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 for Chapter 6 ‘Characterising the Sound Story’ in Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook, published by Routledge in 2023.
This chapter retrieves and evaluates the large amount of debate about what needs to be added and aspired to in sound playwriting from the point of view of characterization.
There is consensus that it is critical to avoid same age, same background, same way of talking in order to prevent listeners not being able to distinguish between their characters when only having their talking and existential sound available for imaginative construction, understanding and sympathy.
The advantage of this emphasis is that characterization through speech alone reaches a higher standard of vocal identity.
Because the auditory imagination is dependent upon the word alone or other characters’ words to what extent in sound drama should the writer respect the principle of less is best and allow for subtext?
References and discussion in this chapter explores anthropomorphic characterisation, particularly of parrots, and giving voice to inanimate though symbolic objects and body parts.
Analysis of writing by Juliet Ace, Giles Cooper, J.C.W Brook, Tiziano Scarpa, and Morton Wishengrad, and the importance of effective characterisation in recent podcast series such as Bronzeville and Margaritas and Donuts.