#WritersRoad ReCap: High Concept

Here is an abbreviated recap of Monday's Writer's Road chat on high concept (highlights only).

Heather McCorkle Think of high concept as something that would be a blockbuster if it were a movie. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle: When you write a novel you shouldn't try a high concept. Either it is, or it isn't. Let the story decide

Krissi Dallas  High concept is a story that when pitched immediately creates an image or interest for the reader based on concept alone. #writersroad

Tina Moss  High concept always feels like something described after the fact i.e. after it becomes a bestseller. #writersroad

Heather McCorkle Think of high concept this way: Something with a deeper meaning, a richer story, possibly a lesson or visceral reaction. #WritersRoad

TS Tate (Tee)  From #TheShark "High concept means you can explain the book without actually ever talking about the content." #writersroad

Heather McCorkle  to @teetate Yes! Like a Twitter pitch that makes me desperately want to know more because the short description is that good. #WritersRoad

Allison Duke  This is from Rachelle Gardner in 2011: qub.me/8v3fFg #WritersRoad

Krissi Dallas  In my experience, all HC is, is a word used by agents/pubs to declare it easy to PITCH/SELL. Because it's widely familiar. #writersroad

Matthew Wilbur @Nightveil "Costumed super-hero fights crime dressed as a bat. Doesn't kill. Uses lots of gadgets." #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle   How do you know if you're writing high concept? How much interest is elicited from the short pitch is an indicator. #WritersRoad

Krissi Dallas @Chris_Ledbetter In a way, you're probably right...But it's something that hits on popular trends & tells it uniquely, I think. #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee)  From Waxman. They're suggestions for "High Concept" waxmanagency.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/rec… #writersroad

TS Tate (Tee)  Don't let your desire for success motivate. Stay true to the story first, figure out the marketing/PR later. #writersroad

Lori Prima @Loriprima to @teetate I think writers sometimes look too far ahead, which can trip us up. Also I can't do it all. It's ok to need help #writersroad

Allison Duke  A book does NOT have to be high concept to sell, but high concept will get more attention faster. #WritersRoad

Chris Ledbetter to @HeatherMcCorkle Consider this, everyone says write YOUR book, but when you finish, either the premise is salable or it's not #writersroad

Allison Duke I would suggest that an experienced author does not have to write high concept, but the first thing you pitch should be. #WritersRoad

Ebony McKenna I love trying to work out what High Concept is. Like nailing jelly to the wall. #writersroa

Heather McCorkle In the end, the important thing is that you write the story that's in your heart or your gut, and that you write it well. #WritersRoad


  1. Letting the story decide sounds good. Lots of wisdom here. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. I agree with the majority for once. Give your all to the story you are trying to tell. Let others decide its quality, concept or otherwise.

    1. Well said! In the end, that is really the best we can do.

  3. These are nice recaps! Sometimes I'll see your tweets, but I always seem to log in too late to join in.

    1. Sorry we miss you Alexia! We chat every Monday at 6pm PT, you're always welcome to join in!

  4. Thanks for the excellent recap! I love this. I am still trying to get into the chat. When the story is true to heart, the marketing will follow accordingly, because there will be passion.


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