Tomorrow it will be two months exactly since I finished an initial complete draft of my musical play, Eden in Babylon. I told myself earlier that I would wait two months before looking at it again. Obviously, the two months are almost up.
What will I see when I take a look at the gargantuan labor of love that I hammered out between Thanksgiving Day of 2016 and March 4th of this year? Well, to be honest with you, I took a little peek at it two or three nights ago. What I have seen, so far, is this:
1. A number of the characters don’t quite act like themselves when they first enter into the action. This is because I got to know them better as the story unfolded.
2. Although it is a musical, and one expects the characters to break into song periodically, sometimes the songs are not sufficiently motivated by what’s happening in the story line. Or, if they are, the transition between spoken dialogue and sung lyrics is awkward or forced.
3. I run the happy risk of pissing of right-wing fundamentalist evangelical Christians left and right, even though I am a Christian.
4. It might be too long.
5. My plan to obfuscate deus ex machina by throwing in so many instances of it into the final scene may or may not work. Either the audience will be skyrocketed into a higher dimension of suspension of disbelief or they will be completely let down. There seems no in between.
The first of these should be pretty easy to fix, now that I do know my characters fairly well. The second may take some work. However, my plan to smooth out those transitions while in the process of creating the piano-vocal score seems sound.
The third is actually more of a bother than I may let on, but that’s only because I’m paranoid about being lambasted by others who identify with a Christian belief system. In reality, some of those ultra-right-wingers don’t give anybody a break. The fourth is a much better problem to have than its opposite. Better to submit it too long, and permit the director to chop it up at discretion, than to submit it too short, and have it appear to be incomplete.
The fifth is an issue for almost every novelist, playwright, or filmmaker. How do we end the story effectively, without it seeming to be a wrap-up? To be honest, I have no idea if what I have done will fly. Of the eight or nine people who have read the script, no one has yet complained. But that doesn’t say much. No one has yet complained about any aspect of the script. (All I ever hear is praise — and that’s not good.)
The next step, after making adjustments while notating the piano-vocal score, is to organize a read-through. I’ve secured a location for the read-through, which will be in the back room of the One World Cafe. In the time it will take me to notate the p-v score, I can probably round up the 23 readers I will need to pull this off.
Realistically, this will take me till the end of the year 2017. On the other hand, who said anything about being realistic?
2 thoughts on “The Next Step”
I wouldn’t worry too much about annoying people – no piece of artwork is universally admired, and you can’t please everybody; hater’s gonna hate, after all. If you are happy with the final outcome I think the piece will be better for it.
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Right. And like I said, some people don’t give anybody a break. As the saying goes, a lot of critics are only frustrated, unsuccessful Artists.