Preparing to Pitch

Dev and I spent the day together working on our pitch for the upcoming Pitch Expo Toronto, working out a logline and a one-pager. Amazing how tiring it can be to write so bloody few sentences — and how hard it is to condense 30,000 words into about 30. Yoikes!

I spent a large part of the weekend looking for advice or suggestions on how to create the logline. There’s a fair bit out there, and of course some of it is contradictory, but in essence you want to boil your story down to 1 or 2 sentences, roughly 20 to 30 words. You’re not trying for the High Concept (that’s the “it’s like Jaws meets The Big Lebowski” line) or the tagline (“You’ll believe a man can fly…”).

The logline is intended to convey the dramatic story of your screenplay in as tight a manner as possible. You want to convey:
Who is your protagonist or hero?
What is the protagonist’s goal?
Who or what is the antagonist? (The force preventing the protagonist from achieving his goal.)

Simple, right?

Across my search, I found these resources:

* The Inside Pitch is a blog by Christopher Lockhart that seemingly is no more, but it had a good article on sample loglines and decent criticism.

* Christopher Lockhart also has this essay, “I Wrote a 120 Page Script But Can’t Write a Logline”

* This essay by Rob Tobin, “Make Your Log-line Shine,” is selling a course (which I always find a bit dodgy on the net, but whatever…), but had some good elements.

*This forum thread at Absolute Write had some good ideas, too.

* “Writing Longlines that Sell” by Jonathan Treisman.

* “Tips on Loglines” on Inktip.

4 Responses to “Preparing to Pitch”

  1. Jason Says:

    Good luck, man!

  2. Dev Says:

    It was a pain in the ass.
    But we got some nibbles at PitchExpo . Actually is was kind of fun after the first one. Soon as the FAT checks start rolling in party at Jesse’s place.

  3. Jesse Scoble » Bioware: Iterate, Iterate, Iterate Says:

    […] still recovering from GenCon and post-GenCon travels, it wasn’t to be. Still, I got to go to Pitch Expo Toronto, which may well have been more […]

  4. Jesse Scoble » Pitch Expo - Follow-Up Says:

    […] Expo – Follow-UpLast week’s Pitch Expo Toronto was a blast. Devinder and I went, not quite knowing was to expect, but it was a very positive […]

Leave a Reply

Posted in Writing on September 3, 2007 by Jesse

Jesse Scoble

Jesse Scoble is a writer, story editor, and game designer in no particular order.

He has won awards, written a Western Horror script, worked on computer games & pen&paper games, contributed to more than 30 titles, and makes a mean mojito.

Currently he is a freelance writer in Montreal, QC.