical midget lord.

GROUNDHOG DAYA narcissist'srace for sex, money, and famecrashes into a supernatural force that makes him repeat the same day over and over until he learns to love.

TITANICA poor boy and a rich girlembark on the journey of forbidden loveon the world's most famous doomed ship.

ROMEO & JULIETTwo young Roman loversfight for the right to loveagainst their feuding dynasties.

Who + Goal + Obstacle = log lines that sell your story!

Longer Loglines

Even the longest logline is significantly shorter than a synopsis.
A short sentence is best.
256 characters is the ABSOLUTE max for a logline, because 256 characters won't fit in most of the places you'd print a logline, so the database fields that hold loglines won't be designed to hold more than 256 characters.
A truly polished logline will easily fit in 80 characters.

  1. is clear and easily understood.
  2. suggests the largest conflict in your movie.
  3. suggests a cast of characters.โ€จ
  4. suggests whatโ€™s unique about your story.
  5. suggests what may be familiar to an audience.
  6. suggests whatโ€™s easily marketable in your story.
  7. suggests dynamic action.

The logline should also suggest the internal struggle the character must overcome (fear, pride, shyness, anger) to reach his goal.
The story must be a conflict culminating in a decisive battle between the forces of good and evil WITHIN your protagonist.

For instance, the hero kills the villain, but only after the hero has defeated his own pride/fear/whatever vice or weakness.
Schindler saves the Jews from the Nazi's, but only after he conquers his own pride, materialistic selfishness, and fear of death.

As a final challenge, layer in character motivation.
In other words, your characters want something for a reason.
What is that reason?

Usually, your film provides life-or-death consequences.
Add those consequences to your premise.
Take your time in writing your logline.
Your clear concept (expressed in your sparkling, clear, brilliant, rock-solid logline) provides the foundation for every draft of the script that you write thereafter.