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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Claire Wolfe

Logline of a life

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Okay, here’s a little exercise for you. What is the logline of your life?

In script writing, the logline is a single sentence that sums up the story or the premise of the story. But it’s not a barebones summary. It’s a sentence that “sells” the whole, that sparks interest, that stands out from the crowd, that encourages people to think your story matters.

Here are a couple examples from recent movies. You’ll notice they’re unique enough that nobody needs to explain which movie they refer to:

A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love, then must outwit her abusive fiancé, and find a way to survive aboard an ill-fated voyage at sea.

To regain his estranged children, a guilt-ridden dream thief risks his life to overcome heavily armed cerebral defences and plant an idea in a business mogul’s mind.

In one sentence: What is your story?

If you think your actual life is too dull for a good logline, what (realistically) would you like your logline to be?

Tips, if you want them.

22 Responses to “Logline of a life”

  1. He Who Will Remain Nameless Says:

    A guy stumbles through life, somehow usually making the right decisions at crucial points only to realize late in life that he is probably crazy by contemporary standards and always has been.

  2. Claire Says:

    LOL, Nameless. That’s a good real-life description for a freedomista. I might have to borrow that.

    Thanks for jumping right in. I don’t see this as an easy thing to do.

  3. Sam Says:

    After years of pain, torture, and abuse a perposterously good looking young couple break free from the past finding peace, happiness, and true love among the mountains of the deep south.

  4. Kent McManigal Says:

    I’m coming up blank- maybe if I weren’t trying to hide the fact that mine would be a tragedy…

  5. just waiting Says:

    3 felonies a day? Achieving that most days before coffee, he refused to live his life being limited by that arbitrary, capricious, low-number guideline.

    (or the 1 sentence guideline either :)

  6. Sam Says:

    Kent my life was a horrific tragedy and then all of a sudden it wasn’t. Don’t give up hope. Yes there are scars and life is still life however the joys of today have made the pains of yesterday seem worth it to get to where I am now. Never lose hope.

  7. Kent McManigal Says:

    Well, Sam, I’ll just wait a few years to write mine, then.

  8. neal Says:

    Lee Van Cleef, Crazy Horse, and William Blake got served by the Time Travelers wife. Hilarity ensued, as transcribed by James Joyce, by way of Mister Rodgers. Illustrations by the good Dr. Suess, with input from Audobon.

  9. Claire Says:

    Kent — Remember, you can always write your logline as you hope your story will go.

    Sam — That’s a “movie” I expect a lot of people will want to see. Good for you for getting there in real life. (And nice touch on the incredibly good-looking people.)

    just waiting — LOL, very stylish. Real Outlaw savoir faire. And wouldn’t you know it? While researching this topic I came across a logline contest where several of the winners had “cheated” and used two sentences. I didn’t link to it because I didn’t want to give anybody any ideas. I shoulda known you’d go getting ideas on your own.

    neal — Ummmmmmm, yeah. Except I believe you forgot to invite Cheech, Chong, Harold, and Kumar. I think they’d feel right at home in that movie.

  10. jed Says:

    > nobody needs to explain which movie they refer to

    /me raises his hand — no clue. :-P

    I’m not quite coming up blank, but it’s kind of depressing.

    Also, I hate writing about myself. Haven’t updated the resume in years, and it’s a task that needs doing.

  11. Claire Says:

    Poor jed. Not a movie fan, eh? Well, at least do they sound like movies that would make a gazillion bux at the bux office?

    I’m not sure whether writing a personal logline is easier or harder than a resume. (Think I’d rather do a resume, myself.) But I can say for sure that you probably shouldn’t mix them up if you’re looking for a job. ;-)

    Titanic …. Inception … I was gonna do Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl but figured that would be just a little too easy …

  12. jed Says:

    Haven’t seen either. Actually wouldn’t mind seeing them, though. I usually get movies from the library, and they have a good selection, but sometimes I do end up buying something I want to see, like Bubba Ho-Tep. I am a movie fan, except that I’m usually about 10 years behind what’s in theaters (or further).

    The resume is really not that hard, once I get in the right frame of mind. It’s like cleaning the bathroom — it’s easier if you do it regularly.

    I did come up with an unrealistic logline: Overweight Mental Militiaman overcomes inertia to lead the unification of the central states in secession from the corrupted union, and even gets laid once more before he dies. ;)

    (Sorry for leaving out the PNWet, but realistically, it’s mostly too liberal out there in the mossy parts. NE Washington is in the running, though.)

  13. M Says:

    After merely existing for 27 years the slightly obtuse Heroine finally learned that to fully live required simplicty. Two Simple words governed her life: Do Right.

    She married the almost man of her dreams, chased almost perfect children, raised almost perfect Livestock and died after being hit by an almost perfect asteroid on the way to the barn.

    It was good.

  14. naturegirl Says:

    I got nothin….I don’t know if it’s so many years/decades of training myself to not talk about myself or if it’s just to hard to say all of it in 20-something words or less, LOL…..

  15. Joel Says:

    It’s an embarrassing question, you know. When you ask people to just blurt it out in public like that. And anyway, I could work for days trying to reduce my whole life to one entertaining blurb. Probably still get it all wrong. End up blowing my own horn or begging for sympathy.

  16. JG Says:

    A young man tries to find reason on a planet of lunatics.

  17. MamaLiberty Says:

    Not a “movie” thing, but this pretty much sums up my life.

    I live, therefore I am. I don’t need anyone’s permission to live.

  18. -s Says:

    A savant studying complex systems risks life, liberty, and happiness after discovering a method to collapse taxation and end government as we know it.

  19. Pat Says:

    A woman spends half a lifetime searching for happiness, only to discover the essence of it within herself.

  20. Concealed Carrying Cyclist Says:

    Veni, Vidi, Vélo : I came, I saw, I rode my bike.


    Cogito, Ergo Armo: I think, therefore, I’m armed.

  21. winston Says:

    Combine reqiuem for a dream, american history x, breaking bad, and the green monster doccumentery into an HBO series, directed by whoever did Fight Club…that might be my movie. Season 3 airing soon…

  22. LarryA Says:

    Served my country, empowered survivors of rape and other violence, built a cemetery, taught thousands of people to shoot and hunt, raised two fine daughters and managed to please my wife, and wrote stories about fiercely independent people. So far.

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