Thursday, September 22, 2011

Crafting Your Logline

Call it a "hook" or a "pitch" or whatever you'd like, but make sure you nail it in time for the Baker's Dozen Auction submissions!

First, READ THIS POST about writing loglines.

Next, read these helpful tidbits:

From Blake Snyder's Save the Cat:

"A logline is the one- or two-sentence description of your [novel] that tells us what it is. It must contain a type of hero (that means a type of person plus an adjective that describes him), the antagonist (ditto), and the hero's primal goal. It must have irony, and it must bloom in our brains with potential."

From author Holly Bodger, the logline queen:


Please remember that there is no perfect formula for a logline. There are components that a strong logline needs, and this will flesh out in whatever way best portrays your story and its inherent conflict.

We will be having three logline critique sessions on the blog.  Submissions for the first one will be this coming Tuesday, September 27.  It will be a lottery with a large submission window, so you won't have to hover over your mouse.  Forty loglines will be chosen at random and posted on the blog on Wednesday the 28th.

Questions below!


  1. Thanks for organizing all this!! Do I have to submit a logline for critique to submit later for the auction? Thanks!

  2. Is the logline submission open to any catagory/genre?

  3. Two questions relating specifically to the auction:

    Is there a word limit on the logline?

    Are they supposed to be only one or two sentences, or is three fine?

    Thanks! :)

  4. Hi Authoress,

    I have a couple of questions about the auction that I haven't seen answered yet.

    Are participants from last year's Baker's Dozen eligible to enter this year if it's a different manuscript?

    Are past Secret Agent winners, same manuscript, eligible to enter? Last year they were, but I wasn't sure if you were having the same policy for this year.


  5. 1. The logline critiques are voluntary. You are not required to participate in these in order to submit to the Baker's Dozen.

    2. All genres are included except erotica.

    3. There will be a word count limit, but it will be generous during critiques, since probably many of you will have to pare yours down as you continue to edit. There is no requirement on the number of sentences. (I haven't decided on word count yet; I'm thinking 125, maybe?)

    4. All rules about the Baker's Dozen will be posted NEXT WEEK in a big, juicy post. I'm still working out some small details. :)

  6. Stina, I've seen people who can nail a logline in one sentence, although I usually find I need two. Anything over that is probably including too much information.

  7. Thanks, Holly. I managed to fit the important stuff in one sentence based on your awesome formula. :D

  8. Thanks for the logline tips! I'm on it! Can't wait for next week!! ㋡

  9. My genre is neurotica...oh wait, that's my life, not my genre!

  10. Weee! Loglines! Time to crash and burn in glorious, triumphant, wordy words of wordiness!

  11. I don't understand how this one works.

    Are the best loglines going to lead to a request for manuscripts from agents?

  12. That was my question, too, Anonymous. So these will be up for blog readers to critique/comment or will there be an agent providing feedback? I'm new around here, and confused. :) (Admittedly it doesn't take much and probably has little to do with being new.)

  13. For the newcomers (welcome!):

    This is an in-house critique session. No agents will be involved. The purpose is to provide feedback for those who are planning to enter their loglines and first 250 words in the Baker's Dozen Agent Auction. This round is the first of 3. See the Baker's Dozen Schedule (check side bar) for the full schedule of events. :)

  14. @jvander tee hee! that's my life-genre too!