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Hello! Theater Writer Here

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  • #152501
    Graham
    @graham

    Hello! I am a twenty-something Christian writer located in central Virginia. I love what the Story Embers community is doing to encourage Christian storytellers.

     

    I am primarily a composer/lyricist attempting to write musicals for the stage. I am also trying to write the “book” (musical theater parlance for script), but my skills are not as strong in this area. I have a couple different projects I am working on at the moment, but it is a slow process as I’m sure many of you writers can relate to!

     

    Anyone else here writing for the stage? Any playwrights or aspiring playwrights? I’m always open to meeting potential collaborators!

    #152512
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    @graham

    Hi Graham! Welcome aboard and it is great to have you!

    Writing a musical sounds like a lot fun. I would say am the opposite. I am primarily a fantasy writer but I am also attempting learn songwriting even though my musical talent is not very strong. I will probably need help in the area when I get to those. lol

    I would like to include songs of sorrow/loss, war/marching, happiness/peace, and of praise to my world’s creator (God) to give my story a lively connection to convey its worldbuilding, emotions, and morals.

    I have always like the idea of being a playwright after reading The Redwall series by Brian Jacques who showed his ability of a playwright in the fun and epic songs he included in his stories that always gave it a more memorable impression.

    What genre/story setting do you like to focus on?

    A real hero remains accountable until the end.

    #152516
    Graham
    @graham

    That is great you are wanting to write songs! When I started playing music I knew absolutely nothing about music, so it can totally be learned!

     

    I like different styles of music, though my background is in Bluegrass and related styles. I also love jazz, celtic, traditional “musical theater,” and some contemporary styles as well.

     

    I am generally drawn to stories that are set in the real world. One of my projects is an adaption of L. M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valley. I like fun, realistic characters living in community. However, I also have an idea for a musical involving queens, precious jewels, and so forth, so that one is probably more in the fantasy genre.

    #152547
    Kite Ayoul
    @kiteayoul

    Hi, Graham, I’m new here too.  I don’t think of myself as a theater person, but looking back I have done some amateur scriptwriting with a local student group, and we had a great time at that. I think since I’m not regularly part of the theater world, it seems like not-my-genre. But honestly many of my novel drafts are fairly spare and dialog-centered on the first go, so I think in terms of temperament I sit on the fence at times.

    To me I think one of the most interesting differences between novels and scripts is that the novelist gets to put the reader inside the character’s head, whereas the script writer has to communicate the character’s interior life with nothing but external words and actions.  (Obviously monologues are a crossover there.)

    I definitely do spend a lot of time studying film and TV for notes on storytelling technique as well, especially with respect to plot arc, character development, and creating conflict and cliffhangers.  So I think I’m pretty interested in what you have to say :-).

    Upper Crust of the People of Walmart
    Life Verse: Proverbs 27:14
    (Seriously. Try it sometime. Please.)

    #152551
    Graham
    @graham

    Kite,

    That is interesting. I am writing a musical, so actually the inner monologue aspect of novels can be incorporated through songs, and that is a major part of the art form, and what separates if from plays and movies.

     

    I haven’t studied plays much, but for musical theater at least, I think the biggest difference from novels is that in musicals your characters need to be active. In a novel you can have characters that largely have things happen to them. Certainly they may be quite active, but often you can get away with stories where the main character is dealing with more internal struggles, and has things happen to them more passively. However in a musical this does not work. The main characters need to want something and need to take action to get it. Interestingly enough, I think this is why a lot of the iconic main characters in musicals are actually not very good people. It’s easier to make a character active when they are willing to do anything to get what they want.

     

    Also, if the idea of “show don’t tell” is true for novels it’s like 100 times more true for musicals because it is such a visual, in-the-moment form of storytelling.

