Hassan Ul-Haq on how sound, music and silence can impact a listener

On the weekend of the 16th and 17th of November, myself and nine other writers from across the country met at the Derby Theatre for an incredible two days of crafting and understanding how to write for the medium of audio drama.

The weekend seminar was taught by Cordelia Galloway, whose expertise and understanding of audio drama was one I found important to crafting a connection between the listener and the creator. On the first day, we were taught how sound, music and silence can impact a listener and how to use those tools respectfully to craft effective stories. 

Throughout the weekend, we were given little tasks from writing character monologues to writing scenes that reveal information to the listener and we also listened to examples of audio dramas and discussed how those dramas tell a story. Everyone chipped in to give their thoughts and perspectives and I found these discussions to be engaging. Learning what others thought made the discussions and tasks fun.

When reflecting on the writing tasks, it proved to be a challenge as because we were learning to craft stories for the ear. It meant considering how various sounds such as voices, music and even silence can impact a listener and its importance to moving a story along. 

One of the standouts of the weekend was meeting an incredibly diverse range of individuals, who all showcased unique perspectives, understanding and craftsmanship of audio drama.  

As someone who always wrote as an interest and I only recently started to create my own audio dramas, I found learning from my peers to be incredibly rewarding. I realised that to become a better writer, I need to learn from others.

Another aspect I took away from the weekend was to continue to listen to all types of audio dramas and to understand how different genres and themes are constructed through the medium of sound and to take inspiration from those stories. 

Those were some of the things I took away from the weekend and the importance of staying in touch with my fellow peers as we inspire and continue to hone and craft our skills as audio drama writers.