The Wonders of Radio Drama

I grew up in a world that already had not only TV, but color TV and VCRs to watch in-home movies! To me,   to the generation that I belong and to all those that follow, the radio is there to provide music, news, and talk shows. No one I know has a radio drama show that they rush to tune into. And that’s too bad.

I first discovered radio dramas when someone gave me what I thought was a book on CD. I have a low opinion on books on tape (mostly because I’m subject to the narrator’s speed, voice patterns, and pronounciations…and let me tell you, a man trying to sing J.R.R. Tolkien’s LOTR poetry can be a scarring experience) and for a while I just stuck it on a shelf. Then I got the flu. I couldn’t focus my eyes to read, and to be forced to stay in bed and not even get to read was the worse sort of cosmic torture. In desperation I pulled out the CD and put it on.

Ah glorious! The best part was that I could listen with my eyes closed. The second was that, unlike a movie, it flows like a book, leaving me to invent the visuals for myself as the actors brought the characters to life. This makes the characters very important – can they set the scene and say their lines and sound natural doing it? What can writers learn from radio?

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