Saturday, April 16, 2011

Strangely Beautiful, The Musical - Status Update

Greetings! I've fielded some questions lately about the status of Strangely Beautiful the musical, optioned last year. Being in this process from the very beginning has taught me just how long it takes to begin mounting a show. A long time.

Because first... it has to be written. I'm proud to say a draft of the show is complete. (Rough draft, but a draft nonetheless). An earlier post described my intitial breakdown process of adaptation (a lot of index cards). This eventually, along with inserting lyrics and song sections into the piece in the best places and chewing over where and how exactly to do that, has resulted in a script.

Taking that rough index-card structure, I glanced at the book a few times, but for the most part set it aside. It did not serve to go moment by moment or scene by scene from the novel. The show calls for different things out of the characters at different times, it becomes more convenient to use some characters for one thing while clipping and combining other moments. Suddenly a scene that took place in the office needs to be in the library. Suddenly a character needs to take bold action when they were contemplative. Things are being stated that the characters only thought in their minds. It's a fascinating thing, really, adaptation. The work becomes like a relative to the original product. There was never a time when I particularly struggled over cutting a character or shifting scenes and/or intent. It was just what had to be done and I thankfully know theatre well enough to allow it its due process. Hopefully I'll have this same relative flexibility when working on the second, third, fourth draft, etc...

And yes, there's music! Beautiful music that reflects the many moods and actions, human and inhuman, that course this tale.

So where are we now? Well, I can safely say our team is awesome, music and lyrics are spot-on, gorgeous and exactly what I could have hoped, now we just need to become a hive-mind in revisions. We need to make our respective three voices into something utterly seamless, from dialogue to music to song lyrics, one voice. Which can be difficult with three distinct voices but thankfully the tone of the work is the overarching voice itself, and the team really understands the particular fantastical Gothic voice and tone that has become my niche - for which I'm grateful. Once we can get three very busy people in the same room together for a bit of a retreat to create the next draft, then we can begin thinking about workshopping, and we've a couple of places where we might do that. Our biggest challenge so far is getting said group of exceedingly busy people into one room for any length of time. So that's where things stand. The producers are working their contacts, seeds ae being planted. Things will be growing within the year.

Thankfully, I've got the next Strangely Beautiful novel releasing May 3rd and I've had a lot of early prep for DARKER STILL (Magic Most Foul #1) to keep me plenty busy in the meantime. Stay tuned for lots of goodies and news on those fronts!

Cheers and Strangely Beautiful blessings!


♥ Sallie said...

I know the wait will be worth it!


houndstooth said...

I can just imagine how exciting that must be! What a whole new sort of creativity!


Stella (Ex Libris) said...

You must be so glad that you are included in the process and that YOU are the one doing the libretto of the jusical. It was interesting reading about what goes on in the creative process, can't wait to hear the final result (I'm realyl curious about the music and songs!)! :-D

Rachel Firasek said...

Oh, I can't wait. I love this story, but you know that, and can only imagine my next favorite thing added--music! Woo-Hoo! Keep us updated!

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Thanks friends!

@Sallie *hugs and pets*

I appreciate all of your well-wishes, you're the best!

@Bunny - that's exactly right, a 'new' sort of creativity is exactly how it feels.

@Stella - absolutely, I so dearly appreciate being able to be a part of this process at this stage, not many authors get the chance to. Thankfully my background has come in handy. :)

@Rachel Thanks my dear! Can't wait to share the music when it's all near a finished stage.