(Originally posted on Writingscape V.2 on 3/21/2010)
Say what you want about soap operas, but they can be good for study purposes. Watch enough of them, and you can soak up the writers’ thought processes and timing when it comes to using their elements. That said, daytime dramas also do infuriating things that make me want to hang them from a good, sturdy rope.
Like making life for a fiction writer harder than it should be.
Back in December, on my mother’s favorite soap, a character’s husband went missing. While the search for him went on, the character—we’ll call her K—poured her heart and soul into writing a novel to keep from going insane with worry. (K is not and never has been a writer, nor has she shown shown any writing tendencies. She’s a snarky man-eater who runs a perfume business and stands around looking pretty. I’ve never seen her pick up a book or read one.)
Missing hubby was found by the end of that month.
K’s best friend finds her sizzling full-length chick-lit manuscript (written and polished in less than a month) vegetating in a box, proclaims it awesome, and secretly sends it off to a Big Publisher. BOOM. By January, Big Publisher has K’s book bought, edited, printed, and in stores, beautiful cover art and all. By February, she’s on the best seller list. By March, K is on her book tour, swamped by adoring fans. All in three months.
Seriously? Thanks a bunch, daytime drama writers.
Did y’all think for a second about all the book writers who watch your show? (Yes, we’re calling you stoopid.) Did you think about the folks who will actually believe a timeline like that? (of course you didn’t)
Suspending a viewer’s belief is one thing. Utter bullsh!t is quite another. LOL