Well, if you’re looking for the comprehensive guide to all things radio drama, I’d start with Yuri Rasovsky’s The Well Tempered Audio Dramatist, which you can download for free here. TWTAD is pretty much the definitive guide book when it comes to making radio dramas, covering the bases of recording, producing, mixing, directing, and writing these things in (mostly) excruciating detail. At times it can get a little mired in the technical details of HOW THINGS SHOULD BE DONE and PROPER FORM (and it definitely presupposes that you have access to a lot equipment and resources, which may not be the case) but, unlike yours truly, Rasovsky was a professional with about 40 years of experience making radio plays. He fucking knew what he was doing and what he was talking about, arguably more so than anyone else in the field. It’s not perfect, you need to do a bit of picking and choosing to see what parts of his advice apply to you, but as a place to start off and a technical how-to guide, it’s priceless.
Beyond that… get something on paper. Go into the knock-off Moleskine, find whatever idea speaks loudest and most immediately to you right now, and just get some form of it down on paper as a script. Don’t worry about getting the script formatting exactly right, don’t worry about it being perfect, don’t even worry too much about it working in radio terms - just get something on paper that begins, middles, and ends. And once that’s done, the hard part is over. Everything after that is just a set of problems for you to tackle and fix, but it’s something concrete that you can address rather than some amorphous mass in aether. What you’ve written is too long, or too confusing, or has too many speaking parts, or has too many explosions, or not enough explosions, or whatever. Have someone read it out loud, and you’ll hear everything that’s not quite coming together, and slowly but surely you’ll edit it and sculpt it and nudge it until it becomes what it needs to be.
The process of recording can be a bit daunting, but it’s also a lot of fun. The key to remember about it is that it can be really, really simple. If you have someone that can get you cheap time in a recording studio or a music rehearsal space, being in those spaces can make you feel like a big, important person, which is always nice. But don’t feel like you need to go that route to achieve legitimacy - I know of more than one top radio drama podcast that’s recorded in an apartment living room, and they sound awesome. Really any room that is reasonably quiet and has a consistent audio quality will do the trick. Likewise, you probably don’t need to invest much in recording hardware - even an old MAC laptop has the processing power (and, chances are the software) to get you a pretty high quality recording. Really the only place where you probably will want to invest some money is in getting yourself some nice microphones, although even that doesn’t need to run you much of a tab. Both Zach and I have had very good experiences working with Yeti Blue Microphones, although many people say they’ve had great results working with cheaper mics. You may want to do some digging around depending on just how penniless you and your collaborators are. I’ve found The Audio Drama Production Podcast to be a good resource for the more technical/business side of these endeavors, they might have good recommendations for most-bang-for-your-buck recording hardware. What’s nice is that if you go the DIY route, these are one-time investments. Once you have your recording set up it’s there.
And as for recording and editing software, again, depending on how humble your ambitions are, you can probably get some pretty good tools completely for free. You can fully record and edit a radio drama on Garage Band, or if you want something a bit more powerful Audacity is completely free and no one has ever said anything bad about it. If you find you need to something a bit more complicated with effects or mixing you may want to upgrade to one of the premium applications (we edit Wolf 359 on Adobe Audition, which is amazing) but for your first forays into the medium and/or harebrained experiments, you can definitely get real mileage out of the free applications.
But really… not to get all Shia on you, but you should go for it. If you already have a love for the medium, willing collaborators, and at least one idea for something you think would make an awesome radio drama, then you’ve got 90% of what you need to put together something awesome, and chances are whatever computational device you’re using to read this has about another 5% of what you need. There’s obviously a lot to learn about the intricacies of writing audio dramas and recording voice acting, but nothing is going to teach you more about those things than writing an audio drama script and actually recording someone speaking. And once you try it, there’s all kinds of resources and technical how-to guides that’ll help you fix what you don’t like or expand upon what you do like to make it even better. But it’s a different process for everyone, so you have to start by getting something on paper and something on tape because otherwise you’re not going to know what those things are for you.
And when you’ve put something together you have to let me know where I can listen to it and bask in the awesomeness. =)