Welcome to our new series designed to focus on one practical way to improve your story each weekend.
This week, try coming up with a log line for each of your characters.
A log line is a one-sentence description of what each character is all about and can help focus your understanding their motivations and their behavior.
John is a marketing executive and frustrated artist, unable to pursue his talents because of the financial needs of his family.
Sally, a fashion reporter, is determined to step out of the shadow of her sister, the adventurer, she accepts a dangerous assignment from her newspaper.
Each of these examples gives the character’s name and illuminates their situation and the key issue or issues that affect or drive them.
Individually, each log line provides a core or spine for each character and, collectively, the log lines suggest the nature of the conflicts you might want to explore between your characters and how their relationships might progress.
By referring back to your log lines as you write, you can keep your characters consistent and on track. And by revising each log line as your characters (and your understanding of them) evolves during the writing process, you will build a template to help with revisions to the beginning of your story when you approach your second draft.