Staff Story Picks
|Play It Again, Roman!|
It’s easy to forget about all the little sounds, the pops and rustles and scratches and clicks that surround me in my everyday life. I’m constantly filtering through, focusing past, drowning out all these sounds. And this is especially true with my daily devices. Gone are the days of clacking typewriters and cash registers that go ker-ching. It seems like sound is almost completely peripheral to the function of new technology. I actively keep my iPhone on mute.
Or at least, I did. The Sound of the Artificial World, an episode of 99% Invisible, totally changed my mind. Now my phone is constantly blooping and swooshing and clicking. And every sound means something. Every sound is important to the way I use this device in my pocket. And all because of this one story, and the way it repeats one tiny clip of incredible sounds.
|Off to a Good Start|
I think that the most challenging part of a writing a story for radio is formulating the introduction. The stakes are very high: your listener will decide within a few short seconds whether to stick around for your story or whether to turn the proverbial dial, and so you must do everything you can to persuade that listener to stay, and you must do it quickly. A good introduction has the magical power to seize a person’s attention and keep them curious about how your story will unfold.
I came across a great example of this in our own archives, in The Human Map, by Raj Bhandari. Within the first 30 seconds, Bhandari introduces himself, his topic, his character, and, perhaps most importantly, promises us that we will learn something new if we continue listening. So what else can we do but stay?!
Here is the transcript of the first 30 seconds. I think it’s worth reading closely, because it is so packed with top-quality craft elements.