Loglines: How to create screenplay from loglines

There are many ways loglines are written but the most regular are the ones that start with (or have in them) the adverbs; "when", "after" and "as".

Examples:
After a storm destroys her small farm, killing her mother and father; an adolescent girl is sent off on a journey of survival.

When a woman abandons her home for worthless egotistic competitions against her fellow women, the adage 'what goes around comes around' will be her experience

As his father is dead and awaiting interment, he finds a way of taking advantage of the situation in making some money for his lazy, illiterate self.

When in a game, the winner pays and the loser gains.

After saying "I do", how strong is the foundation of your marital love?

As the rebels fight their way into the heart of Lincoln town, a young brave Lincoln man finds the situation an avenue to launch the pistol his late father released to him.

After the sons of a woman grow to maturity, her hatred for her husband also grows.

When in a situation where running away from your full legitimate responsibilities becomes an advantage.

As the little possessed girl wakes up in the spirit world, her destined epic journey to liberate the princess of Caveland hill from magic spells begins

In a world where you need to die and reincarnate several times in order to help the others live

More often than not, budding screenwriters that want to break into the screenwriting business tend to participate in screenwriting competitions. In these competitions they are usually asked to take a particular existing logline and turn it into a short screenplay.
Well, if you find yourself in such competition, check if the logline starts with (or has in it) the adverbs "When", "After", or "As". If it does, then below is a guide on how to create a screenplay out of it.

AFTER
Here, it is simply "After an event has happened". What this means is that you have to continue the story after an event has occurred. This event is the "determinant event"; or simply the "main cause". It's a crucial event.
You now have to write about the NEXT EXPERIENCES; all of them TO THE END, AFTER THE DETERMINANT EVENT. The determinant event is THE MAIN CAUSE of all that experiences you'll write about.
Now that you have started writing, just forget about that MAIN CAUSE. Your audience will know it from your character's conversations; or your character's exhibitions like flashbacks, thoughts, actions etc.
There may be no need to show your audience this MAIN CAUSE; unless flashback (though the flashback has to be a bit of it in order to keep the audience in suspense and also allow them use their initiative to deduce the MAIN CAUSE).
Every other actions, scenes and experiences of the character will just focus on the aftermath of the MAIN CAUSE.
You just have to go ahead with the effects of that MAIN CAUSE; showing all the ways the character takes care of/defends them until he becomes victorious at the end.

WHEN
Here, it is simply ''When an event is happening'' which means that you have to write about ALL THE EXPERIENCES - TO THE END, PLUS THE MAIN CAUSE of the experience talked about.
Show everything! From the beginning to the end!
Even if you do not want to show the MAIN CAUSE at the beginning (may be you want to create a suspense), you can choose a point in course of the story where you have to pause and then show the audience what the MAIN CAUSE is.
You have to show everything.
You have to help the audience understand fully how it all started; from the MAIN CAUSE to the effects of the MAIN CAUSE, to the defenses and then to the victorious moments. And after this, you can continue from where you stopped.

AS
Here, it is simply ''As an event has happened'' which means that you have to write about ALL THE EXPERIENCES - TO THE END, RECOUNTING THE MAIN CAUSE of the experience talked about.
This is somehow similar to "WHEN" in the sense that you show everything. But the difference is that; here, you often (though in bits) show the MAIN CAUSE of the experiences. This is normally useful to seasonal movies where some episodes decide to go back and show the MAIN CAUSE.
In order words, the MAIN CAUSE recounts here and it lingers and always becomes a source of worry and deep thoughts and concern to the characters. The characters will always have to go all their way in challenging and defending the experiences that emerged from the MAIN CAUSE.


Written by: Winny Greazy

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