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Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence – Lane Shefter Bishop

This is a brilliant book focused on one thing: writing the best logline possible.

It’s common to see back cover blurbs like “the only book you’ll ever need…”, but in this case, I think it’s really safe to say this book covers the art of writing logline to the fullest. The author clearly defines what a logline should be, and what it isn’t, and breaks it down into 3 big questions: who is the protagonist (really), what do they want, and what’s at stake. There are tons of guidelines and tips on crafting the perfect single-sentence pitch, backed up by years of experience.

The book goes further than most by offering not only real world examples, but full-on exercises for readers to work through, with answers and explanations. There’s also a “Logline Cheat Sheet” towards the end of the book that I can see referencing for the rest of my writing career.

“Clearly, the payoff is that a successful logline not only sells the creative work upon completion, it also keeps the creator inexorably on-point throughout the process. That’s why I always tell people to try to design their logline first, while they are fleshing out what they want to write, and then get started on the bulk of their masterpiece.”
― from “Sell Your Story in A Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood”
I would add this to the list of “must have” books for creative writers, both for learning how to talk about and sell your writing, and for better focusing your writing on the core of the story.

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