Loglines were developed to sell movie and television scripts in one intriguing sentence. In the book world, we’ve taken that concept and melded it with the marketing idiom of taglines, which are more like verbal logos and not intended to convey much of the story. The result is something like a mini blurb, suggesting just enough of the story to grab a potential reader. You can read numerous articles rigidly defining both terms and insisting on the “correct” form for any given situation. But what’s the point? For our purposes as popular fiction writers, we’re going with a hybrid you can craft however you need to, depending on the use.
The perfect logline can definitely help sell a book. You might use it on the cover, in a Tweet or other promo, in online catalogues, etc. However, for me, writing a logline for a new book is an exercise in torture. Some writers hate writing synopses. Those have never been a problem for me. And unlike many, I actually enjoy writing blurbs. But distilling the essence of a story into a sentence or two? Nearly impossible.
So, to get some practice and challenge my creativity, I decided to try writing loglines for the ten short stories in my new collection Small Town Christmas Tales. Here goes:
If Wishes Were Fishes –
She forgave him for her brother’s death years ago, but can he learn to forgive himself?
Mistletoe and Misdemeanors -
Locked in a cell on Christmas Eve, and only the town’s former bad boy has the key.
Let it Snow –
When she’s sent to evict Santa Claus, can a lawyer turn the tables on her Scrooge of a client?
The Brightest Jewel –
There’s a handsome stranger in town, but has he come to save Black Bear Creek, or destroy it?
Penguins, Pucks, and Pumpkin Pies –
When the food bank catches fire the week before Christmas, it takes Pumpkinseed Lake’s former golden boy and his team of peewee Penguins to save the day.
Liza’s Secret Santa –
Someone is leaving tiny treasures on Liza’s doorstep, but who?
No Room at the Inn –
A carpenter named Joe, a pregnant teen named Maria, and three Jersey Wise Guys converge on a harried innkeeper in a mélange of mix-ups and misunderstandings.
Second Hand Hearts –
A burned-out tech entrepreneur gets more than he bargained for when he returns to his grandmother’s seaside home to lick his wounds and finds himself the object of a matchmaking scheme.
A Hard Luck Christmas –
Are a handsome rancher and the chance to set a teen’s life on the right course enough to keep a dedicated social worker in an apparent wasteland like Hark Luck, Wyoming?
Christmas 2.0 –
A college professor faces a big decision when her video-gamer ex-boyfriend re-appears as a changed man with a new purpose.
So what do you think? There’s quite a mix here. Would these lines entice you to read the stories?
Small Town Christmas Tales is available in paperback and ebook exclusively from Amazon. For more info, click here.