A Commercial Tactic to Creating Story Concepts

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A Commercial Tactic to Creating Story Concepts

The most outlandish story concepts are usually the ones that grab attention. After all, who wants to read something so overdone it's become boring? Or something that doesn't really take us away from our lives?

To create outlandish story concepts, I often cross several concepts that usually don't go together, like mixing the following:

1. A girl drowns, her death is investigated.

2. A dog becomes a zombie.

3. We are becoming more computer than human.

4. Noire.

Muhahaha! Think about a book concept that combines all four of those elements. This could really be comedic, or really, really scary. Either way, it's incredibly complex, and it's way out there.

The next thing you do is concentrate on creating the story's summary, a two paragraph blurb, so to speak. That becomes the query. Then narrow it down to approximately a ten-word pitch, which is what you give an agent or publisher in passing--or what you give to that random lady on the street you're trying to sell your book to. The one-breath sentence is almost the most important part of hooking some random person who doesn't really have time for a passing word.

Then you can work on the outline, and then on writing the book.

Many writers do this backwards, but to write commercial, this seems to be one of the most efficient and prevalent tactics.  Ideas are pitched in a meeting between film makers, too.  Just saying.

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