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JustSarah
12-14-2012, 04:39 AM
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?

Stacia Kane
12-14-2012, 04:54 AM
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.

quicklime
12-14-2012, 05:35 AM
log line???

ARoyce
12-14-2012, 07:37 AM
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/screenwriting/query_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.

Sage
12-14-2012, 07:41 AM
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.