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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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Who Am I?

I am a stay at home mom, who follows my dream of being an author. Without any success of support, I learned that the only person I need is myself. I have two beautiful children, only two years apart. I started my family young unintentionally. I am super happy that I have. I am only 21, and discovered I could no longer bear anymore children.

I sat down one day and let the realization set in. I reflected upon my past and remembered one christmas when my grandmother handed me my fist notebook and pen. She told me, “Write my stories,” because when ever since I was eight years old, I loved telling her stories that popped up in my head. So I followed her instructions, and never looked back.

As I pondered my future, I noticed I almost forgot my ultimate dream. To become a best selling author. Even though, I am not, I never gave up the dream. I still hold true to that. I figured, “I am happy with the two children I was blessed with, even though I dreamt of having a big family. So I will write, and the characters will be my family as well.”

I am always getting into disputes with my in laws, about how writing is just a “hobby”, and I need to just stop being lazy and get a “real” job. I told them, “Last time I checked, you don’t get paid for doing a hobby.”

They still told me, that the pocket change I was only making, is not good enough, and that I need to get my head out of the clouds and throw away this gamble.

I look at them all, many times with teary eyes, and tell them to not bring me down.

Soon after I realized that I was alone on my endeavors. I did not have any friends, as I am an introvert, and searched far for any that would accept me.

There is a light to the end of this tunnel. I found a group of writers on facebook, that like me, faced the same challenges as me.

I wasn’t alone anymore, and when I asked them, “Did you ever give up on your dream, when others told you to do so?”

They just laughed and said with a chime, “I don’t care what others tell me to do. I know who I am, and who I want to be. No one will ever deter me from my dream.”

Many nights, I cried myself to sleep, feeling torn from myself, until I was able to find people who went through what I went through.

 

If you are looking for support, or feel the way I did, or just have questions about self publishing, please check out this group, Indie Author Group The title is the link to the facebook page. 

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Posts by Author, Who Am I?

 

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