The criterion some publishers call for is a “high-concept” story idea or plot line. Well, Brian A. Klems and “The Writer’s Dig” bring in story editor and story structure consultant Jeff Lyons to discuss the 7 Qualities of High-Concept Stories.
I’ve often wondered myself just what high-concept means, and I think Jeff does a fine job of outlining how an author can reach that concept. Especially since most publishers won’t tell you what high-concept means, just that they want it.
Read the entire article by clicking the link below, and enjoy an introductory excerpt about the panic you might be feeling now that you know your wishlist publishers only want one kind of story…
Stumped by submission guidelines calling for “high-concept” romance, suspense, young adult or other popular fiction? These 7 qualifiers will help you gauge how (and where) your work fits in.
You’re ready to begin the process of pitching your book to prospective literary agents or publishers. You begin combing through market listings, thinking it will be a simple matter of finding those who accept work in your genre—but time and again, you discover submission guidelines expressing a preference for “high-concept” stories. Your brow furrows. High concept? What the heck does that mean? Your confusion turns to frustration, and maybe even panic, because no one on your wish list defines this popular term d’art. They simply declare that it is what they want a story to be, it is what they prefer, indeed, it is the Holy Grail for submission success. But how are you to succeed when you don’t even understand what they’re asking for?