Log Lines

After months of laboring over your novel, I suggest you make some time to whittle your perfection down to a single sentence.  It’s certainly not an easy task, but if you’ve edited your novel as many times as I have, you know your material pretty well by now.  After browsing the web incessantly for assistance, I was able to find a few articles that helped me put together a decent log line for my book and thought I’d share a few tips for those struggling to do the same.

There are three major components of a log line:

1.  Introduce the protagonist

2.  Introduce the goal of the protagonist

3.  Introduce the antagonistic force

Simple, right?  Not really.  It was an exercise that took me an entire day, and it wasn’t until the following morning that I actually polished it to where I liked it.  And later in the day, I polished it more.

After you’ve done the basic construct of your log line by identifying the three elements above, you need to articulate it in the most appealing way possible.  A good agent will identify a solid log line and reward you with perhaps a request for more material.   If you are able to articulate your book into what an agent or editor can see as high concept, or being able to translate into other literary venues or film, then it’s likely they will want to see what you have to offer them.  Just remember, it’s a learning process, so take the criticism with a smile – it’s better than nothing.


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