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PB vs. Story PB (And More)

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Hi, all.

For years, I put off joining. This was me after I did:  :bangcomputer   Why did I wait?!

I have a few questions. If the last two should be in another section, let me know and I'll post there.

1) I like the idea of the difference between a PB and a story PB, but I fail to see where editors/agents outwardly recognize this difference. If it's a case of wishful thinking for writers, okay. If it's a real deal, do we address a ms as a story PB in a query or cover, or let it ride? I ask since the pieces I have ready to roll are 800 or just below 1000--still within the "acceptable" word count. At least as of last year...ha-ha.

2) High-concept: Mostly, I've read it is something that can't be defined, but it definitely related to the internal mechanisms of a book, the writing, the theme. RECENTLY, including within this board, I'm reading that high-concept is defined, more or less, as a hook. If the latter, has someone only reinvented the wheel? A hook is a hook, no? Confused.

3) Series potential: Mostly, I've read different sources (agent blogs, market books, etc.) that say you should mention series potential (you have sequels, or are interested in developing the ms in to series, etc.) in your query or cover. RECENTLY, I read an old agent blog (2006) where she said writers think too much of themselves/their work, you can mention it but she'd roll her eyes--and she doesn't buy work based on future work; if the one book does great, then you talk series. (The last part of that makes sense, but I've read so much about agents/editors/pubs not wanting a one-book writer, so it seems to fly in the face of that--kind of.)

Any thoughts would most appreciated!


#1 - June 08, 2014, 04:07 PM
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 04:10 PM by Arona »
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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I'm answering in order.

1. Use the fewest words you need to tell a compelling story. Short books are in now, but longer works will sell if every word is necessary. Beta readers and critique partners can help you see whether your work needs cutting.

2. High concept is a great hook that can be expressed in a sound bite. At least that's become my take. If you need a whole paragraph to express it, it may be a great concept but not a high one.

3. This is a matter of individual taste. Some editors and agents want to know there is series potential. Others are thrilled to work with you on that after the fact. The thing is if book one does poorly, there won't be any book two no matter what. Never state you are selling a whole series up front.
#2 - June 09, 2014, 09:08 AM
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Thanks, Debbie.

I've always tried to make a hook a one-liner (though a one-line hook isn't necessarily high-concept...I think-?-).

#3 - June 09, 2014, 02:19 PM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.


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