Radio Script -WPLongform. Learning Curves.

Working on 30 mins. I think, with 5 scenes, I’m about half way through.

LEARNING CURVES

FX FADE IN TRACK: “JUST THE WAY YOU ARE”/BILLY JOEL.

FX Scene 1 – Int. Day – MITCH’S LIVING ROOM
MUSIC FADES OUT UNDER DIALOGUE AS PHRASE, “DON’T GO CHANGING JUST TO PLEASE ME, I LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.” IS REACHED.

CARL I went to bed… slept as usual…

MITCH Yes?

CARL Woke up-

MITCH (INTERRUPTING) Came as a shock, did it?

CARL Just shut up and listen!

MITCH Well get on with it!

CARL Can’t. You got any booze?

MITCH At nine O’clock in the morning?

CARL A strong one… better get one yourself.

MITCH Coming up… Are you going to tell me or what? Just don’t go all girly on me.

FX DRINK BEING POURED.

MITCH Here, one hair-of-the–dog. What..? What have I done now?

CARL Girly? Did you say girly?

MITCH Hey, calm down Carl! Only thought you were getting a bit too near your feminine side… Come on, mate; what is it?

CARL When I woke up this morning…

MITCH Yeah?

CARL This morning when I woke up…

MITCH Oh, for God’s sake!

CARL I was a woman.

MITCH You were a… WHAT?!

CARL A woman.
MITCH Oh.

CARL Oh?! Oh?! All you can say is ‘Oh’?! Cheers mate.

MITCH You mean… you’ve gone gay?

CARL You can’t go gay! You go training or clubbing or drinking, not gay. I’ve gone FEMALE! I’m a bird, a tart; I’m a woman, for God’s sake. I’ve got boobs!

MITCH Well, to be fair, you always have had…

CARL WHAT?

MITCH ‘Moobs’ then, man-boobs, you must have heard the lads after football? Steve swears blind you’ve got bigger tits than his missus… Ow!

FX SCUFFLING SOUNDS AND GRUNTS ETC. AS CARL LUNGES AT MITCH.

MITCH Argh…! Settle down…! You need more drink.

FX MITCH LEAVES ROOM. BOTTLES BEING UNSCREWED. FRIDGE DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES. ICE CUBES DROPPED INTO DRINK. CHINK OF METAL AGAINST GLASS AS LIQUID IS STIRRED.

MITCH I’ve made a jug. All the leftovers from Christmas with a bit of lemonade.

FX DRINK POURED. ICE CUBES CHINK

CARL Cheers.

MITCH Carl…? If you’re female now… do you fancy blokes?

CARL NO! I don’t, pervert; I fancy women!

MITCH Well, doesn’t that make you a les-

CARL (INTERRUPING) That’s it. I should have known…I’ve had enough. I’m off.

MITCH Sorry, I’m not laughing… Well, I am, but what would you do?

CARL I’d try to help. At least you could try to-

MITCH (INTERRUPTING)I spent all last night trying to bloody help!

CARL What?

MITCH I even dumped the bird I was with to un-weld you from some dodgy slapper. I poured you into a cab – and paid for it – got you into your pit safely and then had to walk all the way home by myself.

CARL Sorry mate.

MITCH Then I’m woken, at the first crack of sparrows, by you telling me you’ve gone female?

CARL God. What am I going to do?

MITCH Sit down Carl; tell me how you knew… Don’t look at me like that… I’m sorry…

CARL How I knew?! Just look at me. How do you think I knew?

MITCH Talking to you is like playing pass-the-parcel with a hand-grenade! Start at the beginning. I promise I’ll try not to-

CARL (INTERRUPTING)Laugh and you’re dead!

MITCH Just give me a minute then, ok? Be right back.

FX A DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES. MUFFLED HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER. DOOR RE-OPENS AND MITCH RETURNS

MITCH Right, I’m all yours.

