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Finding the Core of Your Story

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
What’s your story about?

It’s the most frightening question in the world if all you have is a blank stare. But what if you had an attention-grabbing answer that left your audience wanting more? It’s not only possible, it’s simple if you have the right tools.

Story consultant Jordan Smith has helped countless storytellers strengthen and pitch their stories. His tool of choice
Paperback, 108 pages
Published December 12th 2012 by Jordan Smith (first published June 1st 2012)
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C.B. Cook
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this!!!! It's a great quick read, and it's so helpful. I really liked how all the examples worked (and his humor was great). It was so helpful for me. I was struggling to create a tempting logline and blurb, and after reading this, I came up with a great logline (if I do say so myself)! Wonderful book, and I'll definitely be referring to it in the future!
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a very nice, informative book on writing loglines. It pretty much covered everything so I really wasn't left with any questions.
K.M. Weiland
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aside from actually writing 100,000 words of a story, one of the most difficult things in fiction is boiling that huge story down to a pithy sentence or two - what the movie industry calls a logline. What Jordan Smith has done in this fast little book is offer a series of formulae to ease that process. As an outliner, creating a premise sentence (basically a logline) is always a foundational part of process, so I'm totally on-board with what Smith is encouraging here. He's broken the art of the ...more
Aubrey Hansen
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(Besides the fact that I gave it five stars.)

1--It explains what a logline is. Not knowing what a logline is makes it very hard to write a good one. But Jordan clears all that up quickly and coherently in the opening chapters.

2--It addresses all the common logline problems. There are several pitfalls writers are prone to trip over when crafting loglines. Jordan addresses all of these point-blank so you can save yourself from looking like an uneducated amateur.

3--It classifies various logline fo

Age Appropriate For: All Ages

Best for Ages: 10 and up

I don’t think I have enjoyed a book on the writing craft as much as this one in a long time. I picked this up one Sunday afternoon, feeling in the mood to learn something. I came away with a skill that I didn’t even know I needed, but I am so glad I have.

Almost every book I have picked up on creative writing has been… uncreative. Not so with this book. Jordan has an engaging style of writing that made me wish he had a whole series of books on
Kelsey Bryant
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Helpful and fun! I read it in one morning because I got so deeply into it. It's not too long, so every time I need to write a logline, I think I'll reread this book for inspiration.
R S Sharkey
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Other Authors
Finding the Core of Your Story, to borrow the Smashwords short summery, is about how every storyteller should be able to say in one sentence what his story is about. This book will help you learn to do just that with a writing tool called a logline. These handy single-sentence descriptions of stories originated in Hollywood, but filmmaker Jordan Smith will show you how to write one for any story.

And he does just that. Jordan has written an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow book that outlines what a
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on a blog giveaway, but the preceding views/opinions are my own.

Jordan Smith has a clear-cut style. He knows how to give advice and his advice is solid. In this short book, you learn how to create a standard and precise log line for your script, novel, or any other format of writing.
What is a log line? A log line is a one-sentence description of a story. Jordan's book will teach you the rest. Though I've participated in Script Frenzy for two years to take advantage of the film
E. Writes
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jordan Smith's Finding the Core of Your Story is an excellent road map to doing exactly what the title implies... or in other words, Log-lining.
With a off the cuff manner and sense of humor, Jordan never "talks down" to the reader, never "makes like an expert" but instead feels like a trusted friend giving tried and true advice. His easy tone of voice and the simple, clear directions he gives make it easy to get your head wrapped around the somewhat tricky, traumatic, and totally confusing ac
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A keeper for my virtual book shelf.

Condensing and communicating a complex topic is hard, very hard. This book does a fine job of explaining how to try and approach the problem in a systematic way.

It's a fun and rewarding read.
Mario Russo
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
This is a book about logline, and logline only. And that's what makes this book good, because it exhaust the subject insteat of dilluting information on several topis. In other words, this book is a book that knows what it wants to be, and does a great job.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I purchased the audiobook and loved it!

Being new to loglines, I found this book really fascinating and easy to follow! I loved all of the contemporary films mentioned in this book!

It made this book really enjoyable!

I'll definitely be re-listening to this book!!!
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is what I was looking for when I read Blake Snyder's Save the Cat.
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-theory
Assuming you’re an author (as in, you write , especially if you write stories), and someone asks you what you’ve been writing, or what your story is about, what would you say? Jordan Smith ( over at ) set out to answer that question in this book. He shows you how to boil down the idea behind your story to a single sentence, called a logline. An incredibly useful tool at about every stage of authoring–from thinking up an idea, to writing the story, to telling others about i ...more
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This. Was. Good. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. The blurb got me excited, but reading that it was only by a story consultant? Gave me my doubts. Most the writing books I've read have been from authors or literary agents.

