Writing a… Radio Play?

Several new and interesting projects have strolled into my life recently, and I’m very grateful for each and every one of them. While I cannot yet give details, one assignment was a modern version of an old story format — the Radio Play.

Radio Play?

Also known as a radio drama or radio theater, these are stories told entirely through audio. Think back to the time before television when the world listened to great stories like The Lone Ranger or War of the Worlds on giant stereos in their living rooms. Yeah those were the days…

Not that I was around for them, and you probably weren’t either. But, hey, we’ve heard tales… Right?

I guess the more general term of audio drama or audio play is more fitting in current times because now days these stories are usually found on podcasts and the internet. It’s great to see these type of tales finding a new life through modern technology. They really are, as my friend who helped run the project would say, “An audio adventure!”

It was also an adventure to write. I crafted one episode of a serialized tale and the challenge was to think entirely in sound. Go ahead, give it a try yourself. Just shut your eyes and listen for a full minute… hear all the things around you…

WAIT! Don’t close your eyes! You won’t be able to read this on your drive to work!

See? Challenges crop up everywhere with audio dramas.

It truly was a new experience to tell a story with only dialogue and sound. As a screenwriter, I usually rely heavily on visuals because of the rule — and it’s one of the things we’re taught from the very beginning — “Show, don’t tell!” But you have to do some telling in an audio only scenario.

Writing an audio adventure stretched my dialogue skills and really expanded my thoughts on ways to provide information through conversation — and still keep it interesting! Give it a try as a writing exercise sometime, you’ll see what I mean.

And as soon as I’m allowed to share more information, I’ll post some links.

For now, I need to get back to developing — I mean — working on some writing.

-Zac

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