Have you ever seen a book trailer? Here is one for an upcoming YA novel that I am looking forward to by Tina Connolly.
I met Tina at a conference a few years ago when she was still writing this book and I asked her what she was working on. She said, “It’s basically Jane Eyre with fairies.” That has always stuck because it is such an excellent, compact way to describe what is obviously a creative, complicated, and nuanced project. I would like to be able to say of my dissertation, “It’s basically X with X.” But I can’t really come up with anything.
“It’s basically ghosts with science.”
“Forget everything you thought you knew about plagiarism!”
“It’s digital humanities with psychoanalysis with literary studies with…a long section on dollhouses.” (I swear it all ties together.)
Today, in a workshop on job letters, one of the facilitators said that a dissertation paragraph should basically have the feel of a movie trailer. It should be general enough to appeal to most audiences and make the readers want to learn more. It should be clear what your research does and perhaps how it connects to a tradition, but it shouldn’t be jargony or over-long.
All this is to say, I think I might need to make a book trailer for my dissertation. And I’m soliciting ideas, technology experts, and actors to do it. Anyone?
Also, if you didn’t watch the whole trailer (you should!) or if you did, as a reminder, Ironskin is available starting October 2nd.