Craft Chat The Log Line

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I'm playing devil's advocate (forked tongue in cheek), but it's always puzzled me how if literary agents know what makes a book successful, why don't more of them write their own? :mad:

Agent Pete has, with his You Don't Need Meat, but the only other agent I can think of who has written books is the estimable Noah Lukeman.

It reminds me of a sports teacher at my grammar school, who was an expert on athletics and gymnastics but was so fat and unfit from smoking and boozing that he couldn't do any of them without breaking into an immediate sweat and suffering heart paplitations.

I've found with loglines, that they tend to sneakily alter on me. I decide beforehand what the themes are going to be, but reading my story through as I progress, see other concerns have manifested themselves, so my short sentence summary of what the novel is about changes.
 
Oh yes. That good old chestnut. :) Do as I say, don't do as I do.

I know you're teasing. @AgentPete talked about this in one of the group call seminars, saying most agents couldn't write a novel to save their lives, but they darn well need to recognise a good one when they see it, if they want to continue in business as agents. It's the business of selling good reading. They are professional readers, who need to be able to sell a book to a publisher so they can pay their bills. No sale, no pay. But every reader is qualified to judge what they're reading, and what she's doing, like others, is trying to deconstruct for writers, what it is that makes a reader turn the page or turn away. The chemistry between a reader and a novel, well, there's never going to be any recipe for that magic, but it won't happen without the skill of invisibility, all cogs and levers f the writing process smoothed right out of sight.

I read a history of Mary Tudor, Bloody Mary. An old family friend had written it, a very well known Tudor historian, and the tone was on the dry side. But he DID manage to become invisible to me, even though I knew his voice so well.

Agree about the loglines. It's on my mind a lot. There is always more than one, and identifying the central thesis isn't as easy as logically, it ought to be.
I suppose it's whatever is the driver. The need or the question driving the story.
Back to the what ifs.
 
I've found Twitter pitching to be great for teasing out all those log lines--because you can't tweet the same thing twice, you tweak it over and over. I found I could write a log line that made my story sound like an full-on action-oriented fantasy, or like a romance, or like a coming-of-age story. All were accurate, none particularly misleading--it was all about how much importance I placed on the various aspects of the story.
 
I got a nice rejection from Curtis Brown a couple of weeks ago.

"Thank you for sending me Elemons: Noble Beginnings - Because parkour was made for space. While I enjoyed reading your submission, which stood out from the many we receive, I'm afraid I didn't feel enthusiastic enough about the material to take it further."

At least it stood out! lol.

But in answer to the question why don't agents write their own novel; my take is that writers and agents are not interchangeable careers. The skill set required to be an agent isn't the same as being an author. I'm currently still developing my skills as a writer and the mindset I have to get into is something I'm practising each day.

As for logline, is that the one sentence pitch about your story? For an MG book standalone novel it's tricky but I think I've got that now and yes twitter helps tighten that skill up when pitching on there :)

But the overarching logline for a series that stretches over a number of books might be more difficult. Maybe only so because I'm still working that one out.
 
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The concept of writing a lovely logline should be like an easy thing is a tricky thing and a tricky thing is an easy thing. :DIf there should be any difficulty in having a logline for your novel, you may check on me in my humble honesty.;):)
 
Novel logline

A policeman sees the ghost of his long-dead little brother, drowned in an accident for which he has never forgiven himself. He desperately needs to move on, but till he finds out what his brother wants and gets it for him, there will be no peace for either of them.
 
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Lovely, I met it. Your logline wants me to sit, call for a pre-lunch release and read your big brilliant book. I believe it will flourish fabulously fine when you choose to publish. :)

My Emo:rolleyes: and I thought as much that your writing is captivating as such...
 
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