I get emails all the time from folks who are sending me their half-baked, poorly conceived log lines and want me to re-write them for them. I really believe that most people (like 99%) fail at screenwriting, not because they lack the God-given writing talent, but because they never actually sit down and do the work that is required to make a genuine effort at becoming a professional writer. If you want to really understand what sort of effort his requires go read Jack London’s Martin Eden. Seriously, if you call yourself a writer and you haven’t read it, go read it now.

Recently I’ve been sending this reply back when someone wants me to re-write their log line for them:

You’ve got to really dig deep here. Go back and read the post I did on writing log lines. Start seeking out log lines all over the internet and read them and think about them and start to really understand what makes a good one good. Become an expert on writing log lines. It’s not going to be easy but it’s what you must do to become a successful screenwriter.

To make it as a screenwriter you’ve got to develop your own ability to self edit. You’re not going to be able to rely on me (or anyone else) to constantly email back and forth with.

You really need to decide if this is something you want to do and if it is, be prepared for a massive amount of work. Probably years and years of unpaid work sitting by yourself, alone in a room, learning and getting better. If you’re not prepared for that, which is totally fine, admit it to yourself and move on. There’s no shame in that. Screenwriting is not for everyone.

I can’t make you a better writer. I wish I could but I can’t. So go out there and grab writing by the tail and make it your bitch. Whip it, destroy it, kick it in the ass, chew it up and spit it out, and then put it all back together in your own unique way. Being a good writer isn’t something that just happens. It take a lot of work. And I don’t believe there is a secret note that I can give you to make you better. You must do it for yourself just as other great writers have done it for themselves.

Once you’re an expert on log lines, and a great writer in general, re-write your log line and send it out to producers and agents. You won’t need me to tell you it’s great, because you’ll be an expert on log lines and you’ll know it’s great.

Good luck!