Scene 2 – Ext. Day – BEACH
FX WIND GUSTING. WAVES WASHING OVER SHINGLE. GULLS SCREAMING. OCCASIONAL SHOUTS FROM EXCITED CHILDREN.

MITCH What was wrong with telling me at mine? It’s bloody arctic out here!

CARL I needed to get out, besides, it’s not that cold.

MITCH Oh, yes it is!

CARL Why are you laughing…? What are you looking-

MITCH (INTERRUPTING) You. Nipples like chapel hat-pegs; told you it was cold!

CARL Oh shit! I can’t walk around with these… AND LOOK AT MY FACE WHEN YOU TALK TO ME!

MITCH They’ve grown; even since this morning! Look, we’ll call off at Boots and get you something to strap them down with. (CHUCKLING) Do Gossard do crepe bandages?

CARL What?

MITCH Nothing… Did you honestly not feel anything during the night? All that stretching. Didn’t it hurt?

CARL I was beyond feeling, remember?

MITCH So it was only when you went for a pee, first thing?

CARL Yeah. I reached down and there it was. Gone.

MITCH What did you do?

CARL I sat down, stupid, I still needed to pee.

MITCH No. What did you do then?

CARL What did you expect me to do? Look under the bed for it? See if I’d left it on the dresser with my keys and wallet?

MITCH (MUSING) My mum tried for years to get us to sit down. She said…

CARL (INTERRUPTING) ‘Snot helping, Mitch!

MITCH Course not, sorry…Did you find it harder to get dressed this morning?

CARL What?

MITCH Deciding what to wear? Whether your bum looked big?

FX MITCH LAUGHING AS CARL CHASES HIM. RUNNING ON SHINGLE.

CARL I’m warning you, Mitch!

MITCH Last one to the car is a big girl’s blouse!

FX Scene 3 – Int. Day – IN MITCH’S CAR
THE CAR IS PARKED WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING. OTHER VEHICLES PASSING OCCASIONALLY. FADE IN TRACK: “BLACK MAGIC WOMAN”/FLEETWOOD MAC SEGUE INTO…

MITCH BRRR! Soon have it warmed through.

CARL Tell me more about last night. What was she like, that girl I was with when we left the club? Why did you drag me away?

MITCH She was with someone. If I hadn’t dragged you away you’d have been filled in by her bloke! No, she was nice actually.., not like the one I dumped when I came to sort you out!

CARL Did I cock things up for you?

MITCH Could say that! One minute I’m onto a promise, she’s all over me like a…

CARL (INTERRUPTING) Rash?

MITCH Nah, more like a steamroller! God, she went mental when I peeled her off and ran over to you! Didn’t like being left!

CARL Was it bad?

MITCH Yeah, she followed me screaming and cursing! I think she was trying to thump me, but the bouncers grabbed her and held her back.

CARL Cursing? What did she say?

MITCH Actually, you helped me out; I used you as a shield to get past her-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) What did she say?

MITCH Oh, how did I think it felt? Being picked up and dropped? Telling me I’d soon find out? Usual libber crap!

CARL You’d soon find out? Mitch, that’s not libber crap?

MITCH Whatever. What a witch! A panic-pull, but better than nothing at the end of the night. Until you take off the beer-goggles, that is.

CARL Witch…? That’s it. Don’t you see? That must be it! She was a witch!

MITCH Hang on, mate, ok, granted she was no oil painting, but-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) She was a witch! It’s the only explanation! I’ve been cursed, hexed, whatever. But why? Why me?

FX THE FOLLOWING LINE IS SPOKEN TOGETHER.

CARL OH MY GOD!
MITCH OH MY GOD!

CARL It was-

MITCH (INTERRUPTING) meant for me!

CARL Think, come on, Mitch. Think! What exactly did she say?

MITCH Well…The last thing I clearly remember is that she said she’d see me next week and I could tell her how it’d been-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) Had been?

MITCH Yeah, when I was dragging you out backwards-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) But she definitely said had been?

