High Concept Interrogation
The buzz is going around about High Concept stories again. So I'm looking my story in the face and asking it, "Are you High Concept?"
"Yes," says my story. "I'm about Immortals fighting Death. Can't get more High Concept than that."
"Yeah." I bounce my head in a shrug-nod. You know the kind I mean, where your shoulders are hunched and your nose is wrinkled. Your head bobs up and down, but the bob means maybe not more than maybe."But -- don't get offended -- is that obvious in the first couple chapters of the book?"
"No..." admits my story.
"Is it even obvious in Book One at all?"
My story shuffles its feet. "Lots of other cool stuff happens in Book One. It's Dirty Dancing meets Dances With Wolves!"
"What is that even supposed to mean? C'mon, story. You can do better than that."
"The hero catches the heroine dancing without magic. He must choose between killing her or teaching her."
"But what does that have to do with the fight against Death? Or the corn cob doll? Do you tie it together as tightly as possible, so the ending, when it comes feels both shocking and inevitable?"
"Hm," says my story. "Not sure. Maybe it's not clear in Book One how Dindi's struggles tie in to attempts of Lady Death to drive the immortal Aelfae to extinction. At least not starting in Chapter One."
"Is there any way we could fix that?"
"What if..the struggle between Lady Death and the Faeries appered right there in Chapter One, Book One? What if the Black Lady were fighting with one of the Faery Ladies -- and Dindi, unaware of who they were -- saved the wrong one? What if she saved Lady Death? Then, in a sense, the rest of the series would follow her trying to undo what she'd done."
"Story, that sounds pretty good. I'll go write it--"
"Oh, no you don't!" My story steps between me and my computer. "You promised to finish me before you do any more revisions to Book One. You still have the other books to complete."
Now it's my turn to be sheepish. "You're right. I'll jot down notes on this idea, then get back to Book Two."