As I write this post, I'm recovering from a long day of driving. I drove up to Mirabel, Quebec, for work, and it was about 10 hours or so of driving altogether. Now, there are a few good things about driving up as opposed to flying up, one of which is that I can catch up on all my podcast listening. I subscribe to fifteen different podcasts, though I'm only actively listening to maybe six or seven at a time. I listen to them mainly in 20 minute clips in my car on the way to and from work, so you can see how I can get backed up in my iTunes feed. A five or six hour drive can make mincemeat of my unheard episodes.
I was listening to an episode of HowSound on the way back home this morning. Now, HowSound is a podcast about how to make great radio stories, the kind of stuff I'm trying to do with Random Waves. The latest episode discusses the great writing of the intro in a podcast called Offshore. And HowSound's host Rob Rosenthal is absolutely right, Offshore is brilliantly written. It looks like I'll be subscribing to podcast #16 shortly.
But what really struck me was Rob's pointing out of all the tricks of the trade Offshore uses to lure their listeners in to want to hear the rest of the story -- start with an anecdote, connect the story with a larger theme, have a story that answers a big question, let the audience know that what they're going to hear is unusual, and have the audience follow the journalist as the story unfolds for them. Now, some of these tricks of the trade were already known to me, but Random Waves episodes so far DO NOT use any of these. This episode of HowSound is a bit of a wake up call for me to get my writing skills on fleek.
Of course, since I've only been producing Random Waves for three episodes so far, I can forgive myself for this. The first few episodes -- for me -- are all about learning this craft of audio storytelling. I'm learning how to conduct an interview, how to use my equipment, how to find royalty free music and audio, how to host a podcast on iTunes, etc. This includes how to write a compelling story. So, if a suck now, it's to be expected. Actually, it's to be celebrated -- I get to listen to more of HowSound episodes because I still have much to learn, and it's an enjoyable podcast to listen to!