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So in Today's Soap Climate...Could You?


Taoboi

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I've been sitting here binging and formatting my novel and I wondered.

 

I know there are a lot of writings on this site. And a lot of you have excellent ideas, ways of plotting, and knowledge of soaps' past. 

 

So given how soaps are run now with producers with agenda, networks with interference, and actors with some egos...if you could write for any of the current soaps...would you? If so, why?

 

Bonus points if you want to spill some of your story ideas tea if you were hired.

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I don’t think so.  I think any attempt to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, to build a long term storyline and play all the beats are done on these soaps.
 

Agenda storytelling has become the only way these shows get done anymore, at least since the early 2000’s.  The egos of network people and EP’s have replaced doing what is right for the show.  It’s pretty clear as they started killing off legacy characters and decimating families they themselves see no future in the product.

 

The writer has to have enough power to execute their vision.  Like a show runner.

 

If you asked me this 10 years ago though, I would have said HELL YES!!

Edited by titan1978
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I have no writer training whatsoever besides the extremely smutty Big Time Rush fan fiction I wrote while in college, so I'm not sure if my opinion is even valid, but my answer is not just "no" but "hellllll no." I love creating characters and developing stories in my head, but I get way too attached to my vision of how things would play out to consider working in an industry that can take your vision and completely flip it around to suit their needs.

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11 minutes ago, All My Shadows said:

I have no writer training whatsoever besides the extremely smutty Big Time Rush fan fiction I wrote while in college, so I'm not sure if my opinion is even valid, but my answer is not just "no" but "hellllll no." I love creating characters and developing stories in my head, but I get way too attached to my vision of how things would play out to consider working in an industry that can take your vision and completely flip it around to suit their needs.

 

My sentiments exactly. Too many cooks in the kitchen and all that.

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Seems like an utterly thankless job too, as you’re responsible for so much content. Sure, you’re paid pretty well, but you’re giving up a lot for it. There are just too many platforms available for writers these days that are less prescriptive and restrictive. Even many writers from well-regarded cable series have their horror stories of interference and just multiply that by a thousand on daytime. And when I watch soaps, the dialogue is just as flat and cliché and lacking in personality as the stories, so you know that no writer is allowed to do more than phone it in.

Edited by Faulkner
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10 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Seems like an utterly thankless job too, as you’re responsible for so much content. Sure, you’re paid pretty well, but you’re giving up a lot for it. There are just too many platforms available for writers these days are less prescriptive and restrictive. Even many writers from well-regarded cable series have their horror stories of interference and just multiply that by a thousand on daytime. And when I watch soaps, the dialogue is just as flat and cliché and lacking in personality as the stories, so you know that no writer is allowed to do more than phone it in.

And then, on top of that, you have to answer for your part of the finished product, whether it came out the way you wanted it to or not. I can't imagine putting thought into your work, having it turned into something else, then going online and reading criticism of said work that is targeted at you. Not to defend writers that we know are sht - but to be a new writer coming into this crazy, sad, depressing world that is daytime drama in 2020? No.

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Absolutely not. Even if you manage to get one story out that you’re passionate about, I couldn’t imagine having to put my name on all the other stuff. Then you will have your reputation ruined because everybody will view you as a hack. 
 

I loved what Jamey Giddeons did with Ambitions. It was a true soap with all the elements needed to be successful: multi-generational, funny, sexy, romantic, full of intrigue, drama and social issues. Based on that I’d love to see him write Y&R, but you *know* he wouldn’t be allowed to write any of that. 

 

Social issues for example are what soaps are known for, but you aren’t allowed to write them because it’s too controversial. Relationships now are so predictable. There are no villains of true vixens. There just is now way I’d do it, nor would I want a writer I like doing a soap in today’s age. 

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1 hour ago, All My Shadows said:

I have no writer training whatsoever besides the extremely smutty Big Time Rush fan fiction I wrote while in college, so I'm not sure if my opinion is even valid, but my answer is not just "no" but "hellllll no." I love creating characters and developing stories in my head, but I get way too attached to my vision of how things would play out to consider working in an industry that can take your vision and completely flip it around to suit their needs.

I think you count. And I am sure anyone who loves Erica Kane can think up some good stories.

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48 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Seems like an utterly thankless job too, as you’re responsible for so much content. Sure, you’re paid pretty well, but you’re giving up a lot for it. There are just too many platforms available for writers these days are less prescriptive and restrictive. Even many writers from well-regarded cable series have their horror stories of interference and just multiply that by a thousand on daytime. And when I watch soaps, the dialogue is just as flat and cliché and lacking in personality as the stories, so you know that no writer is allowed to do more than phone it in.

This reminds that last night I came across the drama surrounding Orlando Jones's firing from AMERICAN GODS which I've been meaning to watch, but now I will probably watch the seasons he was in and stop. Especially since what he was doing is very timely with what is going on for black people in the world. 

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Honestly, I would love to write for a soap, but at the same time I would NOT want to deal with everyone’s interference/b.s. There are some things I would want to do that would never be approved by the EP or the network. For example, if I wrote GH, I would’ve killed off Franco long ago and reunited Lucky and Elizabeth, something that we all know that Frank Valentini would never approve of. 

 

I wonder if the individual script writers have to deal with any of the interference. I wouldn’t mind doing that at all.

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2 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

 

I wonder if the individual script writers have to deal with any of the interference. I wouldn’t mind doing that at all.

Patrick Mulcahey says he’s had stuff cut out of his scenes by CBS while he was working at B&B. (Not literally out of his scripts, but material was filmed and later scrapped by CBS because they deemed it inappropriate for ridiculous reasons.)

Edited by Faulkner
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Imma answer for myself and @Vee: No.

 

3 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

I wonder if the individual script writers have to deal with any of the interference. I wouldn’t mind doing that at all.

 

Man, I'd hate to be a script writer today. None of the scripts have any personality or character, it's just people regurgitating plot points at each other. For some reason I can't get this scene of Nick and Victoria on Y&R discussing the latest drama at Crimson Lights out of my head, from the dialogue you couldn't tell if they were lovers, friends, siblings or acquaintances. There was nothing there. They were literally just recapping the plot to each other.

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