How to write a soap opera treatment

The Tates and Campbells with Benson.

How to write a soap opera treatment

After all, who can resist all of the machinations of the human heart? Today, there is even a bigger audience for soaps, since many people watch them on the Internet. Decide what the theme and tone of your soap opera will be. Will it be campy or will it be melodramatic? Determining what the theme and tone of your soap will be ahead of time will help you along the way as you write the characters and stories for your drama.

Create a setting for your soap.

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Setting is always important in writing any story. Where will the soap take place? In a small town? In the big city? Or perhaps in a bedroom community, a la "Knots Landing"? Will it revolve around a hospital, a police department, a university?

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Every soap has a core family or families. A core family creates a hub from which you can build a network of characters and relationships.

For instance, "Melrose Place" created a core set of characters through the apartment complex where they lived.

The significance of a core family or group of characters allows you as the writer to build an organic network of characters who will interact with one another in believable ways. You should have a better idea of what type of core families or group of characters you want to create for your soap after choosing the theme or tone.

Who will populate your fictional soap world? Start with your core familybuild the different characters in the family and their core relationships with one another. For instance, will your core family have a matriarch and patriarch? Or will either be divorced or widowed?

How many children will he or she have? Will they be children or grown adults? And will they be married with children of their own? Usually, the supporting characters will have established relationships with the core family.

how to write a soap opera treatment

These can be established through marriages, friendships or working relationships. Most soaps tend to have archetypes, for instance the good girl or the villain. Archetypes allow you to create the tensions each character will bring as they each pursue his or her own goal, often in opposition with one another.

Always create characters who are believable and real for your audience. Write a back story for each of your characters. Through your back story, you can establish your characters personality traits, their history and relationships with other characters in your soap childhood sweethearts, old rivals, traumatic or life-altering eventstheir professions, educational and social backgrounds.

Why are they rivals?

how to write a soap opera treatment

Perhaps the matriarch of one family had had a long-ago affair with the patriarch of the other? Maybe one of the children from the families is a product of that illicit union? A back story like that could create years of future story lines for your soap.

Build a story outline. These are called "bibles" in the soap opera world. Bibles outline the stories you will write for your characters. Sometimes, a bible can run from 6 months to a year.

A bible should never be confused with the actual story, but merely a synopsis. Therefore, the bible should have a broad overreach of the stories you will be creating.

Create breakdowns from your outline.Kelly Green - 22 years old and is constantly troubled by family life that is interfering with her degree in accounting.

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She is an emotional character that is very well supported by her friends. Plots And Themes: The soap shall reflect the domestic concerns of that flatmates share living together. has the latest Days of our Lives spoilers two weeks ahead, plus Thanksgiving pre-emptions.

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Soap opera scripts hold audiences spellbound, tumbling out one climax after another to feed the appetites of addicted fans. Bob is the father of Erica’s baby and Denise is dying of a rare disease, yet only viewers are aware that the ex-boyfriend who vowed revenge falsified her test results.

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Horace Newcomb, PhD, Editor “The most definitive resource on the history of television worldwide.” – Library Journal. With more than 1, original essays, the.

How to Create a Soap Opera | Our Pastimes