Monday, October 25, 2010

[CW] Preparing for NaNo: Loglines

I may create a meta black hole by doing this, but I've never been one to back down in the face of potentially world-breaking devastation: I am about to blog about a blog blogging about a blog.

Twitter nets me some interesting tidbits now and again. Today it coughed up a neat little post--two posts, actually--by one Tami Moore about cheat sheets and loglines that were immensely useful for planning my NaNo project.

Even more props to Miz Moore: the posts were concise, which is ideal given my tendency to get distracted by shiny things, small invisible objects, and drafts of both the first type, and the air type.

"Loglines are teasers. They tantalize. Hint at something incredible. Take root in their target’s brains and make them ITCH to read the book they’re talking about."

I love making people's brains itch. Do go on.

"They’re also ridiculously daunting for the writer who is trying to distill their 100,000 word novel into a travel-sized package."

Daunting? Wait a minute, hold the phone. You mean this will be work?

I wasn't deterred for long (only about 2.17 seconds, if I recall correctly). My desire to see whether I had enough information about my plot to make a successful logline far outweighed my desire to continue sitting around, creating a miniature intellectual void.

The original logline formula for this exercise came from Miss Snark's First Victim.


I set to work and here's what I got out of it:

"Abandoned by the rest of her search party in the middle of the Bironian steppes, amateur psychic archaeologist Roberta Skellis must continue to hunt for her older brother and his missing excavation team alone. Just when her explorations yield what could be the most important discovery of the age, a competing archaeologist and his crew threaten to scoop her victory right out from under her feet. Roberta must choose between her brother, an unexpected admirer who is not what he seems, and the discovery of a lifetime in a grueling race to the finish."

Now you all know the basic plot and I'll look like an ass if I chicken out; I think that's how these things are supposed to work?

Tomorrow I'll be working on my cheat sheets. Roberta needs a bit of fleshing-out and my antagonist needs a name (among other things). Tami's blog is definitely going to be on my reference list for the next month or so!

What's your logline?


  1. When 17 year old Daniel decides to run away from home in the middle of the night, he ends up on the pirate ship of the infamous Captain Tabitha Three-Eyes. Thrown into the middle of a deadly pirate rivalry, he must use all his wits to survive or he'll never know the true meaning of home and family.

  2. Yay Hammy! I love pirate stories. I know this one is gonna rock, especially 'cause you're the one writing it ;)

  3. I love itchy brains, too! (I'm not a zombie. Yet. But if I WERE a zombie, clearly I'd be a fan of a little salsa in my dinner)

    *is also easily distracted*

    I LOVE reading the loglines that people write using this formula. Nothing else I've found has ever made stories sound so vibrant and exciting to me.

    I'm so glad my post helped! <3

  4. @ Tami - You found my post! I was going to hop over and poke in your comments to let you know, but you beat me to it. :>

    I'm so excited for NaNo that my brains are all over the place, but your post really helped direct my energy, and for that I'm super grateful. <3