First it started over at Trashionista, when the lovely ladies over there posted a video clip of the incomparable Meg Cabot. (Okay, how much do we love Meg Cabot?!)
Then, Allison Winn Scotch continued the discussion over on her blog, Ask Allison (and if you're not reading her blog, um, why not?!). Allison talked about having a BIG idea for your book (yes, all caps, please!) and why it's important to think about high concept ideas for your fiction (well, at least the fiction you're hoping to sell, anyway).
I broadened the discussion out to my Mediabistro class, and we talked about what makes an idea "high concept," or as Allison puts it: BIG! And, for me, there's no better example than Allison Winn Scotch's latest, TIME OF MY LIFE. TOML is the story of a woman who gets caught up in the what-ifs of her life, and finds herself seven years in the past, able to fully explore the what-ifs, and take the path not taken.
Talk about a BIG idea! First of all, it's easily explainable. Also, it's the sort of book that would be perfect for a book club-- it will generate lots of discussion and will bring up some really serious issues for people: What if I married someone else? What if I never quit that job?
And, most importantly, can't you just see the movie now?!
The book is really resonating with lots of people out there who can relate to the idea of having lots of what-ifs in their lives. I read the book and gobbled it up. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone-- even those of you out there who don't think about what-ifs (I personally don't-- I try to just look ahead). The writing is so smart and thoughtful, you can't help but fall in love with this book.
I guess that's why it just made the New York Times bestseller list!
Other writers who I think deal in BIG ideas are Jodi Piccoult, Emily Giffin, and Sophie Kinsella. What are some BIG books and what makes them high concept to you?