Monday, 24 November 2008


I'm starting this section on scripts, because I'm writing a radio drama (two-parter) and want to track the way it's going, and put up some tips, pointers, and ideas.

Before I deal with that script: I wrote a sketch for BBC's Recorded For Training Purposes, and sent it off by e mail. That was on 16th November. They say, if they like what you've done, they'll be in contact soon. Please be in contact! I'd like nothing better than a piece of my work being performed either on radio, tv, or theatre. At the moment I'm concentrating on radio. Recorded For Training Purposes is an initiative run by the BBC and encourages new writers to the medium. It can be a way in, or a step up if you like, because the best get to work on next year's series. Imagine that! one day you're doing your normal stuff, writing and writing and erm, writing, then all of a sudden you're in there with the BBC, working alongside more experienced writers, and you're a part of it!

That's one on my wish-list.

I've been immersing myself in script format, terms used in scripts, like FX, which I didn't realise until recently meant 'Effects', dialogue, exposition (or the reasons why it's best not to use much) and just about everything to do with scriptwiting.

There are some excellent BBC Blogs with a wealth of information. What not to do, what to do, who to speak to, Ten Commandments of scriptwriting, what happens to your script, what script readers look for, blah blah, but very, very informative.

More later....


  1. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you Higgs - I have faith the BBC can recognise talent when they see it!

    It all sounds very complicated....but at the same time it must be fun learning something new. Did you keep in touch with James from the course btw? Did he give you any tips etc?

  2. Good luck Higgs, I have everything crossed for you!

  3. Higgs, adding my Good Luck to the rest, and hope the BBC do get back to you and see your talent, as Mel says.

    Scriptwriting must have a whole host of specialist lingo and techniques I imagine. Showing my ignorance here, but is it the same as writing a play... George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Miller spring to mind as examples...? Or do you need to put "stage directions" into it - like a screenplay?

  4. Mel, Jacqui and Tam, thank you so much!

    Mel, it is fun. I didn't keep in touch with James, but might Google him and see if he's been up to anything fresh. He did give me a few pointers regarding dialogue, and how to keep it real, not wooden. Speak in your voice, which is what most of the scriptwriters seem to be saying.

    Tam, there are a few techniques and some lingo that takes a bit of getting used to. It's similar to a theatre play, in that you do put directions, but mainly stuff that's relevant to the character at the time, or that doesn't stray from the story you're telling. Not too much direction, I believe, just the basics, because the directors (don't ya know) like to do the directing.

    I'm learning lots about scriptwriting at the moment. For now, concentrating on radio drama, but then I'd like to look at writing for tv.

    In radio, it's about sound and showing through sound what characters are doing or what the setting is like.

    Some of the lingo includes 'BEAT' which you put before a significant change, or change in tempo.

    Then there's 'LOW' for a quiet voice, 'D' for distorted, like when someone's on the other end of a telephone.

    I think getting the dialogue right is a must, and not telling the audience too much, but rather, showing them. For example, not writing useless dialogue that doesn't move the story on, or too much back-story which can come out in subtle ways in dialogue.

    I really like writing scripts, and I'm going to swamp myself in them, get a real feel for them, and hopefully take it further.

    Watch this space.

  5. Sounds like good fun, Higgi. I'd love to write a radio play, but the technical bits put me off a bit.

  6. Sarah, that's exactly what used to put me off! I'm not technically minded, but when I really started to look at scripts, I realised I could just copy the format in Word. I have downloaded Script Smart, but have yet to use it.

    I think as long as you try with a script format, and it's clear, then they're okay about it at places like the BBC.

    The other technicalities of direction etc, just come as you work on a script. And actually,the less direction the better.

    Thanks for commenting.


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