Tuesday, August 14, 2012


As I get closer to Uncharted’s release date (October 1), I’ve been thinking more about my logline—what I’ll say when someone asks “What’s it about?” I had one that I tried out on a few people—“It’s about a reserved New England shipwright and a spear-fishing young woman who is either delusional or may hold the key to his family’s mysterious past”— but it seemed convoluted when it came out and was met by a fair amount of squinting.

So, I’ve been reading in Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat about the importance of summing up “What is it?” in one sentence. I’m not sure if my new logline contains much irony (as he recommends), but this is what I’ve come up with:

“A peculiar young woman, whose stories of shipwreck and survival, capsizes the ordinary life of a reserved New England shipwright.”

Yeah, it’s still a mouthful, but it rolls off my tongue a little easier. And if I my audience doesn’t squint at that, I can add, “Even though she’s likely delusional, he might fall in love with her, but he’ll have to compete with his womanizing best friend.”

Oh, and just so you know what I’m working with, here’s the official cover copy:

When a peculiar young woman shows up at the Wesley House Bed and Breakfast with a battered suitcase and stories to tell, shipwright Sam Wesley isn’t sure if she’s incredibly imaginative or just plain delusional. He soon realizes that Marlena is like no other woman he has ever met. Her strange behavior and far-fetched tales of shipwrecks and survival are a fresh breeze in Sam’s stagnant life.

Sam isn’t the only one enchanted by Marlena. With his best friend putting the moves on her and a man from her past coming back into her life, the competition for Marlena’s heart is fierce. In the midst of it all, a misunderstanding sends Marlena running, and by the time Sam learns what his heart really wants, it may be too late to win her back.

This cover copy puts more emphasis on the romantic aspect of the story, which I originally toned down to make it more appealing to both genders. But the fact is, although quite a few men have enjoyed it (there’s enough adventure and manly stuff mixed in to draw male readers), the Women’s fiction audience is my target. And yeah, it’s a love story on many levels.

So, what do you think? Does the logline grab you? Any suggestions?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for the e-mail, Liza! figuring out which POV to emphasize is tricky business. :)

  2. "Shoes, and ships, and sealing wax..."

    I think it is pretty good. One sentence. Not easy. It would fit on a business sized card, along with a little more copy. That is good.

    Something poetic? Enigmatic?

    "It's about ships, and shipwrecks. Hearts, and heartbreaks. The uncharted seas, and the uncharted depths of human passions."


    1. Oh, I like the poetic enigma of "It's about ships, and shipwrecks. Hearts, and heartbreaks. The uncharted seas, and the uncharted depths of human passions."

      That actually sums up the theme very nicely. I may add that as my third line if the inquirer lets me get that far. Thanks for the input! :)

  3. Your new one-sentence summary is a big improvement over the first, and I especially like the use of the word "capsize" in it. Michael's has a nice sound to it, too, almost like what you'd hear in a movie trailer. Y'know, dramatic music playing in the background, a shot of a sailing ship being pommeled by the waves, and a deep mellow voice speaking those words. Hmmm, looks like he's given you a head start for when your story hits the big screen.

    1. Susan, I like the way your imagination works! Looks just the way I see it on the big screen, lol. And lets not forget the beautiful young woman fading in. Now, to get a few people to read it so Hollywood takes note, eh?

  4. I do like Michael's logline, no offence. It's just more poetic, dramatic, and takes away from the romance aspect. And I would never have classified Uncharted as a romance. Or women's fiction for that matter. It's a pirate story! to me.

    1. I do really like Michael's logline (no offense taken)--I wonder if I could pull it off, I mean, if someone asks what's it about? it does sort of set the tone. And then I could elaborate, depending on how engaged the inquirer is.

      ...and Anne, there are no pirates in Uncharted! You know that...but I'll grant you, aspects of it do have the appeal of a pirate story. ;)

  5. Nice to meet you J.B. Chicoine. I look forward to reading your work.

  6. Likewise, Julia--I enjoyed your blog.
    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. SAVE THE CAT is a great book. Loglines are tough. Think voice over for a movie trailer. Teasing is everything. Everything is boring.

    For my own LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH. I used s short sentences that flowed into the title. "To love the undead. To become legend. The legend of Victor Standish."


    "A mysterious woman. An ordinary shipwright. Suitors from past and present. All collide to shipwreck boredom on the shores of adventure."

    How about that?

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on my post on words. :-) Roland

    1. Roland, I never thought of doing it that way. Just pithy sentences, like in a movie trailer--sure, I know just what you're talking about.

      I may have to try out a variation on what you suggested! Thanks so much for your valuable input and thanks for stopping in! :)