Writing For the Ear

Another NewsU course, Writing for the Ear, discusses almost everything you need to know to write for radio, TV, podcasts or videos. It’s a course that emphasizes the importance of writing in a more focused, succinct way, which leads to telling a more powerful story.  Typically audio stories average 75 to 300 words as compared to 500 to 700 words in the average newspaper story.

The course covers how to pick and pitch a story and what the elements of a good pitch entails; reporting and story writing tips; the types of endings to use and the elements of every script.

It’s important to remember:

  • write short, punchy, effective sentences
  • stick to one thought per sentence
  • omit needless words

Good writing is made up of scenes.

  • Scenes paint a vivid image in the listener’s mind.
  • Scenes are the building blocks of every story.
  • Each scene has a beginning, middle and ending.
  • Scenes can be as long or short as you want
  • Scenes should vary in length, be in different locations and have different acoustics.

Some Ending choices include:

  • Forward-looking endings that point to a future show.
  • Image endings that present something concrete that represents a larger issue.
  • Circular endings loop back to the beginning and provide a sense of closure and completeness.
  • So What endings raise the level of abstraction, introducing themes previously untouched but symbolized by the rest of the story.
  • Echo endings look at the last words in the final actuality in the piece and echoes some word or phrase or idea in the ending. We are cautioned, however, that echo endings have an element of “gimmick” and should be used sparingly.
  • Surprise endings are powerful but can be frustrating to the audience.

No matter which ending you choose, the ending should be short–just a few sentences.  A good ending is crucial.

Source: NewsU

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