In the first installment of a two-part blog post, creator and writer Clayton Faits draws back the curtain on the writing process and the Big Idea that founded HartLife.
Salutations and good day, Policies of HartLife.
As Our Fair City embarks on its second season, the other writers and I have already begun to turn our attention to the third. Writing a season of an epic radio drama can be an intensive and time-consuming process; thematic arcs must be considered, season-long story arcs developed, character arcs and side-plots pondered, objects and personages tracked. Once that is done and the writing itself begins, we wage a friendly (usually) tug-of-war over the details, the mutual goal (ideally) being to forge the work of different authors into a cohesive tale (hopefully).
This process is new to me and to most of the writers who have contributed to Our Fair City, but television series have been at this for decades. Lately there has been talk in the writers’ room (Which is also our recording studio. And one of our editing booths. And my living room.) of borrowing a tactic common to TV shows and creating a ‘series bible’ to aid us as we write. The concept is pretty interesting – the bible serves as a repository for specific information about characters and long-term plotlines, as well as broad principles which should guide the writing process. You can read about and download the bible written for Battlestar Galactica here, and if you’re a fan of the show or a writer yourself I highly recommend it.
Our bible does not exist yet, but as we begin to gather our thoughts it occurred to me that I’d really like to share some of the thought that has gone into creating the world of the HartLife corporation and Our Fair City. We started with a Big Idea, and we used that to extrapolate all the little ideas and details that make the world of OFC so distinct. Of course we had gaps to fill, just like dino DNA. And, like John Hammond with so many frog genes, we filled those gaps with whatever we thought was awesome. We hope you think so too.
But Awesome wasn’t our Big Idea.
Tune in on Wednesday for the second episode of our second season, Chance Meetings, and check back on Friday for the second part of this blog post.
Clayton E. Faits