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What is high concept fiction? I am going to boil it down for you. It’s a premise that has not been done before but still attracts an audience, therefore, having high market ability. This is a much different opening line than my usual life reflections from my back porch, isn't it? Don’t worry… I’m about to get my coffee. 

This weekend, I had to read another book to help my son trudge through his English Lit. This time, it was A Separate Peace by John Knowles. As I got to the sixth chapter of A Separate Peace, I knew I was reading a Knowles's version of Lord of the Flies. It conveyed the premise that every human being is capable of displaying a darker side of themselves when confronted with the appropriate settings and circumstances-a side that virtually everyone is reluctant to exhibit. No one will acknowledge to having a dark side unless nature compels them to confront it, and then they will. Then, each book takes that premise further and shows that the transition begins with the idea that all men possess dormant savagery, which is subsequently triggered by an external event, leading to the completion of the change. 

Now, I am not trivializing two classic books because I can go on and on about their relevance and symbolism for days, but it’s been done, I had read it before, and I wanted to move on. I felt like how agents must feel when they read an MS that has been done over and over. Been there, done that and have a closet full of t-shirts. Unfortunately, the writer isn’t as aware of what is out there as the agent is and there is my point. As writers, we need to be more aware of what is out there. We don’t know what t-shirts agents have.

As for my son, it looks like I am going to have to dig out my senior paper on Lord of the Flies and Dante's Inferno.

I hope you enjoy this article by Michael Neff, High Concept"? Sufficiently Unique? - Write a TaleThat Might Actually Sell. 

https://algonkianconferences.com/authorconnect/index.php?/topic/15607-high-concept-sufficiently-unique-write-a-tale-that-might-actually-sell/&tab=comments#comment-25593

 

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