Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Loglines

Well, hubby had an interesting birthday. Considering he spent three hours in an AM/PM clinic. He's had a bump on his arm steadily swelling the last few days. It began with what we thought was a mosquito bite. It's not. He's a welder and often goes without wearing his leather welding shirt when the temperatures are extremely hot outside.

Have you ever had a small burn...like you accidently touch yourself with a curling iron or grease pop on you while cooking? They hurt like all get out. I know his job requires him to work in extreme temperatures, but it's not as bad as when he was in Iraq. So why not endure the leather shirt to keep from having small burns all over his upper body?

One of his burns has apparently gotten a staph infection. The swelling has tripled in size and his forearm is extremely painful and hot to the touch. They've started him on antibiotics and something for pain. I doubt he'll take the pain meds because he needs clarity when climbing up a hundred feet in the air to dangle from a harness, or to walk on a 6 inch wide platform.

So last night as we're falling asleep. I teased him with a line from one of our favorite movies, Tombstone. If you've ever watched it, it's where Sam Elliot's character, Virgil Earp, has been shot in the arm and is told he'll lose the use of it. He tells his wife something like, "I've still got one good arm to hold you with Ellie."

At least I got a goofy grin. Maybe it wasn't such a great birthday, but he still got a warm, gooey turtle brownie.

Okay...back to business. Loglines. If you were having a conversation with someone, how many of you can just toss out a decent one or two line description of your book. Several editor or agent pitches rely on a high concept logline to hook immediate interest.

I personally suck at it. So it peaked my interest when I received an email from one of my Yahoo groups, it was a virtual class on loglines from Rosemary Clement-Moore. It's the Four Elements of a Winning Pitch through the Candy Havens Writer's Workshop. And just what I needed. So I thought I would share my process as I go through the motions.

The first thing she has us doing is looking at the movie descriptions in TV Guide, or the online guide for your cable/satellite service will work. Also...look online for your favorite movie descriptions. Study the strength of the verbs to create a mental image. She also has us look at how the irony in a logline or title can add strength to your hook.

After I work on crits today, I'll start listing the unique elements of my story and strong verbs to tie it together. Interested in playing along? If not...sit back and enjoy my pain. ;)

9 comments:

Lazy Writer said...

Loglines are a thorn in my side. I'm terrible at coming up with a good one. I think I'll play along. It couldn't hurt. Thanks for sharing.

Natalie Bahm said...

It is so HARD to write a good logline. I rewrote my query countless times and I never had a succinct description of my story. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Terri Tiffany said...

I've been working on mine for weeks now! I think I'm there finally:) SOrry about your husband's arm! Ouch!!

PatriciaW said...

Hey Chelle! I'm on Candy's loop too but I'm bypassing this one. Trying to stay focused on outlining and then writing.

Cindy said...

Sorry to hear about your husbands arm. I hope it heals quickly. I wrote about loglines not too long ago. I'm really terrible at them. i think the biggest problem I have is being too vague and not using verbs that really draw people in. Ugh...it's a challenge.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, my gosh, your poor hubby!! Hope he heals fast.

At the risk of getting a shoe thrown at me, I do pretty well with loglines.

Now the synopsis... that's another story. :(

Vanessa said...

Happy Birthday to your Hubby (I think)! I sincerely hope things get better soon - doc-in-the-box is NOT a fun way to spend a birthday!

As for the rest... Synopses and me - not friends. THe rest...well, I'm avoiding it as long as possible. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

What a great suggestion for loglines! I don't get the TV guide but I'll be sure to check out the movie loglines online! Thanks for that tip! Hope your hubby feels better soon!

Chicki said...

Try your best to convince Mr. Chelle to take the antibiotic or the infection will spread. It shouldn't make him woozy.

I hate writing log lines, so I'm going to check out that workshop. Thanks!