Welcome to The YA Bookcase 2014! For all my regular followers, it’s so nice to see you back. I hope this year I can continue to help as best I can with your writing world. I’m striving to make this the strongest, freshest, most relevant year yet! And to all my new followers, thank you for stopping by. I hope you find something in this blog you connect with. Don’t be shy. Feel free to comment, suggest or ask whatever you want. Open discussions are always welcome.
Okay, so let’s get down to business. It’s the start of a brand new year which means the start of a contest. You got it! #PitMad is back (follow the hashtag on Twitter, you won’t be disappointed). This is the time for writers to hone their novel’s log line in 140 characters or less and pitch it to numerous agents perusing the hashtag on the 8th of January. Feel free to join in and see if you can snag the agent of your dreams. I got my agent through a previous #PitMad contest, so it can happen for you too!
Now, before the action hots up, I thought it was the right time to discuss just exactly what makes an eye catching log line.
A log line should be short, sharp and to the point. It should offer the unique slant of the story, whilst giving the reader the idea of the conflict and genre. Ideally, it should cover the main character, what the main character wants, and what must be overcome for the character to succeed.
However, a few different techniques can be used to great effect.
For example, some log lines focus on comparisons, such as the Aliens movie, which could be log-lined as “Jaws in space”, or a book being pegged as “Twilight meets the Golden Girls”.
Others novels don’t suit comparisons, but could be based on the formula of “(hero) must (action) with/against (antagonist) to resolve (conflict) or (consequence).”
Or you can use the method of “Character wants X, but Y stands in the way. Z must be done to achieve goal or consequences occur.”
If you can’t boil your book down to a log line, then you need to sit down and think hard about what your book is about. What does your main character want more than anything in the world? What would they do to get it? What’s stopping them? What will happen if they don’t get it? How is this bad for them?
If you’re still really struggling, then ask your Critique Partners (very nicely) to sum up what your book is about in as few of words as possible, then use this as a base to work from.
A good log line is essential to a writer’s career. You need to be able to paint a picture of your novel in the reader’s mind as quickly as possible, so that they can see why they’d want to buy your book. Learning this skill early on is vital.
Also, don’t forget to insert your genre in your log line. For example: “YA Romance. Character wants X, but Y stands in the way. Z must be done to achieve goal or consequences occur.”
As a helping hand to all #PitMad applicants, feel free to post your log lines here and I’ll give a critique on them before the big day.
Best of luck to you all. And may the odds be ever in your favour!
Here’s to a roaring 2014! I hope all your writing dreams come true!