I’m an artist through and through. I like arting. I art all the time.
While I am aspiring to be a professional author, and working towards improving my writing and storytelling skills with every word I put down on the page, there are plenty of other modes of art that I participate in: sewing, designing, painting, drawing, and songwriting, specifically writing musicals with my husband.
Writing musicals has it’s similarities with writing novels, but the differences increase the more I think about it.
Character creation and development is the most similar. Just like in a novel, the characters in a musical or play need to be well developed and complex. Otherwise, the audience will just see a bunch of bland characters and the take away from the show won’t be as much impact. After all, if you don’t care about the characters and can’t relate to them in some way, it stops at being entertaining, and for us, writing musicals always goes beyond the spectacle.
Outlining is always very similar, but slimmed greatly in comparison to novels. It requires the writer(s) to really hone in on the important scenes in the story, the ones that communicate what is happening the best, and never wasting any time. After all, most people aren’t looking to go to a six hour play. Most people.
Yesterday, my husband, Jeremy, and I were blessed to spend four hours with some of the most talented youth in our community for the first day of workshopping our original musical, “Scarlet”. It was a whirlwind adventure and a wonderful time together and we learned SO much!
Besides the fact that when you have twenty people reading lyrics, typos are found quickly, it has already made the show better. Seeing things we had written sung out loud and acted on stage was incredible. Plus, it really gave us some insight on the sound of the show.
One actor in particular, our friend Cameron playing Friar Tuck, exploded our view of the show. He bought a fresh perspective to the character very quickly, and his pacing and intentionality with his lines gave us lots of ideas to make the character more than just “the priest character”.
It was also my first jab at directing, and I was so glad that a good friend and amazing director there to help me get on my feet. Of course, we had already planned out most of the blocking like football plays on our awesome whiteboard, but stick figures are much different than teenagers. Looking back, I see things that I could have paid more attention to or nit-picked about, but this was a big-picture and get-on-our-feet kind of day.
I’d like to share that two local author friends have launched their blogs; I was insistent that they should start them!
The first is a published author, Valerie Cotnoir, whose first book was a Historical Fiction novel set on Prince Edward Island in the 1900 and is a fantastic, young adult novel set in a rarely explored time period and location for the genre.
You can find her blog here:
The second is an aspiring author, Kara Cecil, who is an extreme history buff and is finally writing a novel in a time, setting, and event that she adores: in the 1910’s, from Belshire, to London, to New York, the Titanic. Her knowledge and passion for this period is amazing and shows in her story and writing. Be sure to follow her blog to learn more about the Titanic and living in the 1900’s, as well as how history can really influence a story.
You can find her blog here:
They are both still in the process of getting everything set up, but their first posts are up and they are eager to share!
I love having writer friends of all backgrounds and projects. Collaboration is becoming more and more important to me as I continue to grow my circle of authors. Their feedback, encouragement, and accountability is ever inspiring and presses me towards excellence. The image below has been going around on authors’ Facebook pages, and it rings so true! I hope that, as writers and creative minds, we can learn to work together to create the best product possible, being open to wise criticism and game-changing ideas. Read More »