Logline? Love It!

I recently read Lane Shefter Bishop’s remarkable book, Sell your Story in a Single Sentence. She shows that a good summation of a story idea in a single sentence (‘logline’) can offer a range of benefits. The obvious opportunity is that of providing a bite-sized explanation of what makes the writer’s idea unique. She explains the way in which this facilitates discussions surrounding a large range of potential projects very quickly. She further explains that this is helpful for film studios, producers and executives showing and being shown many, many projects on a daily basis. As a person both located 12,066 kilometres from Los Angeles and as one who would have trouble negotiating the arterial roads of Los Angeles with the aid of technology, Daniel Robert Nunn is a person with little knowledge of Hollywood. Beyond the glitz and glam (and all that jazz!), Bishop shows that the logline has generative as well as descriptive power. This means, of course, that the logline can play its part in content creation by crystallizing and shaping a work in progress or even the seed of a story. This realization convinced me of the need to understand better the essential idea behind the novel I have just begun and to determine whether it possesses any aspect that could, in fact, be deemed unique. This is a wonderful thing to be able to do when weighing up whether a project is worthy of the enormous effort a new work demands. An insatiable addiction seized me and I found myself trying iteration after iteration of the single sentence on my floor-to-ceiling wardrobe mirror ‘whiteboards’. I have to confess that I spent two weeks working on a logline of an idea that I hope will support and sustain a full-length novel. Working and reworking my single sentence was thoroughly satisfying and I feel that I have really benefitted from the process. I understand better the nature of my nascent story at a time when the writing process has just begun. That is a terrific feeling! Thank you to Lane Shefter Bishop. Be well.