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Sunday, November 22, 2009

High Concept Stories

Short fiction, novels and movies are often reviewed/described/pitched as high concept. Yet, as you'll see from the short articles below, a definition of high concept is elusive. You'll often hear that a story is high concept if it can be adequately described in one sentence. But that seems inadequate. It is a story of redemption is one sentence but doesn't differentiate one (of many) redemption stories from another. Indiana Jones on Mars might be closer to the spirit of high concept. Book publishers often use the terms commercial fiction and high concept fiction interchangeably.

One could argue that most genre flash fiction is or should be high concept because there's not enough real estate for it to be anything else.

Here are a few opinions from disparate points of view on the meaning of high concept: The Dark Salon (Alexandra Sokoloff) blog, Miss Snark blog, the Writers Store, and the Romantic Times.

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