A weekly blog hop where writers come together
to talk about whatever inspires them.
I thought I’d try my hand at the Thursday’s Children Blog Hop hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet because, now that Project Fairy Tale is over, I need subjects to blog about. I thought I’d start with something that inspires my writing a lot. Music! Not just any music, but songs from Broadway musicals: ballads, big group numbers, love songs, and so on.
I’ve posted about this before, but I love musicals. I am a seriously obsessed, showtunes-loving theater geek. I did a lot of musical theater in high school, but I haven’t had much chance to sing on stage since then. I make up for it by going to local productions of my favorite musicals whenever I have the chance. I don’t live anywhere near New York, so I’ve only seen a few Broadway shows, but Milwaukee and Chicago get some great productions. Last year, I was lucky enough to see Next to Normal, Avenue Q, and The Book of Mormon. Next up on my agenda is Catch Me If You Can.
Why do musicals inspire my writing? Because I love the way SO much emotion can be expressed through just one song. One of my favorite musicals, Next to Normal, has very little dialogue, but it’s an incredibly moving, sad, wonderful experience. I would love to be able to channel that kind of feeling, all those huge surges of emotion, into my own writing.
Some of my favorite examples of songs that inspire specific emotion/feels in me include:
– “On My Own” (Les Miserables) – a perfect testament of unrequited love.
– “Defying Gravity” (Wicked) – no limits, anything’s possible
– “The World Will Know” (Newsies) – nothing’s going to stop us
– “Corner of the Sky” (Pippin) – something’s out there for me, I’ve just got to find it
– “Light” (Next to Normal) – no matter how bleak life gets, there’s always hope
When I was a kid, in addition to wanting to be a writer, one of my dreams was to be part of a music& lyrics team, like Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe. At age 10, I actually wrote a mini-musical (with my younger brother’s help), based on a children’s book by Bill Peet called Fly, Homer, Fly (about a runaway pigeon). We then acted it out, complete with paper-plate pigeon masks. Years later, we wrote a very bad musical parody mashup of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Empire Strikes Back (yes, it’s as bad as it sounds). I don’t remember much about it except that “Sweet Transvestite” turned into a song called “Magical Gnome” about Yoda!
For some of my earlier novels (the trunked ones), I actually envisioned them as musicals and wrote a few songs for them. The songs were even worse than the novels, but writing them helped me get into my characters. I haven’t done this for my recent book, Piper Girl, but I can still imagine some scenes as musical numbers (which kind of makes sense, since the heroine is a musician).
Do any songs from musicals inspire your writing?
If you’d like to join the Thursday’s Children Blog Hop, or see what’s inspiring everyone else, Click here to enter your link and view the list of blogs.