So, I went to my final workshop. This time I brought the first two pages of a short story I’d worked on awhile back and had to set aside in favor of more pressing projects. As you might imagine, my story was fantasy. The workshop leader leans toward literary fiction. In his notes, he compared my story fragment to The Hunger Games, which struck me as odd. I’ve never seen the movie or read the book. It’s more the kind of thing my step-son would be interested in. He has seen the movie, but he got bored with the book. He’s fifteen and into drums and technology, so getting him to read anything is something of an achievement.
Anyway, I decided to seek out a book trailer for The Hunger Games to try to determine if there really was a similarity or if the similarity was one of genre alone. Searching for a book trailer about a bestselling novel that has become a theatrical movie is a challenge, but I think I’ve found a real book trailer amidst all the movie trailers and fan-made videos. (Note to self: Having a book/movie that is so popular that fans make videos for you would be kind of cool!)
So, let’s take a look!
The concept of the story comes in at the forefront of this trailer, which is understandable considering the concept is the cornerstone of the story. We get snippets of characters. Not enough to latch on to, but enough to be confident that the writer knew reader empathy is driven by characters, not concepts. The overwhelming hallmark of the piece is the pace—it’s fast, very fast. Though, considering that my step-son got bored reading the book, I have to wonder whether the book holds up to that pace.
So far, it doesn’t seem like the same kind of story at all. Concept is a big part of any fantasy story, but my story seems to put a lot more focus on character. While parts of my story have a bit of a dystopian feel to it, my story is much more about unforeseen consequences than human tyranny. The narration is heavy on introspection interlaced with action, which slows the pace down considerably (but I hope not too much). It’s a story written for adults, not teens. Survival is a factor, but the survival has more kinship to pioneers than prisoners.
It’s a good trailer with a lot of visual appeal, but not so much that it overwhelms the medium it’s intended to advertise—which is what I expected. Still, for this particular exercise, I have to say the match-up doesn’t fit.