JLichtenberg 

member since 03/12/2009 | last login 07/25/2010

Jacqueline Lichtenberg, a life member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, (http://www.sfwa.org ). She is creator of the Sime~Gen Universe with a vibrant fan following (http://www.simegen.net), primary author of the Bantam paperback Star Trek Lives! which blew the lid on Star...

Bio

Jacqueline Lichtenberg, a life member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, (http://www.sfwa.org ). She is creator of the Sime~Gen Universe with a vibrant fan following (http://www.simegen.net), primary author of the Bantam paperback Star Trek Lives! which blew the lid on Star Trek fandom, founder of the Star Trek Welcommittee, creator of the genre term Intimate Adventure, winner of the Galaxy Award for Spirituality in Science Fiction with her second novel, and one of the first Romantic Times Awards for Best Science Fiction Novel with her later novel Dushau. Her fiction has been in audio-dramatization on XM Satellite Radio. She has been the sf/f reviewer for a professional magazine since 1993. She teaches sf/f writing online while turning to her first love, screenwriting focused on selling to the feature film market. Screenwriting: http://www.slantedconcept.com

Submissions by JLichtenberg

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Reviews by JLichtenberg 19

  • A review of Unconditional
    by JLichtenberg on 06/26/2009
    "Unconditional" might not be the exactly right title for this as a screenplay. It is the theme, though. Unconditional Love is what runs the world, and it's the highest Value we have. I expect other reviewers more experienced than I at screenwriting will tear into this draft for the novelistic narrative style, and the way objects are inserted where the character reaches... read
  • by JLichtenberg on 06/23/2009
    Damaged Goods shows us the real, and human, toll on lives and relationships that a traumatic experience can demand. Damaged Goods is ostensibly about an Iraq war veteran with psychological trauma, but it could be about anyone who's survived a psychological blow. The script is a nice, smooth read for someone used to reading novels not scripts. But that's actually a negative... read
  • A review of Undergrads
    by JLichtenberg on 06/15/2009
    Hey, guys, now that I've finally posted a screenplay, you can get backsies! I really tore into the earlier version of UNDERGRADS, and I can't say I'm sorry I did. This rewrite is giant lightyears ahead of the previous. I can see some very hard work and serious decisions went into this rewrite. The squishy flat-toned mid-section of the original now has a snappy pacing,... read
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Comments About JLichtenberg 24

  • JLichtenberg on 11/27/2009

    In case anyone is wondering, I'm still here and working hard on several screenwriting projects.
  • JLichtenberg on 07/02/2009

    snipped some quotes to answer:
    tarboy wrote:


    Some very interesting points. Wheel, Wow! Never heard of them?

    I think you liked it, but judged it

    The GOLD is hollywood. But one rare vein of Gold would not be impossible, that only the Indians knew about. History teach us what people will to other for GOLD. So the fears to protect the Indians are very real.

    For me ACTION speak to the heart deeper than the spoken word. It you acted out every word I have written the emotion is there.

    I will change the name of the city. any suggestions?

    Like so: X did this. Y did that. Q did something else.
    The problem I had understanding these passages came from the disconnect between cause and effect. What Y did wasn't entirely and obviously connected to what X had just done, nor did it seem to cause what Q did next.
    There are more variables age, race (three), sex, the sick, FAMILY and death so this approach wouldn't work.

    ;)


    Excerpting your comments to comment on them.

    Yes, I liked it, (actually loved it if I did understand what you were trying to do) but didn't judge the STORY -- only the craftsmanship.

    Unfortunately, ONE VEIN OF GOLD would indeed be "impossible" in the geology of the area I know as Texas of today, and even Hollywood would not accept that without explanation. That's why there was a "California Gold Rush" in 1849-- because GOLD is only found in certain types of rock formations. It is found all up and down the Americas in the Siera Madre, and along the streams that carry rock down from those high mountains.

    None of those streams reach Texas (note the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE). And you are postulating a vein embedded in a rock, not a wash.

