What makes a good logline

You may not believe it, but the success of your script is totally dependent on the quality of your logline. Without a good logline, your script will never get read by a legitimate agent, manager, or producer. If it doesn’t get to the point quickly, your logline may not even get a full read… and that’s the cold hard truth.

You’re probably wondering “how is that possible?”

As a writer, you need to understand just how many scripts cross a producer’s desk on a weekly basis. So many that all they have time for is a logline. So it better get to the point… fast!!!

Here’s what a logline shouldn’t be: 

  1. Long – don’t try and cram too much information into your logline. Keep it short and simple.
  2. Cluttered with too many adjectives and adverbs – if the logline is confusing and forces the reader to do a double-take, you’re now fighting an up hill battle (everyone is looking for a reason to not read your script. Don’t screw it up before they begin).
  3. An explanation as to why the reader will love your script – Let the reader make that distinction. Nothing screams amateur more than a logline that reads “this is a heartwarming tale that will pull at your heart strings and make you desire a sequel.”

So what should your logline look like? Every logline should be lean and to the point, answering the central questions that every producer will ask:

  1. Who is the main character?
  2. What does the main character want? 
  3. What is in the way of the main character’s “want”?
  4. What’s at stake?

It’s a simple concept that must be mastered. Don’t worry about making your logline sound exciting… worry about making it viable. If a reader can’t identify the 4 latter points clearly, you will lose your chance at earning a read and possibly changing your career.