These are just a few examples of recent questions I've been asked. Pop Tarts aside, let's look at story ideas and how to begin writing a story, because they really start with the same building block.
What is a concept?
- A concept is similar to a business mission statement. Think core values. The why.
- A concept is an idea asking a question that raises a conflict.
- You can develop a concept with a question, "if you do this, then X will happen."
Concept isn't just what the story is about. It's the 'what if' question that you'll raise in the reader's mind. Concept is where you hook into the reader's psyche and reel 'em in. Need an example?
One of my recent manuscripts is about a woman who is committed to an insane asylum, but that's not the concept. That's the story. The concept explores what would happen if what you've believed about yourself all your life was based on a lie?
If the idea of concept is new to you, or you have a hard time grasping the ambiguity of it, I found a fantastic blog for you to check out. Storyfix focuses on concept like nobody's business. In fact, for $35 you can submit your story concept and see how plausible it is.
Now that we've got that cleared up, I'm off to the store. Apparently we're out of Pop Tarts.