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Anybody Ever Write their own Soap?


AbcNbc247

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33 minutes ago, AbcNbc247 said:

 

Lmao that's ok. Not too long ago I realized that I named my little town "Lakeview", yet there was no lake to view lol 

 

Y'all are killing me.  Everything that I tried to write as a teenager was full of "Martin Bartons",  and featured "Lakeviews" without the lake.  lol.  

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What a great topic! From around 1977 to 1983 and then from 1986 to 1994, I wrote a continuation of Somerset that combined many of the original characters from the show with my own creations. I was a huge fan of Somerset so it was a lot of fun and rewarding to continue my favorite characters' stories after the show was cancelled. There were stories involving homophobia, male-on-male rape, drunk driving, terminal cancer, AIDS, and euthanasia. I especially loved tying my stories to the original characters and stories from the show.

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10 hours ago, Manny said:

Ah yes, I googled it and I saw that it was as city in Mississippi. That's cool! Is that where you set your story? Or it is another Biloxi somewhere else in USA?

I set my story in a made up California town

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Yes. I was a teenager when I started it. I was looking for a name of a town. Indeed, I wrote a few soaps ... a complete line up ah ah. "Savannah", "Biloxi" and "Destiny". I still write some Biloxi from time to time.

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I wrote a serial for one year when I was in high school (as a way to escape the hell my life was at that time). I had an audience of one (a friend I gave the scripts to). It was laughingly bad. I was a teenager, after all. But it was a lot of fun to write. Since I was only working with one year's time, I crammed what would normally happen in about 20 years on a regular show into that one year. The amount of tragedy that this central family suffered in just one year's time was pretty unbelievable. Then, to top it off, in a nod to my love of disaster movies, I ended the whole thing in a big earthquake destroying the city and killing off half the cast of characters. It was pretty morbid (which matched my mood back then) but, again, great fun to write. My friend loved the story, though, and has kept it all these years. As a joke, I killed off her favorite character in a "fake" script and then told her it was a joke and the character didn't really die. Come to think of it, I could have a job at Days of Our Lives right now. 

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27 minutes ago, AbcNbc247 said:

What were some of your ideas?

 

Oh, my ideas were too juvenile to even discuss.   I was heavily influenced by MTV (lol), so I assumed that everyone wanted to see all these quick cutaway shots, stories that began with the conclusion and then worked BACKWARDS to the beginning (I guess I was VERY confident of my ability to maintain day-to-day interest, even after shooting my wad by revealing the conclusion in the first scene), more "stage business" than actual dialogue, and music thumping through every scene.  I had NO concept of budget restrictions, so naturally my cast was HUGE, so that my bisexual Harvey Weinstein character could prey on dozens of dumb asses who were too busy singing and dancing to say, "Keep your hands off me, you pervert."  It was, in hindsight, pretty innovative, but only in the most childish and amateur manner.  Let's just say the concept didn't age very well.  

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16 minutes ago, FrenchFan said:

 

Yes. I was a teenager when I started it. I was looking for a name of a town. Indeed, I wrote a few soaps ... a complete line up ah ah. "Savannah", "Biloxi" and "Destiny". I still write some Biloxi from time to time.

 

I still write "Life" as well, but not as much as I would like to. I usually get inspired at bedtime.. story ideas just start coming in and I am so excited that I want to go and write then and there, but alas I cannot because well I have a day job and have to sleep haha Then by morning, I forget half of those wonderful ideas I had the night before. 

 

14 minutes ago, Bill Bauer said:

I wrote a serial for one year when I was in high school (as a way to escape the hell my life was at that time). I had an audience of one (a friend I gave the scripts to). It was laughingly bad. I was a teenager, after all. But it was a lot of fun to write. Since I was only working with one year's time, I crammed what would normally happen in about 20 years on a regular show into that one year. The amount of tragedy that this central family suffered in just one year's time was pretty unbelievable. Then, to top it off, in a nod to my love of disaster movies, I ended the whole thing in a big earthquake destroying the city and killing off half the cast of characters. It was pretty morbid (which matched my mood back then) but, again, great fun to write. My friend loved the story, though, and has kept it all these years. As a joke, I killed off her favorite character in a "fake" script and then told her it was a joke and the character didn't really die. Come to think of it, I could have a job at Days of Our Lives right now. 

 

OMG I totally get what you are saying. I never thought I would writing my show for such a long time, so I crammed A BUNCH of stuff in the beginning. There was so many murders, marriages, divorces, babies, miscarriages, just tragedies in general.. Anything that I write now, I try to pretend like those first few years don't exist sometimes, simply because they were ridiculously loaded with too much crappy stuff haha

 

I love your ending! I was considering ending my story (if I ever write the end) with some kind of a disaster, either a natural disaster or a bomb or something big. I don't know why I find this type of ending interesting, as I would hate it if my show I was watching ended like that haha I also was thinking about having some made up war happen which I would include (this was long time ago, I gave up on that idea with time). 

 

EDIT: I am currently considering a storyline about a giant fire destroying the town (as it is set in California), just so that I can move the characters to another place which is NOT California, because I want to have options of having winter-y storylines as well haha

Edited by Manny
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9 minutes ago, Bill Bauer said:

I wrote a serial for one year when I was in high school (as a way to escape the hell my life was at that time). I had an audience of one (a friend I gave the scripts to). It was laughingly bad. I was a teenager, after all. But it was a lot of fun to write. Since I was only working with one year's time, I crammed what would normally happen in about 20 years on a regular show into that one year. The amount of tragedy that this central family suffered in just one year's time was pretty unbelievable. Then, to top it off, in a nod to my love of disaster movies, I ended the whole thing in a big earthquake destroying the city and killing off half the cast of characters. It was pretty morbid (which matched my mood back then) but, again, great fun to write. My friend loved the story, though, and has kept it all these years. As a joke, I killed off her favorite character in a "fake" script and then told her it was a joke and the character didn't really die. Come to think of it, I could have a job at Days of Our Lives right now. 

Sounds similar to my story. The year I started writing my soap was a pretty tough one for me too. I still refer to it as the year that I grew up. 

 

I was a big fan of disaster storylines too. I ended up destroying my little town four times over the course of my soap lol

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1 hour ago, Manny said:

 

I still write "Life" as well, but not as much as I would like to. I usually get inspired at bedtime.. story ideas just start coming in and I am so excited that I want to go and write then and there, but alas I cannot because well I have a day job and have to sleep haha Then by morning, I forget half of those wonderful ideas I had the night before. 

 

 

OMG I totally get what you are saying. I never thought I would writing my show for such a long time, so I crammed A BUNCH of stuff in the beginning. There was so many murders, marriages, divorces, babies, miscarriages, just tragedies in general.. Anything that I write now, I try to pretend like those first few years don't exist sometimes, simply because they were ridiculously loaded with too much crappy stuff haha

 

Ron Carlivati seems to have never grown out of this mindset

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On 8/23/2020 at 2:38 PM, AbcNbc247 said:

Many times we, the SON Community have watched episodes of our favorite soaps, criticized the writing and often said to ourselves, "I (We) can write better than that."  So it led me to think, has anyone ever tried to write their own soap opera?

 

I started writing my own soap when I was 10. Admittedly, it was crap but I like to think that it got better as I got older. Though I borrowed heavily from Days of our Lives and Passions, which were my two favorite soaps at the time, what actually inspired me to write my own soap was a movie called "Delirious" Starring John Candy, Mariel Hemingway and Emma Samms, in which John Candy plays a soap writer who has a dream that he is a character in his show.

 

I called my soap "Family and Hatred" and it was centered around the wealthy Dozer family, and the middle class Lopez and Crowe families, who lived in the small upstate New York town of Lakeview. Eventually I expanded it to include the dysfunctional Miller and Andrews families. I wrote it for quite a while on a computer, but I eventually switched over to handwriting it on notebook paper. I stopped writing it years ago, but now I actually have some ideas for a reboot/continuation of it but I haven't written anything solid yet.

 

Have any of you ever tried your hand at soap writing?

 

I currently write an LGBTQ soap. It began Mon, January 6th of this year. I release a new 800 word chapter (5 min read) every Mon-Fri at 7am EST. If you're interested you can sign up to have it delivered to your inbox here: https://www.thehomosofharmonyhaven.com

 

It's begun to get quite the following and, since June, I've begun getting "fan mail" from readers who are as obsessed over the characters as I am about my soaps. I know I'm tooting my own horn a bit but I've watched soaps for 40 years and have a masters degree in acting which taught me how to craft a story (as did Agnes Nixon, Douglas Marland, and others in the soap genre.) I've been thrilled to have readers enjoy the story as much as they have.

 

I have a 6 page synopsis that can get a reader caught up to the present day. I can also send the entire series released so far as a PDF so the reader can enjoy the entire thing.

