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Thread: When writing your log line,

  1. #1
    Learning to read more, post less JustSarah's Avatar
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    Dec 2012

    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 Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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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
    all out of fucks to give quicklime's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    log line???
    Three words that convey the meaning of six will always look better than twelve...

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  4. #4
    Hopeful romantic/hopeless pedant ARoyce's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Quicklime--a log line is another name for the one-two sentence pitch that's frequently used at the beginning of a query:

    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
    What to my wondering eyes... AW Moderator Sage's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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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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