On Loglines & Taglines

I think there’s value in being able to summarize your stories in as few words as possible. It really helps you identify the heart of your story and this comes in handy when writing blurbs or queries. I actually read somewhere a time or two that if you can’t summarize your novel in one sentence, you might have a problem. While I think that’s a little dramatic, I have found it to be true. In the past, the stories I couldn’t summarize in one sentence had a lot of wrong going on with them. So, I thought it’d be fun to collect a few novels I’ve written (and I few in progress) and see if I could summarize them. ^_^

For real loglines visit the Logline Library.

The Script Lab defines Logline as a summary of your entire script, in about 20 to 30 words, and should cover who the MAIN CHARACTER is, what they WANT – the thing that drives the story forward, and what OBSTACLE stands in their way. (And yes numbers and “a” count as one word.)

A tagline is more like a subtitle. It’s point isn’t to summarize your entire story. For example, on the cover of the movie Clueless, it says, “Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Is there a problem here?” The point is to come up with something that sums up the tone of your story, preferably something catchy and dramatic.

So let’s have a try, shall we? ^_^

Shadow Weilder: Sixteen year old Nicole takes it upon herself to save the new kid from the school vampire when her best friend Frankie goes missing. (24 words)

Tagline: They’re gorgeous. They’re evil. And they go to your school.

Dark was the Night: An eighteen year old actress must find a way to escape when she’s kidnapped and taken to a slave camp run by an unkillable vampire. (25 words)

Tagline: There is more than one way to become the undead.

From Out of the Ashes: After an awkward college sophomore accidentally raises the dead, she has to find a way to undo what she’s done before he destroys every single aspect of her life. (29 words – whew!)

Tagline: Ethan was perfect–until she found out about his past.

Eternal Darkness: A cafe lounge singer races to find answers on who to trust when two immortals ask for her aid in acquiring a long buried source of incredible power. (28 words)

Tagline: She wants to die…He wants to save her.

Stone of Darkness: A clumsy witch is asked to infiltrate a cult of supernaturals concealing themselves as a religious center on a college campus and retrieve an ancient source of power. (28 words)

Tagline: Never trust anyone who can’t do their own dirty work.

Chains of Destiny: Reagan is tasked with restoring order to the world of Ispartia after it falls into the hands of an obsessive, psychotic girl named Adria. (24 words)

Tagline: She’ll burn the world, and then she’ll burn your soul.

How Deep Is My Darkness: A seventeen year old free runner unwitting breaks a thousand year old curse on a gargoyle reawakening a long buried evil in a small London suburb. (26 words)

Tagline: Cursed…until she found him.

The Shades of My Shadow: A young woman misdiagnosis with schizophrenia must break free from an ancient evil long buried and concealed in the history of her family. (23 words)

Tagline: He will break free–and then he’ll take your children.

Untitled YA Dark Fantasy: A sixteen year old with no memory has to piece together the past before the person who buried her alive comes back to finish what they started. (27 words)

Tagline: The only way to stop The Power is to bury it.

Petra (Untitled Futuristic Fantasy): A sixteen year old “gypsy” seeks answers to her mother’s death and discovers a malicious plot that runs deep into her past. (22 words)

Tagline: Sure…I can break into that vault for you.

That was fun. Lol! A lot of these really made me laugh. 🙂 I have to say, making up Taglines was a lot easier than writing some of these Loglines. Unsurprisingly, the Loglines that took the longest to write are for the stories that have the most issues. I may have fudged the details a bit on them because it was the only way to squeeze them under 30 words. cringe The newest projects weren’t the easiest either since they are still works in projects. But it’s pretty easy for me to see why some of these definitely earned a spot in my Story Graveyard. On the flip side, I’m sorely tempted to resurrect a few. ^_^

So how did you do? Can you summarize your story in one sentence?

10 Responses to On Loglines & Taglines

  1. I used to haaaaaaate writing blurbs for submission packets. I wouldn’t say I love them now, but they don’t fill me with as much dread. Everyone’s got their own length requirements for blurbs (and some publishers want more than one), so if I had to sum up in one single sentence, I wouldn’t be all that surprised.

    Punchy one-line tags are more of an issue, and I’m glad I don’t have to write/use them in any sort of official capacity. That doesn’t mean I can’t fool around with my friends, though, making the tag for the current WIP “ROBOCOCK 2: Ro’s Revenge”.

    (It’s better if you say it in the deep movie trailer announcer’s voice. 😉 )

    • What doesn’t sound awesome in a movie trailer voice? 🙂

      Writing taglines is a lot of fun. I could come up with several for each story, though most of what I come up with is a joke. Summarizing will come in handy if I ever do a Twitter Pitch contest again.

    • Thank you!
      And thanks for stopping by. ^_^
      This has been pretty good in helping me not to over complicate or over simplify my plot. I can get carried away trying to squeeze the world into a two paragraph summary.

    • Awesome! Thanks. 🙂 I had a lot if fun with the Taglines. ^_^

      It’s not easy truncating your story down to a sentence, but the hardest part of it is getting it to sound interesting and not generic once you pare it down. You gotta start somewhere though. Some if these were a lot easier to pen than others.

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