“Imaginary Boys”

Next semester I’m taking a course in writing for radio. It’s nothing I’ve ever done before, but I figured it would be a great opportunity to learn a different form and also to focus on dialogue. It’s funny, when I was young (we’re talking teenage years) I used to write things that were almost nothing but dialogue. I like to think my toolbox of words has expanded since then, but every tool can use honing.

So I came across this, link courtesy of the Twitter feed of Mr. Damian Barr, who’s the author of Maggie and Me, which is one of the books on my (ever-growing) to-read list. It’s a Radio Four drama called “Imaginary Boys,” and it’s fucking brilliant:

By Paul Magrs. A fantastical tale of teenage love and close encounters.

17 year-old David Taylor begins to see the world in a different light when he meets Lawrence. Lawrence is new in town, new to earth actually – he claims to be from Verbatim 6, a small planet about three hundred light years away. A strange but very real story of a burgeoning teenage relationship, with all the fear and confusion that goes with it.

Paul Magrs is a scriptwriter and novelist, whose writing has been described by The Guardian as ‘gloriously, zanily ludicrous… unique, idiosyncratic and unclassifiable…’ His hugely-popular series of Brenda and Effie novels were adapted for BBC7 in 2008 as a three-part mini-series (Never the Bride), whilst previous commissions for Radio 4 include Life After Mars, Sunseeker and The Longsight Branch.

Directed by Scott Handcock A BBC Cymru Wales Production.

As someone who often feels like a space alien (and in fact, at one point I wrote a story about a man whose boyfriend thought he was an alien), it resonated with me.

But don’t dawdle. It looks like it’s only available online until 10 October. Make some tea and sit down for 45 minutes and listen. If I manage to write something half this good next semester, it’ll a) be a miracle and b) make me quite pleased.