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HIGH CONCEPT IDEAS. What is high concept?. An intriguing idea that can be stated in a few words and is easily understood by all. High concept examples…. Your mind is the scene of the crime. A blonde goes to Harvard Law School. He’s having the day of his life, over and over gain.

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what is high concept

What is high concept?

An intriguing idea that can be stated in a few words and is easily understood by all.

middle school survival guide in comic form

Your mind is the scene of the crime.

A blonde goes to Harvard Law School.

He’s having the day of his life, over and over gain.

Middle school survival guide—in comic form!

Fight to the death on national television.

Love story between two terminal teens.

slide5

A small town is in the midst of an unseen supernatural battle.

1986

#10,530 paperback

#6167 Kindle ($6.83)

574 book reviews

The story of those left behind after the rapture happens.

1995

#823 paperback

#5092 Kindle ($8.26)

2799 book reviews

God invites a man to talk with him in a shack in the woods.

2006

#722 paperback

#1218 Kindle ($4.54)

7565 book reviews

In 1850s gold rush, God tells a farmer to marry a prostitute.

1997

#823 paperback

#2205 Kindle ($7.99)

2171 book reviews

why try for a high concept idea

Why try for a high concept idea?

-It can open a lot of doors.

-It helps you find what the story is really about.

-It helps you communicate your idea.

-It makes marketing easier.

a high concept

A high concept…

1. is universal (It resonates with everyone).

2. is unique (Or it has a fresh twist on a familiar idea).

3. involves an empathetic hero, dealing with a BIG problem.

4. can be summed up in a few specific words that give a good picture of the entire story.

5. has a great title.

a high concept is universal

A high concept is universal

Everyone understands it.

Either we know what the experience feels like, or it's an experience we've all fantasized about.

The weirder the idea, the more it has to be grounded in universal human emotions or behavior.

a high concept is unique

A high concept is unique

Find something that hasn’t been done before.

Or find a new twist on an old idea.

Blend the familiar with the strange.

slide11

A good concept should be both

unique and universal.

If it’s unique, but no one can relate to it,

it's not high concept.

If it’s universal, but we've seen it a million times,

it's not high concept.

a high concept has an empathetic hero dealing with a big problem

A high concept has an empathetic hero, dealing with a BIG problem

-an unforgettable character

-an impossible situation

-a relentless threat

also consider

Also consider…

-the stakes

-a time limit

a high concept is short

A high concept is short

Imagine that every word reduces your

chance of success by 10%.

Then choose those words carefully.

a high concept has a great title

A high concept has a great title

Legally Blonde • Star Wars • Miss Congeniality

Running Lean • She’s the Man • Four Christmases

Jaws • Uglies • Alien • Shakespeare in Love

Assassin’s Apprentice • To Kill a Mockingbird

The Sixth Sense • Titanic • Saving Private Ryan

Roswell • Gladiator • The Mummy

slide18

Jaws

High concept: Horror film in the ocean.

Logline: A police chief, with a phobia for open water, battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open.

slide19

The Fugitive

High concept: An innocent man is convicted of

killing his wife.

Logline: A fugitive doctor wrongly convicted of killing his wife struggles to prove his innocence while pursued by a relentless US Marshall.

slide20

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet

High concept: Revenge through literature.

Logline: An outcast teen finds therapy writing her enemies into her story, but when her novel is published, she faces the consequences of using her pen as her sword.

slide21

The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet

$0.99 on Kindle

This week only!

slide22

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

High concept : A cop must enter cartoon land

to solve a crime.

Logline: A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

slide23

Jurassic Park

High concept : Dinosaur theme park.

Logline: A family struggles to escape a remote island park whose main attractions—genetically restored dinosaurs—have been set loose by a power failure.

which of those were books before they were movies

Here are some more. Can you guess them?

Which of those were books before they were movies?

die hard on a bus

Speed

What if a boy found outhe was a demigod?

The Lightning Thief

Fairytale characters trappedin our world.

Once Upon a Time

A lawyer who cannot tell a lie.

Liar Liar

Die Hard on a bus.

What if Peter Pan grew up?

Hook

A man dies and becomes hiswife’s guardian angel.

Ghost

What if a girl and a vampirefell in love?

Twilight

ways to find a high concept idea

Ways to find a high concept idea

-Ask “what if…?”

-Opposites attract

-Meld the familiar with the strange

-What is your fascination?

-Add a ticking time clock

-Look for the supernatural

-Look to the zeitgeist

-Play with high concept phrases

to test your idea to see if it s high concept ask yourself the following questions

To test your idea to see if it’s high concept, ask yourself the following questions:

-Is your idea universal?

-Does your idea have a unique twist?

-Is your protagonist likeable, or can we relate to him?

-Are the stakes of the BIG problem high enough?

-Can you summarize your concept in a few words?

-Does your title capture the spirit of your story?

let s try it

Let’s try it

When the ocean swallows their homeland, the survivors of two enemy kingdoms take to the ocean to look for new land, but their common plight isn’t enough to stop the war between them.

When his homeland is destroyed, a prince leads a fleet of ships in search of new land, but an enemy gives chase, bent on war.

Fantasy Battlestar Galactica at sea.