Using the OpenShot video editor to create a book trailer – 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve tried other video editors, but this one is the most intuitive for me. Lesson one — rename every slide because the way the program defaults a name — it will dump a slide and replace it with a duplicate of another. The app needs a hover over preview feature, but for a free open source program — you can deal with a few inadequacies.  I was video editing virgin before attempting the creation of a book trailer.

People typically recommend you to make your video as short as possible — about a minute. Many need more time to tell a story, so shoot for a minute and a half and cut to the bare bone. Five to six seconds for each text slide; two seconds for most image slides, seems like a good time, but the program often leaves me guesstimating.

I wrote part of this post earlier and I’m close to being done, but I thought that once before and see up above about the duplicating slide incident. The music takes me to two minutes and five seconds; I’ll probably accept that time; unless there’s a file size limit where I post the video. If I manage to find another song, I may make a change. Music highlighting the rising action at the end; would have been nice.

My speaking issues made me reluctant to narrate. People have said I have a nice voice, but I hate hearing recordings of myself.

This may be a rough draft video and I may play with another app later. After my duplicate slide incident, I used my paint program to make the slides, but OpenShot made better slides. The file size may be too high so it may be a while before I get the final version.

The Dwarf and a Big Bad Dog

I’m working on a book trailer and if I follow the story told in my blurb, I should start with a dwarf conquistador/ Wikimedia show multiple dwarf and dog pictures, bit I kind of like this one by Jan Fyt. This probably isn’t the dwarf that went with Pedro Menendez to St. Augustine, but it’s a picture from the same era and that’s a mighty impressive dog. Lego makes a conquistador figurine and I’ve considered going the toy route, for the video.

My other option, for the book trailer. is to focus on the contemporary world and the cult operating in it. Barbie has a James Bond collection and that set would fit my Mata Hari cult, fairly well. Getting a consistent look will be tough with portraits; the toys may give me better control, but portraits are more impressive if I can find some with a similar style. I’ve already done some trial and error work, with emphasis on the error. This will take a while.

I call the daughter of the conquistador dwarf, Dog-woman, and considering the number of dwarf and dog pictures, the name seems apt.

Image comes from Wikimedia

Artist Jan Fyt (1611–1661) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q624802
Title German: Großer Hund, Zwerg und Knabe
Date 1652
Medium color on canvas
Dimensions 138 × 203.5 cm (54.3 × 80.1 in)
Current location
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q4890
Accession number Gal.-Nr. 1211
Other versions

Protecting The Mute

Many of the mythology characters that I have an interest in — act as protectors of children. In my third novel, my main character will act as guardian to an unusually quiet girl she may not be completely mute but she’ll be distinctively quiet. I lived an extended period of my childhood as a mute and there is a temperamental side that has always protected my inner child — the mute.

I write about a fertility cult and sex obviously plays a role, but many fertility deities double as guardians. The guy in the story will be a mute, too. My main character will probably be conflicted about how to handle the guy. Guys don’t fare very well in hands of my cult, but this guy will be somewhat different.

Theoretically Voice Coding A Novel

I have an idea to adjust the text to speech function according to the character speaking, but I lack the power to influence the reader industry. My idea is to use a color coded colon to distinguish the characters. The main character in my novel could use a previously prescribed default to limit the markup. Here’s an example:

The main character says this and can possibly be left unmarked.

:The secondary character is marked by a color coded colon and theoretically a color coded period could act as the end mark to switch the voice back to the default.

I don’t need a separate narrator because my novel uses the first person perspective, so others would probably use a color coded colon to mark all characters. Reducing the markup is the Ideal strategy. The colon is used by playwrights, but I’ve found it best not to skip a space after the colon renders and the color code eliminates the use of the actual name. Characters still need an introduction such as, “What’s up, Harry,” but that’s no big deal.

TTS apps tend to voice out things such as underscore which is the reason I used the colon, but I’m sure alternative methods exist.

Bit Pieces of Narration

Silent_film intertitle

Silent movies used text placed on cards for narration purpose; they call this text an intertitle because it basically acts as a title for a scene. In Talkies, they call an interjection by a narrator – a voice over. I’m in the process of studying these narration techniques, for my own purpose.

