When I’m helping people write loglines, I often run into a little problem. Someone will hand me a logline for an epic story that just doesn’t quite feel compelling, usually for a very simple reason: they haven’t told us about the consequences.
Loglines and stories need conflict, as I’ve said in the past (and explained in my book), but sometimes it’s not enough to just include a situation with conflict. You need to make sure that we know what’s going to happen if the hero doesn’t succeed.
This is often more of a big epic story thing. When the story is huge and involves the fate of the city, the world, the galaxy, or the universe, it can often fall flat on its face without a little tiny bit more.
And yet for some reason, this is a sticking point for so many people. They figure they have a bad guy and he’s in the logline, so that ought to be plenty, right? Nope. And worse still, when pressed for more details, many writers panic and say, “I don’t really know what should go in there!”
Luckily, there’s a simple, powerful question you can ask yourself to figure out what consequences belong both in your story, and also help your logline: Continue reading Conflict and Consequences