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Using characters from both EastEnders and E20, writers, producers, cast members and directors of both soap operas explain how an in-depth knowledge of your character is a vital part of creating not only believable storylines for them but also the words they will say and the actions they will employ.

The importance of authenticity is explored, with writers explaining how they ensure that their characters are speaking as authentically as possible. The importance of empathy to creating a believable, successful character is also explored, and directors and writers demonstrate how the decisions they make about a character will impact upon how an audience reacts to them.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
31 May 2012

Classroom Ideas

Students can be challenged with writing authentic dialogue in their local regional accent or dialect. In groups, students can create a character for a new soap opera to be filmed in their local area. Using key words from the clip, students write about the character under the headings: empathy, wants and needs, vulnerability and subtext. Students write a monologue for the character in Standard English. Their final challenge is to write this up using local slang, but being careful not to exclude viewers from different regions and age groups too much. Have students made their character believable, but also likeable enough? Which group will have their character introduced as a new character in the series?

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