When it comes to musicals, most people tend to either love them or hate them. Regardless of your thoughts on musicals, you’ve probably heard at least one or two songs from them that get stuck in your head. (I’ll note here that I’ve been bopping along to Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman for a couple of days now.)
The entire point of a musical is to intertwine both storytelling and songwriting. While it might seem like the two are worlds apart, the fact is that they share a lot in common. Songs often tell a story.
As an exercise: Create a playlist of songs for your story. Focus specifically on the songs that match your plot points. Whether it’s a cheating spouse, a determined young leader or even learning a new skill to defeat the antagonist, there are thousands of songs out there. Find ones that match your plot points and character arcs. Once you’ve gotten your playlist made, look at what kind of songs you chose. How does that help you identify your tone for each relevant scene? Are these songs reflective of what you want the scene to be?
I’d love to know what sort of songs you chose. Let me know in the comments below!