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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Plant Your Wagon, Part Four

The first innovation to the second episode of "Plant Your Wagon" that I made was to reprise "The Ballad of Sam Trellis." Since the idea is that the show will be on once per week, I figured that it wouldn't be a bad thing to kind of remind the listener of where we had left off. So, I wrote a new verse and used the same chorus, which seemed to do the trick.

The next four scenes involved little more than polishing the same sequence of scenes from the second version. The fifth scene started out with routine polishing, but I had, in the meantime, sketched out two songs, one for Judge Brand and one for the Sheriff. Judge Brand's song, in which he tells of what hard work it is to screw everyone else out of everything they own, seemed best suited to the scene. The Sheriff's song, which is about his conflict between wanting to be ethical and being on Judge Brand's payroll, was too personal for this particular scene. As of this writing, it is still be held in reserve for Episode Three, upon which I am now at work.

From that point on, I was pretty much making things up as I went along--my preferred method of composition. First I brought the action back to the flower growers' home, the Double Calyx ranch. I thought a bit more than we had originally about the character of Cookie, the elderly ranch hand who makes the meals. In the next two scenes, I was able, through his interaction with Sam Trellis, to bring out more sides to him than just being a crotchety old man.

I did have a goal in all this. I wanted the last scene to be one at the Guernsey Lilly saloon in which the townspeople mistake Holly's pacifist speech for a call to violent action. This last scene gave me a chance to bring Sam and Holly together as the love interests, which worked rather well, I think.

So far, I'm only four pages into Episode Three. I wonder what it will be like when I'm done?

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