After being threatened by an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord if forced to move against his rivals else it would mean certain death for him and his kin.
In response to previous thread:
“What hooks one person might not hook another.”
Consider who your target audience is. What will get them interested? That’s what a producer will be thinking about. It’s just something to consider about your story.
“The Protagonists action in saving the woman’s life is what sets everything in motion.”
What happens after this, because of saving this woman? Or before? That may really be the inciting incident.
” I don’t believe I am at a point of understanding this to really be a reliable source of advise on these.”
No one gives perfect advice. Being able to identify problems with other people’s loglines immensely helps with understanding the structure to be able to apply to your own. I suggest looking through other reviewers’ feedback on various loglines. What do they look for? Focus on the elements of a logline, and look for them in other people’s.
On the logline: “After being threatened by an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord if forced to move against his rivals else it would mean certain death for him and his kin.”
I think this logline is too vague. For one thing, if the adversary is unknown, then why does the vampire warlord consider them a threat? “forced to move against” is also too vague. Sure, it means something, but it’s ambiguous. Is he making a move to take territory? Resources? Is the protagonist trying to kill them all? What specific objective goal must he accomplish? And how does that prevent the death of his kin?
Lead characters are pro-active, your lead character is reactive.
When something bad happens, a lead character will come up with a plan of action: A goal…
He may succeed, he may fail, that is not needed in the logline, but the goal or the plan of action is needed.
“After a legion of blessed champions massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts and unite his kin to defeat this new enemy.” (26 words)
I suggest changing ‘counts’ to ‘nobles’. While it is an accurate description, when I read the first version that used it I thought you may have meant ‘courts’.
I think as is, “usurp the vampire counts” is too disconnected from “unite his kin”. What is the ultimate plan of action? I assume it’s to raise a fighting force. So how does usurping the vampire counts lead to the unification of his kin?
To point back to my example, I said “a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts in order to take control of their armies”.
In my version, usurping the vampire counts is what leads to him gaining his fighting force – he takes control of their armies, that’s the purpose of the action. It’s a single plan of attack, both actions to accomplish his goal: defeat the enemy.
So, my advice is to connect the two actions, or delete one from the logline.
“how does giving the director all the details up front cause or encourage them to turn the page or move on to the summary?”
A logline normally shouldn’t spoil a story. A logline is used to sell the idea of a script to someone in the film industry – it should give them a pretty clear picture of what the story is about. You certainly can’t fit all of the details of a story in a 30-word sentence, but is should show them that all of the elements of a story is there and give them a reason to invest their time in reading a script, at the least. A general rule is: a logline reader having to ask for clarification is not great.
Basically: The script itself is what should encourage a producer to turn the page. The logline is what you use to get to them to read the script.
“After facing near defeat at the hands of an unknown adversary, a vampire warlord moves against the vampire counts in an effort to unite his kin against this mysterious enemy, or else their downfall would be inescapable.”(37 words)
I do think this is better. I also think it still raises questions needed for clarification.
I’m confused as to how exactly “moves against the vampire counts” leads to uniting his kin. Loglines should avoid descriptions which require in-universe context to understand. It seems like he’s trying to raise an army, or at least some sort of fighting force.
The inciting incident is okay. I suggest you changing it to be more specific, and that could help in the logline.
An example(I’m using elements from your logline, but making up some as well): After a masked vampire hunter massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire counts in order to take control of their armies and defeat the hunter. (28 words).
Describing a specific inciting incident can be used to implicitly set up stakes. The goal is clearly stated (“defeat the hunter”). Describing the adversary as “masked vampire hunter” sets up that the character is unidentified, and that the character is a threat to vampires. It also allows me to use one word for further references(“hunter”).
Again, I mentioned “moves against the vampire counts” is actually a bit too vague. “usurp the vampire counts” to take control their armies describes a clear action.
Like I said before, I made up the logline but incorporated elements from yours, so it’s very unlikely that I’ve described your actual idea, but it is an example for you to examine.
If you think it’s necessary, give further explanation of the elements that aren’t clear to someone familiar with the story, and it may help us to be able to include those elements in our examples, if they are needed.
“In the novel”
Is this an adaptation of a published work?
” However, from his point of view, he is not acting our of interest of building military might, but out of the belief that if his kin can’t unify themselves, then they would all be wiped out. “
From my understanding, his plan is get all the other vampires to stop bickering or slacking off or what not, so they’ll be able to resist a common enemy. So then, if he’s intending to kill off the current leadership, is he planning on stepping up to the task? Unify his kind under himself?
Basically, what does unify describe? So it’s not to build an army, but just so they can defend themselves?
Right now, I think what you’re describing is — as Richiev mentioned earlier — too reactive and not proactive. The description in your comment sounds more like the point of “unify his kin” is to ‘survive’ more than ‘defeat’.
Anyway, to throw out an example: After a legion of blessed champions massacres his army, a vampire warlord must usurp the vampire nobility to unite the vampire factions to defeat this new enemy. (27 words)
Because if you say ‘kin’, I don’t immediately think of all vampires(or at least all of the ones in whatever area this is set in), which seems to be what you mean. I think of it more like a single clan or faction, which is fractured, and not multiple factions which are opposed and in their current state wouldn’t be able to defend against an external threat.
Sorry if the following happens to repeat feedback you’ve already gotten – I didn’t read through all the notes posted to this thread.
As a rule of thumb, Loglines are best constructed using the least amount of absolutely clear detail. Most working decision makers will have multiple loglines thrown at them every week. If they can’t immediately understand your story, they’ll shut down and won’t waste time/energy on absorbing any more information.
Going off your Revision 2, the logline raises more questions than it answers. For example:
– “…blessed champions…” is unclear; what are they the champions of? In what way are they blessed? Blessed by whom?
– If the MC is a vampire and he’s fighting the vampire counts, how is he uniting his kin if he’s also fighting them?
– Who precisely is he trying to usurp? All the counts? Just a few leaders? Usually, usurping is done to gain control over a single seat of power, whereas here it’s implied that one character will try to take over several. This sounds like less of an attempt to usurp and more of an attempt to overthrow the ruling class by one person to gain power – in other words, a dictatorship. Think about pretty much any dictatorship throughout history – they all thought they were doing the best thing for the people, but how did that work out…?
Producers may or may not take issue with the above, but the fact is that these are legitimate questions, which require clarification. If you end up explaining such complex details (in a pitch) to producers, you can bet on them switching off and likely passing on the concept.