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Book Trailer Muskoka Novel Marathon On Writing

Book Trailer First – Then the Book! The Journey to #MNM2016 Beginneth!

Whenever a Muskoka Novel Marathon draws closer I kind of set into a panic mode of sorts. I look around me like a chef in Cutthroat Kitchen, desperate to find the ingredients and cooking implements I need to complete my next task. And I hope and I pray that nobody (i.e. me!) throws a monkey wrench sabotage into the works to mess me up. The marathon is only 72 hours long. And it only comes but once a year. It’s like I only have this short window to jump onto the merry-go-round and take a spin. I have to get it right…right out of the gate. The margin for error is ZERO.

So, this year…in my year of almost zero writing…I feel slightly more desperate than ever before. It’s April. The marathon is in July. I’m already looking around myself in desperation. WHAT CAN I THROW INTO THE BOWL? HOW DO I GET MY INGREDIENTS GOING!? The chefs on Cutthroat Kitchen get what? 30 seconds to grab everything they need from the pantry to make the required dish? I feel like my 30-second pantry time for the Muskoka Novel Marathon has begun. (I won’t even throw into this mix the fact that all the ingredients I pick up in my 30 seconds might just be taken from me once the starting bell rings out and the 72 hour writing adventure begins–believe me, this has happened to me in the past. I have gone in with a plan and immediately scrapped it and started writing something completely random as I sat down to begin. The marathon is organic when it wants to be—outlines be damned!) I’m looking around. And I’m saying, “How am I going to do this?! What can I throw into the bowl?!”

Enter my Book Trailer as an Outline idea I came up with for a workshop I did a couple years ago. I never did explore the story I created for the book trailer. Now, I’m thinking, ‘Well, there’s this?”

From the blog post I wrote at that time:

a YA wherein a boy comes out of the trees and gets himself wrapped up in the life of the girl who just moved into the house beyond his magical woods. It’ll be a story about him adjusting to being a teenager (as opposed to being the soul of a tree) and his romantic ties to the girl from the house…as they both adjust to being new at the area high school. I came up with this future YA project as a sample of a BOOK-TRAILER-AS-NOVEL-OUTLINE for a workshop I put together recently. I threw the book trailer together in a few minutes to show one way a writer can create an outline—especially helpful to writers who abhor outlines—ME. So after the book trailer was completed I thought, ‘that’s actually not a totally terrible idea’. I am now going to be exploring it and checking to see if it has a novel in it.

Here’s the trailer I culled together as an example of creating the trailer before you create the book:

If you are a writer…I think it’s worth the effort to explore creating a book trailer in advance of writing your next story. It’s creatively fun…and you may find that you come up with a more cohesive idea when you’re piecing it together in this way. I just watched this trailer again…after practically forgetting all about it. And I’m thinking, ‘Hey…I’d read that book!’ The question is, will I ever write it!!!???

I might just run with this idea at the #MNM2016 It’s not like I have any other ideas in the pan. I sense that the less you write, the less you use your imagination, the more it dries up and withers away and dies. But I may be wrong. I might step into the room at the marathon and be hit with a thousand and one ideas. Who knows? I find it’s best to be prepared with something…in case nothing comes on its own at the time the bell chimes and the writing begins. One needs to be able to start click click clacking on the keys the very second the marathon begins if one wants something to come out of the weekend. Down-time is the devil at the Muskoka Novel Marathon!

Speaking of the Muskoka Novel Marathon… I can certainly use your help raising funds for the literacy programs of Simcoe Muskoka County YMCA. My donation page is live. Any amount will help. I need to get the ball rolling on this one. We writers do have a decadent weekend of writing bliss to look forward to in this marathon…but the number one goal is to raise funds for literacy. We ARE Writers supporting readers, after all. Please consider making a donation…be a part of the solution and help usher those who need these programs out of the darkness of illiteracy and into the light!

Click on the pic below to be taken to my donation page…

mnm

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Book Trailer On Writing

Book Trailer as Novel Outline, Agent News, Ampersands Rock, New Project and My First Book 2!

As it turns out, I find myself NOT so busy this September. It always seems to be the month that I’m playing catch-up, doing a hundred things at a time…and making a blog post in which I decry the swamped-edness of the month of September. The only thing on my writing agenda at the moment is my 2013 Muskoka Novel Marathon W-I-P, Alive & Kicking.

Alive & Kicking is a first for me. It is BOOK 2 of my 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD winning novel, Half Dead & Fully Broken! (-: I love that I got to use the ampersand in both novel titles. Makes them, you know, connected! (-;

Half Dead & Fully Broken is with my agent, Stacey Donaghy. She has it out on submission to places which shall here remain nameless. It was Stacey who suggested there might be more to the story than just a standalone novel. And I’m grateful to her for suggesting this, as I had a lot of fun writing BOOK 2. Book 1 is about a good ghost—the brother of the narrator—coming back to attempt to close all the loose ends prior to going to the great beyond. Is he successful? I’m not saying! Der. Book 2 was fun to write because the ghost in this one does NOT have good intentions. He’s actually a nasty piece of work. He does a lot of mean and nasty things before the hero—the alive brother, Carter Colby, from the first book—manages to get things in place to attempt to stop him. Does the hero conquer? You know I can’t tell you that! Der.

Anyway, I’m ALMOST finished writing the first draft of Alive & Kicking. I only got around 32,000 words during the 72-hour marathon. I really didn’t feel like I was focusing very well at the marathon this year. My goal was 48,000 words. It’s coming to the 50,000 word mark now and I’m so close to the end I can almost smell the ectoplasm.

