How to Write a Musical Script

By Brooke Hart ; Updated September 15, 2017

If you have a story to sing on stage, you want to make sure that you tell the story correctly. Your first step towards getting your story told is to put together a script. If you want to combine this with singing and music, than make sure that you add this in as extra flavor can help you to move towards a standing ovation.

Piecing Together the Writing

Put together the plot. Before you write any music or put together the lighting, you want to make sure that you have the outline of the plot that is going to take place. You can do this by creating a story board, where there are a number of scenes. In each scene one major event takes place, leading to the climax. You can further divide this by having acts that support the scenes and divide the plot into the introduction and the action.

Get to know your characters. While you are building the plot, you will need to find the individuals who will take part in the scenery. You will want to define their physical characteristics, as well as their attributes and flaws. You can then move them into the plot where they can take part in the actions.

Set the scenery. At this point, you can start drawing out the details of your play. You will want to start with a scene and with the actions that are a part of these. As you move forward, you will want to continue to define actions and scenes so the characters and plot can move forward.

Set the conversations. After you have your actions and scenery in place, you can allow your characters to converse with each other and to get to know each other. You will want to define different areas for dialogue, where the characters talk to each other, as well as monologues, where the characters define certain ideas and thoughts.

Toward the Music

Once you have the stage set, you can start adding in music. You will want to begin with an overture, which will play as an introduction to the musical and will start before the curtains open. This will also define the different themes of music that will be used throughout the different scenes.

Say how you feel. Within each scene, you will have different ideas that are being passed. You will want to make sure that the thoughts and feelings of the characters are continued with the songs that support them. Using slower songs that break the scenes or help to reach the climax within each scene will help to define the characters thoughts from a different point of view.

Show the action. The second type of song that can be used is the one that helps to tell the actions or part of the story. You can take breaks in different scenes that are a part of the story and can add in a song that is more upbeat and helps to show the character from a different angle. This will add in more color, action and defining points in the musical.

Arrange the orchestra. Once you have the main parts, lyrics and songs in place, you will want to continue with taking care of the orchestration. You want to make sure that you have the right instruments in the right places, all which should be available when the musical script is performed. For instance, having defined violins, woodwinds, piano and rhythm in different areas will help to smooth out the musical.

Warning

Don't have too many songs or too much action. The idea within a musical is to keep everything balanced, allowing the audience to have memorable music in place. Unless you are writing an opera, don't have too much music.

About the Author

Brooke Hart has been writing since she learned how to read, focusing on developing stories, poems and screen plays. She continued this with studies in English, receiving a Bachelors and creative writing to obtain a Masters degree. She has been writing for over five years with her own business, Orion Information Services.