Saturday, 27 April 2013

How to Find an Angle on a Story

Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West
Following on from the last post, I got another commission this week from the same client.  I've never cared for musicals, but I like the Wizard of Oz (who doesn't?) and was interested to discover that Wicked the musical takes the focus away from Dorothy and onto the witches.  Because I've been looking for a new job recently, I've been trying to figure out what my passions are.  This is tricky to narrow down because I enjoy almost everything except heights...mostly I just like having new experiences.

The point of me telling you this is that finding an angle on a story is essentially finding something related to a subject that you like or are interested in.  An inquisitive writer should be able to do that about any given subject.  A writer who earns a decent wage is certainly someone who has to have that skill.  If you can't find any interest in the subject, don't take the commission.  Life's too short to write about something that bores you.  Given that Wicked is looking at the Oz story from another perspective, I admired the imagination.  Certainly I admired the sustained success of it - people are still snapping up tickets to see it nearly 10 years after the Broadway debut.  If only I'd written it!  If you're interested on the angle I took, you can read what I came up with here.

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