September 10, 2014 at 4:51PM

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Logline or Story

I'm curious to see what people who don't live on planet Save-the-Cat might think of the logline/story conundrum that book raises. In a nutshell, Snyder puts paramount importance on nailing the logline first, even before you start mapping out your story. Some of his devotees don't have any interest in discussing the finer points of story structure if you haven't got the killer logline yet.

Shouldn't you worry about crafting a great story before you even think about how you're going to sell it? I can't be the only one that thinks this way.

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This is actually where I'm stuck right now! I admit, that I am partially on planet Save-The-Cat, but I would not say I'm a Snyder devotee (at least as of yet).

So I do agree with you that crafting a great story is very important. I mean, how are you going to write a killer logline if you don't have the idea? Although, what I'm finding now is that focusing on the logline is in fact helping me with my story. I am writing this logline for me and not for the purpose of trying to sell--I am my worst critic after all.

Anyway, by focusing on the logline, I realized that though I had a decent story, I didn't have a clear goal for my main character. I knew what scenes I wanted, but I didn't know what she was ultimately working for. So at least to me, trying to hash out a good logline first is beneficial to my overall story.

September 11, 2014 at 12:47PM

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I like gleaning ideas from various sources and knitting it all together into a cohesive working theory that gets altered as you go along and find out what works best. From Watt's "The 90 Day Novel" I learned about holding an idea loosely and just playing around with it for a few weeks before committing anything to paper, and letting the character drive the action. I got my first insights to how to technically write a script from Field's "Screenplay". Vogler's "The Writer's Journey" gives a great understanding of mythic archetypes and where to best utilize them in a three-act structure. And Iglesias' "101 Habits" interviews a couple dozen working screenwriters and gives some incredible insight to writing and working in the industry. And since I have them all as computer-searchable e-books, I know that none of these books makes a single mention of the word 'logline'.

"Save the Cat" has some great insights into structure, I'll give it that. Making sure you have a theme, making sure you state it, dark night of the soul, the all is lost moment - all good stuff. I'm less committed to his ideas about genre (another thing that irks me about his devotees) and logline. I like a good premise/concept that will eventually grow into a great logline once you know what your story actually is, but for now I think it's actually doing more harm than good as far as my creative process is concerned.

September 12, 2014 at 10:13AM

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Steve Chatterton
Screenwriter
81

I really believe that the logline is the spine from which the bones of the story can grow, and create something that lives and breathes on its own....it helps me tremendously

October 16, 2014 at 12:34PM

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Michelle Stuart
Screenwriter
56

I thinks that help you to maintain in focus, and like a compass.

October 27, 2014 at 3:31AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7566

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