Screenwriting : Logline - Opinion? by Ted King

Ted King

Logline - Opinion?

I would like an opinion from my fellow 32 members. I have reworked a logline from one of short scripts that I'm planning to submit, and can't decide which is better. So I turn to all of you for your recommendations... "... When a troubled woman running away during the holiday season, winds up at an out of the way diner. She discovers the owner is not who he claims to be. But neither is she!" or "... A troubled woman running away during the holiday season finds herself at an out of the way diner, where the owner is not who he claims to be. But neither is she!" Either pique your interest? Or maybe there's another variation I haven't thought of? Thanks!

Antonio Ingram

Well you want it to be as brief as a possible. A minimum of three sentences. Also, you should give us the genre of the script and give the character names of the troubled women and the owner. Keep at it though. it took me a long time to perfect mine and now that I have, I have two agencies reading my scripts along with a director that wants to read it as well. So best of luck to you and I hope my advice is helpful to you. may the screenwriting force be with you. (I know that was bad but...)

Judith Conway

Hey Ted, loglines have never been my strong suit and not knowing the story, I would go with the second version. But my understanding is that loglines don't include character names and/or genres. we know the protagonist is troubled woman, so who or what is standing in her way - obstacle, and what makes the story unique? "A mentally ill woman flees her dysfunctional husband to find solace in a diner from the owner who isn't who he claims to be - but then neither is she." Not sure if this is any better, but I'd try to define why she's troubled and what is she fleeing. Good luck. Doing loglines is my Achilles tendon.

Padma Narayanaswamy

Log lines should be short and intriguing .A trouble women acts as owner at out of the way diner.More than diner lodgings or motel will have more appeal . This is my personal opinion.

Armando Alejandro

I think it's too long. IMHO.

Ted King

Thanks to all who commented so far! Great advice. I'm going to keep tweaking it, and post what I come up with.

Jonn Lander

Hi Ted - I love the punch line "But neither is she." But "during the holidady season" that line feels uncomfortable to me. Maybe like "troubled woman runs away... finds herself in an out of the way diner..." If it was mine, I'd have to work on it.

Tabitha Baumander

both are a bit long but the second is closer How about this one. It says the same thing but is shorter and more dynamic. ."A troubled woman finds herself at an out of the way diner, where the owner is not who he claims to be. But neither is she!"

Tabitha Baumander

I haiku therefor I am

Erika Christie

I agree with the few people who have said the second one is closer and to make it a little shorter. They work best when they're one sentence. Short, intriguing, and to the point. You really want to emphasize what the conflict is. THAT is what's going to catch someone's attention. For something like Star Wars you'd want to include something about a farmboy taking on an evil empire. High stakes. High conflict. Great payout at the end. Best of luck!

Ted King

This is excellent feedback!! Thanks to all of you for responding! I have learned so much more now about loglines in the past 24 hours and how to better craft them, than I have in the past 3 years!... @Tabitha - I especially like your interpretation! It really zeros in on my story! I need to find a way to incorporate the Christmas/Hanukkah holiday time as although it's not a Christmas story, the timeline is instrumental.,,, This is what Stage 32 is all about! Much appreciated!

Ted King

@Jacqueline - That is an excellent logline! It's a though you've already read my screenplay! Short, concise and to the point. It really intrigued me, wanting me to know more! Which is what a logline is supposed to do! You've all given me a lot of diverse and very tangible feedback. Much appreciation to all.

Denise Cruz-Castino

You should always try to get it into once sentence. Be sure you have the goal in it, and the thing stopping that person. I'm not hearing enough about what's going on in the story yet. I understand you're trying to make it intriguing. But you also have to give enough info. Who is the guy at the diner? What does he do to end her trying to hide? I think those are some of the pieces of info that your logline could use. Perhaps, "When a troubled woman hides at an out of the way diner, keeping her identity secret is threatened by a restaurant owner who isn't who he says he is". Something like that. That might not be the most important parts of your story, but hopefully you can see what I mean.

Armando Alejandro

From two of my favorite movies: The Hunt for Red October - A Soviet submarine captain uses Russia's ultimate underwater weapon as a means to defect to the west. Independence Day - Aliens try to invade earth on Independence Day.

Ted King

@Denise, I believe you're correct and I should probably try to say it all in one sentence. I do understand where you're going with what you're saying. I need to try and incorporate a little more into the logline, without giving too much away! Whew, you've given me a lot to think about... Thanks!

Ted King

@Manda, I wrestled with that line also. I want to convey some sort suspense, but at the same time not make it seem like a damsel-in-distress. I do like the sound of your suggestion! It's very much on the mark! Like Denise and Tabitha have already crafted, you've been able to state it all in one sentence. Which is probably what I should shoot for. This is excellent feedback and I really do appreciate it!

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