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Playing in Someone Else's World

I’ve been writing for some time now. From blogger to musical lyricists to full on author, I’ve played around in plenty of formats, but my current project is the first time I’ve worked in another writer’s world.

I’m not going to say exactly what story I’m talking about, but at the moment, I am currently working on a Children’s Theatre adaptation of a classic story that resides firmly in public domain. (Ten points to anyone who guesses what story I’m talking about by the end of this blog.)

The story is set in a fantasy world that is beloved by millions, so the question has become: how do I honor the original story and world building while creating something of my own?

The world…doesn’t always make sense. In fact, I think the author might sometimes have been so drunk he forgot what the word "plot" actually means. Should I try and bend character interactions to create a through line, or leave it all the nonsensical whimsy and hope audiences packed with young children will be okay with a story where stumbling from one non-sequitur to the next is how the scenes change.

What does the main character want? If you really probe down deep in the text of the book, the protagonist definitely has desires that carry her through, but none that really give the character a good old fashioned “I want” song.

So, do I give up on the Disney princess “I want” song, or do I imbue the protagonist with deeper desires as she travels through a topsy turvy world?

I’m leaning more towards giving the protagonist a more clearly defined goal and am trying to skirt around some of the more problematic scenes for young children in today’s world.

I just really hope I don’t send any authors rolling in their graves before this project is finished. Wish me luck.

For information on my first Children’s show, Princess Camp: The Musical, follow this link!

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