    If you insist on putting a natural vein of gold in what we know as Texas today, you have to EXPLAIN the geology. All Western fans know there is no gold in Texas. Nor silver either. SILVER is Nevada. The Wealth of Texas is OIL and open grasslands. That's why all the cattlemen vs. sheepherders wars over water are set in Texas!

    So before you rename the town -- figure out where this ranch is set.

    I did think of one way to do it. You could turn this into a WESTERN FANTASY -- a spinoff genre of the URBAN FANTASY -- and attribute to the Native American tribe a cave which has its OTHER END (magically through a warp or something a Shaman does) in the Siera Madre right into the MOTHER LOAD that has to this day never been found.

    That way the gold is not in Texas at all, but where one would normally expect to find it.

    If you move the ranch to the BONANZA TV show's ranch "The Ponderosa" which actually is a real ranch in Nevada, you are right on the border of Lake Tahoe and you could postulate a real long cave with its other end in gold country. But the Ponderosa is located near Carson City. Remember the map they always opened with?

    That's why I also thought of the WHEELERS which also used a map for the opening scene, showing how the USA grew and changed during the multi-generation story (very graphic illustration of time passing and where each story-segment took place).

    Funny how I remember so much about the STORY and many of the vivid set-pieces -- but couldn't actually nail the TITLE. After some googling, I have it for you!!!

    The REAL TITLE of this mini-series saga is INTO THE WEST, an ever so forgettable title. The story is all about the WHEELERS family, a multigenerational saga just like yours is going to be. WHEELWRIGHT is the name you would normally think of for a title here -- that's the concept, that WHEEL MAKERS allowed US history to develop as it did. Without the Connestoga Wagon, there would be no USA!!! France, Russia, Spain, and even England would own our West! The Wheel Wrought this country.

    You can get the DVD on amazon, and you should read the rest of the description of this miniseries you apparently missed (I can't imagine how any Western fan could have missed it! You'll probably remember it from the description because I didn't describe it well.)

    ----------QUOTING AMAZON-------------
    Spanning 65 years and several generations, Into the West succeeds as an ambitious compendium of authentic American history. Originally broadcast in the summer of 2005 as a six-part miniseries on TNT, it's the kind of well-intentioned epic that can't possibly satisfy everyone, and some critics complained that it covers too much territory, with characters functioning more as archetypes than full-blooded human beings. Criticisms aside, Into the West admirably achieves the goal of executive producer Steven Spielberg, who envisioned this expansive project as an accurate and corrective history lesson with long-term educational value. Placing important emphasis on the Native American perspective, it follows the Lakota Indians as they are gradually overwhelmed by the white man's irrevocable westward expansion. As conceived by playwright/screenwriter William Mastrosimone, the drama uses two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel--to join the Lakota story with that of the Wheelers, a Virginia family of wheelwrights who witness many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones.
    -----------------END QUOTE------------

    There's lots and lots more on Amazon and Wikipedia -- this thing is monumental and if you absorb all the tricks and bits they used to make it your saga can become just as monumental. INTO THE WEST is replete with the screen craft techniques you need to use.

    Here is a nice Wikipedia entry on the miniseries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_West_(TV_miniseries)

    And here's the DVD on amazon -- read everything there, including a lot of the reviews and comments. THAT is the audience response you are aiming for, and you can't achieve it without doing your research in depth.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AQ6A9E?ie=UTF8&tag=keybooks-20&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B000AQ6A9E

    Copy and paste the link into your browser.

    It even tackles the racial issues with intermarriage and children of that intermarriage growing up against prejudice. If you don't remember it, get the DVD and study study study before your next rewrite.

    ADDING THE NARRATOR -- that's good. That may clarify a lot. See how Spielberg handled the narration issue. Copy from the best.

    You offhandedly said 2 things I have found to be signatures of the forever amateur writer (novel or screenplay).

    1) For me Action Speaks To The Heart

    Well, of course it does! The problem with this is the "For Me" -- you are a professional when you begin to understand you are not writing FOR YOURSELF but FOR YOUR AUDIENCE, and to reach that audience you must go through the "gatekeepers" (first readers who will toss the script in the trash after 3 pages if that; producers who have no time to teach you to write, or pay you and give the script to a writer to finish).

