Twenty-five words or less.
That’s how long the logline should be.
At least, that’s what people say. But sometimes it’s simply not possible.
I tell my students that the first draft of their logline can easily be 40-50 words. From there, you’ll trim and tweak until it is the shortest you can make it.
Most stories you can easily summarise in this amount of words, even though many writers hate to do it. They believe they are ‘dumbing down’ their story. Well, get over it.
Dumb It Down, Already
Industry professionals are used to reading loglines, and they have no issue with the dumbing-down-factor. If you can’t sell your story concept within those limitations, they surely won’t either.
After all, you’re not telling the story in twenty-five words. You’re summarizing it. You’re giving us the story concept.
Now, some stories have complex worlds, or sophisticated setups. In order to understand what is unique about this, you may have to give us a little more. It’s the part that follows in the trailer after the words “In a world…”
In that case, you may need more than 25 words. And that’s fine.
Twenty-Five Words. (Or More.)
After all, the number is fairly arbitrary. So if you feel you need more, and nobody is giving you a limit, then why not extending it to the length that feels right?
(But sometimes we miss)