The actress, who has played Carmel McQueen for five years, expressed excitement over future storylines involving her screen family.
Merna told the Daily Star: "There's some really good stuff coming up next year - I'm not allowed to say anything so you'll just have to keep watching. But it's going to be a big year for the McQueen family.
"Hopefully I can get back to being 'fun' Carmel. She's had so many dramas with men, so it will be nice for her to have some fun. It's time for the family to get back to being the party McQueens."
The 27-year-old added that she would like to see Carmel come to the forefront in her own right in the coming months.
"Next year I want a fantastic storyline for Carmel and something to get my teeth into," she explained. "I think she's just pottered along so it would be nice next year for something to play out in Carmel's life without everyone else being involved. It would be great to see her a bit more on screen."
Carmel's main storylines this year saw her pursue a future as a nun before falling for con artist Father Francis (Richard Winsor).
> Gemma Merna: 'No plans to leave Hollyoaks'
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