Those doubts were unnecessary.

This book was excellent. It was different than all the others I've read (trust me, I've read quite a fair few). The writing style was witty, amusing, and just made non-fiction fun. I like fun. I'm sure most people do. Besides
Jesse Kimmel-Freeman
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the hardest things to do as a writer is condense the awesomeness that took me thousands of words to get out into one line. Most of us writers suffer from this in some part or another. What does your story really boil down to? That is such a hard question to answer.

Jordan's book does a great job of making you stop thinking about the tiny details and look at the entire overall piece of the work. Yeah, it's hard. But the book does give you some great tips for doing it.

I think loglines are fr
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Title: Finding the Core of Your Story
Genre: Non-fiction
Logline: After finding a lack of books on loglines, a snarky author must brave the self-publishing world to publish his insightful book on the subject.

Main Character (also the author): Jordan Smith
Logline: A snarky author writes a delightful and insightful book about loglines, braving the self-publishing world in his attempt to help screenwriters and authors.

This book was amazing! I read the first edition when it came out and loved it. The f
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure what I was expecting from this book, but certainly not what I got! As an aspiring author with 2 books in progress, it is really easy to get bogged down in minute details and the inflections/tone of each scene or chapter.

This book helped me to take a step back and look at the big picture. What is my book about, really? What is the main storyline? How do I explain the main storyline in 1-3 sentences (preferably just 1)?

I was able to pinpoint not only the weaknesses in the story as a
J. Pennington
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read the earlier edition of this book and was very much pleased with it, so I hadn't considered that a second edition could be a whole lot better! The author has added important information that explores new angles that weren't covered in the first edition, like loglining a series, and how that's different than doing a single book.

It's lost none of the humor and helpfulness of the first edition, with a personable tone that made me laugh out loud multiple times, and easy-to-understand explanati
Mike Coville
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2013top10
Are you a writer? If you are, stop reading this and go buy a copy of this book, I will wait for you to get back.

Welcome back. You just made one of the best choices a writer can make. This book should be on the shelf of every one who is, or who wants to be, an author of any kind.

Ok, I can hear you now telling me to stop raving and get reviewing. You want to know what this amazing book is all about? Just look at the tagline: "How to strengthen and sell your story in one essential sentence".

To read
Brie Donning
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-books
This is amazing. I can see that having a logline will help me send my story in the right direction. And now I think I can actually write the logline. Highly recommend to all writers.

Full review on my blog:

And yes, I did read it in one afternoon.
Nayad Monroe
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
Very good advice on writing loglines to clarify and explain your story. The only thing that prevents me from giving it five stars is that many of the examples are repetitive; I would have appreciated reading sample loglines from more movies or novels instead of seeing a small selection of them repeated often. I must reiterate that it's useful advice, though.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, on-writing
I so hope this will help me come up with my own logline. I really have to sit down and do the exercises as recommended and come with my one sentence elevator pitch.
So far this book seems to have the best guidance (compared to all the others I read on the subject)

And was able to borrow for free on my Amazon Prime. That was nice.
Michele Reynolds
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jordan Smith did a great job being witty, entertaining and getting to the point. Great book for any creater of books, stories, movies, etc. Quick read and very useful. Goes into how to use Loglines before, during and after you write/create something. Uses examples that are useful.
Emily Gardner
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jordan is funny and he makes reading about loglines entertaining. Loglines are a fascinating concept and a useful skill to hone. Maybe in another book he will explain how to use loglines in a non-fiction context.
Alain Thys
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's remarkable to write a book focused purely on the best ways to put together loglines. It's a skill every storyteller should master and after reading this book, you have no more excuse not to be able to :-)
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick but worthwhile read. It includes exercises to help the reader learn how to write a logline (the story in a sentence).
Mark Gura
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help, writing
Very cool little book. An informative quick read (took me just a few hours). A must read for every author and person that has a story to tell. Geared towards fiction.
rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2017
Alejandra Mattoni
rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2014
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Jordan Smith is a storyteller who generally works in the realm of film, though he often branches out into other forms of narrative fiction. He's always picking stories apart to see what makes them tick. He is the author of Finding the Core of Your Story and A Purple and Gold Afghan and other stories , and the producer/director of the Month of the Novel web series. Jordan blogs about all manne ...more

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