Bucky’s Dome

March 6th, 2012 | by Katie Klocksin

About Bucky’s Dome

Photo of Bucky's Dome

Bucky’s Dome

One of the biggest challenges I faced was condensing all of the information I had into a manageable story that makes sense. Buckminster Fuller was a philosopher, architect, inventor, author, dreamer – he was multi-faceted in a way that is rare these days. I needed to convey that without giving a long lecture. Jay Baldwin’s pithy quotes were immensely helpful for that section.

Also, pardon the gory radio term, but I had to shoot some puppies.* The two men who worked at The Dome Restaurant for many years had a surprisingly sweet friendship that I expected would be a bigger part of the story. My classmates gave me many gentle nudges to cut this section, which I stubbornly ignored. Rob even said something like “maybe you don’t have time to talk a whole lot about these two guys in your story.” I thought: of course not. I talk about them exactly the right amount. There also used to be a section of the story where Bucky contemplated suicide. He was 32 and considered himself a failure and a disgrace to his family. I thought this made his accomplishments more interesting and weighty. I even had archival tape of him talking about this part of his life. Ultimately, I realized these tangents caused narrative whiplash. Suicide! Norwegian exchange student! Disco music! What?! You can’t cover 4,000 topics in a ten minute story. It’s too confusing, and the goal is clarity.

*To shoot your puppies means to cut moments you love out of your story. It’s tough, but if something’s really not part of the story it often has to go.

Katie Klocksin photo

Katie Klocksin

About Katie Klocksin

When I was a teenager I started carrying around a small notebook where I’d write down beautiful ordinary things people said. It took a while to figure out that it’s possible to make a career out of crafting stories from beautifully ordinary moments, and that radio is the perfect medium in which to do so. I felt lucky every day to be part of the Transom Story Workshop, and I look forward to many more days of making radio and feeling lucky.

I am a member of AIR.

You can hear more of my work on PRX.

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