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So... Back when I was in Grade 12, one of my ComTech classes required us to create a video of some sorts. So I decided to go overkill and try my hand a producing a 3-episode soap opera. It was called "Retribution" and it was a continuation of a Trailer Project that I had done for a previous class in Grade 11 in Drama/Soap Opera Form. It was a lot of work and quite frankly, I just ripped off the 2001 Tricia Dennison Story from the Young and the Restless lmao. But at the crux of it, I really wanted to recreate some of the beats, the camera movements, and the music direction that Y&R was known for back in the day.

 

(Here's the only one I feel worth taking a peek at. Please be gentle with the acting, wewere not professionals haha.)

Then back in third year University, I wanted to revive the project as a continuation of the storyline 6 years later - but as young adults it was very had to coordinate and schedule everything, so the project never got finished. Below is one of the scenes that I've managed to tape and edit haha.

 

 

Fast forward to today, at the beginning of the year I've been taking acting classes and a handful of us got pretty close during COVID since we've been having weekly Zoom parties. We've been itching to have some kind of acting-related project done, so last week was "Pitch Week". Everyone pitched an idea, but as usual, I went overkill and had a PowerPoint done. In essence, I wanted to create a web series chronicling the lives and drama of Millennials living in a trendy urban neighbourhood (keep it simple and not too complicated as that would be an increase in time and money LOL). I came up with the characters, the "A" story, the "B" story, and the "C" story, the general outline of the Pilot, where we would be able to tape, and what I wanted the show to look and sound like (which of course is 1999-2001 era Y&R). I called it "CityPlace: The Web Series" after a modern neighbourhood in downtown Toronto and I drew inspiration mainly from Season 1 Melrose Place since the premise is very similar. Unfortunately they decided it woudn't be fair to the others to cast a vote then and there since I've pretty much skewed the playing field LOL so this week they're going to develop their pitches even further.

 

TL;DR, yes I've dabbled a little in soap/drama writing. 

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I created my first soap opera, LIFE'S JUST BEGUN, in the 8th grade during lunch because my classmate said I should write one. After that, it was off to the races. I don't remember much about it, but I did use those characters again years later for a thesis project re-titled AFFAIRS OF THE HEART. I later turned AOTH into a radio soap opera pilot. We shopped it around to US radio stations, but not enough bit to make a financially viable. AOTH was much more in the vein of a classic ABC soap with four intertwined families. The richest family in town were the black billionaire Russ family who came from Beverly Hills to Bedford Hills, IL (a stand-in for Evanston). The old money family were the Livingstons, followed by the very middle class Greenfields. Sylvia Russ, Ian Greenfield, and Rich Livingston were all best friends who attended the same private school. Their friendship gave the show its thread of connection. Additionally, Alisa Greenfield worked as Jacob Livingston's assistant. A fourth family was to be added gradually over the first season. 

The other two soaps I created throughout my teenage years were DAY BY DAY (the first soap bible I've ever written), THE SWEETNESS AND THE SORROW. SWEETNESS was more of a nod to early-Y&R and THE SECRET STORM. DAY BY DAY was really a product of the mid-to-late-90s.

I stopped creating soaps for a long while due to selling AOTH, but I hit upon a show I've been pitching on and off for years called SCIONS. It really uses the UK soap opera production model and their aspects of pacing and storytelling versus the US soap model. SCIONS is one show I can say is my very own in terms of tone, characterizations, plotting, etc. I made a very clear decision not to imitate any of the US or UK soaps and let this one have a life of its own. During the pitching process, I've written it as a web series, a standard daytime drama, a primetime drama, and then a three-day-a-week serial. In my opinion, the three day a week serial works much better for the format.

As I told my boyfriend last night, there are times I really wish I didn't have this lasting affinity for soaps, but here we are!

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My writing has taken the form of short films and short stories. I’m toying around with formats and sentence construction in a short story. Once I’m finished with it, I plan to self-publish, so looking forward to that. I resisted writing anything set in lockdown but I think I’ve found a way to make it work. 
 

As for short scripts, I’ve had 3 made into short films (though the 1st was more me taking someone’s idea and putting my own spin on it. My professional background made me able to mould the story plausibly). 
 

I was in the very early stages of getting a crew together to make another one when the pandemic hit. 
 

I’ve been interested in writing radio drama or a radio serial, but know very little about it, so I look forward to researching that and trying to put something together
 

I deliberately didn’t talk about my own writing on here- because, who wants to know about little old me, eh? , plus I try my darnedest not to imagine myself writing these existing shows, (though the real network nonsense allows me to not want such a job, and thus, not apply my mind to it)... but this thread came along. 
 

On the back of this, I went and looked for any of the written stuff I did in my own soap and I managed to find the whole story outline from 2003-2007. Some of it was totally bonkers, but it does flow, story-wise.

Edited by LondonScribe
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