Loglines: A Workbook of Story Ideas for Writers

Loglines: A Workbook of Story Ideas for Writers

by Carlos Perez

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Overview

Loglines: A Workbook of Story Ideas for Writers by Carlos Perez is a how-to text for the beginning writer and the professional alike. It’s filled with story ideas as starters for the creative process of writing, along with having several writing exercises that Mr. Perez often uses in his writing classes and workshops. The text is useful for anyone experiencing writer’s block—whether it’s the solo writer, the classroom student, or a member of a writers group. The ideas in the workbook are the beginnings of what could be a complete manuscript, depending on the writer. Mr. Perez has offered a number of skeletons looking for complete bodies to bring them to life, and it’s up to the reader to do just that. The blank pages included with each idea are there to allow the reader/writer the opportunity to play with the idea to make their version of the story whole.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524675400
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 03/29/2017
Edition description: Workbook
Pages: 134
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.29(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Loglines And Story Ideas

Logline

MY PROFESSOR IS A SADIST

A bright university student finds the diary of a renowned college professor documenting his sadistic psychological experiments on students and decides to expose him and even the score.

Now expand upon this premise in the space provided in any way you see fit for whatever medium/genre you like best. Remember, this could be a drama or a comedy or a combination of both. What would be the names of your characters? What is their situation? How would you carry out this idea? If you want to learn more about this premise, then continue on in the text to see how one might elaborate on the idea. Use the blank space to work out your treatment and have fun!

The Idea

A renowned university psychology instructor with an impeccable reputation notices three students (a woman and two men) who appear to be best of friends. He decides to conduct his own psychological experiment on them to see what it will take to destroy that relationship. He starts by favoring one male over another, as to weaken the friendship between the two men and possibly start a wedge between the three of them. He then starts making comments about how one male over another seems to be a good fit with the female, to create jealously between the two males. He continues this with hopes of breaking up the relationship, while taking notes of his experiment the entire time. A fellow psychology student who's been observing this follows the professor one day and finds the notes he's been taking and copies them and turns them over to the very students he's been experimenting on. It's now up the students to decide what to do next.

Is this what you envisioned by the logline? What was your idea and how did it compare? Discuss your idea with your peers, or if working solo, consider how yours is different from the one listed here.

Logline

DONATIONS OF AN ALIEN KIND

A prison physician notices prisoners returning to the same prison after recommitting crimes in a steady and predictable time table, and in his research he discovers the prisoners are part of an experiment being conducted by a covert agency within the NSA, and attempts to stop them anyway he can.

The Idea

A physician at a prison begins to suspect something is wrong when prisoners who volunteered for a military experiment and are released for good behavior end up back in prison only months later, once again as part of the military experiment. The aspect of them returning to crime is nothing new to the physician but the fact that they return in almost the same time frame and then re-enter the experiment is. He tries to find out more about these experiments but is told that it's part of a secret operation and to not get involved. He hires a private investigator to assist him in finding out what's happening to these prisoners on the outside, and together they uncover a diabolical arrangement between the military, the prison, and aliens from another world. Together they must come up with a plan to end these experiments.

Logline

A MISPERCEPTION OF LOVE

A child, who is prone to exaggeration, discovers another child imprisoned in a deserted house in the woods and tries to get someone to believe her before something bad happens.

The Idea

A young girl who is prone to exaggeration comes upon an abandoned house deep in the woods. She pulls a board off a window and finds that a child is chained to a support pole in the basement. She runs to tell the police and her parents, but since she's so prone to making up stories they don't believe her. She returns to the house to help free the child but the child won't leave for fear of getting in trouble by his caretaker. Plus, since this is the only life the child has had the child doesn't even realize anything is wrong with the situation. The child loves his captor. The girl continues to visit the child to keep him company and to try and find out just who it is that's keeping him prisoner. Eventually, she learns that it's the town mayor who is holding the child hostage. Now the girl must figure out a way to convince the town that the mayor they admire has imprisoned a child in a basement.

Logline

WELCOME TO MY NEIGHBORHOOD

An arrogant wealthy businessman must face off a couple of low life bad guys, living in the projects, who set him up for murder to test if he's brave enough to face them alone to get the proof that will exonerate him.

The Idea

A couple of low life bad guys out for kicks drug a rich businessman they meet at a bar and set him up for murder. When the businessman wakes up next to a corpse he must go on the run to find the bad guys who left a note as to where they can be found, a dangerous section of town known for its crime, drugs, and violence. Afraid the police will never believe his story, he must find them to clear his name before the police find him and arrest him.

Logline

WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?

A newly elected third party president must get the proof he's discovered to the American public, that the power behind the U.S. government is indeed large multinational corporations overseeing the military industrial complex and using the media to control the hearts and minds of the people.

