Slightly easier (but I still don’t like it)

Takes a while to really get it right
Takes a while to really get it right

After a great discussion of his notes for the western spec, my manager’s script guy said those words I have always and will probably continue to dread.

“All we need now is your logline and one-pager.”


You know that feeling of loathing when there’s something you really don’t want to do, but know that you absolutely have to? That’s exactly how I felt, and from what I understand, I’m not alone in this.

But like I said, it had to be done.

First up was the logline. I’d already spent a lot of time working on this, so most of the heavy lifting was out of the way. Turns out it just needed a little tightening up, so yay on that front.

Which brings us to the one-page synopsis.

Double ugh.  Calling it the bane of my existence is a little harsh. More like a necessary evil.

Using what I did last year for DREAMSHIP as a model, I opted to put it together like a slightly extended version of what you would read on the back of a paperback novel.

A quick overview-setup establishing the major character and main storyline, then some hints/teasers at what comes after things really get started, followed by a sort of cliffhanger about the ending.

As was explained to me, to convert the potentially-interested into the definitely-interested, the synopsis has to really capture the tone of your script and not focus as much on what happens. The more concise and descriptive you can be regarding what the story’s about rather than the story itself, the better. Go into too much detail and you’ve lost their interest.

It took a few attempts, but in the end I had what I consider to be a pretty strong synopsis. There will most likely have to be some rewrites, but that’s okay. The hard part’s done.

In the meantime, it’s back to the mystery spec rewrite. Rest assured that as I work my way through the second half, my always-reliable subconscious will keep reminding me of one absolute truth:

“You know you’re going to have to write a one-pager for this one too, right?”

Triple ugh.

One thought on “Slightly easier (but I still don’t like it)

  1. I hear you, Paul! Let me say though that loglines are the bane of my existence! My initial ones always start off good, but then once I start the story and it changes, I screw myself – I am currently revising all of mine as I get my scripts ready! Luckily getting a lot of writer friends to kick my ass:)! For me, its the opposite – the one page is easier. Aagh, concise is hard!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s