Topic: The Hyacinth Disaster

Here it is for posterity, as a witness to the genesis of something I'm rather proud of on this very forum smile

The Hyacinth Disaster is a seven-part Audiodrama with a cast of eight people, including four from this forum: Teague (playing Argus), Boter (Dreadnought), BigDamnArtist (Eric Temple), and Me (Conlin and Grimm). It started as the very ghost of an idea in the chatbox, inspired by Teague's suggestion to check out ATC recordings for funsies. It was going to be a 15-20-minute adventure in space. It......well, it grew.

Over eight months or so, I wrote a script that was to be for three episodes. Which turned into four, then five...then seven. Fun stuff. Going into it, I set a couple major guiding goals for it: no narration, and no awful exposition. Basically, my idea was to build the world, story, and characters solely through dialogue, while avoiding "as-you-know" scenes and characters talking to each other in unnatural, unnecessary ways. The politics of the solar system had to be conveyed through a political argument; the basics of mining had to be conveyed for the benefit of a non-miner character; the jargon, technical details, and operations had to be figured out from context clues.

My goal was to avoid insulting the listener with spoonfeeding, and to reward the careful listener with a story and script worth paying attention to. I tracked down every plot-hole I could find, and filled it with in-world solutions. (Some of you may remember the last-minute concern I had about Argus' "extra air supply," which I ended up fixing with a dialogue edit; and the reason Argus wouldn't have his tape; those two I'm very proud of!) I also really wanted to create compelling characters with identifiable differences, characters the audience would connect with. Several hundred pages later, I think I've succeeded pretty well. Of course there's room for improvement, but I am very happy with this as my first project.

First project, and first script for anything I've ever written longer than a handful of 3-page skits. I'm really proud of that one tongue

Aside from the actors here, I got a lot of help in the way of notes and feedback, and a truly divine trailer crafted by Saniss, the namesake of the plot's doomsday object. Teague also made a CGI model of the MRS Hyacinth (the eponymous ship), which literally drew tears from my eyes when I first saw it.

Through it all, this being my heart's project for a year and a half, I really put effort into being extremely receptive to criticism and varied opinions. I hope I succeeded on that point most of all. There are few things more annoying than an over-precious 'artist' who can't listen to suggestions for improvement smile

Since its launch, it's been listened to by nearly 500,000 people according to various metrics. It's been cited as "brilliant," "amazing," "terrible," "stilted," "incredibly human and brutally good," "unlistenable," "underrated," "lost me before episode 2," and was even given a review that went way too deep into the supposed spiritual symbolism of a conifer tree on Mars smile

It is the first large-scale project I've actually finished, and I am quite proud of it. Being a Christian and believing in a creative God, it was particularly special to me to enjoy my own little creative process. Thanks to everyone here, sincerely, for your encouragement and help! I hope you enjoyed working with me on it, too.

The Hyacinth Disaster

Last edited by Writhyn (2018-09-26 02:54:40)

Witness me!

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Re: The Hyacinth Disaster

I listened to this back when you actually released it, and I'm pretty sure I saluted you for an excellent job.

But here's the kicker. I showed it to my brother, and a friend. My brother is no stranger to this sort of audio, having listened to plenty of Big Finish's Doctor Who series and, whiel he only recently got around to it, his response was a staggering "whoa. Just. Wow", which, coming from him, means he fuckin' loved it, and was in awe the rest of the evening, because he couldn't cope.

My friend, on the other hand, IS a stranger to audio dramas. I nagged for about a month for him to do it, and he too was in absolute awe. He had never had this sort of experience before, where he just lay in bed for the duration of it, eyes closed, and headset on. He's asking for more, Writhyn.

Give us more.

Tomahawk Ellingsen