How to write a radio script (because confusion)

Welcome back to my blogs on scripts. This blog will be about how to format a radio script, since it’s very different to a layout for theatre and the screen.

STEP 1: THE DIRECTIONS

For radio, the content in this part is sound heavy, meaning the directions would be saying the name of the character and what they would be doing, e.g. John pushes open a door and closes it behind him.

The layout for this is a bit different to theatre, as the stage directions and the titles of scenes are all in caps lock whilst also being underlined. Each action is separated by a comma. From my last blog, I mentioned we use a button called Tab to move lines across. We use that button for this script too. For a scene title, you press the Tab button six times. For the directions, only press it five times, and make sure it is all even.

STAGE 2: THE CHARACTER NAMES

The theatre layout for this bit actually isn’t very different from Radio. The names of the characters are all in caps lock with a : to separate it from the dialogue. The names can be as long as you like, but not so long that no one can actually pronounce them.

STAGE 3: THE DIALOGUE

This bit is quite important for writing Radio. Because this style of writing is audio heavy, the main purpose of the dialogue is to tell the audience what is going on. This isn’t like a running commentary on everything. It’s more like a moment of you telling the audience what things look like. You’d go into more detail than you usually would for any other script, e.g. ‘So what am I meant to do with an old, mouldy wooden chair?’

To format this into the script, we get to use the Tab button again. Immediately after the : after the character name, you press the Tab button three times. You then when you do a paragraph of speech, press the Tab button to keep it neat, just so we can see what’s speech and what is directions or character names. It’ll also help us to read the script.

Hopefully this blog has helped you to understand how to format these scripts you may want to write. Just as a bit of a hint, a lot of writers use Radio as their way into the industry, so don’t be afraid to give Radio a go.

Love,

Abbie Allen

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