Tag Lines vs Log Lines

In the writing world we talk about 30 word pitches or one sentence pitches—called ‘loglines’. Your book boiled down to one or two sentences.

But there’s also something called ‘taglines’. This is less of a pitch than a really short hook.

A tagline is more about emotion than real description. It is going after a visceral reaction.
The idea is to sum up the tone…to brand it. And do it well enough that people will remember. And as I looked around at taglines I really did remember them and thought they were fun.
Some classic movie taglines: 
In space, no one can hear you scream. Aliens 
One ring to rule them all. Lord of the Rings 
To boldly go where no man has gone before. Star Trek 
If you’ve got a taste for terror, take Carrie to the prom. Carrie 
Don’t go in the water. Jaws 
The list is life. Schindler’s List 
Not every gift is a blessing. The Sixth Sense 
Collide with destiny. Titanic 

The last man on earth is not alone.  I Am Legend 

There can be only one. Highlander 
An adventure 65 million years in the making. Jurassic Park 
Protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. Men in Black 
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll hurl. Wayne’s World 
Once I thought of movie taglines I started looking on my book shelves.

Her heart is tied to a youthful vow…but can true love set it free?…from A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

When romance calls will she choose to answer?…from When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

Seth Kincaid remembers almost everything…except getting married…from Over the Edge by Mary Connealy

Outlaws and in-laws face off on the Texas frontier…from Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

The log lines or 30 word pitches are more straightforward and not as much fun.

Here are a few to compare.

TITANIC Logline…A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.

Tagline… Collide with destiny

I am Legend logline…terrible virus has spread across the planet and turned the human race into bloodthirsty monsters. Mankind’s only hope for survival is scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith), the one person left unaffected by the epidemic. When he’s not fighting for his life against the hordes of the infected, Neville searches for a cure to reverse the virus’s effects — all the while battling his own doubt and despair as he spends every day alone.

Tagline …The last man on earth is not alone.

Jurassic Park – Logline…Two scientists visit a theme park with dinosaurs until the power fails and the dinosaurs get out and wreak havoc.

Tagline… An adventure 65 million years in the making.  

The loglines are kinda blah but they really do describe the movies/books. Taglines are really fun. Really memorable.

Homestead Brides Cover400
Click to Buy

A few more fun ones…Houston We Have a Problem; Who ya gonna call?; Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.

Can you think of any from movies or books? Or write your own?

I’m giving away a copy of my latest release The Homestead Brides Collection signed by ALL NINE AUTHORS!
tagline…9 Pioneering Couples Risk All for Love and Land
Logline…While fighting land disputes, helping neighbors, and tackling the challenges of nature the homesteaders are placed in the path of other dreamers with whom romance sparks. And God has His hand in orchestrating each unique meeting. Buy it HERE

Any comments gets your name in drawing.

http://www.maryconnealy.com 

Mary Connealy
Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules
Updated: March 19, 2015 — 8:23 am

30 Comments

  1. Too ate mary. I can’t even think of anything except that I need to go to bed. I did enjoy reading this. Holy Bible: God’s Word. Oh well, best book anyway. Would love to win this book. No luck yet. Nite! nite! Maxie
    > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

    1. There’s a great one, Maxie!

  2. Loglines don’t always have to be so “blah”. The movie ones usually are, though. Here’s mine for the first book in my series, “A Mighty Fortress”.

    “After their stagecoach is attacked by outlaws, an adventurous young man and his timid sister flee into unsettled territory and must find their way to town before they are killed by a pursuing gunslinger.”

    1. Faith, the book sounds great!

  3. I cant think of any either “Frankly my dear I dont give a damn” lol,,interesting post got me thinking

    1. Vickie I don’t know if that’s a log line but wow, that’s a line that everyone immediately knows.

  4. I have never heard the terms log lines and tag lines. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll be thinking of them all day.

    1. Hi Janine. They’re a lot of fun.

  5. Very interesting post, Mary! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Very interesting post. The Homestead Brides sounds like a fun read.

