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Batter Up!

Batter Up!

How To Pitch Like A Pro Baseball Player

Oh, wait! This isn’t baseball. But I am talking about different types of pitches today. So, this title should be…

How To Write A Logline To Pitch Like A Pro Author

Now, I have to ask, what is with all these pitches? Haha! No, but on a serious note, you may have probably heard the term logline, or pitch. Right? Here is the difference:

  • Logline, according to this, is defined as ‘a brief (usually one-sentence) summary of a television program, film, or book that states the central conflict of the story, often providing both a synopsis of the story’s plot, and an emotional “hook” to stimulate interest. A one-sentence program summary in TV Guide is a log line.’ Check these out for examples, and further explanation:
  • Pitch, according to this, is defined as ‘a form of words used when trying to persuade someone to buy or accept something.

So, first, you will need a logline, only then it will be pitched to sell.

There is no one single way to write a logline. There are several different ways, and I will share what I have learned here over the past few years. I will give examples from the most recent books I have read.

First, let’s jot down some notes about your story on a sheet of paper, if you are currently stuck on how to present your logline, and we will see if we can use any of them:

  1. Who is your protagonist?
  2. What is the inciting incident?
  3. What is the external problem your character faces? (or, what is your character’s external goal?)
  4. What is your character’s internal problem? (or, what is the internal problem your character faces in attempts to confront her external goal?)
  5. What is the theme of your story?
  6. What are the stakes your character faces, or will face, if goal is not obtained. (stakes: love, loss, death, life, etc).
  7. Where/when does your story take place?
  8. What is your character’s basic desire?
  9. What is the rising action?
  10. Vaguely describe the ending in a few words.

Now, I will give examples below of the various logline styles. Yes, I say, “Styles”. Because, there are many different types of loglines I have seen or read, and they are never built the same. Each one, in some way or another, varies from one after the other. But, not too much. There are only so many certain combinations in the world, and some are bound to be noticed, or repeated.

 

Logline Style #1

In (town/era/place), (main character) struggles to (overcome/kill/save/stop/etc.problem) in order to (solution).

Example: (one I came up with just now) In Ice Point, teenager Trinity Michaels struggles to pull herself together in order to prove her father’s inexplicable existence.

Logline Style #2

Main character and their emotional state who wants a basic desire discovers/learns something new, but there is something different/odd about it and tries to find the solution while facing problem.

Example: (From E.T.) A shy, young suburban boy who wants to be noticed discovers a strange, but friendly, alien living in his shed and tries to help him get home while keeping his existence a secret.

 

Logline Style #3

When external story quest(or internal story quest) forces character to confront her internal problem(or external problem) she faces (stakes/plot/theme).

 

Other Logline Styles:

  1. Use an excerpt/sentence from the actual story that relates to what your story is mostly about.
    The Obsession by Nora Roberts uses “She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”
  2. Use a mind puzzling statement, that makes you wonder, not confused.
    Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben uses “You think you know the truth. The truth you know nothing.”
  3. Use a belief the character has, and turn it into a statement that signals a type of truth he/she learns.
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah uses “In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.”
  4. Or, make a promise.
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins uses “This debut psychological thriller will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.”
    However, this is not typically recommended. A lot of publishers shy away from such a promise, because many people have used this and failed to deliver costing them money out of pocket just to make up for the difference. And, it kind of sounds arrogant and pushy.

 

Here are some other key points used:

  1. As Time Goes By by Mary Higgins Clark uses character, goal, turning point in it’s logline.
    …a news reporter tries to find her birth mother just as she is assigned to cover the high-profile trial of a woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband.
  2. The Martian by Andy Weir uses date, character, inciting incident, and then stakes in it’s logline.
    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
    Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

 

Well, I hope this helps you out. Also, if you have anything to add from your observation feel free to share below. It’s nice to gain perspective from other stories I have not read yet.

**update**10/17/16: I found a way to quickly come up with a log line on the spot. Try googloing, or pretend you are, about related stories to yours. If you’re unsure if your story can be compare to something try-“is there a story about…(insert big picture of what your story is about or the kick that starts the story then vague resolution)”. Not only will you find relateable stories, but you will have also unknowingly created a logline minus the “is there a story about” part.

Be sure to check out my post: Notable Sites For Writers

 

 

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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Logline Styles, Posts by Author, Tips

 

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What Type of Book Suits You? (Quiz)

Copyright © 2014 Amey Coleman

 

This quiz will help determine which type of book you may like more of. This will consist of seven questions. You will be able to pick one answer out of the possible five answers, per question. Remember to answer honestly for a more accurate result.

 

  1. Which sounds more appealing?
    A. large scale war begins on Earth.
    B. Money cannot buy happiness.
    C. Bugs begin to act strangely.
    D. A war must be prevented between two species.
    E. Meet up with a long distance friend.
    F. A gun related injury.
  2. Which situation sounds like you?
    A. You’re on a deep space rescue mission.
    B. You quickly became attracted to a new neighbor.
    C. Something often happens to you during a thunderstorm.
    D. You live in a thriving city.
    E. You walk through New York.
    F. You seem to get trapped in confined spaces.
  3. Which type of jewelry do you wear often?
    A. Earrings
    B.
    Ring
    C.
    Hidden piercing
    D.
    Necklace
    E.
    Bracelet
    F.
    Watch
  4. Which word appeals to you more?
    A. Galaxy
    B.
    Amore
    C.
    Eerie
    D.
    Creatures
    E.
    Sadness
    F.
    Vehicle
  5. Which title draws you in?
    A. Mystery in Space
    B
    . He’s Mine
    C.
    Pentagram Occult
    D.
    Faint Appearance
    E.
    What to Do?
    F.
    War In Peace
  6. Which are you most afraid of?
    A. Being last
    B.
    Commitment
    C.
    Spiders
    D.
    Ghosts
    E.
    Losing a loved one
    F.
    Being chased
  7. What name appeals to you?
    A. Evelyn Colon
    B.
    Annabel Leonard
    C.
    Aretha Noble
    D.
    Bobby Cline
    E.
    Stephanie Booker
    F.
    Kacey Fowler

 

 

 

Results

 

Mostly A’s: You tend to like mystery and action that does not naturally happen on Earth. The feeling of the unknown and knowing anything can happen compels you. Do you ever catch yourself staring up into the night sky and ponder about space and its inhabitants? Then Science Fiction is the way to go.

 

Mostly B’s: You like to imagine meeting your soul mate. You tend to ponder how it will happen, and what would lead up to the incident. If you love to have your heart flutter and smile on your face, the Romance genre is for you.

 

Mostly C’s: You like to be on edge with chills running up your spine. You may like the fact that twists and turns are at your fingertips. You don’t know what will happen. You tend to live in the moment. If this sounds like you, then Horror and Suspense are for you.

 

Mostly D’s: If you tend to find ghosts, vampires, and werewolves appealing, then anything to deal with Fantasy and Paranormal are for you. Just the imagination of feeling like immortality could be possible draws you in.

 

Mostly E’s: Do you like a good cry? Do you find yourself drawn to other people’s problems? Then you may like the Drama and Misfortune genre. It will give you what you need. When you want to have a little drama in your life, without it actually affecting your life, then you may find this to be just for you.

 

Mostly F’s: Do you like to be fast paced and to take risks? Do you like reading about them as well? Guns, cars, women and broken laws may compel you as well. If this sounds like you then you may like the Thriller and Action genre.

 

This quiz is from my second Fun Quizzes For Everyone book. It is currently priced for $1.49

U.K. link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00N3WTOJ0 for £1.44 515ZPrM9iOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

 

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