Six Scenes Audio and Slides

Here are the slides for Part 3 of Six Scenes with a View of Writing Soaps

Click here for audio.
Click here to download Six Scenes – Part 3 PDF slides.


Here are the audio and slides for Part 2 of Six Scenes with a View of Writing Soaps.

Click here for audio.
Click here to download Six Scenes – Part 2 PDF slides.


Here are the audio and slides for Part 1 of Six Scenes with a View of Writing Soaps. Unfortunately, the audio was cut off a few minutes before the end of the webinar. However all the slides are here.


Click here for audio.
Click here to download Six Scenes – Part I PDF slides.
Click here to download Word 97-2003 Breakdown Format.
Click here to download Word 97-2003 Script Format.

About Susan Dansby

Susan Dansby has received four Emmy® Awards and two Writers Guild Awards for her work on the soap opera, AS THE WORLD TURNS. She is the author of HOW DID YOU GET THAT JOB? MY DREAM JOBS AND HOW THEY CAME TRUE.
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Six Scenes Audio and Slides

  1. Faye says:

    Dear Susan,

    I thoroughly enjoyed the webinar last night. I greatly appreciate that you have been kind enough to offer this course and that I am able to participate in it. I believe I should inform you that I have not had any previous writing courses so I may be asking you quite a few questions.

    I learned so much last night, but I am a little confused about the assignment. I am under the impression that the Prologue we were asked to write will contain only essential background information regarding the time period of six months leading up to the first scene. It should introduce any new characters as well. Also it would not contain any dialogue. Did you want us to include the elements you pointed out last night of Luke being drugged, Noah in a relationship, Lily and Holden growing closer, and Faith being depressed?

    Also you included the documents for a Breakdown and Script. Are we supposed to write those too or will those assigments come later? Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.

    Faye Graves

  2. Steven says:

    Hey Susan! I thank you also for offering this. I shall write something in the formats requested. But what do we do with them? Email them to you, or is there a site to post them on?

    Your knowledge of the subject matter is solid and impressive but I must confess to being hugely disappointed in your affirmation of the process. It seems to all hinge on character arcs which are no more than a character (or group of characters) going from one crisis to another with a few sweet moments thrown in toward the end. That is so boring to me. Maybe its my age or just my innate desire to see things done in a new way.

    My biggest frustration with ATWT (and OLTL) was that they never had enough sweet moments. I think these moments define characters and allow viewers to relish them and even savor them by either loving to love them or loving to hate them. Clearly I’m in the minority as sweet moments don’t seem valued by our society anymore. Snarky, rude, and irreverant behavior are idolized. Kindness and civility are shunned. I find this sad. Anyway, that has nothing to do with your class, so pardon my rant.

    I understand the process you explained is the deeply engrained industry expectation so that is what I will do. I can say now with 100% certainty I will never work in this industry – I just don’t like that kind of storytelling, but hopefully I can master it.

    • Susan Dansby says:

      Hi, Steven. Thanks, and this is exactly what I meant about creating within the confines. An executive producer or head writer may never instruct you to include a sweet moment – that doesn’t mean they aren’t thrilled when you do! That’s why they’ve hired you, to weave texture and richness into the driving story. I’ve just written a post for that will further clarify the assignment. But if I haven’t made it clear, do try to bring more of what you want to see and hear to each scene. The skill/challenge/fun comes in doing that while you’re also hitting those “required” beats. Best…

  3. Steven says:

    Do we email the assignment to you in Word format?

    • Susan Dansby says:

      Hi, Steven…

      I hadn’t really thought about reviewing your breakdowns, but now that you bring it up, it might be nice. I was more concerned with staying on track and having a second class early in the coming week. If I have to read what everyone’s written, we’d have to do it the following week. I’ll think about it and let you know. Best… SD

  4. Tracie says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thank you for explaining the assignment and for the recording, both are helpful.

    I do have two questions: First, the audio cut-off early so I’m not sure when the next assignment is due. What is our deadline for the prologue?

    And second, do you have an example of an actual prologue. I’d like to be able to look one over so that I can see how it is structured. Writing for journalism is a LOT DIFFERENT than writing for a soap opera or play.

    Thanks again,


    • Susan Dansby says:

      Hi, Tracie… You can find the rest of the details on There’s a blog post dated 10/7 where I give more details. You don’t have to “turn in” the prologues; but it’s a good idea to write them since the next assignment is to write a scene from your prologue breakdown. I will read the scenes. I’m going to figure all of this out and post something on Tuesday. But you’ll have at least until 10/16 to do the scene.

      Best… SD

  5. Linda says:

    Hi, Susan,

    Maybe I missed it somewhere, but is there a suggested due date for this assignment? And do you have an update on when the next webinar will be?

    My quick thoughts – I really enjoyed when you provided real world information about who does what, what terms mean, tips on things to watch out for, but I felt the last webinar got bogged down with all of the details taken from our submissions. While it’s always nice to be acknowledged, I think we’re all adult enough to realize that time won’t always allow you to include everyone’s ideas. If you want to give credit or “strokes” to us, maybe it could come in the form of an accompanying handout?

    At least for me, personally, I’d rather hear your thoughts about the process, rather than your critique or acknowledgement of quite so many ideas, especially when so many of them overlapped.

    Thanks, Linda

    • Susan Dansby says:

      You make several good points, Linda.

      The due date for the assignment is this Friday, 10/15. I just set up the next webinar for 10/19 at 7 PM. You’ll get an email with more details tomorrow. The next webinar will, indeed, involve more of my thoughts about the process. However, there was method to my stroking.

      Almost every time I left the breakdown room with my assignment for the week, I felt as though I’d been saddled with a series of disconnected ideas, and that there was NO WAY to make it all work. And yet, somehow, I did. Including all the submissions demonstrates that part of the process more than any amount of lecturing by me ever could.

      For those of you who committed to actually writing the breakdown, you hopefully felt that switch – that moment when someone else’s ideas started to feel like your own. I think it’s the worst and best part of collaborative writing – scary and challenging all at once.

      This course is for you. I’m glad you’re keeping in touch with me; and I hope you’ll let me know if your questions are going unanswered. I’ll do my best to correct that. Best… Susan

  6. Ron Klopfanstein says:

    Hi, I don’t know if I started too late or if I got off on the wrong track, but I wondered if this project was still going on and if I’m still part of it. I really wanted to be part of it just to have the chance to learn from an actual emmy-winnning “As the World Turns Writer”, but I sort of get the feeling that my emails and comments aren’t really going anywhere. If there’s any way I can get some writing experience I would welcome it, if not that’s okay too. I guess I just want to know.

    • Susan Dansby says:

      Hi, Ron…
      Been traveling and out of touch for the past few days. I apologize. It’s not too late to join the class. Just sign up here: What will happen then is that you’ll get a whole slew of emails (everything that’s been issued during the class). The emails will tell you where to find all the downloads I’ve posted so far.

      I’m starting to read the submissions from the second assignment today (like I said, way behind); and I’m going to try to do another class this coming Thursday, 11/17. Best… Susan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *