Wednesday 21st November 2012
Radio… Who knew. I know I didn’t… Before the lesson I actually listened to one whole play – yah I know I’m a philistine not to have listened more. But it’s just creative writing was never even on my radar as something I could do, or even enjoy in any other form than books. Now of course I know different and I get to have a go. It’s like someone has just given me a box of chocolates, all brand new flavours and said – go on dig in!
So I am.
Sound is a big thing with radio – duh! You may say – stating the obvious. But I hadn’t realised just what it would mean to basically remove all the sense of your audience except sound. Everything you write has to ‘show’ the audience through sound. Easy I thought! Dialogue! Okay that’s fine except that how do people meet. You can’t give a nice long visual of two people gradually walking toward each other, so how do you do it with sound?
Are they outside? Yes? Okay – is it summer? No… Are you inland? Yes… What time of day/night is it? Eleven pm.
Okay easy to go and experience just listen at 11pm tonight. And I mean listen. Put your hands in your pockets and close your eyes. Now you are a radio audience – ignore any wind or rain. What do you hear? Have the leaves fallen? Can you hear an owl? If someone walks toward you what do they sound like?
AND it goes on. Brilliant! So many questions are triggered from simply taking away so much in writing for radio. I love it. Because it’s like nothing I’ve ever written it was liberating and stressful at the same time.
I have got to tell you about this piece we read – This gun that I Have in My Right Hand is Loaded by Timothy West. As a class we laughed so much and it is excellent on teaching you how to layout a play and what to put in it – by being the worst radio play ever. Not that it’s badly written but that it tells and does not show.
One line near the end is:
LAURA: (blushing) Thank you, Inspector.
😀 Blushing… How do you make an actor sound blushed… Fantastic! If you can find a copy then read it – or better yet get a group together and act it.
I’ve found the play via mp3 download so:
But see if you can get a copy of the script to read at the same time.