The idea of an internet soap opera is very appealing. Anyone with a computer can read the episodes at their leisure and never have to miss anything. They can also reread previous episodes if they forget what happened. Unless you record your TV soap operas, you can’t do that. For some internet soap operas, there’s the option of recording a short video for the episodes and airing them on sites such as youtube. Or, perhaps, you can just have an audio recording of the episodes. There are different ways to go about it. But can it really compete with the TV soaps? Can it survive as long as some of them have?
There are some advantages and disadvantages for internet soap operas. On the positive side, you don’t need to work with actors and actresses and deal with their tantrums, etc. You don’t need to worry about the writer’s strike. You don’t need the TV or to tune in at specific times. On the down side, part of the appeal for some soaps are the stars. Viewers like to watch attractive people. If they can somehow picture the characters on internet soap operas, they may actually tune in better to the internet. Although the internet soaps will go on without the writer’s guild, they are still prey to the author’s whims. If the author is having a bad day or if he/she decides to quit, the soap will end without warning. The episode may not be there waiting, when the audience wants to check in.
Can internet soap operas survive? I guess it depends on the audience. I can see advantages and disadvantages to all types of soap operas. But I’m one of those who loves to read and to read big long sagas. The idea of an internet soap opera fulfills the desire to read continuously about the lives of a set of people. Unlike some of the TV soap operas, I do prefer to have a stronger basis on reality and to avoid incestuous relationships as much as possible. Also, unlike TV soap operas, once I create a character, I don’t have to worry about having to change those characters just because I’ve hired a new actor/actress to play the part. I only hope my audience will agree with that and continue to come and read my story.
I am about to reach a milestone, for me, if not for the internet world. To think that I’m reaching the 100th episode mark! That means I’ve stuck to my writing for about five months now. If I can keep this up, I know that I’ll be able to come up with a good enough plot to finally start writing a book. That would be my goal.
Now, how can I possibly celebrate this milestone? I can’t throw an internet party. I can’t give out prizes or hold a contest of some kind. I wonder if anyone can come up with any suggestions on how to celebrate this?
This weekend I saw a lot of news coverage on Britney’s recent breakdown. I can’t help but feel sorry for this girl who is hounded by the press. Is it any wonder that she should break down? Wouldn’t any one of us do the same under the circumstances?
Put yourself in her situation. Imagine that as an immature girl without proper guidance, you have made several mistakes. As you come to realize your mistakes and try to overcome them, you are harrassed by people from all sides, the press, the fans, your family, your friends, your agent, etc. You end up making poor decisions, you can’t take care of yourself, much less your kids. Then when they come for your kids, you’re at your rope’s end. You become hysterical because you don’t want to lose your kids. And what happens? They label you bipolar. Is this really fair?
I believe Britney has become a prisoner of her own making. Her fame and fortune, her immaturity has created invisible walls that enclose and trap her. It would be very difficult for her to suddenly disappear from the limelight, which is what she needs. There’s no reason to suppose she is bipolar. Her reactions are completely understandable. I wish the press would just leave her alone. If something should seriously happen to her, we should all hold ourselves accountable for hounding her. She will become another victim of the public’s insatiable appetite for scandal. Remember what happened to Princess Diana?
Following the Democratic convention is like awaiting the next scene of a political soap opera. On one hand, we have Senator Clinton, former First Lady and wife of the president who was impeached for adultery, and who herself was rumored to have been involved with an intern who was “eliminated” to avoid scandal. (Don’t ask me if I believe it or not, because I’m still not sure how much truth is in any of it.) On the other, you have a smooth-talking Senator Obama, who is like a second coming of Bill Clinton. I guess the winner will be decided on the basis of who America felt was running the country during the Clinton era, and whether or not they agreed with him or her. It’s the perfect setting for a political internet soap opera. Stay tuned. The saga continues.
So, last year, I made a resolution to start writing. It took a long time to really get started but I’m happy to say that in the last 3 months of the year, I was writing consistently. I had to, to keep the soap opera up.
It wasn’t my idea of writing at the beginning of the year, but I didn’t have much impetus or motivation. I was so afraid of writing, of turning something horrible out. Near the end of the year, I was tired of the procrastination. I had ideas in my head but I couldn’t get them on paper, or online. I kept going back over plot details, etc. I was tired of it. I soon forgot details. So I decided to write the soap opera.
Why a soap opera? Have you seen a soap opera? The plotlines and dialogues were so ridiculous at times that it gave me hope that I could do better. At least, I couldn’t do worse. I think it has helped me organize ideas (I can’t say that the plot moves along the way I originally intended, but sometimes a story tells itself). It is amazing how the ideas spring from one another, how the plot is suggested by dialogues even before I think them up. It would be nice to get suggestions, comments, etc. from readers but I have no idea if anyone is even reading it.
My resolution is to continue writing this year, despite the many anticipated disruptions. It would be fun to take some of the plots out of the soap opera and turn them into a book. I’ll have to look into that direction later in the year. Happy New Year to all!