Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How to come up with your very own high concept concept.

I'm back! (Yay?)

In the meantime - I have a theory. I believe that most high concept work can be summed up by the following process:

1. Take something that is awesome. For example: aliens. Or sharks. Or ninjas. Or ice cream. Or steampunk. Or insects. Or witches.

2. Take something else that is awesome. For example: cowboys. Or assassins. Or ballerinas. Or prisons. Or roadtrips. Or fashion. Or old people.

3. Combine these two elements.

Voila! You have a high concept concept. Maybe it's ninjas on a roadtrip. Maybe it's old people in a war against giant insects. Maybe it's witches trying to work their way into the fashion industry. Maybe it's ballerina assassins. (You can't have that one. It's mine.) Maybe it's cowboys fighting sharks... okay. You can see where I'm going with this.

Obviously Hollywood is onto this formula.

You guys have any good ideas?


  1. Now I want to try this.

    An ice cream prison. Booyah!

    Witchcraft Roadtrip... oh, the possibilities.

  2. Great way to brainstorm!!! Yep, Hollywood is onto it--case in point: Cowboys and Aliens. Fun movie. I think combining these ideas or combining genres is the only way we writers will be able to come up with unique ideas these days!

  3. This is great! My head is full of all sorts of fun ideas now. :)

  4. I love your formula! It does seem like that's the Hollywood method (Alien Smurfs + Dances with Wolves = Avatar)

  5. Steampunk ballerinas! Now that would be interesting . . . LOL.

  6. Fabulous theory! And a new minion. I'll insert an evil laugh for you. Leaders can't have all the fun after all. Mwahahaha!

  7. Bahahaha I'm totally into the manliest sport photo! That was hilarious. I'm still giggling!!! I love the idea behind the idea of the high concept concept. I really think you're onto something and I'm glad you unveiled Hollywood's secret weapon.

    Now it's time we take over the world Mwahahahahaha!!!!

  8. I think you should put a bunch of different premises on pieces of paper (love triangle. Lost family member. Monster on the loose. Community in danger, etc...) and stick em in a hat and then put a bunch of different genres (Vampire, werewolf, distopian, fairy) in another hat. Then pull two out and combine them. there ya go.

  9. Thanks for your comments everyone! I think I've got enough ideas to write at least 40 more novels. ;)

  10. Sarah!! You won a chapter critique on my blog for my giveaway! :) Woo!