Sixty second writing tips: writing control by logline

One of the big pitfalls for writers is that tendency to wander. It easily happens, even if you’re working to a pretty tight plan. You know, that good idea floats in and before you know it, you’re off in Diversion Land and can’t find your way back.

It hits fiction and non-fiction authors alike. And is there a way around it? Sure. Go back to your logline or thesis – uh, you DO have one of those before you begin…don’t you…? Go back to that, and ask whether the new material fits the logline.

If it doesn’t, then adjust it so it does. The other way is to adjust the logline – but often that means also reflecting the change of direction across the rest of your text. Sometimes, that does have to be done. But usually it works the other way.

In this way your logline becomes a control device – a system for keeping your book to the straight-and-narrow. Keeps re-writes to a minimum, though as I say, sometimes it’s not always possible. But most times, I think.

Do you use a logline this way?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013

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