OUR AUTHORS WRITE FOR YOU... short stories and excerpts from our contributors
Can you make a book trailer like a film or TV trailer? from James Gault
I’m going to have to own up to something. I’ve been wasting my summer watching sport on TV when I should have been writing. There I was whiling the hours away watching the World Cup, F1, Wimbledon, The Open Golf (mistakenly known to Americans as the British Open), and the Tour de France. In between the action, I was exposed to endless hours of TV advertising, including numerous trailers for films and TV series. And it got me thinking about how we produce blurbs and trailers for novels. So maybe I didn’t completely waste my time. All the trailers I saw were a montage of short clips from a film or TV show. But cleverly these clips were put together to create interest in the story, to display suspense and tension and to communicate the emotional involvement of the characters without ever revealing the plot. Could the same effect be achieved by using extracts from a novel? Here was a challenge I couldn’t resist. I took my latest novel Best Intelligence and tried it. The novel is a thriller with a plot full of many twists and turns leading to an unexpected denouement, so it was particularly important than I didn’t inadvertently create a ‘spoiler’. Here is my attempt. Comments welcome!
BEST INTELLIGENCE – A TRAILER IN WORDS Detective Inspector Charlie Best looked down with passionate disinterest on the body of the dead girl. She had been stabbed twice in the guts and then her throat had been cut. The cadaver lay in a pool of dried congealed blood and the sight was gruesome. …… “The gun!” Laura had been waving the gun about absent-mindedly. Seeing Charlie’s stern face prompted her to stuff it back into her deep pocket. “Sorry.” There was a quiet interlude and Charlie felt he had subdued her a little. ….. “Aye, it’s Thomson right enough.” Charlie had the field glasses firmly focused on the target’s face. “Bastard!” Phut! Thomson’s head exploded, and both he and the chair fell over backwards and lay sprawled on the patio. The scene dissolved into a blurred creamy greyness. Charlie took the glasses from his eyes and saw Simon had closed the shutters. ….. They made love. Kathy thought of her student days, of Ahmed and the wild screaming orgasms of youthful infatuation. MacKenzie pushed and grunted above her and she wondered if he was thinking of anything. ….. “I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, Billy.” “These things happen, Mrs Thomson. My Dad was a sodjer for yer man, so he was. Killed in the line of duty, just like Big Tam himsel’. If you’ve got tae go, it’s a good way tae do it.” “Yes, it’s a pity we don’t give out medals, isn’t it?” Billy smiled at her. ….. “Kathy Thomson here, yes?” Kathy Thomson answered her mobile and got the surprise of her life. “Kathy, it’s me, Ahmed,” He hadn’t needed to give his name. As soon as he said hers, she knew who it was. So many years ago, and she still couldn’t mistake the sound of his voice saying ‘Kathy’. ….. The eyes needed time to acclimatise, and there were a dangerous few seconds when he could see her clearly, but she still couldn’t quite make him out. It was the few seconds in which he would have time to draw his gun, turn and shoot her. He didn’t get the chance. There was the dulled ‘phut’ of a silenced rifle and he slumped to the floor. … “Comisario di Castello?” the rather elegant lady standing before his table enquired. “Maria?” “Mary, actually,” the lady replied. “Yes, I am so sorry. I am thinking, of course, of the Spanish version of the name. Please sit!” He was quite taken with Maria, or Mary. ….. “I huvnae’ seen you aboot for a while, Mr Best.” “Even policeman have holidays, Sammy.” “Aye right. This your new partner?” He nodded in the direction of Laura. “Something like that.” “See they’ve gi’en ye a wumman this time. Nae luck, eh?” ….. “What the hell? Why did you do that? What the bloody hell is going on here?” Laura looked at him. “I’m sorry, Charlie” She was still waving the gun around, and Charlie couldn’t take his eyes off it.