How to Finish Your Book and Keep Your Day Job: Log Line Formula

March 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , with 1 and 0
Home > Columns > Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger > How to Finish Your Book and Keep Your Day Job: Log Line Formula

Writing a book is a work of love.

However, things get in the way, i.e. work. We all dream of the day when we can make enough money to survive by writing. Until that day comes (if it ever does), we need to keep our full-time jobs. We wrote and published our first five books working full time.

This year we’d like to share a few jewels that worked for us during those hectic days of working and writing.

To get started with a new story, we used a log line formula that worked well. Even before you outline your story, write your log lines and make it specific. The formula is Setting, Protagonist, Antagonist, Conflict, Motivation and Goal. Once you are satisfied with the Log Lines keep them in front of you the whole time you’re coming up with your outline. It will keep you focused on the story.

For example:

Desert Ice | Janet Lynn and Will Zeilinger

DESERT ICE
In 1955, The hunt for a missing Marine and stolen diamonds (Goal) lead Private Eye Skylar Drake (Protagonist) to Las Vegas (Setting) where a crime boss (Antagonist) forces him choose between the right and wrong (conflict) side of the law before it’s too late.

book cover of Game Town shows silhouette of man with gun and a woman in a long gown with palm trees in the backrougnd

GAME TOWN
Private Detective, Skylar Drake (Protagonist) stumbles onto the murder of the mother of a famous Hollywood family (Setting) where he meets the perfect woman but suspects she could be involved (Conflict). He must solve the murder (Motivation) and keep the high-profile family from becoming front page news (Goal) in a city where the forbidden is accepted and games played are for keeps.

Now this does not mean you can’t add to or subtract from your log lines as you write. It simply means the log lines help keep you focused on the main idea for the plot and/or characters. We also made an in-depth character study of the main and secondary characters for reference when writing dialogue.

Keep up the good writing.

Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.

DESERT ICE

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DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

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GAME TOWN

SLICK DEAL

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SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

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SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

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STRANGE MARKINGS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Jann says:

    Great writing tip for those of us who are still at a day job. Thanks

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