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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Log lines

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GuardianWynn, Aug 3, 2015.

    I think that is what they are called. Someone told me that. Basically the little section in the back of a book.

    I wrote a book and I was trying to do log lines for it. I am not sure if I am any good at it. Actually correction. I am pretty sure I am bad at it. lol. I was figuring someone here might be able to give me a useful tip on how to do it right. Or opinions on what I have.

    This is what I got so far.

    The Order: The Tarvoss Tide
    Jackie Tarvoss of the famous Tarvoss Assassins is having a mid life crisis. This has prompted her to return home, something she hasn't done in nearly five years. While home someone launches an attack against her family. Enraged Jackie is now out for blood, she wants everyone involved. Will she be able curb her anger and survive? More importantly will she be able to let go of her anger in order to protect her family?

    So what do you guys think?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    Loglines are supposed to be one line. You've written a synopsis.

    Logline vs Synopsis
    As a synopsis, it's not bad. But this is something I've yet to perfect myself so I'm not going to be the best source of critique here.
     
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  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    As @GingerCoffee says, what you have written is not called a log line -- but it is not called a synopsis either.

    A log line is one condensed sentence (maybe two?) that identifies the most interesting and distinguishing feature of the story. It is condensed so it can fit in a list with other log lines and this list can be perused casually.

    A synopsis is a beginning-to-end summary of the most important things that happen in the story.

    What you have written is called a blurb.

    Two things about it:

    1. It is unnecessary to mention Jackies midlife crisis. There is a more concise way to set up the fact that she has returned home after five years.

    2. The two questions assume I at least have some idea of what she is angry about. The problem is that all I have is "someone launches an attack" which is a rather nondescript way to refer to what she is angry about. After hearing her family was attacked, the first things on my mind are the immediate concerns: (1) are they safe? (2) will they find the attacker? There is insufficient transition to get me from that mode into "revenge" mode.

    Try something more like this:

    Jackie Tarvoss' long-needed break from her career as an elite assassin is cut short by an attack against her family. In the aftermath, her investigation uncovers a horrible truth about the would-be killer. Enraged and out for blood, Jackie asks her whole family for help in getting revenge. But how far will she let her anger drive her when her family is following her into danger?
     
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  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is where I feel like a failure. As a writer and a person. I mean yours is so much better than mine.

    This does lead me to a question though. Sort of one of the reasons I opened this thread. Didn't ask this in the opening because I sort of wanted a raw response first. Which is the attack that happened was successful. Meaning a memeber of Jackie's family died in her arms. Which is why she was so mad. But I am wondering. Should that be a detail mentioned? That seems like a spoiler. So not sure if it should be avoided as such. Or if part of the point is to include something like that. Like that is the hook. I wonder what you think?
     
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  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The murder is the event that sets Jackie's story in motion; therefore, it is not a spoiler. In fact, including that detail would make the blurb much better. It is easier to understand why she is upset about someone murdering a loved one (who dies in her arms!) than why she is upset about an unsuccessful attack.
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    You are kind of right. This is sort of where I fail. I mean. I do have ful ldraft of this story. You think that would make this part easier.

    She doesn't go home until chapter 8. The death happens at chapter 14. The book has 35 chapters in total. I though the death is supposed to catch you by surprise and be an emotional moment. I mean if the blurb mentions a death I figured then isn't the reader just waiting for it? Doesn't that kill suspense? You are right though everything after the death is motvated by it.

    Sorry if I am just repeating myself. I just trying to understand better. You still think the blurp should include death?
     
  7. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, if the death happens 40% of the way into the story, then you should probably not mention it in the blurb, although you might want to foreshadow it by mentioning "a threat to her family" or saying "danger follows her everywhere, even into her home" or something like that.

    When I first read your blurb, I thought the attack was the inciting incident in the same way the terrorist takeover of the hotel is the inciting incident of Die Hard. But instead, it appears the attack is a mid-story plot development more like the "infamous shower scene" in Psycho.

    So, what is the inciting incident of this story? Which event is the first point of no return? Which event is the first time in the story when something changes dramatically -- a conflict begins, a safety net is removed, a character is put in danger, etc. -- and there is no way for the character to go but forward?

    In Psycho, this is when the protagonist steals money and flees; therefore, the movie's log line mentions this event. The really big game-changing event comes later.

    In your book, it sounds like the inciting incident is ironically the one thing I recommended removing from the blurb: Jackie's midlife crisis. Think about what is interesting about this event in her life -- think about the internal conflict that has been building up over the years, and any enemies she might have made who would become a threat to her family -- and condense that down to the most important points, making sure these points hint at the danger to come.
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am admittingly bad at knowing when a question is for my own thoughts and when a person is genuine. You seem awesome. So I am going to give a bit more detail to futher explain context.

    Funny enough you were right I think.

    The opening is on Jackie mid-life crisis. Or I think that is what it would be called. See she sort of aimed to be strong without any reason. So now that she had become strong, she feels empty. She sees a local shop owner to whom she sort of has a crush on in trouble and takes it upon herself to deal with the situation. She kind of doesn't realize that since she is acting on her own desire and not from a contract the people she hurt got mad at her. So the attack later on is revenge for this opening. That would make this opening attack the inciting incident right? And it would make her emotional state the reasoning for said incident?

    Funny enough I think I am even more lost on how to write a blurb then when I started. But that is good. I am learning how much I need to learn. And that is always the first step. Right? lol.

