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Transom Podcast

52 EpisodesProduced by TransomWebsite is an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the internet, and for discussing that work, and encouraging more. Our podcast offers some tasty little audio morsels to go.


Bucky’s Dome

“Bucky’s Dome” on PRX

About “Bucky’s Dome”

One of the biggest challenges I faced was condensing all of the information I had into a manageable story that makes sense. Buckminster Fuller was a philosopher, architect, inventor, author, dreamer – he was multi-faceted in a way that is rare these days. I needed to convey that without giving a long lecture. Jay Baldwin’s pithy quotes were immensely helpful for that section.

Also, pardon the gory radio term, but I had to shoot some puppies.* The two men who worked at The Dome Restaurant for many years had a surprisingly sweet friendship that I expected would be a bigger part of the story. My classmates gave me many gentle nudges to cut this section, which I stubbornly ignored. Rob even said something like “maybe you don’t have time to talk a whole lot about these two guys in your story.” I thought: of course not. I talk about them exactly the right amount. There also used to be a section of the story where Bucky contemplated suicide. He was 32 and considered himself a failure and a disgrace to his family. I thought this made his accomplishments more interesting and weighty. I even had archival tape of him talking about this part of his life. Ultimately, I realized these tangents caused narrative whiplash. Suicide! Norwegian exchange student! Disco music! What?! You can’t cover 4,000 topics in a ten minute story. It’s too confusing, and the goal is clarity.

*To shoot your puppies means to cut moments you love out of your story. It’s tough, but if something’s really not part of the story it often has to go.

Listen to More Pieces from this Story Workshop Class

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