Dear Miss Snark,
I admit it-I'm clueless. Some of the agents' listings I've looked at recently mention that they want "high concept" fiction. What is "high concept"? I mean, I understand high (in all its many ways!) and I understand concept, but when you put them together and apply them to fiction, I haven't a clue.
Thanks for any enlightenment.
A devoted Snarkling.
High concept is a term stolen from the mooovies. Remember Robert Altman's hilarious The Player? The movie opens with a variety of people pitching movie ideas in 15 second sound bites. "Jaws in Space" = Alien. "Jaws in Heels" = Miss Snark's memoirs. "Cujo: The Early Years" = Killer Yapp Takes Manhattan
High concept means you can explain the book without actually ever talking about the content.
High concept means The Devil Wears Prada, The DaVinci Code and books by TC Boyle. It does not mean good or bad. It generally means commerical. Bill Vollman is not high concept, but Motherless Brooklyn and Silent Joe come pretty close.
The attraction of high concept is that the books can be easily explained to buyers and readers.