When I’m not mired in deep depression, I experiment with how I will handle my scene breaks. I used the “ghost over the shoulder perspective” when writing; it’s a first person perspective without digging deep into the main character’s thoughts and relies more on dialogue; rather than, narration. My scene breaks may share characteristics of the silent film intertitle or a voice over and will offer clarifying pieces of narration.

Madam Noir


I’m trying to make a portrait of a late nineteenth-century brothel Madam holding a smoking gun, but I lack the artistic skills to create what I want. This is the best I’ve done. The portrait should make my main character curious about who she is. Maybe, one day, I’ll make improve my enigmatic Femme Fatale.

The Séance At Cassadaga

Psychic Mafia by LaMar Keene

M. Lamar Keene was a ‘Spiritual Medium’ who started feeling guilty about his con game (sort of like the TV show, The Mentalist). People apparently made attempts to kill him, over this book about the fraudulent craft., so the Psychic Mafia is an apt name.

My fictional cult has mafia aspects and they will hold a séance, at the Spiritualist community known as Cassadaga. The séance will be different than the commonly portrayed séance, but it is comparable enough. I didn’t add an allusion to this book, but I may later. This blog partially acts as a ‘to do’ list and this is a possible ‘to do”. If something interests me, while I research–I blog about it.

A different search for an agent


I put off looking for an agent until I finish the prelude to the original book. The prelude is an easier sell plus working on it may refine my original novel. My main character has a different agenda in her search for an agent, too.She’s in a ‘Three Days of the Condor’ mood–a very bloody mood. One agent brought out that mood in me and that’s one reason I’m holding off researching agents.

The search is a tension element and there will be a climatic end. I need to resolve a few plot points before that moment and decide what will come after. I know of one more element which will shape my novel’s conclusion and I may need to write the conclusion before this earlier stuff. Another thing that needs to be addressed is the documents and film footage that my main character will recover. My novel isn’t truly an epistolary novel, but it has elements. How and where to place those elements is undecided.

Creating a Spiritual Child


My novel uses a genetic memory drug, but that gives me trouble when I want to give a child to a notorious lesbian or a famous nun. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is famous and useful to me, but I doubt she passed along her DNA. I considered going with a fictional rape and a resulting child, but a younger sibling or a spiritual child may work.

I didn’t consider it important to make a genetic link, in my original novel, because I accepted that someone familiar to her work could account for her in a DNA dream. It seems more important to have a closer link to her, in this novel.

A younger sibling who worshipped her may be the way I go. Making a fictional sister provides the closest direct connection, but a spiritual sister who marries a fictional brother can offer other advantages. If I write the character in generic terms, I may develop a better of what will work best.

Wikimedia credits

Artist: Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q527206
Title    Portrait of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695)
Date    circa 1750
Medium    oil on canvas
Current location: Chapultepec Castle (National Museum of History) Link back to Institution infobox template

Io and the Cow Ford

Hermes slaying the giant Argus Panoptes. Note the eyes covering Argus' body. Io as a cow stands in the background

In mythology, Io turned into a cow and gave name to the Bosporus straits, by her crossing. Bosporus means cow ford and Jacksonville was known as a cow ford. One of my characters uses Io, as a model, so I place her in cow related places.related to cows. America’s cattle industry began in, St. Augustine and that is where she will first be found in this novel.

She’ll probably end in Punta Rassa, eventually, because that’s where they shipped the cattle to Cuba. Arcadia, Immokalee, Kissimmee, Payne’s Prairie and Lake Wales were the other big cattle areas. I may have missed one, but making this post forces me to focus of the list. I also need to remember to my Hermes allusion.

Picture from Wikimedia with the following credits:

Description: English: Drawing of an image from a 5th century BCE Athenian red-figure vase depicting Hermes slaying the giant Argus Panoptes. Note the eyes covering Argus’ body. Io as a cow stands in the background. Date: 1890

Source:, “Ausführliches Lexikon der Griechischen und Römischen Mythologie”, published 1890

Author: Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher