We’re living in extraordinary times, from the pandemic to the incredible revolution sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s a reminder to all storytellers that we need to support the kinds of stories that reflect the reality we live in: that cop shows have glorified cops for far too long, that we haven’t been questioning underlying structures of our world in the way that we need to in order to create dangerously and be good allies.
I have a lot on my mind, but am still reading and learning and will return here at a later point in order to productively contribute to the allyship conversation when it comes to the role us writers need to play.
Stories retain power, even as it feels as if the world is falling apart. But now, the way we create and share stories needs to be different.
Enter: the scripted podcast.
What Are Fiction/Narrative/Scripted Podcasts?
You’ve probably heard them before: Homecoming, Limetown, Welcome to Nightvale, Carrier, etc. — there’s a ton of amazing scripted podcasts out in the world, and chances are you’ve listened to one of them.
What separates a scripted podcast from, say, a true crime podcast or unscripted podcast, is that the scripted podcast seeks to immerse you completely in a world and story.
Generally, scripted podcasts are more bite-sized than audiobooks, and feature clever uses of sound effects and perspective. The performance is the point, unlike audiobooks where the focus is on the words being read to you. (Usually, without any character shifts.)
Scripted podcasts are often reminiscent of early radio dramas like War of the Worlds, where your perspective comes through a radio host or journalist’s tape recorder — or something else that makes sense in terms of the structure and form of the show.
How to Write a Scripted Podcast
I recently wrote and produced my scripted podcast The Last Station, about a radio host broadcasting after the end of the world. She thinks she may be the only human left after apocalypse, but one day — someone calls in to the radio station. She’s not alone, and the caller himself presents a new set of mysteries. It’s a sci-fi/mystery series about finding hope at the end of the world.
What’s also cool is that the podcast will operate in part like an actual radio station, with music from real Los Angeles bands I love and have met through my company Kingdom of Pavement.
Regardless of what form you’ve written in the past (novels, TV, features, limericks, etc.) anyone can write a scripted podcast.
Are you looking to write your own scripted podcast? Here’s how to do it:[Read more…]