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I had been developing the idea for Short North The Musical for about a year before I started putting it to paper...

I had a basic premise, characters, a couple plot situations. But it seemed boring to me... there wasn't anything exciting about it for me... yet.

Then I happened to be searching the internet for something at work, and this popped up...

That octopus jumped out at me... what if my antagonist was an octopus from outer space?

Now, how many times in life do you ask yourself a question like that?

In this instance, it was exactly the question I needed to take what I considered a boring story line and transform it into something more exciting...

Or to be exact, a melodramatic science fiction story.

Not only did that help me frame my story in a specific genre, it also gave me the spark I needed to fully flesh out my plot.

I'm posting about this because I talk a lot about "letting your subconscious go to work", and I'm not so sure people understand what I mean by that...

In essence, I spend a small amount of time on something -- anything -- a story idea, a lyric, a picture, a character and then I put it away and let my subconscious go to work. Then while I'm doing dishes, or sweeping the floor -- or browsing the internet, I'll see something or think of something that "solves" the problem.

It's almost like magic.

One other thing I do, while the subconscious is sorting it out, is keep journals about my dreams. Dreams are a great way to find those nuggets you need to inspire you to start on a new story or improve an existing one. By writing down my dreams, I'm also helping to bring subconscious ideas to the conscious mind.

It's all a bunch of voodoo, but it works.

I mean, afterall, words are spells. Isn't that why they call it "spelling"?

Alan Saunders,

Friends told me I was late to the game for writing musicals, even though I've been writing them almost my entire life. so this blog is my journey into writing professionally for the stage.

Check out for how-to articles and resources for writing your own musical for the stage!

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