Writing Tips – Taglines

tumblr_mjiu0pKQ071r41ixso1_500What’s in a tagline?

I’ve always hated writing them, and have only ever done so for university projects, where I never gave them much thought.

So. I gave this some thought, I wrote numerous different taglines, and it made me realise things about my story I had not considered before. For example, my MC is an assassin, and my original tagline stated as such:


An elite assassin strives to rediscover why he was framed for the king’s assassination

Upon some consideration, I realised that perhaps I did not want the reader to immediately know that he was an assassin, which led me to thinking about whether I wanted certain characters to know that he was an assassin… and like that my plot changed for the better!

In the end,  I found myself with about 20 taglines, each of them so different that they could belong to separate novels entirely!
However, I think I’ve finally made one that has done my novel justice.

The fate of magic relies on a man who is hunted for treason he can’t remember committing.

Why have you decided to write one at all, before you have even written the novel?
Good question!

The Snowflake Method

Ever heard of the snowflake method? Well I’m really trying to plan this novel thoroughly, and I was told to check out this method.

Step 1 is to take an hour or so to write a tagline for your novel.

But what is a tagline?
It’s just one sentence to sell your novel to people! Here is the description from the snowflake:

Shorter is better. Try for fewer than 15 words.
No character names, please! Better to say “a handicapped trapeze artist” than “Jane Doe”.
Tie together the big picture and the personal picture. Which character has the most to lose in this story? Now tell me what he or she wants to win.

They recommend that you spend an hour or so doing this, but even just thinking about it for a while can help get you thinking about what your story is really about.

ImpossibleI put the challenge to a few of my fellow campers today, and the results were spectacular in just a short space of time!

They went from proclaiming that is was impossible, to having completed a few taglines of their own. I’m very proud of them, and also feel quite happy that I managed to get them to challenge themselves to do something that they considered difficult, and then watch them succeed.


So. If you are doing Camp NaNoWriMo and haven’t got a tagline, regardless of whether you have planned it completely, give this a try! You may discover some new aspects of your project you had not considered before!

Thanks for reading, and happy planning/writing!
Comment if you have any questions or just want to talk about NaNo.

Leave a Reply