When It Comes To Writing Scripts Words Are Overrated
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
We can get to my apparent dislike of words in a minute. But first, we have much to discuss.
It's been a rough year for all of us. Personally for me too. My imaging job at Nova disappeared in a puff of shiny HR smoke and I dived head first into the world of freelancing, all the while pretending not to be scared about how cold the water was.
Turns out it was toasty, like one of those fancy hotel pools where they even supply you with beach towels so you just grab a bunch and use one for your torso and one for each armpit. No? That's just me?
What I found is that there are radio networks and production libraries out there who actually value writing as a key component of their imaging. And by that I mean genuinely creative writing. Chances are if you're reading this blog, you value that kind of writing too.
Over the next few blog entries I'm going to dig into some of the work I've been doing for these great clients. As always, my aim is to give you more tools to use in your writing for radio, podcasting, social posts, and general comedy writing. Let's go.
So, that title up there. What it means is that sometimes you can create an angle for your script by focussing on just one word instead of tossing around a whole bunch of words. By simplifying the writing process we can cut down on the chaos, and lately we could all do with a little less chaos right? I'm looking at you 2020...
Let's start with a radio sweeper. I already know what needs to be covered from the brief received from the client, who we'll call Party FM. Here is the basic voice over script with the core message.
Summer on Party FM - if it’s a hit we play it.
Ok so we have the basic necessities of the script there. Now it's time to add the creative stuff. Here's where I focus on one word. The word I'm going with is 'play'.
I'm going to echo the word 'play'. What that will allow me to do is add a random idea to the script yet still make that idea seem connected. The echoing of the word 'play' will make the two different parts of the script connected. Here goes...
Summer on Party FM - if it’s a hit we play it. We also play games of beach volleyball in the studio.
This is looking better. We've used the word play twice to get a nice bit of imagery going on with people playing volleyball in the studio, without making the script seem disjointed. It's fun and it sticks with the summer theme. But it's not very funny.
I feel like it needs a better out. This is where I'm going to have to dig deep to find a simple gag to end with.
Summer on Party FM - if it’s a hit we play it. We also play games of beach volleyball in the studio because why not? (SFX-WINDOW SMASH) Oh right, that’s why not. Summer on Party FM.
I think that's strong enough for me to move on to the next script. Remember, echoing one word will tie the two parts of your script together but make sure you finish strong.
I hope you enjoy using this simple way to help your writing. I'll leave you with a couple more real world examples of this technique. Station names have been changed to protect the innocent! And don't forget to share this blog with anyone looking to get more creative with their content. Thanks!
All Summer on Party FM, we guarantee the most hits while you work. We also guarantee that waxing your bikini line will sound like you’re breaking up with someone from South America.
(SFX – RIIIIP)
FEMALE YELLING : “AARGH DAMN YOU BRAZILIAN FOR CAUSING ME SO MUCH PAIN!”
All Summer on Party FM, we guarantee the most hits while you work. We also guarantee that you’ll visit people you hate just because they have a pool.
(SFX – SPLASH)
FEM : Great pool Tom!
MAN : It’s Tim.
This summer on Party FM we’ve combined two of our favourite things – going nonstop and hits.
We’ve also combined another two of our favourite things, here goes.
(SFX – SLURP)
Pffffftttt!! Ugh, wine flavoured ice cream looked really good on paper.
Ninety Minutes Nonstop on Party FM