Writing a play for radio 4 listen

BBC Radio 4 Live

Think about what will grab the audience in the first ten pages and then, as the play unfolds, why they should keep listening. Draw listeners into the story by setting a scene, raising a question, playing a weird noise, or introducing a character.

Vary the pace and length of your scenes A radio play which has five ten-minute scenes, each set in a dining-room, is likely to be less effective than a play which varies its scenes and settings.

Note how long it takes for you to read it. Most of the companies post casting calls to it as well as their own yahoo groups. A rough rule of thumb to use: Writing for the Ear The way you listen to speech is different than the way you read.

A few tricks to make sure your listeners stay tuned in: Try to go beyond just presenting the facts. They listen in a linear way and just keep listening to whatever comes on next.

Watch our video on Special Effects and Sound for more tips on this. We also got this feedback from Fiona: Make sure the structure keeps them listening Think about beginning, middle and end and your play. Watch our video on Writing in a Second Language 6.

Most radio stories are done in present tense. Your actualities should advance the story and make it interesting. Nancy Smith gets lost in the first one. Listen to some plays on Radio 4 to get a feel for this.

When you read your narration aloud, do you sound like yourself? A series of second acts interspersed with second tracks will get pretty monotonous. Actualities are usually distinguished from narration with boldface, italics, capitalization, indentation, or some combination of these.

For variety, stick in a tape-to-tape cut one actuality leading straight into another without narration in between. Even the most straightforward story can have an unusual or memorable element in it.

Using a variety of backgrounds, scene lengths and sound effects will usually make the story more effective for the listener. Tony Palermo also has some great articles on creating sound effects props — as does Roger Gregg 3 — Recorded Remotely This is a fantastically innovative new production method, whereas producers collaborate with voice actors around the globe who record lines independently and then mix them together in post-production to create the final product.

Get under the skin of your characters Get to know them really well. Then, write to the producer. The guidelines are freely available to download. Whatever you write has to fit in to what people are ready to listen to at that time — the golden rule is to know the slot you are writing for back to front.

Use punchy verbs and contractions. However, people also listen in different ways depending on the time of day.

You can loosen up a little. Try to write it in one sentence too. Good drama is not simply about one idea but about what happens when two ideas collide. Give the phonetic spelling of hard-to-pronounce words and names in parentheses after the name. People usually have the radio on in the background for company and rarely tune in for specific shows.

Write about something that is personal to you Think what you are trying to tell the world. This is not the same as trying to imitate spontaneous speech. Each will have their own individual speech mannerisms.

However, not only should the writer master how to convey their story only with dialogue, they must also understand how people listen to the radio in the specific slot they are writing for. For example, if someone is droning on and on, you can play them under your narration- this will convey a sense of them rambling.

So if you have a script that you think might be good for radio, how do you find a producer?offers the following thoughts on writing for radio. Nobody can teach you how to write a good play.

How to break into radio writing: 7 tips by BBC Radio 4 commissioner Caroline Raphael

Good radio plays result from a mixture of inspiration, talent and craftsmanship. These guidelines are about the craft of writing for radio - we leave the talent and mi-centre.com Writing for radio is different than writing for print.

You’re writing for the ear, not the eye. Listeners have to get it the first time around- they can’t go back and hear it. Listen to some plays on Radio 4 to get a feel for this. 9. Concentrate on your presentation. Script readers (and play competition judges) are better disposed towards neatly-typed, professionally presented scripts.

Type all directions and sound effects in capital letters (e.g. HAMLET’S GARDEN. HAMLET IS DIGGING FOR POTATOES.) and dialogue in lower case. Eric Potts and Fiona Clarke on their experiences working as Radio Drama actors Radio Drama Actors Eric Potts and Fiona Clarke on performing for a listening audience.

List of BBC Radio 4 programmes Jump to The Write Stuff (–), questions about literature and writing parodies of a specific author; Sitcoms.

Listen Against, parodying British radio; Listen to Les, Les Dawson; Little Britain; A Look Back at the Nineties. Whether you’re interested in writing drama or comedy, plays or sketches, BBC Radio 4 commissions hundreds of hours of original material every year – far more than BBC TV – and is always on the look out for new writing talent.

BBC Radio 4 commissioner Caroline Raphael has commissioned most types of radio content but now it’s her job to fill the Radio 4’s entire comedy output – hours every year.

Writing a play for radio 4 listen
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