I spent most of yesterday in my garden hut, setting out on another radio play - I think it will be my 21st for the BBC. It's due in by the middle of May so I have to get on with it. I was struggling a bit, as I often do in the early stages, filling up my wastepaper basket rather than shaping potentially good scenes. So I put down my pencil and watched the birds for a while, eight goldfinches in all, then walked around, played some music and read the paper. Still restless, I wandered into the house and made some coffee, when my eye picked up Shaun MacLoughlin's book on my study shelf. I took it back out to my hut and started to read it again.
I was soon nodding, soon encouraged, and soon reassured. I felt I was once again sitting next to Shaun in the pub or listening to him on the phone or watching him work with the actors.
For twenty years - from 1980 to 2000 - Shaun produced my work in the BBC Christchurch studios in Bristol. I learnt almost everything I know about writing for radio from discussing drafts with Shaun, from listening to his productions of plays by other writers, and from collaborating with him in the studio. In Writing For Radio he comes as close as you can to reproducing that experience. Whether you have just had an exciting idea and are starting to write your first draft of your first radio play, or whether you have written some plays but need to be reminded of the essential skills, or whether you have just hit the wall in your garden hut, this is the book I would recommend.
Shaun knows radio drama inside out. Do read it.