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Storyline vs. Logline: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 6, 2023
A storyline is the narrative thread of a plot, while a logline is a one-sentence summary of a script or story, highlighting the main concept.

Key Differences

A storyline represents the sequence of events and character developments that occur throughout a story. It encompasses the plot, subplots, twists, and character arcs. The storyline is what readers or viewers follow from beginning to end, providing depth and complexity to the narrative.
In contrast, a logline is a brief, often one-sentence description of a story that conveys the central plot and emotional arc in a concise and engaging way. It’s meant to quickly give the essence of the story, often used to pitch screenplays or novels to potential buyers, agents, or publishers.
The storyline is about the "how" of the narrative, showing the progression and causality within the story's world. It is detailed, rich in context, and unfolds over time, providing the full experience of the narrative.
Loglines, however, focus on the "what" of the story. They distill the main conflict, protagonist’s goal, and unique hook into one sentence, designed to grab attention and make the reader want to dive into the full storyline.
While the storyline and logline are connected, as the logline is derived from the storyline, they serve different purposes. A well-crafted logline can entice someone to explore the storyline, and a strong storyline ensures that the promise of the logline is fulfilled in a satisfying way.

Comparison Chart


Extended, covers the full narrative
Very brief, usually one sentence


To tell the story
To sell the story


Detailed plot and character developments
Main conflict and hook


Understanding and analysis of the narrative
Marketing, pitching, and summarizing


The journey of the narrative
The core concept of the narrative

Storyline and Logline Definitions


The plot or sequence of events in a book, movie, or show.
The movie's storyline captivated audiences worldwide.


A concise statement highlighting the protagonist and conflict.
The logline revealed the protagonist's struggle against time.


A narrative's main thread focusing on character development and experiences.
Her character's storyline was full of unexpected twists.


A marketing tool to pitch scripts, summarizing the main plot.
His logline was catchy enough to get the producer's attention.


The planned progression of a story, including the beginning, middle, and end.
Writers discussed the storyline during the brainstorming session.


A snapshot of a script’s or book’s plot, used in industry listings.
Agents browsed loglines to find potential hits.


A designed set of interrelated stories within a larger narrative.
The series wove an intricate storyline through multiple seasons.


A one-sentence summary of a film or book.
The logline boiled the complex story down to its essence.


The unfolding events that constitute a story.
The novel’s storyline was both complex and engaging.


The core concept of a creative work expressed in a single sentence.
She crafted a logline that was both intriguing and succinct.


The plot of a story or dramatic work.


(authorship) A very short summary of a script or screenplay.
Elevator pitch


(nautical) The line fastened to the log, and marked for finding the speed of a vessel.


How long is a logline?

Typically one sentence.

Can a storyline be nonlinear?

Yes, storylines can be told out of chronological order.

Is a storyline just the main plot?

No, it includes main plot and subplots.

Does a storyline include character backstories?

Yes, if they're part of the narrative.

Are storylines always fictional?

No, non-fiction narratives also have storylines.

Should a logline reveal the ending?

No, it should entice without spoilers.

Should loglines use technical jargon?

No, they should be clear and accessible to a wide audience.

Can a logline contain character names?

It can, but it often uses descriptions instead for brevity.

Are loglines used for novels?

Yes, they can be used to summarize any story.

Do storylines require conflict?

Typically, yes, to drive the narrative.

Is a logline the same as a tagline?

No, a tagline is even shorter and more about marketing.

Do all stories have a clear storyline?

Most do, but some experimental stories may challenge this.

Are storylines important in video games?

Yes, for narrative-driven games especially.

Is the storyline the same as the script?

No, it's more conceptual, while a script is the written text.

Can storylines change during development?

Yes, they often evolve.

Does a logline have to be catchy?

It should be, to grab attention quickly.

Is a storyline impacted by dialogue?

Dialogue can shape but is not the storyline itself.

Must a logline include the setting?

If it's crucial to the plot, yes.

How specific should a logline be?

Specific enough to convey the unique concept, but not detailed.

Can loglines be multiple sentences?

It's best practice to keep them to one sentence.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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