The Idea

A young governor has just been elected president. On his first day alone in the Oval Office an old man in an expensive suit enters the room. Fearing an assassination, the new president calls for security but they don't arrive. He tries to leave the room but finds it locked. The man in the suit tells the president to sit down and relax. The president does so, and this is where he learns the truth about being the president. The man pulls out a dossier of the new president's life, with all the good and the bad. He informs the new president that they have been keeping this dossier on him since when he first entered politics; including creating various embarrassing situations that, unfortunately, the newly elected president fell into and needed to be rescued from. The man explains that the president will continue to make appearances and speeches, but that the country will be run by a billionaire consortium. The president starts to balk at this saying he'll never cooperate and the man informs him that information will be leaked that will, at first, only be embarrassing but later much more damning. He is told to play ball or else. The man leaves and for a time the president plays ball but eventually can longer stomach doing so and starts to fight back and, of course, the leaks start then. Finally, he decides that he will tell all during his State of the Union Address, but the consortium is one step ahead of him and plans to have him impeached as being mentally unstable before he can do so.

Writing Exercise #2

Find a favorite author of yours and turn to an especially well written passage or section that really grabbed you and held your interest. Now, take out your computer or some paper, and copy these passages word for word. The idea is for you to get a sense of the pacing and writing style of your favorite author. By copying their work word for word you may get a better understanding of their style. This will not turn you into your favorite writer, but it just may give you some insight into their stylistic differences. I did this with one of favorite authors, William Faulkner, and I loved the experience. It felt almost like I was inside his mind composing the story with him. I did it in long hand because I enjoyed the tactile experience of writing by hand. However, do it in whatever way works best for you. See what you discover.

CHAPTER 2

Loglines And Story Ideas

Logline

A SHAKESPEARIAN CHRISTMAS

In a spin-off treatment of A Christmas Carol, a mean-spirited Shakespearean actor or actress is visited by three of Shakespeare's characters in spirit form to get him or her to change his/her ways before it's too late. Realize that A Christmas Carol is in public domain, which is why there are so many versions of it out there, including Scrooged with Bill Murray, which is one of my favorites.

The Idea

In a spin-off treatment of A Christmas Carol, a Shakespearean actor or actress could be visited by three of Shakespeare's characters to sway him or her to change his/her ways. A possibility could be Puck as the ghost of Christmas past, Falstaff as the ghost of Christmas present, and Richard the Third as the ghost of Christmas future. If one goes with a female protagonist then it might work with Juliet as the ghost of Christmas past, Portia as the ghost of Christmas present and Lady Macbeth as the ghost of Christmas future. Any number of Shakespearian characters could be employed as we follow our protagonist's theatrical career.

Logline

WILL THE REAL MANNEQUIN PLEASE STAND UP

A woman is given an opportunity to turn into a mannequin, which is free to be alive only in the department store at night, to free her of the financial obligations and heartache of being human.

The Idea

For some reason a young woman has a fascination with a male mannequin. She doesn't understand why, but she's certain he is the splitting image of a past lover. One night she decides to stay late and hide out in the store so she can look at the mannequin more closely. Late after hours she sees the mannequins come alive. She quickly finds her mannequin is alive and is indeed her past lover. He tells her that he was tired of his life and found a way to become one of the store mannequins that come to life when humans aren't around. She sees that all of them are having a wonderful time without the daily grind of having to work to survive. Her lover offers to tell her the secret of how to escape being a human, that is, if she truly wants to.

Logline

IT'S ALL IN THE GENES

A scientist discovers why some people are instantly disliked by others and publishes his findings with a comically tragic outcome for himself and others like him.

The Idea

A scientist, who no one ever seems to like, is determined to find out why people have never seemed to like him. After studying the phenomenon for years, with other subjects like himself, he has found that there are minute genetics differences between normal people and those that seem to be rejected again and again. He determines this genetic anomaly is the reason some people appear to be automatically disliked. He publishes his findings and soon has quite a following of humans, rejected by the masses, looking for a cure.

Logline

NERDY BLOODSUCKERS

A group of nerds are set upon by a pair of sexy vampires and turned into the smartest, yet oddest, group of blood suckers ever conceived.

The Idea

An attractive female vampire and her female cohorts come upon a group of alpha male jocks harassing a group of nerds. She and her cohorts attack the jocks and drain them of their blood, and feeling sorry for the nerds, decide to turn them into vampires. Later the nerds wake up to the carnage and run away. In time, they all begin to turn into vampires with comedic, yet frightening consequences.

Logline

CLOTHING NOT SO OPTIONAL

A sexy couple of clothing designers set out to prove that it's what's not shown that makes you sexy when they infiltrate a clothing optional community to seduce its members by employing their sexy new clothing line to do it.

