Loglines and how they help me focus a story

So I finished a story and sent it to my writer’s group. Four people came back with minor suggestions, the fifth suggested that I alter the beginning, that the middle needed work, and the ending was a bit off.

Needless to say I thanked that fifth person profusely then promptly set out to rewrite my story.

Then I came across this website:
http://twoadverbs.site.aplus.net/logline.pdf

As an exercise, I wrote out the logline for my story.
According to the site, there’s three important elements needed for a good logline.

who the story is about (protagonist)
what he strives for (goal)
what stands in his way (antagonistic force).

Well, mine was missing one. No matter how much I danced around with the words, no matter how creative my mind is/was, I could NOT get all three.

Hence what my fifth reader noticed was off in the beginning, middle, and end of my story. 33% of the important elements of a good story was MISSING.

I banged out a logline for one of my trunk stories. In seconds I had all three, and summarily, what is already a stronger story.

I’m currently rewriting that story, (it’s ancient, so needs a full overhaul) and although I’m only around 10% done, I’m already more confident in it.

Why?

Because 10 pages in I’ve not only secured my logline, but I’ve clearly stated what my character wants, and why he can’t have it. The antagonistic force is in the way, but only that, the antagonistic force wants the opposite of my MC, which is also clearly stated.

This may be elementary stuff, but for me was a real “light bulb over the head” moment.

Thus, I wanted to share with others, in case other light bulbs might be lit up.

Suggestions:
Write a logline for your written story.
Write a logline for your future stories.
If you don’t outline, just logline.

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About dustinadams

I write the wrongs.
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