On Saturday at the California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Branch, we were treated to a highly entertaining talk by young adult novelist Veronica Rossi, whose book, Under the Never Sky, will be released in January by HarperCollins. Her three-book-deal, which has also been optioned for a movie, is a can’t-wait-for-event!
Veronica filled us in on high concept: it’s actually a Hollywood term which is an idea that sells itself. As quoted from James Bonnet: ” . . . it is an intriguing idea that can be stated in a few words and is easily understood by all.”
Basically, Veronica says, it’s a promise. As you watch movies, can you state it in a few words?
“Date Night” What happens when a bored married couple’s date goes very, very wrong?
“Snakes on a Plane” The title is enough to describe it.
(Disclaimer: Just because a movie or book is high concept, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s high quality.)
Describe your project within 25 words or less. If your pitch can be short and succinct, you will have a better chance at focusing your writing, whether or not you’ve got a high concept writing idea or not.
Next, go through your manuscript and make sure you’ve adhered to your pitch.
How do you write a good pitch? Veronica says, “Tell us who your hero is, what she is up against, and what is at stake.”
Remember to add character development, suspense and a terrific voice so that your novel will be a great high concept read.