How to write a soap opera novel

Martin, was writing a fantasy soap opera. This led me to make this blog entry. First, I want to define what a soap opera is. From the Wikipedia article, the definition of a "soap" is as follows:

How to write a soap opera novel

In fact, soap-opera writing is very likely to turn off your readers. Soap operas are melodramatic and over-driven. In general, soap opera dialogue is dramatic, quick-paced and not how people talk at all.

Scene changes for TV and film are not the same as for books. Naturally, scripts are less descriptive and more directive.

Scenes jump with a fade-in instead of through descriptive writing — and scene changes on a film set or stage literally involve wardrobe changes and a change of set. Language is your lens, your screen, pretty much everything. Time progression in soap operas is heavily skewed.

This is because real-time fiction TV shows would be boring: Would you like to watch a season of Bold and the Beautiful where characters are shown doing their shopping, going to the bathroom and working in the garden for three-hour stints?

Dream sequences and flashbacks are a useful storytelling tool. Dream sequences in where everything turned out to be a dream are far, far too overused and should be banned to Plot Purgatory.

how to write a soap opera novel

Soap opera narration is as overdone as everything else. Your job as a writer is to describe the scene to the reader using descriptive language. Soap opera characters rarely undergo major changes or growth.

About six months later, a brief mention was made about their dead husband, and that was it — for the rest of the show. Too many cliffhangers spoil the climb to the peak. Another reason for these cliffhangers in film fiction even reality shows is to keep people watching in-between ad-breaks.

What shade of blue was the water? Was it naturally blue or dyed blue by other means? There are a thousand questions that could come from a sentence as simple as that — something that, at first glance, would seem extremely obvious. Blunt endings spoil the entire journey, too.

Endings are meant to have an impact, to leave the reader either wanting more or wondering about the turn-out of events beyond the story. Some plots are a soap opera staple. This is by no means an exhaustive list of plots — and no attempt to knock the writers of soap operas!


A character is possessed by someone or something, leading to odd, diabolical and sometimes promiscuous behavior. Possession can be anything from a demon through to alien — why be picky?

It was an evil twin all along. Family ties and personal relationships are an exploited plot point for soap operas: Perfect heroes and heroines exist only in terrible fiction, though the worlds of soap operas and advertising would both make us think otherwise.

Never make a character too perfect. Writing exercises can kick your brain and plot back into shape.

Create an account or sign in to comment

Read through it and see how a soap opera translates differently. Then, look at how you would have written this without any of the soap opera elements. Share this article with fellow writers: Visit his website and get in touch at http:This is a light weight novel composed of murder mystery and romance, set in the contemporary world of Soap Opera production.

One of the authors actually worked as a journalist for a Soap Opera newspaper prior to writing this novel.

Meet The Team - Soap Opera Spy

This is a light weight novel composed of murder mystery and romance, set in the contemporary world of Soap Opera production. One of the authors actually worked as a journalist for a Soap Opera newspaper prior to writing this novel/5(22). I,miss Victoria Rowell's performance on the soap opera but she intelligently wove a story on the behind scenes of a soap.

The fun was trying to determine which people she disguised in her characterizations. Apr 23,  · The idea to write in a soap opera style came to me when I happened across a clip of “Guiding Light” on YouTube, and even though I didn’t know what was going on or who the characters where, the characters, the action, and the drama, sucked me into the scene, and hours later I was researching the way soap operas were written to create that. | Guest Blog Posts | Television Soap Opera – A Formula for Success. Television Soap Opera – A Formula for Success. A thorough understanding of the nature of the long running soap opera formula.

A genuine respect for, and interest, in soap and regard their dramatic content as worthwhile entertainment.

Titled, “Death in Daytime”, Eileen’s book is the first in a series of mystery novels to be written by the actress and centers around the murder of the head writer of a soap opera called, "The Yearning Tide”.

Michael Offutt: Writing A Soap Opera Novel