I see that Blake Snyder also has a blog
. He has some interesting things to say there. He has a formula for writing loglines
, handy if you are trying to write a query letter:
On the verge of a Stasis=Death moment, a flawed protagonist has a Catalyst and Breaks Into Two with the B Story; but when the Midpoint happens, he/she must learn the Theme Stated, before the All Is Lost, to defeat (or stop) the flawed antagonist (from getting away with his/her plan).
On the verge of another “suit and tie” assignment, a tomboy FBI agent is assigned to go undercover in the American Miss Pageant and has a complete makeover to blend in with the other contestants; but when the pageant receives a new threat, she must learn she can be a woman and tough, before she gets thrown off the case, to defeat the warped pageant organizer bent on revenge. (Miss Congeniality)
The bolded points are steps he describes in his book, natch.
I find this formula to be a bit wordy for a query, but they're certainly useful for a logline to keep yourself on track. I am a firm believer that you want to get your query right before you launch on your screenplay. Then you can keep firmly in mind the goods you are trying to deliver.