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Log line

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A log line or logline is a brief (usually one-sentence) summary of a television program, film, short 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.[1] A one-sentence program summary in TV Guide is a log line.[2] "A log line is a single sentence describing your entire story,"[3] 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."[4] "A logline is a one-sentence summary of the story's main conflict. It is not a statement of theme but rather a premise."[5]

"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).[6]



Narrative elements often referenced in a logline include the setting, protagonist, antagonist, inciting incident, and a conflict and a goal (the conflict's resolution).[7] Change, such as character growth, and action should be suggested.[4] 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."[8]



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.

See also



  1. ^ "How to Write Outstanding TV & Movie Loglines: The ULTIMATE Guide". Industrial Scripts®. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  2. ^ Brewer (2014, p. 29)
  3. ^ Russell, James (2000). Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets: The Writer's Guide to Marketing Scripts, p.61. James Russell Publishing. ISBN 9780916367114.
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Steiff, Josef (2005). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Independent Filmmaking, p.57. Penguin. ISBN 9781592573905.
  6. ^ Bishop, Lane Shefter (2016). Sell Your Story in A Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood, [unpaginated]. Countryman Press. ISBN 9781581575101.
  7. ^ "Writing a Logline". Graeme Shimmin. March 2013. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  8. ^ Farnham, Ronald (2011). How to Write a Screenplay in 30 Days or Less, p.51. AuthorHouse. ISBN 9781463440336.
  9. ^ "Logline". It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. TitanTV. Retrieved 2005-10-25.
  10. ^ Brewer (2014, p. 29)