This week JJ and Kelly are back to their regular format and discuss X Meets Y, or The High Concept Pitch: what it is, what it entails, and whether or not you need it. Also, the difference between “commercial” and “literary” (if any), and as always, what we’re reading and enjoying this week!
"High concept" is really just the ability to distill your premise down to one or two sentences. It can encompass the "X meets Y" pitch, but a high concept pitch is really the kernel of a story—the handle, as JJ's old boss used to say—you can pick up and hand to someone else (i.e. sell).
"Commercial" vs. "literary" is a false dichotomy; they are writing styles, not concepts. You can have the exact same idea and write it in a commercial way, or write it in a more literary manner.
The Art of Writing Copy by JJ
Name that Book/Movie/TV Show!
The children of Greek gods go to summer camp.
A retelling of Jane Austen's Emma set in 90s Beverly Hills.
A retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice as told through a neurotic British woman's diary entries.
A retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew where Katrina is a 90s riot grrl.
Children battle each other to the death on reality television.
House of Leaves meets Battlestar Galactica (bonus: this is a PubCrawl alum's book!)
Labyrinth meets Amadeus (we're giving this one to you)
A girl who can't go outside falls in love with the boy next door
What We're Reading/Books Discussed
The works of Margaret Atwood
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The mysteries of Sophie Hannah
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
What We're Working On
Kelly is working on an old YA project.
JJ is setting aside her middle grade for the moment and focusing on an adult project to get ready to send her publisher for her option book.
Off Menu Recommendations
Life is Strange (JJ is on the bandwagon!)
RadioLab's episode "The Cathedral"
Arkham Horror (not Arkham Asylum as JJ mentions, although she has played that too)
That's all for this week! Next week we'll talk about CRITIQUE GROUPS! If you have any questions you would like us to answer, send us an ask or leave a comment!