So the deadline is looming…it is breathing down the back of your neck right. A hot fetid breath. Whenever you turn around it just disappears….but the smell and feeling linger on.
How do you make this feeling go away? You write. Consider it an exorcism.
Maybe you don’t have an idea? Well here are a few suggestions to get the juices flowing:
- Review the format…make sure you know how to write a radio play. It is not a screenplay. Check out the BBC writers room for more specifics.
- Listen to some old Deathscribes to get a feel for previous winning entries.
- Try one of the many writing prompt websites out there…just search “writing prompt” and you will find a jillion. Here’s one for you: http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/ and one for horror writers: http://nighthagscorner.blogspot.com/2011/02/writing-prompts-for-horror-writers.html
- Find a newspaper article and use it…
- Find a picture and write the story behind it.
- Go sit on a park bench in a busy place…I guarantee you that you will hear something weird that will get you started.
- Write about something terrifying that happened to you.
- Write about what terrifies you about yourself…explore the inner monster.
- Just write. Don’t edit until it is done. Just get ten pages out and then you can go back and do it again.
- Don’t forget it is an audio drama! All of the information is delivered via words and sound effects. You need to be descriptive and SPECIFIC…and think about what is achievable. It is very hard to communicate the sound of a person jumping off a building and splatting…unless you also add a line like “oh my god don’t jump”…and then I destroy a watermelon on stage. Without that key piece of info, it does not work. You get me? It is not film. When you are done, read it out loud to someone and if they cannot follow the story, then you need to add a few things. Also, you often need to repeat character names frequently. Again, since it is NOT A VISUAL MEDIUM…the listener needs more info. If you have a scene with five male voices…it might take a bit to distinguish between them. Help them out.
- Have fun. The only important requirements are that is be a radio play, no more than ten minutes (about ten pages), and that it be horror. It can be funny, it can be scary, it can be sad, it can be uplifting, it can be disgusting. It can be all of those things. Send it in. Submit. And then come watch the results on December 3rd.
- Don’t give up. If you don’t get in the first time, keep trying. If you have submitted before and are feeling discouraged, keep trying. Keep writing. Always keep writing. We need your messed up little brains.