Sunday, July 18, 2010

Writing and rewriting

Felt yesterday that the script for the musical was never going to get to the point of being 'set.' It was as if everything (including the Kohler kitchen sinks) was rattling around inside it and making no sense.

That's not remotely true: the earlier scenes now mostly seem to be pretty much finished. My biggest problem is that I get too close to it all and can’t remove myself (which is another reason why I needed a collaborator, someone who would pick at the stuff I'd overlooked). When I came back to scene 8 the other day, I tore great chunks of stuff out and made it much faster moving. But then I hadn’t looked at it for a while; it had been in my head as a scene already settled. This is also a problem; each time I leave something for a while, the dissatisfactions creep in.

I find it’s easy to feel dissatisfied with the whole thing: is the humour really funny, or just pathetic, or do we just think things are funny because we like what happens? Why do characters do the things they do when they could just as easily do a bunch of other things? When do you stop making choices about them? It’s the same with music: every song you write could be written in a dozen different ways. It’s what happens on the day I write something that counts, and it’s rare for me to want to go back and do it differently (although the two versions of the song Muddy Puddle are proof that it’s perfectly possible - but in that case it was a choice to do two versions). There’s no ideal world version. (I wonder if Shakespeare was still re-thinking lines during the rehearsal period: That 'to be or not to be' line - bit tinny, don't you think? Hmm, maybe not. What would work better there? 'Maybe or maybe not?')

I was a bit grumpy yesterday at the thought of still having to think about points that seemed sorted. I'd got up at 5.30 in the morning unable to sleep (on a Saturday!), and during the next hour and a half or so finished off the notes for the journal for the University course I'm doing, and then worked on scene 8 again, trying to get the songs to come together without losing the good or including rubbish.

Today I looked at some things in the script again, and got them sorted; now there’s really only a few of the lyrics that need real tidying. Most other things are finally coming together. I need to sit and read the whole thing through. The trouble is I miss the 'missing links' easily, because I get caught up in the whole thing. Still, I'm feeling a lot more confident about it all today.

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