That’s mainly what my September has consisted of, writing wise. Oh, I also helped my friend, M-E Girard, set up a private writing forum site for our writing community, WCDR. It’s been fun seeing this come to fruition. It’s going to be great building new relationships with the writers in our group. Believe it or not, we are now over 300 members strong! If you’re in Durham Region, Ontario, and you’re not a member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region, you truly do NOT know what you’re missing. Check them out: WCDR

And, now, back to my agent. Stacey Donaghy was an agent with Corvisiero Literary Agency. This month, she unveiled her own agency, DONAGHY LITERARY GROUP. I made the move with her to the new agency. I’m thrilled to be represented by Stacey…she’s a real dynamo! Her agency is currently closed to submissions, but you should check out her SUBMISSION GUIDELINES and consider submitting when she opens her doors to submissions in early December, 2013.

Well, I guess that’s it as far as a check-in goes. I’ve been spending so much time in Muskoka, at our new trailer, that the blog has really been taking a backseat in my life. The park is closing soon, so it will be back to business as usual for the writing life. This means that I will be finishing Alive & Kicking.

After A&K is completed, I will be attempting a NA (New Adult) title…along with a YA wherein a boy comes out of the trees and gets himself wrapped up in the life of the girl who just moved into the house beyond his magical woods. It’ll be a story about him adjusting to being a teenager (as opposed to being the soul of a tree) and his romantic ties to the girl from the house…as they both adjust to being new at the area high school. I came up with this future YA project as a sample of a BOOK-TRAILER-AS-NOVEL-OUTLINE for a workshop I put together recently. I threw the book trailer together in a few minutes to show one way a writer can create an outline—especially helpful to writers who abhor outlines—ME. So after the book trailer was completed I thought, ‘that’s actually not a totally terrible idea’. I am now going to be exploring it and checking to see if it has a novel in it. Here…why don’t I just load the trailer onto Youtube and link it here:

(-:

Happy October! May your writing life take you somewhere interesting and adventurous in the coming month!

PS: Today’s question — Ever feel like you continually write the same novel…only in different ways? I would like to think that my 3 published novels are each unique, but I suppose there is a recurring theme. Are we all just creating the same work ad nauseam until we get it right? Hmmm?

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Book Trailer Books Fiction Muskoka Novel Marathon Novel Marathon Novel Outline Novels Outline Outlining Pantsing The Reasons Trailer Writers Writing Writing Advice Writing Tips

Book Trailer as Outline!

I found an easy and entertaining way to outline…for those of us who hate outlining. Now I use hate loosely here. Whether you’re an outliner or a pantser should ultimately depend on your project. I always felt this way. I don’t think one should come to a conclusion that they are one or the other. Always be open to new ways to draft your next novel.

Anyway, as I have frequently struggled with outlining, I needed to find a way to make it creative and fun. So, no charts for me. No diagrams, no lines from one scene to another, no boxed miasma of words planned out on chalkboards waiting to be distilled into novel form. My brain just doesn’t seem to want to work that way. I am content to have a large block of clay and just pound away slowly at it and wait for the story to reveal itself to me. It’s more exciting for me if I don’t know what will happen next until I make it happen.

But this one thing seems to be working for me. With Windows Movie Maker, it’s SO easy to throw together a quick book trailer. And this is my new outline. I make a book trailer for my vision of the finished novel, prior to writing the novel. Whether or not you use live action in a book trailer, I suppose is up to you. If you have friends who are competent enough actors for the job, it would be a great idea to film something. I prefer to mix stills, music and plot points in my trailers. And once I clip them all together in the easy to use Windows Movie Maker, I simply watch it a few times to let the ‘story’ soak in.

After that, I start the writing. I have no laboured chaotic mess of an outline to sort through. Just a quick 3 minute video that was fun to put together and hopefully fun to watch. I don’t have to stick rigidly to the video, but the process of making it solidifies the story I would like to tell. You should try it. It’s a lot of fun to search for just the right pictures and just the right words to accompany them. Sometimes, the music I choose even helps me to better envision the story I want to tell.

It’s creative. It’s fun and it really really helps. I’ve tried it. I will be making a book trailer this week for the novel I intend to write for this year’s Muskoka Novel Marathon. I’m not sure yet what I want to write, but once something comes to me I’ll make the trailer and then watch it until the gaps are filled in with my imagination and the wants and will of the characters I create for the trailer.

I won’t post any book trailers I’ve created as outlines, as I don’t have permissions for the images I used…I don’t make them with the intent of showing them publicly. I do have the permissions needed for the book trailer for my latest novel, The Reasons. So, I’ll share it now as an example of what you could do as an outline:

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Book Trailer Kevin Craig The Reasons

My Latest Book Trailer – THE REASONS

This is a book trailer for my upcoming release from Musa Publishing. Much appreciation to the amazing Nahko & Medicine for the People! THE REASONS is available April 19th. The Reasons won the 2008 Muskoka Novel Marathon’s BEST ADULT NOVEL AWARD.

Find it at musapublishing.com, amazon.com, amazon.ca, barnesandnoble.com, kobobooks.com and other e-retailers.

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Book Trailer Kevin Craig Summer on Fire

Summer on Fire – A YA Novel – Book Trailer

A short trailer for my 2011 young adult release, SUMMER ON FIRE. It is available through most major online booksellers, both as an ebook and a print book. If you go directly to MUSEITUP PUBLISHING and order the print book, they will give you the ebook for free!

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Book Trailer Kevin Craig Sebastian's Poet

A First Time Attempt at a Book Trailer…

I quickly put together a book trailer for my upcoming release, Sebastian’s Poet. Thought it would help potential readers to understand that there is no need to run screaming from the word POET in the novel’s title. (-:

Here’s the trailer: