I’m getting a little antsy as I wait for another set of beta readers to send back my most recent manuscript of Eye of Heaven. So I figure, why not put this nervous energy to use? Today, I’ve been reading up on taglines and loglines, while trying to come up with my own.
For those that (like I did) need a little refresher, a logline is a single sentence summary of the main plot of your book, focused on the protagonist, conflict and stakes. For example, the logline for The Avengers would go something like this:
An unlikely band of heroes assembles to challenge
a sexy a powerful madman from taking over the world.
A tagline on the other hand is the slogan for the story, something short and catchy that gives the potential reader a feel for what they are about to read. Checkout the incredibly brief but very effective tagline for the Avengers below.
So having figured out exactly what taglines and loglines are, I figured why not try my hand at them? For me, having written and re-written numerous synopses and query letters for EOH, the logline seemed fairly straightforward. I came up with this “first draft” in a few minutes:
A young Fenearen fae accepts a marriage proposal hoping to end a centuries-long war, but after discovering her intended’s treacherous plot, she alone can save her best friend, homeland, and pack from total annihilation.
But as far as taglines went, I was at a loss. The tagline is supposed to convey the essence of the story, that to which all those thousands of words really boil down. What the story is about at its most basic level. It is your story’s soul, given voice.
That’s a lot of responsibility for just a handful of words.
So, to get the muses on board, I started brainstorming individual words that I felt were at the heart of the story.
Sacrifice. Family. Pack. Loyalty. Bravery. Love. Destiny. Journey. Discovery.
Fear. Darkness. Loss. Death. Guilt. Pain.
Eventually I brainstormed a handful of ideas. I would love to have feedback on these as I try to perfect the elusive tagline!
Option 1: The dark is strong. The pack must be stronger. (tbh- I feel like this may be too vague and overwrought, but I like its simplicity…)
Option 2: When the promise of peace is broken, it’s kill or be killed. (Too spoilery? Too cliched? I do feel like it captures the story’s essence even so.)
Option 3: She’ll brave hell to save her pack, but will it be enough? (My favorite of the three so far, though it may be too “Rena-centric” for this multi-POV book…)
Option 4: I scrap all of these and start from scratch.
Even if I never end up using a tagline when the book is theoretically published one day, I think it’s a great exercise to do to clarify the story while in the midst of revisions.
So do you think I’m on the right track?
Any other writers struggling with the dreaded log and taglines?
I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!