With eight daily soaps gracing our screens, writing for soaps is one of the few viable ways of actually earning a living as a writer in South Africa.

Allaboutwriting has developed a 26-module, six month on-line course in writing for soap opera in South Africa. We also offer the course in an intense five day face-to-face version.

The Writing for Soaps course has been devised by a seasoned professional – for beginner soap writers – or, more generally, for anyone interested in understanding how soap works, and what it demands of its writers.

Richard Beynon, the course designer, will also tutor the on-line course and run its face-to-face equivalent. He has been head writer on two of South Africa’s most successful soaps – Isidingo and Scandal – and has developed story both for these and for other soaps, most notably, Rhythm City, which currently dominates the youth market. He has, in addition, written something like 500 soap opera scripts for production.

Writing for Soaps uses as its starting point the eight daily soap operas currently being produced in South Africa. We’ve asked head writers and executive producers what they demand of writers – and we’ve built these into the fabric of our course.

Writing for Soaps will focus on the practical skills that soap opera demands of those writing for it. Skills like…
* The ability to write convincing dialogue.
* The art of shaping scenes to wring from them their maximum dramatic potential.
* The art of writing your way into a range of uniquely compelling characters.
* The ability to build tension and suspense into every scene you write.
* The art of engineering the sort of cliffhangers that keep fans glued to their screens.
* The ability to revise and tighten your scripts so that script editors welcome them with open arms (so ensuring your continued membership of the writing team).

Writing for Soaps will also give aspirant screen writers an insight into the mechanics of producing soap opera skills with job descriptions of each of the key members of the writing team, and a clear understanding of what each of them expects of the scripts that pass through the typical soap script factory.

The course will also include interviews with key personnel of a range of our soap operas – and will introduce participants to writers who earn their living from soap who will themselves give advice to aspirant writers, and a unique insight into the routes they followed in attaining the status (and the income) they now enjoy.

In short, Writing for Soaps not only transmits the skills that aspirant soap writers need to make the grade – it also provides a context to understand why head writers are so rigorous in the demands, and the inspiration to help participants realize their dreams.

This 26-module, six month on-line course coaches aspirant soap writers in all the practical skills required by what is in fact an exacting and demanding medium.

Online
When – 15 June 2011 for 26 weeks
Where – Online
Cost – R7 500 payable in three tranches of R2 500

Face-to-Face
When – 16 – 20 August 2011, 9am – 4pm
Cost – R5 000
Where – Johannesburg

To book your place or for more information please contact trishurquhart@gmail.com

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