    Thanks again. :)
     
  9. Daemon Wolf
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    You've written the Blurb.
     
  10. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    This doesn't sound like a mid-life crisis at all. It sounds like an angsty teenager. One who has trouble dealing with stuff, and decides that the best way to avoid getting hurt is to keep away -emotionally - from people (Paul Simon put it so well - I touch no-one, and no-one touches me. I am a rock; I am an island). So she is "strong" because she has nobody with whom she feels vulnerable. But she is lonely.
     
  11. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am far from an expert but I mean. She is in her mid life and before this point this style of living had worked for her. She did her work. She lived day to day. She felt okay. Then suddenly it stopped working. She stopped feeling okay. She didn't understand what had changed. Isn't that a mid-life crisis?

    If not. Then I am curious on your take of what a mid life crisis is. :D
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suppose that if it happens in the middle (give-or-take) of her life, it's a mid-life crisis.

    My point was that she's a very immature person before the crisis.

    Not to deny that there are plenty of adults who ARE immature!
     
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  13. GuardianWynn
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    Well not exactly in half. Or I imagine. I don't know when she dies. She was 33 at this point though.

    Yes she is an immature person before the crisis. She is an immature person during most of the crisis. That is sort of the point. As she becomes more mature because of the crisis.

    So do you have any advice on how to properly write a blurb? :D
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    @daemon
    Take 2. Any good?
    Jackie Tarvoss of the famous Tarvoss Assassins is having a mid-life crisis. With such mixed feelings about life she acts a bit more bold than she should have and has angered some powerful people. People that intend to destroy not just her but her entire family. Can she make it home in time to protect them? Can she accept responsibility for what she has done?
     
  15. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    It sounds like the novel is all about "Jackie making it home in time" to protect her family.

    Can you condense the story into one sentence?

    That can be a good starting point for the blurb.
     
  16. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do I suck at this so much!!!

    Can I reduce her story to one sentence? No. Can it be done? Probably. lol.

    The funny thing is I wrote the book! Well first draft. 50k. You would think with that it would be easy to write this. Yet here I am lol.

    If I were to reduce it to the core meat. I think Jackies story is these few lines.

    "She is struggling with the new found boredom of her life. She tries to help a friend and in doing so angers some really nasty people. Said nasty people attack her family. Jackie tries to get revenge but fails(Mainly due to her anger.) She realizes with help that she needs to chose because the desire for revenge and the desire to protect what she has left. Round 2 and she wins. Bittersweet ending with the wounds of the recent fight still fresh."

    Do you got any ideas to help me learn how to do this right?
     
  17. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    :D


    There's your blurb :D
     
  18. Aaron DC
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    Struggling with the monotony of life, Jackie tries to help a friend and ends up on the wrong side of some very nasty people. With her family in danger, Jackie needs to decide: extract revenge, or protect what's important? That's when things start to go wrong.
     
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  19. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    O.O What? But that seems even worse? How is that better? So lost! :cry:
     
  20. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Am curious what is making her life boring?
     
  21. Aaron DC
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    Nawwww :friend:
     
  22. Aaron DC
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    I think the pattern goes like this:

    Setup
    Call to action
    Result

    It's like a mini-3 act play. And no doubt my terminology sucks but bear with me...

    If I steal @daemon's example:
    Set up: Jackie Tarvoss' long-needed break from her career as an elite assassin is cut short by an attack against her family. In the aftermath, her investigation uncovers a horrible truth about the would-be killer.
    Call to action: Enraged and out for blood, Jackie asks her whole family for help in getting revenge.
    Result: But how far will she let her anger drive her when her family is following her into danger?

    My example:
    Setup: Struggling with the monotony of life, Jackie tries to help a friend and ends up on the wrong side of some very nasty people.
    Call to action: With her family in danger, Jackie needs to decide: extract revenge, or protect what's important?
    Result: That's when things start to go wrong.

    This is your take 2:
    Setup: Jackie Tarvoss of the famous Tarvoss Assassins is having a mid-life crisis. With such mixed feelings about life she acts a bit more bold than she should have and has angered some powerful people. People that intend to destroy not just her but her entire family.
    Call to action: Can she make it home in time to protect them?
    Result: Can she accept responsibility for what she has done?

    Can you see the differences?
     
  23. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jackie is a very strange person actually. lol.

    So hard to anwser that question simply. See to be honest she doesn't actually have any friends. She has went to great lengths to be that way too. Even going as far as moving away when she felt she was getting to close to someone. She wouldnt be nice about it either. No goodbyes. She wouldn't even be seen packing. If you tried to be friends with her. You would probably find her apartment empty over night with no warning.

    Jackie always wanted to be the best. The strongest. She has found herself stuck. Unable to advance. She is really strong though. The few people she knows that are better than her told her something simple. That she lacks a reason to be strong. That she is simply trying to be strong for its own sake. Which is true.

    Now thinking about it. Maybe I could have said it simple. Because the core concept is that since she isn't getting stronger and she doesn't understand what people mean when they say she lacks reasoning. She feels stuck. And as such feels bored. So she starts accidently dropping her guard. Which is were the book begins. With her sort of befriending someone without even realizing it. I seriously mean without realizing. As in the feelings in her gut are strange and unknown to her. I think it is funny because she at one points considers that she has been poisoned. As I said. She is strange.
     
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  24. GuardianWynn
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    Seems like mine has too much set up. Not enough call to action?
     
  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    When I broke it down like that, it did make it stand out more, didn't it? It surprised me, to be honest.

    I also think the hmmm actiony bit in yours is not actiony enough or even at all.

    @daemon has : enraged, out for blood
    I have: extract revenge, protect important
    You have: make it home in time, protect them
     

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