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Story Elements of your musical
BELL WORK #12: After spending time thinking about your story, what has changed about it?
What does your tagline say about your story?
Who is telling your story? Is it a narrator, does it follow a single character, etc?
Please write at least 5 sentences.
Choosing your story
There are infinite varieties of stories, but some writers believe there are only two basic ones:
Someone goes on a journey
A stranger comes to town
These are, in a sense, the same story but from different points of view
“Fiction requires coherence, not realism. Realism is only the most vivid form of coherence.” –Aaron Haspel
These are proactive stories about a search, about looking for someone or something
For revenge (horror, tragedy), i.e. Othello, Sweeny Todd, Friday the 13th
For love (romance, comedy) i.e. Romeo and Juliet, Hello Dolly!, Gone with the Wind
For treasure (quest, tragicomedy) Macbeth, Chorus line, Mario Brothers
These are proactive stories about a surprise, about discovering someone or something unusual
A person (monster, suspense) i.e. Taming of the Shrew, Mary Poppins, Christmas Carol
A place (voyage, fantasy) i.e. The Tempest, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz
A thing (message, adventure) i.e. Harry Potter, Sound of Music, Star Wars
Choosing your Characters
For main roles
Hero (protagonist): the one we follow
Villain (antagonist): the one opposing the hero
Friends: those who help the hero, i.e. mentors (guides), sidekicks (fellow travelers)
Enemies: those who hinder the hero i.e. gatekeepers (roadblocks), tricksters (detours)
Each story will have a beginning, middle, & end
Beginning (exposition): We learn what the hero wants and why. What event (point of attack) kicks your story in motion i.e. boy meets girl?
Middle (action): He tries to get what he wants but has problems (conflicts), i.e. boy loses girl. This section takes up more than half of the story. What event (climax) decides how the story will end?
End (resolution): The hero gets what he wanted (or doesn’t) i.e. boy gets girl
Identifying Moments for Song
Songs emerge from the action, they don’t comment on or narrate action. Songs are not relief from storytelling; they ARE storytelling. Vary songs as much as possible: in emotion, expression, and size. Which moments of your story build emotion to the point of needing song? What character or plot elements lend themselves to being revealed through song?
Using the Plot Organizer:
Whose story is being told (point of view)
What is the major dramatic question (what major conflict does the audience want resolved/answered by the end of the show?)
What is the point of attack (why does the plot start? What happens before the show starts?)
What exposition (parts of the story the characters tell) might take place in your musical
What is the climax of the story? Where does it take place? (where the question gets answered)
Using a character sheet for each character, please create four main characters:
Note that not all of these are human characters!
This writing prompt should be in their binders as prompt #12.
Students will take notes on this slide- listing both basic storylines.
2nd section of their notes
There is a spot in their notes for this as well.
Please have them fill out the section in their notes for this.
Separate sheet- please hand out.
They should have at least two of these filled out and their outlines filled out for next time.