The Idea

In a clothing-optional community, a couple who design sexy clothing, infiltrate the community with the plan of seducing as many nudists as they can by dressing sexy, rather than going nude. They're determined to prove that a slight reveal of the human body is far more arousing than full nudity. If all goes well they'll be able to use this experiment to help promote their new clothing line as well as prove that clothes are indeed what make you sexy.

Writing Exercise #3

While out at your favorite coffee house or restaurant you might consider spying on those nearby. I don't mean literally trying to spy on them, but trying to get an idea of what others are like. Write down a description of them and listen in (not conspicuously) to what they're saying. How do they sound? What are their voices like? What are the cadences or pacing within their voices? Watch their hand gestures. Do they do anything that stands out or makes them more unique? I remember being at a fast food restaurant and a couple of men were sitting at a nearby table and one of them spoke in a rather loud voice, so it was pretty easy for me to listen in. And one of the things he did that caught my attention was how often he would say, "You know what I'm sayin'?" He said this quite often and seemed to be almost his catch phrase. Ever since then I've been waiting to use that with one of my characters. Don't forget to also describe the setting. How is the place decorated? What time of year is it? And so forth. This will help you in your use of description for your own work. Just be an observer for a while, discretely of course, and see just how good of a detective you can be.

CHAPTER 3

Loglines And Story Ideas

Logline

I LOVE YOUR FEET

An adult men's magazine publisher accidentally lands in an alternate universe where it's illegal to reveal your feet in public, but okay not to wear anything else.

The Idea

A time traveler ends up in a new world where the inhabitants are all nude except for stockings and footwear. When he inquires why this is, he finds that the ankle and the foot are the erotic part of humans there and to reveal one's bare foot or ankle is illegal, unless one is married and alone within the home. In other words, the entire inhabitants have a foot fetish and must keep their feet covered when in public; whereas, the remainder of all clothing is totally unnecessary. He tries to explain the absurdity of this custom compared to where he lives and is arrested for fear of spreading his immoral ideas.

Logline

MAYBE THIS WASN'T SUCH A GOOD IDEA

To gain attention for his career, an actor makes himself up to look like an escaped convict; but once captured, rather than letting the actor go, the publicity seeking district attorney frames the actor to prove he's the escaped convict, rather than admit he made a mistake by foolishly allowing the capture to be televised nationwide.

The Idea

A young actor and his make-up specialist girlfriend decide to get him some publicity by having him pose as an escaped convict, whom the young actor resembles, and is currently being pursued by the police. Once captured the actor will remove the make-up and both will have demonstrated their prowess at acting and make-up. However, an ambitious district attorney doesn't plan to let them embarrass him and get away with it, so he prosecutes the actor as if he is the convict, even going so far as to falsify the actor's fingerprints. Meanwhile, the convict, figuring he's a free man assumes a new identity, and the girlfriend must now find a way to prove her look-a-like boyfriend isn't the man they say he is.

Logline

NAME THE TIME, BABY

A man dies and is sent to Heaven and allowed to go back to Earth as a baby to any time and location of his choosing and decides to go back to the past; however, something goes wrong and he retains his memories from when he was alive and ends up being born the first son of his grandfather whom he remembers from family stories died in a car accident on his tenth birthday.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Loglines"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Carlos Perez.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction, ix,
Writing Exercise #1, xii,
Loglines And Story Ideas,
Logline, 2,
The Idea, 5,
Logline, 6,
The Idea, 9,
Logline, 10,
The Idea, 13,
Logline, 14,
The Idea, 17,
Logline, 18,
The Idea, 21,
Writing Exercise #2, 22,
Loglines And Story Ideas,
Logline, 26,
The Idea, 29,
Logline, 30,
The Idea, 33,
Logline, 34,
The Idea, 37,
Logline, 38,
The Idea, 41,
Logline, 42,
The Idea, 45,
Writing Exercise #3, 46,
Loglines And Story Ideas,
Logline, 50,
The Idea, 53,
Logline, 54,
The Idea, 57,
Logline, 58,
The Idea, 61,
Logline, 62,
The Idea, 65,
Logline, 66,
The Idea, 69,
Writing Exercise #4, 70,
Loglines And Story Ideas,
Logline, 74,
The Idea, 77,
Logline, 78,
The Idea, 81,
Logline, 82,
The Idea, 85,
Logline, 86,
The Idea, 89,
Logline, 90,
The Idea, 93,
Writing Exercise #5, 94,
Loglines And Story Ideas,
Logline, 98,
The Idea, 101,
Logline, 102,
The Idea, 105,
Logline, 106,
The Idea, 109,
Logline, 110,
The Idea, 113,
Logline, 114,
The Idea, 117,
Writing Critique Sheet, 118,

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