ALAN BECK'S FORMULA FOR THE MAIN CHARACTERS
A limited number of main characters ('heroes') needed.
For ongoing conflict and transformation, here are five 'heroes' suggested.
HERO TEAM: FEISTY GIRL + INEXPERIENCED GIRL + STREETWISE BOY + INEXPERIENCED BOY + BOSS + NEW FRIENDS VILLAIN TEAM: VILLAIN + VILLAIN'S SERVANTS Grid of characters' relationships to each other Emotional trigger for each character - what emotion gets them activited - range of emotions through the HERO TEAM
PLOT STRUCTURE = LAUNCH to STORY to CLIMAX
There are not THREE ACTS, as in the one-off play or film script. Episodes demand a string-of-beads structure (clumps of five episodes)
STORY ONWARD ENERGY - THROUGH-LINE PLOT
STORY - TEMPORARY RESOLUTIONS
ALLIES (TEAM + NEW FRIENDS + ALLIES) fight the BADDIES (VILLAIN + SERVANTS)
CONFLICT is started by the THE INCITING INCIDENT which involves the VILLAIN'S 'BIG BAD PLAN' and the BADDIES TEAM
CHALLENGE (HERO TEAM meet the BADDIES TEAM (VILLAIN + SERVANTS) - our HERO TEAM must choose to take up the CHALLENGE and form themselves into a WORKING HERO TEAM.
The VILLAIN'S 'BIG BAD PLAN' may be revealed right away or revealed later.
STORY ONWARD ENERGY
STORY - TEMPORARY RESOLUTIONS
CONFLICT goes through COMPLICATIONS (temporary losses - THINGS GO WRONG and victories THINGS GO RIGHT).
CONFLICT reaches the FINALE (the ultimate SHOOT-OUT with the VILLAIN and his SERVANTS in the VILLAIN'S LAIR
ALLIES fall out among themselves (UNRESOLVED SEXUAL CONFLICT + TEAM QUARREL + PLANS GO WRONG) = OPPOSITION
BIG STORIES versus ORDINARY STORIES
(OPPOSITION TEAM - BADDIES + 'THE BIG BAD PLAN') and
TEAM - ALLIES
PLANS GO RIGHT
OPPOSITION AMONG ALLIES - UNRESOLVED SEXUAL CONFLICT + TEAM FALLS OUT AMONG THEMSELVES + PLANS GO WRONG CONFLICT WITH OPPOSITION TEAM UNRESOLVED SEXUAL CONFLICT You need to organise the HEROES around one MAIN HERO as a lead for the listeners' sympathy - preferably INEXPERIENCED GIRL or INEXPERIENCED BOY. In 'THE CANTERBURY VAMPIRES' both INEXPERIENCED GIRL and INEXPERIENCED BOY are leads.
INEXPERIENCED BOY is too much of a starter in love to be able to outclass the opposition. STREETWISE BOY immediately makes moves on INEXPERIENCED GIRL. INEXPERIENCED BOY is horrified. INEXPERIENCED BOY and STREETWISE BOY. They are two halves of a complete skill set. +
FEMALE FEISTY GIRL + INEXPERIENCED GIRL versus AND teamed with MALE INEXPERIENCED BOY + STREETWISE BOY
FEISTY GIRL - attractive, pushy, selfish, sexy, attacking, intelligent, envied INEXPERIENCED & LOVELY GIRL WE ALL LOVE STREETWISE BOY - ATTRACTIVE, FASHIONABLE, BUT OVER-REACHES HIMSELF, TOO CONFIDENT, FLIRTS WITH ALL INEXPERIENCED BOY - ATTRACTIVE BUT DOESN'T REALISE IT, LACK OF CONFIDENCE, ONE STRONG ABILITY, IN LOVE WITH INEXPERIENCED GIRL THE BOSS - MALE OR FEMALE - 'CRITICAL PARENT' / 'SUPPORTIVE PARENT' VILLAIN VILLAIN'S SERVANTS
CHARACTERISATION in radio drama
Protagonist-dominated (play's main character most important for plot)
ASK - Who?
CATEGORIES: It helps to organise all characters into MAIN CHARACTERS SYMPATHETIC/'BAD' FUNCTIONS (Gossip etc.) POWER CHUMS - ENEMIES RANGE OF AGES MALE - FEMALE
Different categories. A character can cross over in the progress of the soap. Many stay in the same category.
Crossing over for one or two or three gives dynamism. And then crossing back again.
Categories: 'good'/'bad', main ('heroes') versus the rest, gossip, boss (teacher?), co-worker (student?), family member, carer, authority (boss, teacher, doctor, dentist)
Depends on casting - what range of ages?
Heroes - male and female - the main characters. These are 'good' and 'bad'. Main character only for a 'clump' (group of five episodes). Sympathetic characters ('good') - we like them and want them to succeed. Unsympathetic characters ('bad') - we don't like them. We want them to lose. PASSING AROUND INFORMATION: 'gossip character' (we can rely on to pass around information). Is this gossip character 'good' or 'bad'? Possibly 'bad'? BIOGRAPHY OF EACH CHARACTER - work out all the details and especially how this will be translated into the dialogue.
KEY QUESTIONS FOR EACH MAIN CHARACTER - Getting the script to work for you
SCRIPTING: Key repeating phrases for each character. So they are recognised by listeners. And characterised directly by the script.
Which other character? Or characters? Closest ally. Positives. What attracts the listeners to this character - sympathetic.
BACK STORY - key past events that influence the character More definition of BACK STORY BEDROOM TRANSFORMATION - the main character goes through a significant change and then resumes their core qualities More definition of TRANSFORMATION 'FEISTY GIRL' TRANSFORMATION - example INCITING INCIDENT INCITING INCIDENT - The Point of Attack - gets the plot into action - more
HOW TO EXPLAIN - find TV and film examples
Creating a character
Soap Project - setting up the project
TECHNIQUES - FULL RANGE OF RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES ON THESE SITES
See 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also. Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.
Academic material on this site is Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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