Wednesday, May 02, 2012

What is high concept?

This was taken from a literary agent's blog ( This defines their idea of high concept in regards to story and books.  Works for movies, too. 

What is High-Concept?

•High-concept is a welcome slap-in-the-face for publishing professionals

who’ve been lulled to sleep by thousands of boring submissions (hey, it’s the truth).

•High-concept instantly communicates an idea and gives it context.

•High-concept is the difference between good and great.

•High-concept is taking something timeless and making it timely.

•High-concept is making something familiar and/or faded… fresh.

•High-concept is clever (but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also authentic).

•High-concept is standing out, getting everyone’s attention, creating curiosity.

•High-concept sometimes (but not always) means being bold, creating a spectacle,

and/or creating controversy.

•High-concept is memorable.

•High-concept is often newsworthy and media-friendly.

•High-concept gets people talking, sometimes shouting, other times whispering.

•High-concept is simply positioning or repositioning.

•High-concept is what Houdini created when he unchained himself from manacles

and escaped while hanging upside down 30 stories above the ground (but it’s not magic).

•High-concept is what P.T. Barnum used to fill his tents, employing the talents of

Tom Thumb (but you don’t have to be a clown or create a circus to do it).

•High-concept is embracing your role as both expert and entertainer or master of intrigue

and mystery (even if you’re just writing cookbooks).

•High-concept might mean using a metaphor to make the mundane seem magnificent.

•High-concept often bends (and sometimes breaks) rules and conventions.

•High-concept is arguably more important than the characters in a novel because

no one will ever meet (or care about) your characters without it.

•High-concept might capitalize on current trends (and sometimes creates new ones).

•High-concept understands that important themes, valuable content, and

a beautiful writing style aren’t always enough.

No comments: