I’m Relatively Human

Marty Hagland, a transgendered woman, says it was a long time before her neighbors accepted her.  “It took them a good three years to finally realize that I don’t bite.  At least not very hard. And, if you stick a pin in me I bleed. I’m relatively human.” (Photo by Selena Simmons-Duffin)


Hot off the presses. “I’m Relatively Human” was produced just this fall (2008) by Selena Simmons-Duffin.

I chose to feature this piece because it’s good. I guess that goes without say. But, also because Selena did a solid job writing scenically.

Scenic writing is visual. It’s active. And, it takes listeners on a journey. It’s also a great way to organize a radio piece. In fact, you can think of scenes as chapters.

Scenes are sections of radio stories with several elements: action, ambiance, a main character or characters, setting, and an over-arching idea to communicate.

Top of the line scenic writing organizes scenes so the scenes themselves have a beginning, middle, and end. They may even have their own narrative arc. The king of scenic radio storytelling is Joe Richman of Radio Diaries. His scenes typically have all of the elements above.

We push scenic writing for radio pretty hard at Salt. It makes for better radio. And, I think it’s one of the many production elements that make Salt pieces so distinctive among student work — and even professional work.

Take a listen now to “I’m Relatively Human”, Selena’s first radio feature, and keep an ear out for the scenes.




Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.