MITCH Yeah, as far as I can remember, but…that means-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) I have to walk around all week carrying your bloody curse!

MITCH Well…Look on the bright side, mate! At least with your moobs you were halfway there! Ouch! What are you doing? Get off!

FX SOUND OF SCUFFLE.

MITCH That’s enough, pack it in or we won’t make the shops!

FX INCREASED ENGINE NOISE AND INDICATOR CLICKING AS MITCH WAITS TO JOIN TRAFFIC.

FX Scene 4 Ext. DAY – STREET
BUSY WITH SHOPPERS AND TRAFFIC. SNATCHES OF CONVERSATION FROM PASSERS-BY. STRAINS OF MUSIC AND LAUGHTER AS PUBS ARE PASSED.

MITCH Shove your hands in your pockets and slouch. Lean forward a bit so you just look like a fat git…WHAT? I’m only trying to help.

CARL Shut up. Let’s get this over with, I’m going to the chemist for-

MITCH (INTERRUPTING) WHAT? Don’t grab me like that! You’re hurting me-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) Look! Over there!

MITCH What…? What am I looking at? Stop pulling at me.

CARL Over there! Lewis’ window!

MITCH Oh, I see. The blue satin with the bow or the sparkly black mini? I think the blue will set your eyes- [off nicely.]

CARL (INTERRUPTING) No, no! The girl with the long black hair. Is that her, Mitch? The one you were with last night?

MITCH Let go of my arm and I’ll tell you… Yeah, I think I-

CARL (INTERRUPTING) Come on then. What are you waiting for?

MITCH Carl! Wait…Careful…Look out…

FX BRAKING CARS, HORNS, CURSING DRIVERS

GIRL What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Get your hands off me!

CARL Hang on a minute, please? Were you in ‘Legends’ last night? Please, you’ve got to help me!

FX FOOTSTEPS AS MITCH ARRIVES

MITCH Carl! Listen to me. I’m wrong. I thought it was her, but she’s not the one-

GIRL (INTERRUPTING) You made that apparent! Last night when you went to buy me a drink and didn’t come back? Tosser!
MITCH I got waylaid, ok? Sorry, but-

GIRL (INTERRUPTING) Waylaid? You didn’t get WAYlaid; you went off to GET laid! What’s wrong with you lot; talking to us too challenging?

CARL Look I’ll sort him out, don’t worry…Come on, Mitch!

FX MITCH AND CARL’S FOOTSTEPS ARE HEARD HURRYING AWAY FROM THE SCENE. IN THE BACKGROUND THE GIRL IS HEARD SHOUTING.

GIRL Dick-heads!

FX Scene 5 – Evening – Int. MITCH’S HOUSE
TV SHOW “TOP GEAR” IS HEARD UNDER DIALOGUE THROUGHOUT.

CARL If I stand with my arms in the air and swivel, can you wrap them around me; tightly enough to squash my…err, chest?

MITCH Think so. Get your shirt off.

CARL (RELUCTANTLY) Yeah… In a minute… Beer first?

FX FRIDGE OPENING AND CLOSING AND CANS BEING OPENED.

MITCH Oh, cheers… and for bailing me out earlier, by the way.

CARL Did you just leave her sitting? That girl, I mean?

MITCH Course I did! I was getting nowhere fast and, hey! So many women, so little time… What..? Don’t go all soft on me.
CARL Can see why she was pissed off.

MITCH What is this? Female solidarity? A few days ago you’d have done exactly the same, only quicker. What is it the lads say about you and a frog – if you could stop it hopping?

FX VERY SHORT PAUSE DURING WHICH, TOP GEAR’S HOST, JEREMY CLARKSON, IS HEARD SCREAMING ENTHUSIASTICALLY ABOUT CARS

CARL Do you really want to watch this?

MITCH (SARCASTICALLY) Ooooh no! Let’s watch Trinny and Susanna!! Better still, ‘10 years Younger’ is on the other side… Shut up!

