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Archive for December, 2012

Radio Drama Writing – The Classic Mistakes.
danq
John Morrison, the writer, with the cast of Dan Quixote.

In an earlier blog I posted the first few pages of ‘This Gun I Have in My Right Hand is Loaded’. The classic how-not-to of radio drama.

This link will take to a recording of the complete play.

It’s a classic example of the mistakes new radio writers make.

It would be a worthwhile exercise to listen to it just before you sit down to turn your brilliant idea into a radio drama script.

In a later blog I will break down the play to discuss the avoidable gaffs.

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Script Format for Radio Drama.

A lot of people agonise about formatting a radio script. It probably causes more problems for the new writer than any other issue.

If you write for television or movies expect to find that readers/producers will insist on proper formatting. In Hollywood most producers will only read scripts formatted to a pretty precise set of rules. It helps a lot to know what these rules are.

In television the rules can be just as rigid with some TV series often having there own particular format. Even series produced by the same television companies might have varying formats. It helps the new writer to find out what these formats are before submitting a script.

In theatre the rules are less strict. Producers expect scripts to be formatted in such a way that the characters, dialogue and action are set out separately and clearly on the page. Producers generally won’t worry too much if minor variations from a set format occur.

Radio is less strict than either television or movies but producers will expect a format that they are used to and that is clear and precise. Therefore it would help the new writer to download scripts of produced radio plays and to follow the format that has succeeded in the past.

Below is a link to the formatting style favoured by the BBC which is by far the biggest producer of drama for radio. When submitting a play, follow this format. It saves a lot of trouble.

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/bbcradioscene.pdf

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