Idea Concept Premise

16 Feb

From Story Physics by Larry Brooks

Idea => Concept => Premise

Idea: the most basic starting point, the barest bones of the story

Concept: the Idea + the potential for dramatic tension

Premise: the Concept + characters

For example, Brooks’ breakdown of The DaVinci Code:

Idea:

  • “A story about religious veracity based on certain myths that exist to this day, including Leonardo DaVinci’s supposed membership in a secret sect.”
  • OR “A story about the veracity of the church.”
  • OR “A story about the Holy Grail.”

Concept:

“What if Christ didn’t actually perish on the cross, and the church buried the truth to ensure their authority and has been killing people who come close to finding the truth using a secret second of assassins that has survived the centuries?”

Premise:

“A story about a symbolist called in to interpret clues at a murder scene, leading him to the discovery of connections that involve larger powers and put his life in jeopardy as the gets nearer and nearer t the truth and the people responsible for it, who happen to reside at the highest levels of the Catholic church itself.”

 

Try to break down your story pitch into these three components/levels. It can be helpful to understand the fundamental element of your project, but that will require a bit of distance from it. Hard when you’ve been basically breathing a story for a while.

Try to keep each step to a sentence or two!

(Want more? Try summarizing your entire project,–including all major plot points, subplots, reveals, etc–in 1000 words or less.)

 

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