CARL ‘Spose we’d better try the bandages?

MITCH Yeah… Get ‘em out for the lads then!

FX Scene 6 – Ext. LATER SAME EVENING – KITCHEN
FOOD BEING DISHED UP AND PLATES BEING PUT ON THE TABLE.

MITCH Smells good. I’m starving, all that sea air! C’mon Carl? You’ve got to eat!

FX SOUND OF PLATE BEING PUSHED AWAY.

CARL Not hungry.

MITCH You’ve hardly touched it. What’s wrong…Ha, apart from the obvious, that is?

CARL Dunno. Just feel a bit queer.

FX CHAIR SCRAPING WHEN PUSHED BACK FROM TABLE.

MITCH Steady! I never said a word!

CARL Oh God! What am I going to do? I can’t go into work like this.
MITCH Ring in sick; tell them you’ve got a bug or something.

CARL Will you ring up for me? I feel crap. Stomach’s killing me.

MITCH Ache? Or pains?

CARL Spasms. Not felt anything like this before…
MITCH Oh, Carl mate! You haven’t got the curse, have you?

CARL Course I’ve got a curse! I don’t usually have 42” pecs and a craving for Babycham!

MITCH No, not A curse, THE curse…

FX CUTLERY DROPPING ON PLATE AND GASPS OF HORROR.

FX THE FOLLOWING TWO LINES ARE SPOKEN TOGETHER

MITCH OH, MY GOD!!!!
CARL OH, MY GOD!!!!

MITCH I’ll go and ring work for you.

FX DOOR OPENING AND MUMBLED TELEPHONE CALL BEING MADE. “CARL ROBERTS WON’T BE IN TO WORK NEXT WEEK, HE’S NOT HIMSELF…”

CARL (GROANING)Ooooh!

MITCH All done.

CARL Ooh…argh…cheers.

MITCH Wish I could have all week off as well.

CARL I’d swap. This is agony.

MITCH I’ll get you a hot water bottle.

CARL I’m not bloody cold, I’ve got cramps!

MITCH I know… My mum always had a hot-bot when she had the…

CARL All right, all right! Just get the bloody thing!

FX ELECTRIC KETTLE BOILS AND CLICKS OFF. WATER POURING. RUBBER STOPPER SQUEAKS.

MITCH Oh yes! The hot-bot was my early warning system for her monthly bout of Tourette’s! (ENTERING LOUNGE) There you are, cuddle that.

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Great Rules of Writing

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

My favourite motivators (part 1)

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov (Photo credit: blue_paper_cranium)

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~Logan Pearsall Smith, “All Trivia,” Afterthoughts, 1931

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener
The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895

A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose. ~Samuel McChord Crothers, “Every Man’s Natural Desire to Be Somebody Else,” The Dame School of Experience, 1920

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. ~Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, December 1957

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ~Sylvia Plath
I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbet Platt

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ~Vita Sackville-West

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. ~Mark Twain

Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction. ~Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, March 1938

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. ~Orson Scott Card

A metaphor is like a simile. ~Author Unknown

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer. ~Karl Kraus

When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can. ~Samuel Lover, Handy Andy, 1842

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. ~Peter De Vries

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make. ~Truman Capote, McCall’s, November 1967

A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. ~Hannah Arendt

It seems to me that the problem with diaries, and the reason that most of them are so boring, is that every day we vacillate between examining our hangnails and speculating on cosmic order. ~Ann Beattie, Picturing Will, 1989

For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle. ~John Cheever

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. ~Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. ~Francis Bacon

The expression “to write something down” suggests a descent of thought to the fingers whose movements immediately falsify it. ~William Gass, “Habitations of the Word,” Kenyon Review, October 1984

Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. ~Flannery O’Connor

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page. ~Joan Baez

When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence. ~Samuel Butler

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we? ~Audra Foveo-Alba

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