Script Writing. Tips to compose an effective audio narrative. 1) Use language as you normally speak.
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Conversational writing needs to sound natural, not stilted and artificial. The best way to see if your copy sounds natural is to read it out loud. Do you repeatedly stumble in your reading when you get to a certain point in your script? The idea or wording isn’t clear.
2) Write/speak clearly
Listeners only hear it once, unless they replay it (which they often won’t do!) Your meaning has to be clear the first time your listeners hear it.
Pace: speak slow enough to be understood by any listener, but not so slow that it will bore your audience.
Volume: speak loud! (but don’t scream)
3) Use short sentences
A good rule of thumb is to keep sentences under 25 words.
Another rule: a sentence shouldn’t take more than one breath to say. Do you have to stop for a breath in the middle of a sentence? The sentence is too long.
If you need more than one dash in a sentence, you probably need more than one sentence.
4) Avoid the passive voice
The active voice:
is more direct, so it gives your statements more authority.
usually makes sentences shorter.
5) Use a different voice when quoting
Remember one requirement of this assignment is to use multiple voices. They make your podcast more interesting and keep listeners in track of when the quotation starts and ends.
6) Rephrase as necessary
Your written narrative is a starting point for the podcast, it is not written in stone. Avoid using words that have homophones (like “waste,” “wear,” “too,” etc.) Make all the necessary changes to make sure your message is conveyed effectively. You might even consider changing the order of paragraphs!
7) Avoid symbols or acronyms
Spell out symbols and abbreviations. For example: percent, kilogram, micrograms, etc.
Write out URLs as they should be read. For example: w-w-w-dot-c-d-c-dot-gov-slash-tobacco
Spell out long numbers and dates
Spell out unusual words phonetically, with stress. For example: Lyon – LEE-on
Number the lines (Word will do this automatically).
If you want your narrator/ reader to express certain feelings while reading, write in ITALICS what you want the reader to do. For example, if you want the narrator to make a long pause at certain points, write long pause.
If you are planning to have a specific sound or song played at certain points in your narrative, make sure you identify it in your script. Use [ ] to highlight where and what sound you are playing. For example: I was furious. I slammed the door [sound of door banging] and ran to the yard crying [sad song playing].