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Thread: When writing your log line,

  1. #1

    When writing your log line,

    Would it be considered misleading if your log line, whether its eight words or sixteen words, makes the agent laugh if it's not intended as a comedy?

  2. #2
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    I don't know about misleading, but I'd consider it a failure if agents were laughing at my query when I didn't specifically intend them to, and would immediately write a different query.
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  3. #3
    Travel biologist, piss-poor fluffer quicklime's Avatar
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    log line???
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  4. #4
    Hopeful romantic/hopeless pedant ARoyce's Avatar
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    Quicklime--a log line is another name for the one-two sentence pitch that's frequently used at the beginning of a query: http://www.absolutewrite.com/screenw...y_quandary.htm

    JustSarah--like Stacia, I'd be wary of using a pitch/log line that's very different in tone from the actual story. If there's some humor in the story, then a funny pitch may be fine...but if it's a serious or even tragic story, humor may work against you. For instance, you might catch the agent's eye, but then if s/he requests more material, the sharp difference between the query's tone and the actual manuscript may be jarring or seen as inappropriate.

    There's no hard-and-fast rule on this...but it's probably worth posting your query in Query Letter Hell (in AW's Share Your Work thread...after you've reached 50 posts) to see how people perceive it.
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  5. #5
    Hero, villain, angel, demon AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    Sometimes I'll have funny lines in my query to match the voice of the novel, even if the story itself is dark or serious. But that's novel--and writer--specific, and an agent would know to expect a similar voice in the novel.

    I think, though, it would be hard to accurately portray an unfunny novel in a funny one-line pitch.
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