My old soldiers are waiting for direction. I know where they're coming from!
The end of the year is almost here and that means a mere four months to work on re-working my short story, "Old Soldiers" in the hope of converting it into a radio play to enter in the British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition . The characters need flushing out and some type of direction as to their purpose.
"That's all, Eleanor? Piece of cake!"
On were it that easy.
Having never attempted writing a radio play, I'm somewhat intimidated. I mean, to what degree will the correct writing form for radio count?
"Oh look. The sound effects are on the wrong side of the page," a BBC reader might comment to another reader, after which it might be tossed on the slush pile.
To my credit (pat-pat on the back) I've made some progress and added dialogue but the challenge is the necessity of providing those tricky sound effects. This means that there has to be action, which can be heard and that will propel the story along. You just can't have the characters hang around say...a pub and talk. They have to do something to catch the listeners ear.
A purpose and reason for being there is required. Therein lies (or lay...whatever) the challenge.
A character chart would help me define the varous characteristics of the personalities, but I've never used one in the past. Then again, I've never tried writing a radio play. The ending seems logical but the trip to get there has to be refined.
Joe McKenna would understand.
Here's a small snippet of dialogue taken from the re-write as the "old soldiers" prepare to leave for a fellow soldier's funeral
So who’s going to Percy’s funeral?
I am…and so is Mac
I’d like to go. There are so few of us left. Look at me with a walker. We were his friends for umpteen years and I mean, the man deserves some type of recognition. It's the least we can do. Can anyone give me a lift? So damn hard to climb up the bus steps and the bus drivers get so impatient...
I'll bring along our flag. It's getting so thin I can see through it
Just like us. Old and worn out