    #152655
    Kite Ayoul
    @kiteayoul

    That’s an interesting distinction. One of the laws of storytelling that’s been hammered into me over the years is that MC has to take an active role in solving the big plot problem.  But, as you point out, in a novel that problem can be an internal struggle and the active-solution can be one of changing an internal frame of mind rather than an outward action.

    ***

    Unrelated: I’m brand new here and haven’t figure out notifications yet, so I didn’t realize you’d replied. Sorry for the delay!

    Upper Crust of the People of Walmart
    Life Verse: Proverbs 27:14
    (Seriously. Try it sometime. Please.)

    #156948
    Abby Jo
    @ataralasse

    Hello, fellow playwright! Among all the pagewriters, us stagewriters can get a bit lost. 😆 I know I’m totally late to this thread (is this called a thread?) but I literally joined yesterday and could not help myself from posting when I saw the word theater!

    I’m on the opposite side of the fence from you; most of my experience is in the book-writing side. I’m still learning as much as I can about music. I recently did sone incidental music for a play, so that was great practice, but I’ve still got a long way to go. If you have anything you’re willing to share, I’d love to see what you’re doing. I’ve got several musicals I’m working on, but like you said, it’s a long process…

    To reiterate, it’s great to know there are other musical-wrights on here!

     

    Read, write, rewrite, repeat. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.

    #156950
    Graham
    @graham

    Nice to meet you Abby! I’d love to talk more about our work, and I’m also open to collaboration, since it seems like we have the same goal (writing musicals) but different skillsets (songwriting/composing vs. bookwriting). My email is donahuegraham at gmail dot com

    I hope to hear from you!

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Graham.
    #157012
    Abby Jo
    @ataralasse

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, my week ended up containing some very big family-life changing events, lol.  I wish I was able to work on a collaboration at this point, but unfortunately I have a habit of swamping myself. Conversations are still allowed though! Would you mind if we kept our discussion on the forum? (Start a thread or topic or whatever, still not sure how that works, lol.) Anyone else interested in the topic could join, too! There’s just not much out there one Making a Musical 101. 🙂

    Read, write, rewrite, repeat. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.

    #157013
    Graham
    @graham

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, my week ended up containing some very big family-life changing events, lol. I wish I was able to work on a collaboration at this point, but unfortunately I have a habit of swamping myself. Conversations are still allowed though! Would you mind if we kept our discussion on the forum? (Start a thread or topic or whatever, still not sure how that works, lol.) Anyone else interested in the topic could join, too! There’s just not much out there one Making a Musical 101. 🙂

    I totally understand not having the time, and I’m kind of in the same spot myself. I’m not super active on here, but a thread about stage writing could be nice, but I know that isn’t Story Embers’s focus, so I don’t know if they would want that or not.

    Best of luck with your writing!

    #157015
    Abby Jo
    @ataralasse

    Thanks for understanding! Hm, good point. Not sure about that.

    Same to you!

    Read, write, rewrite, repeat. It’s that easy, and it’s that hard.

    #157165
    Sarafini
    @sarafini

    @graham

    I would like to write audio dramas which is very similar. I’d also love to write VBS plays for my church but have no experience and no way to know how to write them so I’ll definitely take any advice you have to share.

    #157166
    Sarafini
    @sarafini

    Oh! And my name is Sara. I wrote an intro thread a few days ago if you want to check it out.

    #157167
    Sarafini
    @sarafini

    @ataralasse and @graham

    I think there is a place for that. Could be wrong though. I think there should be. It’s writing after all. Lol If there isn’t we should make an appeal.

    #157213
    Graham
    @graham

    Oh! And my name is Sara. I wrote an intro thread a few days ago if you want to check it out.

     

    Hi Sara! Unfortunately, I’m not sure how much I can help you, other than encouraging you to study anything you can about playwriting. If you like audio drama you have definitely got to check out “On the Night Train” by The Merry Beggars and written by Kiley Hatch. It is fantastic! She’s recommended this book. Perhaps you would find it helpful.

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