Writing Audio Drama offers a comprehensive and intelligent guide to writing sound drama for broadcasting and online. This book uses original research on the history of writing radio plays in the UK and USA to explore how this has informed and developed the art form for more than 100 years.
Audio drama in the context of podcasting is now experiencing a global and exponential expansion. Through analysis of examples of past and present writing, the author explains how to create drama which can explore deeply psychological and intimate themes and achieve emotional, truthful, entertaining and thought-provoking impact. Practical analysis of the key factors required to write successful audio drama is covered in chapters focusing on audio play beginnings and openings, sound story dialogue, sustaining the sound story, plotting for sound drama, and the best ways of ending audio plays. Chapters are supported by online resources which expand visually on subjects discussed and point to exemplar sound dramas referenced in the chapters.
This textbook will be an important resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses such as Podcasting, Radio, Audio Drama, Scriptwriting, and Media Writing.
Updates and additions to Chapter 10 ‘Ending the Sound Story’ in Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook published by Routledge in 2023.
What is there special about the sound medium of storytelling that offers devices, themes, and techniques in ending plays more effectively?
Does the sound medium and process of listening mean that an end will work better in emotional climax, resolution or reflection in ambiguity?
Can a sound play tantalize and ratchet up tension in the style of Hollywood cinema whereby there can be two, three, four or even five endings each spiralling the suspense and excitement to the next level?
Is there a need for sound clarity?
Can sound play endings have a satisfactory finishing point by holding back information and leaving the curiosity and intrigue to the listener’s imagination?
Indeed how much should the writer end for the listener rather than leave the listener to end for him or herself?
The chapter includes analysis of the following radio plays:
Make Like Slaves by South African novelist and playwright Richard Rive, Family Spear by Ugandan playwright Elvania Namukwaya Zirimu, and Station Street by Sudanese writer Khalid Almubarak Mustafa. Further detailed discussion is centred on the endings in Lucille Fletcher’s plays The Hitchhiker and Sorry, Wrong Number, Caryl Phillips’ The Wasted Years, Richard Durham’s The Heart of George Cotton, The Trumpet Talks, Anatomy of an Ordinance, Bertolt Brecht’s The Trial of Lucullus, and Morten Wishengrad’s The Battle of the Warsaw Ghetto.