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How much dialogue do the headwriters actually write for their show ?


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Just a curious question but I have wondered if most of the dialogue that comes out of the characters mouth's are actually written by the headwriter/writers themselves or the other script writers for the show. I know headwriters usually plot the longterm outline of the show, but have the great writers like Bill Bell, Agnes Nixon or Irna Phillips gotten to write alot of the dialogue?

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Thanks for some feedback! I guess i'm asking this because i sometimes wonder if when there is a catty exchange between two female rivals and the headwriter is a male, if they turn to some of their female writers to write up the dialogue exchange. For example i wonder if Bill Bell turned to Kay Alden or another one of the female writers if he wanted a Kay/Jill or Lauren/Sheila scene really spiced up, or Agnes turning to one of her male writers for the males dialogue on AMC

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Irna's dialogue was pretty disliked by actors, at least later on.

It totally dependson the HW--and apparently it's done a lot less with hour long soaps due to time, but often key scenes every few months will be written by the HW, and many HWs (I know Agnes Nixon used to) will doa final polish on the scripts.

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Thanks for some feedback! I guess i'm asking this because i sometimes wonder if when there is a catty exchange between two female rivals and the headwriter is a male, if they turn to some of their female writers to write up the dialogue exchange. For example i wonder if Bill Bell turned to Kay Alden or another one of the female writers if he wanted a Kay/Jill or Lauren/Sheila scene really spiced up, or Agnes turning to one of her male writers for the males dialogue on AMC

I doubt it. A good writer can write for characters of different gender, race, and sexual orientation. That's what they do (that's not to say they might not try to get advice or help). In All her Children they discuss Agnes' writing system very thoroughly, btu that was 1975 when the show was still 30 mins. Still, she would hand pick which script writers got which episodes to try to go for their strengths, etc.

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