Of all the things about my new job I dislike, it’s the meeting with the higher executives that irks me the most. It’s not their attitude or anything. In fact they’re really nice people. It’s more about how they confuse things all the time. The first meeting I was in, I was introduced to everyone, and my first initial thought as I sat down to begin was that there might really only be one brain amongst them.
Then one of them decided to speak and prove it.
He asked me to explain what was going on with the project and where I saw it going, but…and he raised his right index finger to stress this very thing, he wanted me to explain to everyone in a high concept way.
Ug, groan…yep another idiot who needed everything spoon-fed. It wasn’t a waste of time for me though. It made me realize that a lot of people don’t really understand what High Concept is. Some think it’s about dumbing down our writing so that even a 4th grader can read it. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but that’s not what High Concept is all about. We’re not supposed to dumb anything down. In fact, publishers want great and intelligent writing that they can be proud of.
So what is High Concept? Simple.
Was that too easy of an answer? Sorry. High Concept is about the idea behind the story. The simpler it is, the better. It’s also why most publishers want a log line. If they can’t understand the concept in one sentence, it’s too complicated and too risky for publishing (with exceptions of course).
Has anyone else ever notice this misunderstanding?