Friday, 30 October 2009

Radio plays

I picked up the course book for A363 a couple of months ago - partly, at least, to make A215 seem easier and more doable. But also, because I thought I would be able to get ahead with the course after I finish the coursework for A215 - which I probably will do in the spring. In the meantime, my OCA tutor's feedback got me started on converting my assignment into a radio play - and it worked! At least, I think it does, and so I'm now looking at the 750 word assignment thinking that might work for radio even better. It's about a village woken up early by the lifeboat station, and waking up, the sun starting to come up, all from the perspective of someone who slowly because revealed as the character in the water waiting for rescue. I tried to make her a bit hypothermic and therefore rambly. I thought, that dark/cold thing is better for radio than film, though it works OK as a short story it is incredibly short - it was just an exercise for A215! But it's all good source material so I'm playing with it. I like the challenge of trying to realise the external settings purely through what is heard.

I'm finishing the poetry section in the book, and going back into the fiction section (part 2) to write the assignment. I've written a linear story but it feels very pedestrian, so I am now looking at starting in the middle of the action (in media res - I know, I read that chapter!) and increasing the tension that way. I'm also trimming the characters down basically to the two protagonists, young people buying their first house together. Although husband and I are 100 years old, we bought our first home together a couple of years ago, so I had some doubts/weirdness to draw on from my own life. My OCA tutor says it's important to draw on experience but not write all autobiographical pieces. My dilemma is that looking at the house of the removal she has huge doubts, then the situation gets worse and worse - until it becomes comic and manageable. I think some people are better at managing disaster than doubt - it brings out their survival instincts, spirit of the Blitz and all that. In doubt we might pull apart, in crisis we hopefully pull together. Come to think a bout it, we moved into this house with the rats and the damp and the Oh My God it's huge and smelly and we can't afford it, then we had a car accident, husband nearly died, children were injured and I got the house in its proper perspective, so it is autobiographical after all!

Talking about the house, Hallowe'en is around the corner, and the season of spending and feasting isn't far behind that. As pagans, the whole time gets a bit more significance, so a lot of cooking today and tomorrow and a bit of playing about. But seriously, the reason I started this blog is as part of my campaign to find something beyond motherhood for my next two or three decades, so this Hallowe'en (or Samhain to my pagan friends) is important. I'm thinking and planning for the masters as well - something to do next year that will give me structure beyond now. It's nice to have writing ambitions beyond getting published - but to write really well, and hopefully get published. So, radio plays for the BBC are a starting point!

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