A log line or logline is 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. "A log line is a single sentence describing your entire story," however, "it is not a straight summary of the project. It goes to the heart of what a project is about in one or two sentences, defining the theme of the project...and suggest[ing] a bigger meaning." "A logline is a one-sentence summary of the story's main conflict. It is not a statement of theme but rather a premise."
"A logline...helps content creators simply and easily sell their work in a single sentence, because the emphasis is on what makes their property unique...the logline provides the content creator with a concise way to focus on the three main anchors of their writing," the protagonist, the protagonist's wants (goal(s) or desire(s)), and what is at stake (risks).
Narrative elements often referenced in a logline include the setting, protagonist, antagonist, inciting incident, and a conflict and a goal (the conflict's resolution). Change, such as character growth, and action should be suggested. A log line should contain four facts: "the main character, what the main character wants," the villain(s) or obstacle(s), "standing in the way," and, "the unique aspect(s) of the story."
Charlie Brown is finally invited to a Halloween party; Snoopy engages the Red Baron in a dogfight; and Linus waits patiently in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin.
A talented but irresponsible teenager schemes to steal his college tuition money when his wealthy father refuses to pay for him to study acting at Juilliard.
- "How to Write Outstanding TV & Movie Loglines: The ULTIMATE Guide". Industrial Scripts®. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- Brewer (2014, p. 29)
- Russell, James (2000). Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets: The Writer's Guide to Marketing Scripts, p.61. James Russell Publishing. ISBN 9780916367114.
- Perebinossoff, Philippe; Gross, Brian; and Gross, Lynne S. (2005). Programming for TV, Radio, and the Internet: Strategy, Development, and Evaluation, p.73. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780240806822.
- Steiff, Josef (2005). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Independent Filmmaking, p.57. Penguin. ISBN 9781592573905.
- Bishop, Lane Shefter (2016). Sell Your Story in A Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood, [unpaginated]. Countryman Press. ISBN 9781581575101.
- "Writing a Logline". Graeme Shimmin. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
- Farnham, Ronald (2011). How to Write a Screenplay in 30 Days or Less, p.51. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781463440336.
- "Logline". It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. TitanTV. Retrieved 2005-10-25.
- Brewer (2014, p. 29)