  7. Mary, this is a very interesting subject. Sometimes I can write a really good log line and sometimes not. Log lines speak to me. You’re right about them evoking emotion. They stick in your mind and make you want to read the book.

    The one for my third book Redemption is one of my best: Two brothers, one woman and secret that can destroy them all.

    You know I think it’s a shame readers usually don’t get to see these book ones unless they’re on bookmarks or giveaway items. I’ll bet you write some great ones.

  8. Had not heard the terms before so once again I am learning something new from one of my favorite authors. I shall now be looking for and thinking about them.

  9. Thanks for pointing out the differences! Can’t wait for your new books to release!!! Thanks for the giveaway- I love autographed books 🙂

  10. In the planning stage, thinking hard on things like this makes my eyes glaze over because they always seem out of reach! I really enjoyed the post though. It is fun to see the familiar ones like the ones from Star Trek and the other movies. Guess it is always a bit easier to look back to the story than try to figure this out ahead of time. {At least for me LOL) Thanks for a fun post!

  11. I can’t think of any from books or movies just slogans from old commericals

  12. Mary, this is really interesting. You brought understanding into my world! LOL I love the examples you used, too. Perfectly clear. (And that’s saying something in my world, these days!) LOL
    Cheryl

  13. Thank you, Mary. I really needed this refresher course! I’ve saved this for future reference.

  14. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I always love that line “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.”

  15. What a great post Mary very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Log lines and tag lines, oh the stories they can tell. Sometimes the tag lines are better than the work they represent. If you sit in on a screenwriters conference, you really get a feel for how the ‘Hollywood’ folks think. They work from log lines, but live by tag lines. Many times I’ll pick up a book by the tag lines, with a great cover of course.

    Thank you for a great post. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines

  17. Mary, very nice explanation of the difference. Though I use taglines and loglines, and enjoy coming up with the tags, I sometimes fret and stew over the loglines. I do try to make them as concise as possible so they aren’t so blah. I really enjoyed and benefited from your examples. Thanks so much and wishing you much success. My example to offer from my ALL FOR LOVE historical–tag=If a wounded soul opened his heart, could he find everlasting love? And the log line was–A feisty schoolmarm out to stop abuse and a doctor with a hidden past must join forces to save a young boy’s life.

  18. Hi Mary, fun and helpful post. Here’s the log line from the next book in my Undercover Ladies series. It’s a mail order bride story with a twist.

    Undercover Bride
    If she doesn’t prove the suspect guilty before the wedding, she could end up as his wife!

  19. I cannot think of any tag lines offhand. I always liked the one for Star Trek and have even used it myself.

  20. I liked this one “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a dam” from Rhett in the book and the movie.

    Your book sounds really interesting.

  21. I really enjoyed learning about log lines and tag lines, Mary! Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway. The Homestead Brides Collection signed by all nine authors- what a treasure!

  22. Very cool to see the difference:) thank for the chance to win a signed book:)

  23. I can understand the reasoning behind ‘log lines’ to sell a book or idea. Information is needed to make an intelligent decision. ‘Taglines’ are geared more for getting your attention and making you remember. Never had heard either term before, but have certainly noticed the ‘taglines.’

    “He’s having the worst day of his life…over, and over…” Groundhog Day
    “She gets kidnapped. He gets killed. But it all ends up okay.” The Princess Bride
    “Check in. Relax. Take a shower.” Psycho

    I am looking forward to the rest of your WILD AT HEART series. Have a good Spring with more healthy,new calves.

  24. Hi Mary, sorry to get here later than usual. What a great post. Honestly, I have never truly known the difference until you explained it. Way to go, girl. Looks like I’ve been pretty bad constructing both. I will always remember that taglines are fun! Loglines sound more like TV Guide blurbs. Thanks!

  25. I’m late too, Mary, but i always love to read your “entries”! They are fun and informative! I had never heard of log lines but have heard of tag lines! Thanks for the great post!

  26. I have been trying and trying to win this book, lol. It sounds excellent and the historical genre is one of my favorite. I would be so blessed if I was able to win this.
    Thank you for the generous opportunity and I love Mary Connealy’s books. So witty and always great for a chuckle !

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