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Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell! (Writing Mastery)

Proven methods to unleash your creativity and brainstorm bestselling, high concept book and movie ideas
4.7 (238 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,115 students enrolled
Created by Jessica Brody
Last updated 9/2016
$15 $60 75% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 16 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What do stories like Harry Potter, The Girl on the Train, The Martian, The Hunger Games, and The Da Vinci Code all have in common? Apart from selling millions of copies around the world? They all started with one thing: a blockbuster idea that grabs your attention in one sentence.

This is what industry-insiders call a “high-concept idea”

In this dynamic, engaging course with over 70 5-star reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars, Jessica Brody, Udemy's "Breakout Instructor of 2016" and international bestselling author of more than 15 novels published and translated in over 23 countries, reveals the secret ingredients at the heart of every blockbuster book and movie and teaches you how to brainstorm your own high-concept ideas so you can dazzle literary agents, movie producers, publishers, and readers.

"A definite must for anyone wishing to break into the big leagues!!"  - JESSICA, UDEMY STUDENT

"If you're stuck for an idea, not just an idea but a great idea, then this class is for you."  - STEVE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Jessica Brody breaks down these concepts with clarity and amazing insight."  - MIKE, UDEMY STUDENT

"This is easily one of the most powerful, clearly presented courses I've taken at Udemy." - EIBHLIN, UDEMY STUDENT

High-concept ideas are basically known as the “holy grail” of the book and movie business.

Because high-concept ideas are known to sell better, faster and for more money than ideas that are not considered high concept.

But what is a high-concept idea? And how do you know if you have one? Or better yet? How do you come up with one that will sell?

In this course, you’ll…

  • Learn exactly what a high-concept idea is
  • Discover the 4 Secret Ingredients of every high-concept idea and how to identify them
  • Learn 5 Proven Methods for brainstorming your own high-concept ideas
  • Get access to loads of exercises and tips to help you apply everything you’ve learned

And by the end of this course, you’ll have at least one shiny new high-concept idea for a book or movie that you can start writing immediately.

"I used your course to develop my pitch to two agents. They both requested a manuscript." - BRIAN, UDEMY STUDENT

"Wow, I already am looking at writing from a different perspective." - SHANTANU, UDEMY STUDENT

"Thanks to [this] class by the great Jessica Brody, I have a shiny new high concept idea for my sci-fi book!" - ALYSHA, UDEMY STUDENT

"I would recommend this to ANY writer at ANY level." - STACEY, UDEMY STUDENT

I’m Jessica Brody and in ten short years, I’ve managed to sell more than 15 books to major publishers like Simon and Schuster, Random House, Macmillan, and Disney Press, including the forthcoming how-to writing book, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel, the novel edition of the movie industry’s bestselling book on plot structure. Also, my books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and two of my novels are currently in development as major motion pictures! 

How did I manage to do all of this? The answer is simple: High-concept ideas!

I’m excited to share my secrets of success with you in this course. 


"An excellent course with some very good ideas for brainstorming your novel" - DEBORAH, UDEMY STUDENT

"Her brainstorming section is awesome..."  - STEVE, UDEMY STUDENT

"This info, already, is greatly helping me to understand what makes readers want to read a story." - BEV, UDEMY STUDENT

"Gave me some great ways to go back and figure out what's not working..." - MICHELLE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Clear, concise, & well-narrated with an abundance of enthusiasm." - CHRISTOPHER, UDEMY STUDENT

"This course is worth far more than the price of admission!" - TALMAGE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Very professionally taught." - MATT, UDEMY STUDENT

Whether your creative journey includes self-publishing, traditional publishing, screenwriting, film making, or any other kind of distribution, the key to success is developing an idea that people can latch onto. That will wow your audience, whether that’s readers, agents, publishers,  movie producers, or film viewers.

This course will teach you how to do just that.

So let’s get started! Enroll now and start brainstorming your bestselling novel or blockbuster movie idea today.

I hope to see you inside the course.

