I like genre bouncing. Keeps me spry. On my list this weekend: A friend’s dystopian manuscript, Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY, and another friend’s “The Young & the Restless” script.
The dystopian is great and THE SECRET HISTORY is, thus far, amazing– lulls you into a wingtip-wearing intellectual stupor, then rocks you to the core. But let’s talk about the Y&R spec because I know nothing about soaps and I found it totally fascinating.
1. Soaps have a very peculiar pace: Big revelations followed by incremental change. The plot moves so slowly that that it can seem like nothing is happening at all, but watch closely– every single scene advances the story. It’s like time lapse photography but with more adultery.
2. That slow crawl is tolerable because the stakes are so high. Something major is always hanging in the balance (a life, a marriage, the family business) and, even if the characters are just ordering pizza, the emotional pitch of a scene is always ratcheted up to somewhere between “omg” and “s*** is about to get crazy.”
Move the plot forward. Keep the stakes high. Good lessons from Genoa City.