“Radio is the most visual medium.” That’s what radio producers say to each other with a wink. But, the two stories on this episode of HowSound actually prove the point.
I randomly chose “After the Train” by Suzi Piker and Katie Mingle’s “Portrait of a Psychic as a Young Man” simply because I wanted to feature excellent stories from students I’ve had over the years as I did on a HowSound not too long ago. After listening to the pieces again, I noticed how visual they were.
How can a story told solely in audio be visual? Well, as you’ll hear in the features from Suzi and Katie, the imagery is derived from a smart combination of the following:
- keen observations – report with your eyes as well as your ears
- interviewing – ask questions to prompt visuals
- writing – clear, economical, descriptive writing that does double-duty: it paints a picture which reveals character
- sound – well-recorded audio of people in motion
I would add one more thing to this list: think visually. Ask yourself “What’s the first thing I want my listeners to see?” Taking it a step further, I asked a student at the most recent Transom Story Workshop to imagine their story as a photo essay. “What should listeners look at?”
Happy listening… and seeing, through your mind’s eye, as fed by your ears.