The Michael Hauge interview has definitely amped up my interest in secrets of successful screenwriters. One thing Kath and I have been chatting a little about is the logline or “one-line” as it’s sometimes called in Hollywood. This line is important whether you’re a screenwriter or a novelist, because when an agent or editor – or potential reader at a booksigning – asks you that inevitable question, “What’s your book about?” you want to have a snappy comeback that intrigues. During WU’s interview with Michael Hauge, I asked a lot about the one-line and how to be certain it conveys what the story is about. I was personally concerned about this because while I had a hooky one-line for my own manuscript—one that implied action and had a certain spooky promise to it—I knew that it didn’t really capture the emotional flavor of the women’s fiction story I’m writing. So I’ve been stumped.
Until last night.
Last night, I read one of the opening tips from Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. I bought this book after reading an article by Snyder on the importance of creating likable characters from the get-go. It’s essential, he said, because this will compel viewers (or readers) to ally with your character and root for them mentally throughout their journey. Let them save a cat, help a child, whatever; just get some kind of emotional hook into the first few beats of your story. I added this to my own story and loved what it did to my opening scene, so I figured if the book could bring me even one more tip as good as that one, it would’ve paid for itself.
I didn’t have to wait for long; right there on page 6 sat a new golden nugget, and it had to do with my dreaded one-line problem. [Read more…]