"Jessica Brody nails all the elements in this course. The exercises are brilliant and very helpful. Thank you for such a great course!" - KIMBERLEY, UDEMY STUDENT

"Great concepts and methods in this course that will no doubt help to produce great high-concept ideas. The trainer is clear, measured and personable and uses great colourful graphics. A very good teacher overall, and the course is short and sweet but highly useful." ZURI, UDEMY STUDENT

"This course combines the best of the best in writing concepts as well as the author's ideas and experiences as a seasoned, successful writer. The handouts are exceptional in providing processes that lead to the outcome of high-concept ideas. I would highly recommend the course to any writer." - JEANETTE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Jessica Brody breaks down these concepts with clarity and amazing insight. Using humor and accessible examples from pop culture, she gets to something deeper, something ancient and absolutely human. She understands the mechanics and the heart of Story as well as anyone I've heard. I highly recommend this course."  - MIKE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Jessica Brody has a gift for distilling lots of hard-earned information into concise and tasty bites. Many talented writers never gain traction because they fail to recognize (and capitalize on) a winning idea. In very clear terms, Ms. Brody takes us through an analysis of what makes an idea sellable–a crucial skill needed for those wanting to make a living as a writer." - KATHERINE, UDEMY STUDENT

"I love Jessica Brody's "Creating High-Concept Ideas" class. It's engaging and powerful at the same time. It's far better than other high concept classes I've taken at several writing schools." - STEVE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Very informative and well worth the time and cost. Jessica has shown me some new ways to approach my storytelling and how to make sure I am telling the best tale I can." - NOEL, UDEMY STUDENT

"If you're stuck for an idea, not just an idea but a great idea, then this class is for you." - STEVEN, UDEMY STUDENT

"Interesting, direct, and doesn't waste my time. No carving through the fat to get to the meat of the class." - KATHLEEN, UDEMY STUDENT

"Practical advice you can actually use! Great course for beginning writers, but also an excellent refresher for veterans." - JENNIFER, UDEMY STUDENT

"This is an excellent course educating you in generating great ideas for your story or project." - LEE, UDEMY STUDENT

"Lots of inspiring ideas, presented clearly and with enthusiasm." - TRICIA, UDEMY STUDENT

"Finally! The basics on writing what sells from someone who actually walks the walk. I’ve read too many books about screenwriting from unproduced screenwriters and unpublished writing professors. Thanks Jessica." - MICHAEL, UDEMY STUDENT

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who wants to write a novel or screenplay
  • Newbie writers or seasoned pros
  • Writers striving to reach the next level of their career
  • Writers wanting to make their work more commercial
  • Anyone who has always wanted to write a novel or screenplay but hasn't found the perfect idea yet
  • Writers looking for a big idea for their next project
  • Anyone who's asked the question: "Where do writers get their ideas?"
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What Will I Learn?
Develop story ideas designed to get the attention of readers, agents, publishers, and producers
Learn why high-concept stories sell better, faster, and for more money
Define "high concept" and learn what makes an idea "high concept"
Identify the 4 Secret Ingredients of every high-concept idea
Apply 5 Proven Methods for Brainstorming high-concept ideas
Brainstorm your own high-concept ideas that you can start writing immediately
End the course with multiple big story ideas to choose from
Take your writing career to the next level by developing commercial novel and screenplay ideas that sell
15 Exercises and Handouts to apply everything you've learned
View Curriculum
  • Computer or notebook for exercises
  • An open mind for brainstorming
  • A desire to write a novel or screenplay
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 16 Lectures Collapse All 16 Lectures 01:31:07
4 Lectures 10:01

Welcome to Writing Mastery: Creating High-Concept Ideas that Sell! I'm honored to be your guide on this journey. This course is all about high-concept ideas, why they're important, why they sell for more money, and how YOU can develop your own high-concept ideas to get the most out of your writing career. In this first lecture, I'll introduce you to the idea of high concept and walk you through what you can expect from the rest of the course. 

Preview 02:49

In this lecture, I give you a quick overview of who this course is designed for and who will get the most out of it. 

Preview 01:00

In this lecture, I briefly introduce myself and tell you why I'm qualified to teach this course. 

