Taglines & Loglines

Taglines and Loglines

Over the past couple of days I’ve been playing around with taglines and loglines for my next new release “Impossible Liaison”. Rather than risk getting it wrong, I resorted to good old Google to help me out with differentiating between the two. According to the first option which popped up:

A “logline” is a (movie’s) concept boiled down to one or two sentences.

A “tagline” is a short, clever one-off found on a movie’s poster.

I saw another definition that worked better for what I needed, telling me a purpose of each. Use a tagline to help establish your brand, but a logline to help sell a particular story.

As I figured out a tagline for myself (“writing warm, fuzzy and fun stories”) some years ago. It appears here on my website and my business cards etc. So its more a logline I needed to submit to my publisher as a selling tool for my new release.

As with everything involved with writing – and probably every other occupation under the sun – there is a wealth of information available on the Internet to help, or totally confuse, anyone searching for details of how to do something. But I’m old fashioned. I still enjoy researching real books for the information I seek. I noted literary agent Kirsten Lamb referred to a book “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder in a piece on her blog about loglines. As this book is in my bookcase I hastily reread the portion before trying to write an appropriate logline for “Impossible Liaison”.

I have to admit I hadn’t followed his advice to be “a slave to the logline”. To have adhered to that, I would have had my logline written months ago during my manuscript writing process. I do see his point of using the logline to guide the story – “If you are true to your logline, you will deliver the best possible story.” His words are definitely resonating with me, perhaps I will attempt this with my next story. I have struggled to plan my stories but accepted long ago that does nothing to help and a lot to stop the natural flow of my imagination. However the idea of having a couple of sentences which tells of the protagonist and his/her goal along with what’s preventing s/he from achieving it, might be worth giving a try before I end the next story.

But I digress, I’m talking about the logline for “Impossible Liaison” right now. Whether my publisher will agree its a worthwhile attempt is still up in the air, and I may be asked to submit another, but I played around with many options before coming up with the following:

“Grown up without family an amateur genealogist unearths living relatives but a jaded doctor’s distrust may thwart her dream of bonding with them.”

How does this sound? does it give a reader a clear idea of what the story’s conflict is? The suggested format of outlining the protagonist, problem, antagonist, conflict and goal all within 25 words is a challenge but I can see it keeps the story writing more exact.

Great logline - materialise now!

Great logline – materialise now!

Yep, while the mood for loglines is with me, I’m going to begin working on one for my next – already completed, I’m afraid to say – story. After reading Blake Snyder’s piece again, I can see how having a logline at the beginning of a story is a very sensible option. So that means its also time to dream up a logline for my new work in progress. That should be fun, I still don’t know what the story is going to be about. My characters haven’t shared this vital point with me as yet. Perhaps including them in a logline might tempt them to enlighten me.


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