Monday, January 07, 2013

AGNES NIXON SPEAKS!

It was a big weekend for All My Children and One Life to Live fans!

The shows' original creator, Agnes Nixon, released a statement on Facebook about her babies continuing on with Prospect Park, and Emmy-winner Debbi Morgan revealed on Twitter that she'd signed on to play Angie again... as had her leading man, Darnell Williams (Jesse).  (For those interested in this sort of thing, it is fascinating that public figures are choosing social, rather than traditional, media these days for their breaking news.  Presumably they prefer to control the story instead of leaving it in someone else's hands.)

In light of this great news, I thought I'd repost a blog from 2011, wherein onetime OLTL Headwriter Michael Malone shared what he learned from Agnes about writing a compelling soap opera.

Enjoy!

Originally published 10/24/11

AGNES' ALWAYS APT ADVICE

As the clock ticks down to One Life to Live's last airdate on ABC, and Prospect Park, the company scheduled to take both it and sister show, All My Children, on-line continues to be skimpy on the details: Will it be daily? Weekly? Will it be ad supported? Subscription-based? Will it be an hour? A half hour? Will it be all video? Will it be multimedia? Who is in the cast? Who is writing?

I thought now would be a good time to share the advice AMC and OLTL's creator, Agnes Nixon, gave to Michael Malone prior to his first daytime assignment.

Malone recalls, "When I first joined One Life as Headwriter, Agnes Nixon invited me to her home for dinner. That evening she graciously asked me about my novels. I didn’t want to talk about them. Here was one of the most gifted creators of a great American genre right across the table. I wanted advice on how best to write serial for television. Her metaphors were a master class in how narrative must move when story is open-ended, now in the case of her One Life to Live, for more than forty years. She said, “Keep turning the diamond to the light. There’s a lot to see.” She said, “It’s a big ship. If you want to change directions, start way ahead.” She said, “Don’t let all the waves break at once. One wave crests; there’s another behind it, then another.”

Read more from Michael Malone and dozens of other soap opera writers, actors and producers about what made - and still makes - the medium great in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments. (Direct link at: http://tinyurl.com/SoapMomentsEBook)

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