A quirky, slightly neurotic Seattle novelist becomes her own worst enemy when she falls in love with an inveterate ladies’ man.

    Penpusher Posted on May 20, 2019 in Drama.
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      “When she falls for an inveterate ladies’ man, a quicky, slightly neurotic Seattle novelist, must…” (Then tell us what she must do)

      Singularity Answered on May 20, 2019.
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        As Richiev has suggested, you need to tell us what her goal is. What must she do? Currently, this is just the inciting incident.

        Why is Seattle important? The general consensus is that names (including locations) are unnecessary unless they add a layer of understanding to the story. For example, using the name of the ship in a logline for Titanic, or a biopic about a well-known person. I would recommend taking out “Seattle” simply because I don’t see how it would change the story if that said “Chicago” or “Munich”.

        How does the fact she’s a novelist play into the story? The profession should have a bearing on the story, it can’t just be a random profession. Take Neo in The Matrix. He’s a computer programmer and a hacker. Neither is directly relevant to the rest of the plot but they say a lot about who he is: Slave to the machines with his day job but fighting against the establishment by night. It’s amazing how much information we can infer from a profession. What does her profession tell us that we wouldn’t get if she was a shop assistant? This must be relevant to the plot. That’s the key.

        The characteristic is usually something which is a character flaw and goes some way to giving the reader the character’s arc through the story. Is this the case with “quirky, slightly neurotic”? If not maybe consider another characteristic that reveals more about the character to us.

        Why is it such a problem for her to fall in love with this ladies’ man? Why does she become her own worst enemy? These are the antagonistic forces at work so we need to understand why it’s such an issue for her. Dramatic irony could be your friend here – if you said she was a romance novelist her life imitates her art and the reader gets an immediate sense of satisfaction from the story. That might have always been your intention but information like this needs to be in your logline.

        You’ve said Drama. As soon as you say “quirky, slightly neurotic” in a film about love the reader is going to assume Rom-Com or at the very least a Romance. Either change the genre or change the logline.

        Hope this all helps.

        Summitry Answered on May 20, 2019.
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          Agree with mikepedley85 that the logline sets up a situation for a plot and an inciting incident, but it doesn’t follow through with a complete plot in terms of the character’s objective goal.

          Further, a  description of a plot in a logline is about what a character intentionally wants to accomplish, not what a character unintentionally doesn’t want to happen like “becomes her own worst enemy”.

          I suggest reviewing the guidelines in “Our Formula” for writing an industry acceptable logline.


          Singularity Answered on May 20, 2019.
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            I think it would be more ironic if the protagonist was a strong “feminist” (to contrast against a presumably sexist ladies’ man). And I agree with the others that as of now she lacks a clear goal. Is she trying to avoid or pursue this man, for example? Also, how does she being a novelist relate to the logline or inform us as to the nature of your story? If it’s just background information, I’d cut it, but if it plays into the story in a fundamental way (i.e. the man she’s pursuing hates books, and her goal is to write a book, to give a mediocre example), I’d make that clearer.

            Penpusher Answered on May 22, 2019.

            I now realize the other commenters basically said the same thing I did. 🙂 My apologies.

            on May 22, 2019.
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