Preview 01:02

In this lecture, we'll introduce high-concept ideas and discuss why they're so important in the book and movie business and how they can help you reach the next level in your writing career. 

Preview 05:10
The 4 Secret Ingredients of a High-Concept Idea
4 Lectures 32:55

In this lecture, we kick off our discussion of the 4 Secret Ingredients of every high-concept idea and why they're important. These ingredients will provide you with a solid foundation upon which to brainstorm and develop your own high-concept ideas. We'll discuss the first Secret Ingredient of high-concept ideas, a Fish out of Water, and I'll provide you with examples from popular books and movies to help you better understand why it's important. 

Secret Ingredient #1: A Fish Out of Water

In this lecture, we discuss the second Secret Ingredient of high-concept ideas, a Looming Conflict, and I'll provide you with examples from popular books and movies to help you better understand why it's important. We'll also discuss the differences between major and minor conflicts. 

Secret Ingredient #2: A Looming Conflict

In this lecture, we discuss the third Secret Ingredient of high-concept ideas, a Hook, and I'll provide you with examples from popular books and movies to help you better understand why it's important. We'll also discuss the three different kind of hooks found in high-concept ideas and how to identify them. 

Secret Ingredient #3: A Hook

In this lecture, we discuss the fourth and final Secret Ingredient of high-concept ideas, a Universal Theme, and I'll provide you with examples from popular books and movies to help you better understand why it's important. This lecture also comes with two exercises that will help you apply everything you've learned in this section.  

Secret Ingredient #4: A Universal Theme
5 Proven Methods for Brainstorming High-Concept Ideas
5 Lectures 36:58

In this lecture, we start brainstorming book and screenplay ideas! I first provide you with some brainstorming guidelines before diving into our first Proven Method for Brainstorming High-Concept Ideas. We'll break down the Larger than Life Method and how I developed it, as well as complete two exercises to help you use the method for brainstorming your own ideas. 

Proven Method #1: Larger than Life

In this lecture, we'll break down my favorite brainstorming method, Extra Extra Read All About it, and how I developed it, as well as complete a fun exercise to get your creative juices pumping and your ideas flowing! 

Proven Method #2: Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

In this lecture, we'll break down the Magic Talisman method (and its variation, the Magic Curse method), and how I developed it, as well as complete two "magical" exercises to help you use the methods for brainstorming your own ideas. 

Proven Method #3: The Magic Talisman

In this lecture, we'll break down the People Zoo Method, and how I developed it, as well as guide you through a "trip to the people zoo," an exercise to help you use the method for brainstorming your own ideas. 

Proven Method #4: The People Zoo

In this lecture, we'll "MishMash" things up with the MishMash method. I'll talk about how I developed it, why it's probably the most "fun" method of them all, and then we'll end this section with an exercise and a fun MishMash brainstorming game!

Proven Method #5: The MishMash
Wrapping Up
3 Lectures 11:21

In this lecture, we'll recap everything we've learned, then complete one final exercise, "Putting it All Together," which will help you select which shiny new idea to work on, and how to move forward with it into the next stage of the writing process. I'll also provide you with some last minute tips and words of encouragement as you venture out into the world of writing mastery!

Recap and Putting it All Together

In this lecture, I provide links to free resources for writing, outlining, and hacking the creative process for you to use as you continue along your writing mastery journey. 

Resources for Writers

BONUS LECTURE: Exclusive discounts on more Writing Mastery courses!
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
544 Reviews
2,223 Students
3 Courses
International Bestselling Author, Screenwriter & Story Coach

Jessica Brody is the author of more than 15 books for teens, tweens, and adults including Boys of Summer, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, A Week of Mondays, The Karma Club, and the three books in the sci-fi Unremembered trilogy—Unremembered, Unforgotten, and Unchanged. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and Unremembered and 52 Reasons to Hate My Father are currently in development as a major motion pictures. She's currently writing the novel edition of the number-one bestselling plotting guide for screenwriters, SAVE THE CAT! She lives with her husband and four dogs and splits her time between California and Colorado. 

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