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Synopsis

A paragraph that describes every beat of your story with detailed character descriptions. A synopsis can be anywhere from a few sentences to multiple short paragraphs and describes in greater detail than a logline the story and character arcs for a screenplay. It is within a synopsis that a writer can begin describing specific character traits, backstory, and story beats. A synopsis should not be longer than a page. How to write a synopsis instructions.

Log Lines - selling point for screenplay

A logline is a one-sentence outline of your film using only 35-45 words. It must be only one complete sentence. Any longer and it becomes a synopsis. Any shorter and it becomes a tagline. The logline should not be editorial as in, “My heartwarming tale of two kittens searching for their mommy will be an entertaining and funny film for  audiences of all ages.” Rather, it needs to illustrate the story and entice the reader.

Here are effective examples of loglines from films you may recognize. Notice how you understand immediately what the story is. Can you name these films?

  • A police chief with a phobia of open water battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open. (35 words)

  • A Parisian rat teams up with a wannabe chef with no talent to battle convention and the critics to prove that anyone can cook and open their own restaurant. (29 words)

  • A lawyer who loses his ability to lie for 24 hours clashes with his ex-wife for the affection of their son and the healing of their family. (26 words)

  • After making a wish at a fortune teller machine, a young boy becomes a grown man overnight and must cope with finding a place to live, finding a job, and adult relationships, with only the help of his ten-year-old friend. (42 words)

  • Transported to a surreal land-scape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again. (24 words)

Tag Line - a slogan for a film

In space, no one can hear you scream.” ~ Aliens

One ring to rule them all.” ~ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

There are 3.7 trillion fish in the ocean. They’re looking for one.” ~ Finding Nemo

 

How to write loglines and the differences between a logling, tagline and synopsis