Defining “The High Concept”
“I BELIEVE THE ART OF LIVING CONSISTS NOT SO MUCH IN COMPLICATING SIMPLE THINGS AS IN SIMPLIFYING THINGS THAT ARE NOT.” ~ Francois Hertel
Before I can shape my individual scenes and vignettes into a story structure, I have to be able to identify an overriding story idea, the ”high concept” . According to James Bonnett high concept involves” being able to reduce your story idea into something powerful that the reader will be able to make an emotional connection with~ a logline with a twist” He goes on to explain that defining your high concept will “force you to come to terms with what your story is about”.
Distilling the complexities of life into a few words is not something I view as simple and I am realizing through my memoir-writing journey how challenging this simple-sounding task really is. How do I pull all my ideas together and come up with a few sentences that describes my story succinctly?
What is my” logline with a twist?”
The essence of my memoir is the power of hope through faith; overcoming extraordinary challenges in the midst of my ordinary life; finding joy,peace and learning to live life on my own terms.
The “twist’? How does someone from such a secure, happy childhood take so many self-defeating detours and then how does this person find her way back home again?
Last week, we talked about defining author brand in this post, being able to define oneself to the world. I defined my brand as sharing the power of hope through my memoir. My high concept needs to flow from that.
James Bonnett points out that high concept requires:
* a fascinating Topic~ Is my high concept fascinating enough so far?
* a great Title~ TBA
* an “Inciting Action”~ Lots to choose from~TBA
* a “Hook”~ do you sense any intrigue here?
I am keeping all these components in mind as I move forward writing stories through NAMW Memoir workshop with Linda Joy Myers and preparing for The Christian Writing Guild’s “Writing for the Soul” Conference in Denver in February.
I would love your input and discussion on my story idea so far. You can be honest! Your input will help me refine my message and maybe even pitch to an agent or two at the conference.
Do you think the” high concept” is intriguing enough?
Do the few words tell you what my story is about?
Have you defined your own high concept?