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.