All novels need a logline, sometimes also known as a hook line – a single sentence that describes the plot and acts as a sale pitch to agents and publishers.
The form is usually “[Character name], [character description] has to [action] in order to [result].”
The result usually has an emotional content. Hard to winnow your story down to it? Try this. Begin with the logline instead. All you need, in fact, is a six-sided dice. Roll once for each variable and complete the sentence:
1. Roger Dodger the old Codger,
2. Peregrine Hyphen-Hyphen Folderol,
6. Heinz Dasistwirklicheinesehrdummelangeswortistesnicht von Abernatürlichistesjaabsolutichdenkeso of Sehrgutwerdeichgehenundhöreaufmeinekraftwerkalben,
1. a world-renowned horologist,
2. a rock god,
3. an up-and-coming railway enthusiast,
4. a truck driver specialising in cab-over series Macks,
5. an unemployed random-generator writer,
6. a rodent exterminator,
1. win a challenging drag race
2. build a box-girder bridge with a toothpick
3. write a vampire fan-fic novel
4. learn how to sing and dance
5. cook a souffle
6. defeat the evil Thog monsters from Planet Zil
in order to
1. become the Ruler of the Universe.
2. rescue beloved from certain doom.
3. be home in time for tea.
4. get to Buckingham Palace and receive a knighthood.
5. audition for ‘America’s Got Talent’.
6. finish up at the beginning again, only better for it.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013