Screenwriting : Getting your logline and synopsis in top shape by Patty Sandoval Sralla

Patty Sandoval Sralla

Getting your logline and synopsis in top shape

I recently had the opportunity to read hundreds of loglines for a producer, looking for low-budget, character-driven screenplays. (I no longer do that so please don't send me your logline.) What an eye-opener it was for me as a screenwriter. So many people do not know how to write a strong logline or a decent synopsis. I searched on InkTip, the Black List, Talentville and Moviebytes, searching for award-placing scripts. First loglines are so important. It should tell the reader what the Main Character's flaw is and the perfect challenge to that flaw within the story. It should hint at the moral of the story as well. This is my logline outline, compiled by a friend of mine, that helps finagle out the story: TITLE is a GENRE about a DESCRIPTION OF FLAWED HERO who after EVENT THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING, wants to/must/struggles to OUTER GOAL by PLAN OF ACTION before DIRE THINGS WILL HAPPEN. This becomes increasingly difficult because OBSTACLES & COMPLICATIONS. Hope this helps. What do you all think?

Kerry Douglas Dye

Sounds pretty good, though you can get socked in the eye around here for suggesting putting the genre in the logline. :)

Kathryn Gould

That covers just about everything, but seems like it would get a bit wordy. I've always heard shorter is better. That almost seems like a short synopsis rather than a logline.

Ami Brown

I think it's good to have an outline to fill in the blanks to get your script really focused. I don't think that outline would work for every movie. It would be a good start, to help get ideas going and to narrow down to the essentials - which is the hard part for some. It does sound like more of a synopsis than logline. Thanks for that info!

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