Now that the first draft is done, and before I embark on the labor intensive cleanup session, it’s time to start thinking of a logline. The logline is what unproven screenwriters use to get the attention of the producers, producer’s assistants and interns off their mojitos and back on the thing they get paid to do: FINDING AND PRODUCING SCRIPTS.

The problem is that reading is hard, and boring. Add in the millions of people, like me, who’ve been told that they could be writers (but probably aren’t) and all you get is 200 digital files in an electronic waste basket. They won’t read just anything. You have to put gravy on that bitch. Aside from sending them a gold plated script… you need a good logline that will make them feel like they’re right there in the theater watching the trailer for your film. Except it can’t be written that way.

So here’s my dilemma. I need a logline to enter my screenplay in the contest. But… how do you write a logline for a story about a teenage girl whose father killed himself and a bunch of kids in a drunk driving accident, bankrupting the family and forcing them to move back to a ghetto part of New Jersey with the mother’s estranged parents, where the girl meets a talking dog and starts trading it meat for stories from its life that happen to share narrative resonance with her own. What genre is that even? Coming of age?? Drama?? Comedy??

Here are my attempts so far:

Circumstances force a Midwest mother and her daughter to move back in with her parents in a seedy part of New Jersey and face the tragedies and misunderstanding that have torn their family apart. Also there’s a talking dog.

Do producerbots understand humor this dry?

When thirteen year old Poe starts trading the neighbor’s talking dog meat for stories of the past, it highlights the rifts in her own dysfunctional family.

I like this one but I’m not sure if it says enough.

Any suggestions… ?