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Plot Line approach.

Definition: Plot line is by far the most common approach. The goal is not to summarize the plot; it is not a plot synopsis. A plot line approach trailer sets up the plot.

A plot narrative consists of:

  • Exposition – Introduction of the characters/setting and sometimes the ordinary world
  • Inciting Incident – Introduction of the conflict or problem
  • Rising action
  • Conflict
  • Climax
  • Falling action
  • Denouncement

In a book trailer, the exposition, characters/setting and/or inciting incident are used to create interest. Basically, show the setting, characters and problem. A trailer may focus on one to the exclusion of others. If only a character is profiled, this becomes a ‘character‘ approach. A plot line approach must present more. The hook is usually how will the protagonist solve the problem?

Ordinary World – the norms and rules of the world. If the story is set in a dystopia, fantasy or paranormal world, then the reader needs to be educated in what a typical day is. These trailers often spend significant time establishing the norms. While this would be classified as a “plot-line” approach, the plot may not be revealed. It may be more ordinary world then the act-one crisis.

To quote L. P. Hartley's novel The Go-Between (1953) "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." For authors of historical fiction it is important to ensure your viewer understands the trailer plot or hook. Ordinary world may be important to enlighten on the norms of that time and era.

Applies to fiction.

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