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Posts tagged ‘high-concept novel’

Creating high-concept story ideas, part 2

In my last post, I described what makes a high-concept story idea: one that grabs our attention or is a twist on the usual story.

In this post, I’ll share some places to find those high-concept ideas:

1. Your local newspaper. Whenever I find an unusual article, I file it away for possible use later. Example: Years ago, I read a story in the Seattle paper about an elderly couple who’d gone on an outing to the library and then simply disappeared for three days. Both had dementia and they drove around for days, trying to find their way back home. Wow! That, in itself, is pretty unusual. I could write a poem or short story about this or base a character in a book on this story. Read more

Creating high-concept story ideas, part I

Recently, at our local Field’s End Writing Conference, author Shelia Roberts spoke about high-concept novels. Whenever I hear the term “high-concept,” it always brings images of espionage thrillers like John le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or a complex, multi-charactered story like Stephen King’s The Stand.

But what I learned from Roberts was that “high-concept” doesn’t necessarily mean exceedingly complex. A high-concept idea is one that is unique, unusual, or stands out in some way. Roberts describes it as, “stepping outside the box.” Read more