I'm going to collect some of my previous <tongue-in-cheek>pearls of wisdom</tongue-in-cheek>
here as much for my own reference as anything...
Writing for Audio Dramas
Writing for audio only is a demanding task because of the limitations of not being able to use visual imagery. Vast panaramas of mountains, sinking ships, the details of starships battling, moonlight on snow-laden pines ... you can't see these things on your MP3 player! However a clever combination of music, sound effects and especially dialogue can paint just about any scene in your head ...
[Echoing wind, with the cry of an eagle in the distance. Outdoor ambience to voice] Just look at that view, Tensing! It's no wonder they call this the roof of the world.
[Crash of waves, shrieking gale, creaking of ropes and timbers. Suddenly a crack like a tree being felled. Shouted against wind and rain] Look out! Captain! The foremast has been carried away!
[Climactic Star Wars battle music, laser cannon fire, clicks and beeps. With heavy rasping breathing, helmet voice ambience] The Force is strong with this one!
[Laser cannon fire then explosion . Music changes to Millenium Falcon theme] Yee Ha! Now blow this thing Luke and lets go home!
... I defy anyone to do moonlight on snow-laden pines though!!!
Luckily, the internet is rich with resources for writers to help them achieve these effects.
The BBC has a continuing support of radio drama, accepting submissions from around the world, and one of the best starting points is the excellent BBC World website section - How to write a radio play
. And two articles
on the BBC Writersroom.
A much loved resource is a script, written by the great British actor-writer, Timothy West titled 'This Gun That I Have in My Right Hand Is Loaded
'', intended as a parody of the worst clunky, cliche-ridden radio drama. According to his son, Samuel West, in Fathers and Sons
, "it contains some classic radio-speak ('A whisky? That's a strange drink for an attractive auburn-haired girl of 29') and cliches that have since become old friends of the family ('It's not a pretty sight - it's been in the water for some time', 'Come now doctor; blackmail's an ugly word' and the classic 'Is he ... ?' 'I'm afraid so')."
According to this site
, it is included in "The Writer's Handbook - Guide to Writing for Stage & Screen
" and also in here
, "Writing for Stage and Screen (Writer's Handbook Guides)",
by Barry Turner
Other major websites are Audio Theater.com
, which has a section on script writing,
the National Audio Theatre Festivals
has some interesting resources, most noticeably the web site, last updated in 2006, which was the germ of critically acclaimed master, Yuri Rasovsky's
book "The Well-tempered Audio Dramatist
". Tony Palermo's very informative, Ruyasonic website
has a whole section on writing
. Even though I have since moved on to using Celtx
, an excellent freeware alternative to costly commercial scriptwriting programs, I would still encourage a novice to study Tony's MSWord script template to see how he uses a script as a director.
Perhaps the largest number of links is in the thread, "Places to Find Articles on How to Write Audio Drama
" on the Audio Drama talk forum. Individual articles that I particularly recommend are ... Principles of writing radio drama
Tim Crook (Plus a page of hints
from IRDP) Writing for the Theatre of the Mind
Balance Publishing Writer's Guide to The Doctor Who Audio Dramas
Everlasting Films Approaches to writing for radio drama
Angela Turvey Working as a Radio Writer
Michelene Wandor The Soul Patrol
... That should be more advice than anyone could handle! My own advice is the same that I give for anyone wanting to try out any
new media: if you are interested, jump in and have a go!
, let inexperience stop you from trying something. Write a script and get it critiqued. Submit it to one of the audio production groups to see if they would like to take it up - if they don't accept it, they'll tell you why and what they think could improve it.
If your script doesn't get taken up by anyone and you still don't feel confident producing it yourself (a viable option) then chalk that one up to experience and write another ... and another ... and even more ... until eventually you succeed!
It's called "paying your dues".
I think you'll find that similar noise removal effects in sound packages like Audacity (or SoundBooth or the one I'm using right now) will "flatten" or otherwise change the tone a bit - the extent is probably determined by how much noise there is and whatever back-end stuff is being used by the software to determine what is noise and what isn't. From my experience, it's usually better to contend with that change as opposed to the noise.
I'm starting to think that it must be the connection I use between mike and 'puta - I need to spring for either a USB connected mike or go wireless/bluetooth something like that.