The Radio Plays of Susan Hill

Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook published by Routledge 31st March 2023

Book Description

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.

The Radio Plays of Susan Hill

Dame Susan Hill, Lady Wells, DBE (1942 -) is one of Britain’s foremost authors of fiction and non-fiction works. She is also a highly respected and accomplished radio dramatist with multiple BBC credits stretching over fifty years of writing and production.

In 1975 The Cold Country and other plays for radio, published by the BBC, included five of her first radio play scripts with an impressive introduction by her extolling the creative potential of the sound medium: ‘Plays are about human beings in confrontation – with one another, and with various aspects of their own selves, the contents of their minds and hearts, their pasts and hopes for the future, the exigencies of their particular situations at given moments in time. When the last word has been said about ‘the medium of radio’, the most vital words have yet to be spoken ; by the writer, through his character, to the listener – person to person. That is all.’

Nigel Deacon’s profile on Susan Hill’s radio plays.

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