In one sentence, convey the setting and central plot and hook the reader.

WHO: don’t use the main character’s name, rather use an emotional frame (a lonely or outcast teen); or a professional frame (a 4th-grade private eye), or a social frame (a jaded teen blogger)

WHEN: identify the inciting incident or the main character’s launch into a journey or change of perspective

WHAT: identify the dilemma, struggle or obstacle, or primary action

WHY: identify the goal, or the story’s main objective, or the solution to a problem

SETTING: examples – during the last years of the Civil War, in a deserted beach town, etc.


THE HUNGER GAMES: (Who) A sixteen-year-old girl hell-bent on survival (When) who volunteers to take her young sister’s place in a televised death-match (What/Why) must choose between staying alive and maintaining her humanity.

REVISED TO: (Setting) In a world where the oppressed kill each other for the entertainment of the elite, (Who) a girl hell-bent on survival (What/Why) takes her sister’s place and finds she must choose between her life or her humanity.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE: (Setting not specified in this one). (Who) When an orphaned boy (When) discovers he’s a wizard, (What) he begins his magical training (Why) so he can battle the dark lord who killed his parents.

If you need a logline this is a recent scbwi schematic!