My local RWA chapter has a wonderful reference library that I recently tapped into. The book I selected? Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation and Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction. Now, I admit not being very far along, but what I've read so far has really resonated with me.
Here's just a few notes I've written down.
- Conflict creates worry (Simple statement but to the point and meaningful)
- A writer should aim to take the reader on a journey of uncertainty (Ooo, I like that)
- Your story must answer 4 questions: Who (character), what (goal), why (motivation), and why not (conflict)
It seems to me that the last bullet can be used to build a high concept or short query paragraph about your story. I have to read on to be sure, but it looks good right now.
Sorry for the short post. I'll talk a little more about this once I've finished the book.