Not a rhetorical question. I don't know. I want to find out.
After the first draft of this novella (actually more like the second) I had the structure pinned down. I had a title (different from what I'd first imagined). Heck, I even had a tag line I liked - and a mocked-up cover to see if it worked (just nod - it's something I feel I need to do).
Can you read that? If not, the tag line says:
A summer that would never end...
...or a world that was about to?
But a tag line, as we're always told, is not a log line. A tag line is a marketing tool, a hook, designed to build intrigue.
A log line is meant to be more like a one-sentence movie pitch. But also a functional summary of the plot: who's it about, what do they want, what stands in their way? But also intriguing, so people actually want to find out...
So my first thought, obviously, was: 'Sh*t! Could I even write a log line for this overambitious, under-planned mess?'
And my next was the one that appears in the headline here. If I can, can it help me? (Because I need help!)
So far I'd say it's certainly a useful exercise. It has helped me focus on the basics, like who are the protagonists/antagonists, what are the stakes, and do I need to explain the setup up-front.
But will it help with draft two (more like three)? The jury is still out on that. Maybe I need to get better at writing log lines before I use them to get better at writing anything else. And with that in mind, for the record, here are some of my attempts. If you can spare an extra few seconds, please let me know which one might persuade you to read the book (if any). As ever, I don't get to see who voted, only which option received the most votes.
I've been writing for as long as I can remember (I think my first letter was a P). I got a degree writing about other people's writing and ever since then I've earned a living writing commercially, one way or another. But I never stopped writing and refining my own stuff. I just didn't do anything with it, until now.