Tennessee Screenwriting Association

The Taming of the Logline


A good logline is a tough construct; On the surface it appears quite lucid, written in an elequent prose that’s easy on the eyes. Ostensibly a child could have written it, right?  To the contrary.  The logline is a beastly rap that needs taming.  In one line (maybe two), it is the soul of the tale:

genre, protagonist, goal, conflict

IE: War Movie – In WW2, a U.S. Army Captain must lead a squad on a mission through the Normandy invasion to locate one lone solider and bring him out of harm’s way. – Saving Private Ryan

All there before the period. And a great logline goes one step further: it compels. It is an enchanting siren in an ocean of sub-par one-liners, enticing the reader to Read me! Watch me!  There are some that can’t resist it’s call.  Instead of writing ninety or so pages, try boiling your tale down to one sentence.  Easier said than done.