When a demonic book is brought into a college couple home, the couple must find the source of there internal struggles before they become its next victim.
Let me try a logline example, obviously, yours would be different because I don’t know all the details of your story.
“When a Quarreling couple come into possession of a demonic book that feeds off anger, the two must solve their issues before their volatile relationship empowers the evil tome to devour their souls”
The story, of course, being a metaphor for how a bad relationship can eat your very soul.
Welcome to logline.it and congrats on writing your first logline. The first thing to know is that writing a logline is hard but everyone here is here to help (even if it seems that the feedback is overly negative). Some of the comments you will receive will be about the logline, some will be about the story. The logline is a summary of the story after all.
So… on to the logline.
Your logline has all the components required, an inciting incident, a protagonist (or two), a goal and the stakes. However, there are a lot of questions and issues with the story that this logline conveys.
Inciting incident – Where did this demonic book come from? A couple wouldn’t knowingly bring a demonic book into their home so maybe consider unpacking this slightly so we understand it was either accidental or the book has the ability to mind control or move itself. I would argue the inciting incident isn’t the moment the book arrives at the house, but the moment they realise the book’s intention for evil. Up until that point the book is simply a book. As in Evil Dead, it’s the contents of the book that pose that the threat. So tell us, specifically, what the book does.
Typo – college couple’s home. While picking up on errors may seem petty, sometimes they can change the meaning or be read different ways so it’s worth double checking.
Protagonist – As a general rule, it’s better to focus on a single protagonist. Doesn’t have to be at all but usually, even in ensemble films, one character is considered the lead – Danny Ocean in Ocean’s 11, Gordy in Stand By Me, Mikey in The Goonies, etc. This also allows you to tell us who this character is. How would you define the character in 2 or 3 words? This often includes a characteristic that goes some way to suggesting the character’s arc through the film. Or perhaps it’s simply their defining trait and how they will deal with the obstacles thrown in their way. Ultimately, I would say pick one of the couple and tell the reader who they are.
Typo – “there” should be “their”
Goal – “find the source of their internal struggles” – the BIG problem with this is that they are internal. To find an internal issue with oneself, you must look within. So that leads us to a film where the character sits and looks within for the duration. Film is a visual medium so think visually! What will it look like on screen? Most films have an external goal and through the course of seeking this, internally they change and grow too. I would consider thinking of something that they need to do in order to beat the book and stay alive that can be visually interesting on screen.
‘Internal struggle’ is incredibly vague too. Ambiguity is where loglines go to die. You want to be as specific as you can so the version of the film the reader sees in their head is as close to what’s in yours as possible.
Stakes – I think we need to understand this book a little more in order to understand why it’s claiming people’s lives. As I mentioned previously, it’s the contents of the book that are usually the dangerous things, not the book itself. So tell us what this book is or what it wants.
I think if you address the issues and provide us with a hook, something unique and sets this story apart from others like it, it will make for a stronger logline.
Random questions. Is the script already written?
Don’t get disheartened by any feedback you receive. I’m sure we all remember posting our first logline and it takes a bit of time to get used to the process. Once you become more familiar with it all though, you’ll start to see how incredibly beneficial the skills of writing a good logline are. Not just in logline creation, but writing in general. It forces you to think really carefully about every single word you write. It’s important to read the feedback and keep trying to apply it with each new draft. Oh… and I don’t think any of us are experts, we’re all just aspiring writers, so you’re allowed to disagree or ignore the comments you receive. Ultimately, write the story you want to write. It’s yours after all.
Hope this all helps.
I am not sure how the two ideas presented in your logline connect, How does solving relationship problems stop a demon-possessed book? There doesn’t seem to be any hint in your logline on how those two things connect.
As an example, If there is a magic ring that is the power base for an evil sorcerer, I understand how throwing the ring in a volcano would be a valid goal, because the volcano would melt the ring and destroy the power base. And by that same logic, if you said the couple must throw the evil book into a volcano I would understand how that would stop the book.
But if the couple resolved their relationship problems wouldn’t the evil demon-possessed book still be a problem? How does the couple solving their relationship problems destroy the book?
I like the premise and can see some of the scenes already, but trying to steer away from Star Trek references:
“An academic couple’s dark secrets attract the even darker energy of an ancient book lurking in the college library, and the unwitting pair must resolve their past before the book swallows their very existence.”
I refer to “Day of the Dove” (1968), a classic Star Trek episode that strikes many chords.