If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interviews
1/1 Sherry Harris, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
1/8 Barbara Ross, Sealed Off
1/15 Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder
1/22 Carol Pouliot, Doorway To Murder
1/29 Julia Buckley, Death with A Dark Red Rose

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
1/4 Lisa Lieberman
1/11 Karen McCarthy
1/18 Trey Baker

WWK Bloggers: 1/25 Kait Carson, 1/30 E. B. Davis


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Plotting the Musical by Warren Bull

Plotting the Musical by Warren  Bull

Image from Alex Zamora on Upsplash

I have written before about plotting a song, i.e., identifying the motivation and aspirations of the character in a song and following the journey of the character during the events depicted in song. Right now I am planning to write and direct a comedic political musical skit with a number of songs and characters as part of the local fringe festival.

I find writing the explanatory scaffolding is easier than plotting a novel and harder than plotting most short stories.  It does not make sense (to me) to have one character after another simply stand up and sing. Admittedly some quite successful musicals have skimpy plots. Others toss any coherent story out the window in favor of a musical extravaganza. For example, in the old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney “Lets put on a show” movies, the show starts in a barn or a backyard and ends in a flashy finale that could take place only in a film studio set.

I have written parody lyrics to seven tunes sung by or about political figures. That was the easy part. The mood I want is more playful than condemning. I have references to the President, the Vice President, two Supreme Court Justices, and two Senators. 
I think I need to add an emcee to introduce the event and a piano player to comment musically and ironically on the action. The President is the protagonist. Because I’m writing the show and directing it and producing it, I get to play that part. It seems to me that the most effective presentation would be to stay in character until the very end when, like Judy and Mickey, I drop out of character. 

Two wonderful singers have agreed to participate and I persuaded a great jazz pianist to join us.

My tentative outline of the event starts: An introduction by the emcee with some humor; the President appears sings and rushes off; the piano makes a musical comment by playing a few bars of Hit the Road, Jack.

Then two characters each give a brief statement of their interaction with the Commander in Chief and then sing a song followed by a musical commentary.
The Prez reappears sing and dashes off again. Another musical riff.
Two more characters repeat the actions above. The man in the White House sings his swan song. The singers croon along with him.

I step out of character (somehow.) The singers join me in a joke song. Then we engage the audience in a final farewell tune.

Of course I am still changing lyrics and sharpening the spoken parts at the moment. 
It sounds complicated as I read over this. Thanks for helping me think about the process. I think I’ll go lie down for a while. Mental exercise wears me out because I rarely do it. 

What do you think? 


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Sounds like a plan!

KM Rockwood said...

While I love musicals, I have to admit I've never given much thought to how they work.

Now you've given me a lot to think about.