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

OVERALL CONFLICT

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)

LAUNCH

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

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

LOCATIONS

BIG STORIES versus ORDINARY STORIES

 

 

 

OPPOSITION

(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 falls in love with  INEXPERIENCED GIRL from the beginning. But they never get to start out on an affair together. They make try a first, fumbled kiss. are rivals but also allies.

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.

 

LIKES

Which other character? Or characters? Closest ally. Positives. What attracts the listeners to this character - sympathetic.

 

DISLIKES

 
 
 
 
 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 STREETWISE BOY
 
Creating a character

Soap Project - setting up the project

TECHNIQUES - FULL RANGE OF RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES ON THESE SITES

 

 

 

 

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