As well as TV/film scripts, I also assess a lot of play and radio scripts.
Writing plays and radio scripts can be a really great career in itself, but can also be a good way to get on the “screenwriting ladder” so to speak and it’s a great way to hone your skills.
SO WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT WRITING FOR RADIO?
1) YOU CAN GO TO TOWN WITH YOUR DIALOGUES
That’s right! No more notes telling you to make it more visual! Radio is not a visual medium as such (though descriptions and sounds are still important for setting the arena and driving the story) and relies on dialogues, so you can go all-out to make it awesome!
2) YOU CAN PUSH BOUNDARIES FOR FRESH GENRES AND APPROACHES
Radio plays aren’t the stereotypical fuddy-duddy boring stuff non-radio listeners might have you believe. Writers have the freedom to do quite literally anything they like with their stories – you can write a single or a series and, better still–
3) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BUDGET!
You heard right! You can quite literally create ANY world and ANY characters without worrying about how much it will cost. Want it set in space or in multiple locations around the world? You can!
4) YOU CAN REST ASSURED IT’S NOT AN “EASY” OPTION
It’s not about dumbing down stories – audiences enjoy listening to gripping, thought-provoking, atmospheric and realistic stories, which is just as challenging as writing for a visual audience. However–
5) YOU CAN USE RESTRICTIONS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Non-linear structure can be confusing to keep track of, as can numerous characters. Use this to your advantage to create a focussed story with a straight through-line narrative, featuring strong characters in potentially life-changing situations. This needn’t be a huge obstacle, because–
6) YOU CAN DABBLE IN ANY STYLE AND SUBJECT MATTER YOU WISH
Variety is sought after by radio – you can write any genre, style or subject you want, so long as it tells a good story. Not only this, but diversity is sought after, so you don’t have to be afraid of certain subjects. Radio likes risk-taking as much as any other audience!
The BBC has some fantastic resources on their website about writing for radio, including radio commissioning notes. So why not give it some consideration?
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