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Apr 22 2016

#atozchallenge S is for Save the Cat #Writing #Logline #ElevatorPitch

#atozchallenge S is for Save the Cat #Writing #Logline #ElevatorPitch

The craft of fiction writing is the Theme for the #atozchallenge 2016 on the blog of @JLenniDorner
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26 writing reference books containing 26 lessons leads to a month of #WriteTips and writing samples




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S is for “Save”
Book: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
My dice roll: 300 (ebook location out of 2914)
Lesson: Logline (Elevator Pitch)

In scriptwriting, they call it a logline or a one-line. For books and articles, we call it an elevator pitch. Either way, it’s a summary that can be fired off in under thirty seconds. It’s tweetable with room for a hashtag.

The conversation:
“Do you want to watch this?”
“I don’t know. What’s it about?”
The answer will be short. And that’s a logline.

For those of us trying to make a sale, that logline or elevator pitch needs to have four components.

  1. A hook. An ironic one is strongly recommended. You want an emotionally intriguing itch that needs to be scratched.
  2. A mental picture that promises a complete story.
  3. A sense of who will buy it. Which genre’s fandom is going to ship you and your work the hardest? What’s the appropriate age group to market toward?
  4. The title. A good one will give a clear idea of what it is and what it’s about.

Write one, and then go ask people if they like it.

Here are my attempts:

line break

In Fractions of Existence, Xavier’s secret identity is an affluent young professional living in NYC. The Eyes in the Shadows work to bring about the apocalypse by killing Xavier and his omnipotent kind. Xavier must reunite his kind to become powerful enough to stop them. In order to do that, he needs Gwendolyn to remember what she is before it’s too late.

228 over Twitter’s 140 limit

A guy with an extraordinary power is trying to save the world from a crazy religious sect that’s figured out how to cause the apocalypse. But he has to get this girl, who’s he’s never met, to fall in love with him so she’ll agree to help. — Fractions of Existence

123 over Twitter’s 140 limit

Bad guys aim to end the world, good guys try to save it, and a girl doesn’t know she has a power that can sway the outcome in Fractions of Existence.

10 over Twitter’s 140 limit

A team of super beings has been divided up. Becoming whole is the only way to save the world. Fractions of Existence is a journey of discovery and deciding what matters most.

34 over Twitter’s 140 limit

Fractions of Existence has a hero who surrenders, a damsel who almost independently succeeds at overcoming distress, and a villainous group that seems to win.

19 over Twitter’s 140 limit

line break

Guess who’s TERRIBLE at writing these things?
*raises hand*

Do any of those five catch your eye? If you’ve read some of my other posts ( http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/tag/existence/ ), do you think these feel accurate? Can you suggest a better one?

PLEASE fill out the short survey!


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Do you have a logline or elevator pitch for your work? Share it here!




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9 comments

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  1. Gail M Baugniet

    118 with spaces:
    Fractions of Existence: hero surrenders; damsel almost independently overcomes distress; villainous group seems to win

    I copy and paste my tweet, then whittle it down to size.

    Gail’s 2016 April A to Z Challenge
    S is for Save Our Planet
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  2. Jean Davis

    I liked the first one best, but it needs a little streamlining yet. Good luck. Loglines are tough.

  3. C.Lee McKenzie

    Writing these is like writing Haiku. I’m not good at either. I’ll go back and re-read yours, but I’m coming up with “Gee, they all sound darned good to me.”
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  4. C.Lee McKenzie

    I went back and took the survey. Go with #1.
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  5. Juneta

    Ref Tweets maybe
    Fractions of Existence. A super team divided must unite to the save the world from Apocalyptic events.

    An Engineered Apocalypse. An Impossible Love. A divided group of superbeings must unite using their extraordinary powers to save the world. Fractions of Existence

    In a journey of discovery & surrender. a divided group of superbeings must unit to stop a fanatical religious sect from bringing about the Apocalypse.

    I picked out powerful word images to me that you have in your tweets to construct the above.

    Superbeings divided
    Extraordinary power
    Unite to save the world
    Engineered Apocalypse
    Crazy religious Sect
    End of the World

    The story does not matter as much as the hook that will make them pick it up/buy and read it. I’ve read you have less than 2 seconds for most readers to do this because readers are looking for a reason not to buy.

    These elements are the hook and grab factors that require strong word images.

    Conflict-what they are they up against
    Worse conflict–How does it get worse–on no, I got to see how they save the day against this impossible, horrible thing–Maybe the Apocalypse or it could be something else too since you know the story best
    Call to action– get your copy of Fractions of Existence to find out.
    Adding a limited time factor also make the need to buy psychological more immediate. get now for this price etc.

    Bad guy good guy, villainous is too neutral or generic. Needs strong adverbs and adjectives, words that are images with impact.

    I like this one best below over the ones in your poll. This one would grab my attention over the others. .

    Nothing too generic. You are not telling me the story or selling me solutions, but giving me a character I can relate to.
    1)character: a young professional,
    2) a place: NYC
    3) villain: eyes of the shadow-image of a villain
    4)Conflict: dire things on the horizon–bring about Apocalypse
    4)hints of the extraordinary-Xavier omnipotent kind
    5)what hero has to do/overcome–reunite his kind
    6) possibly an impossible task since it depends on someone else.–and convince someone to believe in themselves and him before time runs out.

    I think this was your BEST one. This is definitely the winner in my book over the ones in the poll.

    “In Fractions of Existence, Xavier’s secret identity is an affluent young professional living in NYC. The Eyes in the Shadows work to bring about the apocalypse by killing Xavier and his omnipotent kind. Xavier must reunite his kind to become powerful enough to stop them. In order to do that, he needs Gwendolyn to remember what she is before it’s too late.”

    I have that book on my shelf, in fact, I think I have all 3 of them. This was a great post. Take what I said with a grain of salt because I am still learning too, Just sharing thoughts, ideas and what “I think I know” which can be as bad as ass/u/me.

    Wishing you the best and much success.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      Thanks so much for your generous and insightful comment. It truly means a great deal to me.
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  6. JEN

    Here’s a stab at yours:
    hero must find the girl with power to reunite his kind before being murdered by religious sect that threatens apocalypse.

    Here’s a stab at mine:
    Zeus shops in the pet store labyrinth for the perfect pet, but hydra, chimera, and especially typhon, are all wrong. #PB
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  7. Lianne Kruger

    I love how you tells us how to do something and then give us specific examples of what you have tried and how they worked [or not so much]. So much better than just giving instructions.

    @liannekruger from Computare Citus
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  8. anna from herding cats &

    OH I love a good tagline. It’s fun coming up with them for reviews and such 😀
    anna has this post to share [A to Z] Lust– OreosMy Profile

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