Useful Tips

How to write a radio play


Radio never ceases to captivate the hearts of millions of listeners around the world and, in addition, is a great way to write a play. Listening to the radio many years ago was the main source of entertainment until television appeared. Considering the fact that nowadays a modern person has a luxurious choice of pastime options, not everyone likes to watch TV, many prefer to listen to the radio while working or cleaning the apartment. This article contains recommendations that will be a great help in writing radio plays, which are, albeit an old, but no less beautiful form of art.

  1. 1 Create a visual image. A prerequisite for writing a play for the radio is to create a “picture” in the head of your listeners. This means that you need to use descriptions that will help to recreate the mental image of your audience, which will be associated with the characters, with the world in which they live, and the atmosphere that prevails in every action. The use of colors is also extremely important when creating a visual image, for example, let phrases from the lips of your characters sound like the following: “boundless blue sky”, “iridescent red evening dress”, “bright yellow car”, “luminescent orange iPod” , and so on.
  2. 2 Use copyright techniques. The presence of the author is extremely important in relation to the play on the radio:

  • The author can plan the actions of the play, explain the sequence of actions and complete them.
  • If you are writing a radio series, the author can summarize the events that took place in past episodes.
  • The author can also “switch” from one action to another: “In the meantime, we return to Joey’s house, where the puppies destroyed all the food intended for the party ...”.
  • 3 Create an action through dialogue. Since all you need to work with is a dialogue, and not various details, decorations and other visual landmarks, you need to “hone” it thoroughly! Your dialogue can be created in order to describe the action that is taking place at the moment: “You just look! Jane's car rolls across the field straight into the moat! And George runs after him at full speed! Perhaps we need our help? ”Be sure to use verbs that will help you“ decorate ”the actions that take place, and will also be able to convey the atmosphere as best as possible.
  • 4 Make the most out of the sound effects. Sound effects are the best friends of the person who writes the radio play, as well as an integral part of the entertaining, “entertaining” part. Work hard on sound effects, because only then will you be able to breathe life into your play. You can use the following sound effects:

    • Doors - the sound characteristic of opening or slamming doors creates the prerequisites for such sounds as rattle, knock and creak, and if you want the listener to hear how the doors open and close from the wind blow, feel free to use sounds such as the incessant light rattle or creak.
    • Street sounds - children's crying, school bell, motor roar, highway noise, screams of street vendors and so on.
    • Kitchen items - teapot whistle, toaster on, the sound of a lid opening from a jar of jam or a knife spreading butter on toasts.
    • Stunning sounds - sounds that will not let your audience fall asleep: explosions, car accidents, screams of an angry crowd and so on.
  • 5 Use mixed effects. You can use the sounds that are built into the mixing console to help create an update. When it comes to staging the play, be sure to check all of your effects to make sure there are no problems with sound pressure levels and sound effects:
    • Set stereo position - used to display the position of specific sounds, or to display movement. This can be achieved by moving the pan knob to the desired position.
    • Reverb - serves to set the acoustics of the location. For example, empty rooms, basketball courts, caves, classrooms and so on.
  • 6 Do not forget about music. Music playing in the background will set the mood for your entire play. It goes without saying that you can choose specific music for your specific feelings. For example, sad music will be appropriate if your play is about events such as death or loss, disturbing music is suitable for exciting or frightening moments, and fast music is suitable for lively action or chasing. Music can also both begin your play and serve as a kind of sound curtain for it.
  • 7 Create believable characters. A prerequisite for writing any play is the creation of believable characters. Keep in mind the fact that radio does not at all restrict the freedom of your actions in this regard. You can create a huge number of characters for your play, however, when it comes to staging, there will be no problems with the voice acting of the characters - in order to voice all the characters, the actors will only need to change their voices and you will not have to hire a large number of people. Plus, you don’t have to worry that your recording room is too small to accommodate everyone!
  • 8 Keep your speech clear and clean. In your speech, everything should be clear to the listener, as he will not have the opportunity to see what kind of facial expression or gestures he uses. Be careful with silence so that it does not turn out that it represents empty space, silence cannot be used as a “driving” effect on the radio, as it makes the listener feel the disappearance of energy. That is why be careful and use silence sparingly and properly.
  • How to write a radio drama script, 9 tips

    Isaiah David, How to Write a Radio Drama Script

    1. Decide on the central theme of your production. A radio drama can be about anything, but it is created exclusively through dialogue, narration of the narrator and sound effects. These tools are well suited for genres such as science fiction, adventure, suspense, and mysticism.

    2. Create a hero and several minor characters. Since the radio does not allow you to work with visual differences, you should add contrast. A different way of speaking, characteristic of the gender, nationality and subculture of the character will add expressiveness and simplify the distinction between characters.

    3. Start with a strong central conflict. Should the hero catch the villain before he strikes again? Will he be able to find a way to get out of a strange planet, where he was brought? Does he have the opportunity to make peace with an old friend with whom they quarreled? A clear explanation of the causes of the central conflict will help shape the story in your head before you start writing the script.

    4. Create a villain. Not every story has a villain as such, but evil as an antihero will give your script the juiciness that was inherent in the best productions during the heyday of radio drama.

    5. Select a format for the scenario of your radio drama. It doesn’t really matter which format you use, and if you already have scripting skills, just write down the dialogs, remarks, sound effects, and narrator narration.

    6. Stage the first scene. Sound can create a scene using a narrator, monologue, dialogue, sound effects, or a combination of all this. The main thing is that the listeners understand who is where and where it all starts. During the first few minutes, they must determine who the main characters are, where they are and what they do.

    7. It is important to introduce a place identification element in each scene. The first scene can tell you that the main character is on board a starship, which, for example, performs the mission of finding the ship that sent the alarm. The second scene may take place in the scientific laboratory of the starship, and another character appears here - a scientist with his theory that the ship fell into a parallel dimension. By linking each scene to a place, event, and character, we create a vibrant world in the mind of the listener, piece by piece.

    8. Include sound effects in the scene whenever possible. The creak of the door, the squeal of an alarm and the echo in the cave, all this really enlivens the "picture". Effects help you locate, increase tension, and hold the attention of your audience.

    9. Stay within 30 minutes. Although a radio show may take several hours, do not immediately set yourself too serious a task. Create a tight, short, and simple script first.