Practice Loglines.

I'm working on my short Alien Blue descriptions tonight to prepare for Pitch Practice tomorrow.

Here's the Who/What/How (Who tries to do What How?) formulaic version:
After helping hide an escaped interstellar criminal for the past sixteen years, a New Mexico bar owner plays one last gambit to save his town and the alien--by erasing everyone's memories.
--Sounds okay, but unfortunately it's not entirely accurate, and the focus of the book isn't on the last gambit anyway.

Here's the "Write it like a movie trailer" version:
[NINA is sitting at a table in an eclectic barroom. A hand comes out of nowhere to slam a mug of bright blue beer on her table.]

BILL: 'Lo there, missy.

VOICEOVER BILL: I got a story to tell--and one night to tell it. It all started when Anam Ba'hana came to town. He ain't human...

[Cut to a small, old-fashioned courtroom, tinged in "flashback sepia." MAYOR JACK sits on the edge of a table, glaring at professional MARTIE. BILL stands on the other side of the table, agape. Sitting beside MARTIE is ANAM, looking like a famine victim in a cheap suit. ANAM shakes so hard the table rattles on the floor.]

BILL: You want me to help hide an alien with a death sentence?

MARTIE: [Matter of fact, ignoring BILL] Jack, it's only until we can figure out how his ship works.

JACK: Now, that's the cold-hearted bitch I remember.

BILL: And how do you think we're going to do that?

MARTIE: Tell them he's a paleontologist. A dinosaur-hunter.

[BILL and JACK look at ANAM. A rope of drool rolls off his gaping lips.]

BILL: Right. Nobody's going to figure that out.

VOICEOVER BILL: ...And neither are the people chasing him.

[Cut to a small bathroom. MARTIE is gripping the sink and staring angrily in the mirror. A cracking sound, and the camera zooms in on what looks like a barnacle, which leaks a stream of blue goo up the wall. A rustle of clothing and a muffled scream. MARTIE's arm flashes by the screen, with a trail of blue along her wrist. A thump. A pause. The toilet flushes.]

[Cut to the barroom. BILL is encouraging SAM to take a sip of beer. The door chimes.]

MARTIE: [In a flat voice] Anam is coming with me.

BILL: No, he ain't.

[MARTIE pulls out a gun and aims it at ANAM. BILL hits her repeatedly with the beer mug.]

[Cut to MARTIE lying on the barroom floor. Blue flecks are dripping out of her mouth. Bill pushes back her lower lip and sees a mass of blue shards.]

BILL: What the hell?

ANAM: My brother has stolen this body. Maybe more.

BILL: [Sitting back and looking out the window] Jack!

[Cut to BILL high-tailing it down a dusty, small-town street, dragging ANAM behind him.]

VOICEOVER BILL: And that was just the beginning.

[Cut back to NINA in the present. She's sipping the blue brew while BILL watches her.]

NINA: What did you do then?

BILL: It's a long story.

[Cut to a bunch of exciting snippets from the rest of the story, which I am too lazy to go into here.]

NINA: I have time.

[Cut to Nina, who sets the mug back on the table. The camera zooms in until it's following a suspiciously blue drip down the side of the mug. Title flashes: ALIEN BLUE.]
--Fun to write, but NOT a log line. Also, Bill may seem too passive.

Here's a more sensible version:
A small-town bar owner fights to save his friends from alien invaders after they hide an interstellar criminal in the New Mexico desert.
--Which does NOT capture the feel of the book whatsoever, but it's accurate and short.

More after tomorrow's practice, I guess.