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High Concept Death



“High Concepts” from Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias.

The reason aspiring writers are advised to pick a high concept for their first (insert novel here) screenplay, and others until they established themselves in the industry, is that the higher the concept the more forgiving readers will be of the script.  Here are some examples of hooks that illustrate high concepts. A teenage is mistakenly sent into the past, where he must make sure his mother and father meet and fall in love, or else he won’t exist in the future. (Back to the Future)

The section went on to talk about how easily your work could get passed over if it didn’t have a high concept. So, I concentrated on Messy Death. Thinking about it’s “hook.” Honestly, the as-is idea fell terribly flat. So, I wrote the first intriguing hook that came to mind then looked at it and thought no-way! I can’t work that into the plot? But it was so damn juicy I couldn’t bring myself to scribble it out. I read it over and over. Each time my stomach fluttered with excitement. It took a good thirty minutes, but eventually this two-line hook gave me a more detailed plot and lead to the final scene of Messy Death!

That’s right; I have an ending. It’s not written yet, but the scene has been put to paper so it won’t get lost as Vira’s story advances. My muse was impressed; I was impressed; hell even the pages of my notebook seemed to glow bright with content. As for Chapter five, it’s currently holding firm at 841 words. This week has been crazy for me, but I plan on some AIC time later tonight.



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