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1. Tell a good story. Radio Drama thrives on cracking good narratives. Whether you're writing a tragedy, a comedy, a deeply personal piece of autobiography, or a play to change the world, a strong storyline will keep your audience listening.

2. However, don't make the story too complicated, with too many themes, characters and plotlines.

3. Get under the skin of your characters. Get to know them really well Each will have their own individual speech mannerisms. Don't have them all speaking in your tone of voice.

4. Don't - in the interests of furthering the plot - have characters telling each other information they already know!

5. Use the four building blocks of radio drama - speech, sound effects, music and silence. Decide exactly what "sound picture" - what mixture of these four elements - the listener needs to hear in each scene. Will a scene be enhanced by having music under it? Will a pause between a speech add to the dramatic effect?

6. But if in doubt, keep it simple - the play stands or falls by the words you have written; not the number of music or sound effects cues.

7. Vary the pace and length of your scenes, as well as their background accoustics and "location". A radio play which has six ten-minute scenes, each set in a dining-room, is likely to be less effective than a play which varies its scenes and settings.

8. Presentation is important. Script Editors (and play competition judges) are better disposed towards neatly-typed, professionally-presented manuscripts. Type all directions and sound effects in capital letters (e.g. HAMLET'S GARDEN. HAMLET IS DIGGING FOR POTATOES. IT IS RAINING) and dialogue in lower case. Leave a space each time a character speaks.

9. Enjoy writing your play. If you enjoy it, the chances are that other people will too.

10. Feel free to ignore some of these tips. All the best playwrights break "rules" from time to time. But have a good reason for breaking them.

11. Tune in to Play of the Week on BBC World Service or listen via our website by going to Play of the Week.

 Remember enjoy writing your play.
   If you enjoy it, the chances are that
   other people will too

 And don't forget to tune in to
   Play of the Week on BBC World
   Service or listen via our website
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