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First Novel & First Screenplay -- Behind the Scenes with Carolyn Allen

As you, my readers probably know, indie production and distribution is a passion of mine. I've produced a children's nature video and distributed it myself. And I'm a prolific Internet publisher with more websites than I care to count :-)

I believe in taking charge of your own creative future, and building a lasting platform with which you can tell your story, and share your knowledge in as honest, straightforward a way as possible in this modern context.

So...the next step is to dip my toe in the waters of fiction, right? Actually, I've been wading into the waters of fiction for about five years, and am now ready to release my stories to the public. And that's why I'm writing this article.

Why so long? You might ask...

Just like a fetus sets it's own date for delivery, a creative project can have a mind of its own, as well. This project, "Music Magic" had such a mind.

It's a story about teenagers and their angst! Yep, some controversial topics are in there. I was told not to talk about pregnancy. Not to talk about Christianity and it's less than loving side. Not to talk about multi-cultural topics.

But I did -- that's where the story led me.

So I didn't release the story right away. It took a few years for the pregnancy and abortion statistics to become big enough for people to decide we need solutions. And obesity. And urban sprawl. And housing costs.

It's in there.

My first novel! A family story about teens, music, and nature (of course)! A fast-paced, quick read, perfect for summer. Let me know what you think of it...and I hope you'll share it with your family and friends, Carolyn

Screenplay first. Then novelization.

I chose the unusual pathway of writing the screenplay first. It wasn't my first screenplay. But I had fallen in love with the action packed approach that a screenplay demands. So I laid out the plot based on the key characters' arc. Then I took that outline and wrote the novel.

"I have to tell you, that was SOOOOO much fun!" I truly enjoy writing that way.

Screenplay plotting is a little different than novels. More action. Less description. More character. Less psychology.

That keeps the story moving! And the visual hooks required in a screenplay are also a boon for making a novel's descriptions richer and more sensory.

So... here's my first (and not my last) novelization of a screenplay. My second screenplay and novelization are in the final stages of completion.

Publication and Distribution

The novel is part of my enterprise ... and my marketing plan. By building visibility and a fan base for the novel, it makes the story more appealing for producers to take the screenplay on with its much greater production investment. Every bit of marketing clout helps!

Feedback from novel readers can help shape the architecture and "interior design" of the final movie-based story sharing experience. It becomes more of a "social media" approach that allows the entire community to share in the creation and delivery of the story. In new ways now being hammered out on the frontiers of social media and Internet engagement.

Music Magic is not just a story. It's also a heartfelt contribution to my community to help people. The plot draws on woman's wisdom to sort through the key angst points of teens "coming of age". It's a call to renew our initiation rituals in the family context.

I drew on some of my favorite movies for women in particular, and took the concept of a female initiation ritual a step further -- for social impact. For more sustainable communities.

Rituals have gotten a bad name -- but can be very powerful community building tools for good. That's my aim -- only you will be able to tell me if I have moved the meter along a bit.

Why Music?

Very simple. Birds sing. Humans make music.

Music is so genetic that it flourishes around the world, through every culture, and through all time. Music making is a human right, and inextricably connected to community.

But how do we make use of the power of music? Hmmmm. Is music more than an emotional cauldron? More than sexy lyrics? Is the act of making music even more powerful than the experience of hearing music? Is music therapeutic on the most basic of levels? Is it an early form of health care? These are questions that we don't face in modern storytelling genres very often.

The Plot is Family Building

Coming of age in today's urban jungle is filled with dangers and challenges. We need stories that explore these challenges and deliver nutritional substance to satisfy our emotional hunger for spice and sweet and living seeds.

Plots are about cause and effect. Possibilities. Hope. Truth -- one moment at a time. Plots can open our eyes and hearts to change and give us tools that make it easier to connect with real people in this gritty world.

Marketing ...

Yes, the screenplay is available. No, I won't send it out to just anybody. I'm getting picky -- that's just something I learned in the process of writing this story :-)

But if you believe in the therapeutic experience possible with a cultural storytelling project that can travel far beyond the silver screen, give me a call and let's see if you might be a good fit for this magical story. And what could follow...

After you've read the book and if you see yourself in this story...and this approach to sustainable storytelling, give me a call or send me an email. I'm making a list :-)

Carolyn Allen
carolyn [at]

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