Editors Blog

“The High Concept Novel: How to Create a Premise that Sells — Agent One-on-One Boot Camp With Critique Starts April 11

The idea’s the thing. If you build your story around a unique and compelling idea, your odds of selling it increase dramatically. Often, a perfectly good project will go unsold because the premise on which it is based is too predictable, commonplace, or over-published. Whether you’re writing a novel or a short story, a screenplay or a memoir, you need to find a way to set your story apart from the competition — and the competition is tougher than ever in today’s marketplace.

But in this one-of-a-kind boot camp — “The High Concept Novel: How to Create a Premise that Sells Boot Camp” (starting April 11) — you will learn the ins and outs of high-concept, as literary agent, author, and content strategist Paula Munier reveals how you can transform your story idea from “same old same old” to “high-concept hit.”

 

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WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

— What high-concept really means.

— The secrets behind today’s high-concept bestsellers.

— Brainstorming techniques designed to produce unique story ideas.

— Specific storytelling tools to refine your story ideas.

— What a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is and why you need one.

— How to hone your USP into a compelling high-concept logline to hook agents, editors, and readers.

— The publishing industry’s clamor for “the same but different” — and how you can capitalize on it.

— Writing the all-important set-up scene, which outlines your high-concept premise.

— More tricks and tips to help you fulfill the promise of your high-concept idea — from Page 1 to The End.

After watching the tutorial, you can submit your set-up scene — no more than 2000 words — for review by Paula Munier from Talcott Notch Literary. She’ll provide feedback on your story idea, and help you determine if it’s strong and compelling enough to attract an audience. She will also offer suggestions on your set-up scene that will help you dramatize your high-concept premise to best advantage. Sign up for the boot camp here.

Here’s how it works:

On April 11, you will gain access to a special recorded 60-minute online tutorial presented by literary agent Paula Munier. This tutorial will provide guidance on creating a high-concept novel that’s founded on an excellent and engaging premise.

After listening to the presentation, attendees will spend the next two days revising materials as necessary. On Sunday, April 13th, you’ll have one day in which to log onto the blackboard and ask Paula questions related to revising your materials. She will be available from 1-3 p.m. (ET). No later than Monday, April 14th, you will submit your work for critique. This writing sample can be any scene from your novel — up to 2,000 words in length.

Paula will spend up to 15 days reviewing all assigned pages, then provide feedback on the pages and offer any suggestions to help you improve upon them. She reserves the right to request more materials if she feels a strong connection to the work and wants to read more.

RECAP ON DATES:

Friday, April 11th: Online Tutorial

Sunday, April 13th: Agent Blackboard Q&A 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)

Monday, April 14th: Submit work for critique

Tuesday, April 29th: Agent Critiques Due

Only registered students can access the discussion boards. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers.

Please note that any one of the agent may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agent, attendees will also receive:

1) Download of “Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Literary Agent,” an on-demand webinar by Chuck Sambuchino

2) 1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database

About the Agent

Senior Literary Agent and Content Strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, Paula Munier boasts broad experience creating and marketing exceptional content in all formats across all markets for such media giants as Disney, Gannett, Greenspun Media Group, and Quayside. Her specialties include mystery/thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, romance, middle grade, YA, New Adult, SF/fantasy, memoir, and nonfiction. Paula is very involved with the mystery community, having served four terms as President of the New England chapter of Mystery Writers of America as well as on the MWA board. (She’s currently VP of that organization.) She’s also served as both co-chair and Agents and Editors chair on the New England Crime Bake committee for seven years and counting.

 

Sign up for the one-on-one Agent Boot Camp here.

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