“Let the listener invent their own dragon.” I can’t remember who uttered this line, but it has stayed in my mind since last century, when I took a BBC News Skills training course in London.
The nervy young broadcast journalists renamed it News Kills. Until a man in tweed came to our stuffy classroom to impart his code for living: “It’s only radio, but it’s what we do.”
I learned to create sound pictures that let the listener see “their own dragon”. Why state you’re on a beach when you can immerse the audience in surf and seagulls? Why say an interviewee is nervous when you can hear his shallowness of breath between carefully-chosen words? A broadcaster, like a novelist, is a magpie for the glimmering detail that sparks life into a story.
To read more of my guest post about how a career in broadcasting influences my fiction, visit Women Writers.