Soap Life

I have reached the point in my story when I can sit back and start singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” because I am halfway through my current WiP, at least according to my outline. (Word count so far: somewhere around 50,000, but I’m not really paying much attention to it.)

At the same time, I don’t feel as though I should start singing yet because the scenes in the latter half of the story are likely to be longer than the scenes in the first half, so by the time all is said and done, I could really only be a quarter through the story.

I structured the outline with 20 chapters, each containing 3 scenes. Six characters have a point of view in the story, and each scene is told from the point of view of one of those six characters. (I recognize that six point of view characters might be too many, but I like to err on the side of too many and revise later… that is, if later ever comes.)

So in that way, I imagine that I am writing a soap opera. Each chapter is an episode with three distinct “sets” and a different group of characters in each “set.” Drama commences, leading into the next episode and the next “set.” The only downside to the soap opera approach is that soap operas can go on indefinitely, and I do want my series to end at some point.

One thought on “Soap Life

  1. You can learn a lot about structure and pacing from soap operas and serial shows like that. A lot of lessons carry over between stories that end and those that don’t. Keeping an audience’s attention episode to episode (or chapter to chapter) is pretty much the same.

    I regularly use techniques I learned from I Love a Mystery, a serial adventure show from the old days of radio (1940s and 1950s).

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