Use A Logline To Pitch Your Work

logs2A logline is a ONE sentence description of your work and its power is in its brevity. Writing loglines is new to me, and so far I’m loving it.

Does anyone else tend to panic a little when asked “What’s your book about?” How do I cram a fabulous plot, intriguing characters, and genius subplots into a thirty second spiel? (And all with appropriate humility, right?) wizardlogline No matter how I try to sum up my work, I always feel like I’m doing it wrong.  My “elevator pitch” feels more like a stab in the dark.  I hone it as close to perfection as I know how and memorize it, but when the moment comes, I’m a bundle of nerves.  I think I’ve been trying to provide too much information about the book all at once; I need informational increments.

loglinedefinedThat’s why loglines are so great: they’re short. When my nerves are bundled, a logline is easy to spit out. And while my listener is digesting the one liner, I can take a deep breath and be ready with the slightly longer “back of the book” type spiel.  Informational increments!  Another plus: if my listener isn’t interested in hearing more about my work, at least our encounter was short and sweet.  If I leave my listener bored or confused, what will s/he assume about my writing?

There’s an excellent explanation of loglines here. It includes lots of examples that I found helpful in writing loglines for my own work.

What have you found to be most helpful when pitching to an editor/agent or simply telling a friend about your writing?