    What these gatekeepers require is characterization through dialogue. The version I read (and the snippets you offered here) are not cinematic dialogue. You are using spoken words to inform the audience. What you need to do is let the characters talk to EACH OTHER -- have a conversation. Remember the conversations in the Roy Rogers films? Remember the Clint Eastwood conversational interludes?

    Action speaks but it's meaningless until someone RELATES to someone else what it all means. The dialogue must advance the PLOT, not convey expository lumps.

    If the term "expository lump" isn't excrutiatingly familiar to you, please read my blog post(s) on that subject. Start here:
    http://aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com/2009/02/dissing-formula-novel.html

    Then read Blake Snyder's 2 books SAVE THE CAT! and SAVE THE CAT GOES TO THE MOVIES -- pay particular attention to his explication of a technique he names POPE IN THE POOL -- that's what you need with your exposition, but you need to understand what I've explained in my blog before you'll be able to execute the POPE IN THE POOL technique gracefully. At least that's what I surmise from your writing craftsmanship so far demonstrated.

    2) "There are more variables" you say and therefore my paradigm of cause and effect in action can't be done.

    Well, since you see that, you're more than halfway to solving the problem. I could have skipped the detailed XYQ explanation and gone right to "cut some of these variables" -- the number of variables you've included is what makes this story not-fit the feature film structure.

    Unless you work through those two attitudes, you probably aren't going to be able to figure out how to present the story you want to tell in a way that will get past the first readers at production companies.

    Other than that, you do have an excellent attitude and I think you can go very far indeed in this craft if you do your research on geology, and do the craft reading I suggested. And even if you now remember INTO THE WEST, (gee I blew it on the title!) I think you need to see it again after having struggled with your Texas story. You need to study it, not just enjoy it (and that's hard -- it's a Spielberg after all; it's great entertainment).

    You want your story to be as entertaining and internationally famous as INTO THE WEST. Do your homework.

  • tarboy on 07/02/2009

    You are killing me LOL!!!

    I glance over your review. I will be finished editing in a week. Some very interesting points. Wheel, Wow! Never heard of them?

    You are soooo COOL!! Good lord.

    I think you liked it, but judged it The next version will be beautiful. I added more dialogue to offset the notion of a Novel feel. I add more history (timeline) people can look up and read about the events.

    The GOLD is hollywood. But one rare vein of Gold would not be impossible, that only the Indians knew about. History teach us what people will to other for GOLD. So the fears to protect the Indiana are very real.

    You do understand my story
    I liked the way the story tackles the 1800's attitude toward mixed-breed people -- black, Indian, whatever. The prejudice theme and the plot element of a solution created by a homesteader who had a huge amount of land and solved the racial problem by generous giving and adroit wheeling and dealing -- I liked that.

    For me ACTION speak to the heart deeper than the spoken word. It you acted out every word I have written the emotion is there.

    I want YOU to understand and LOVE this script. It is very important.

    I will change the name of the city. any suggestions?

    The Gold has not been found.

    Added scenes.

    High grass. The rhythmic sound of metal clinking.
    Spoken with an Irish accent.
    BIG JAKE (V.O.)
    Like the hundreds of Europeans that read the stories and saw the pictures Wilhelm had described of this country. I...
    BIG JAMES “RED” FINCH (19), red thick beard, mountain man, wears a helmet and mid-evil metal gloves, the rest of his body is covered with fabric, pulls a mule as he walks.
    BIG JAKE (V.O.)
    I came lookin’ for my piece of the fortune. Since many had died, I was prepared... Or at least I thought I was.

    THOMAS
    No. Why didn’t you come to the funeral?
    Elizabeth swings her hand at Thomas' face. Thomas catches her hand.
    THOMAS
    I know you better than Prince.
    Elizabeth swings her free hand. Thomas catches her hand. He bends both hands down to Elizabeth’s waist.
    Elizabeth wrenches her hands away. She rubs her wrist.

    INT. BIG RED’S MANSION - STUDY - NIGHT
    Next to the entrance, Big Red smokes a cigar. He puts his fingers into the holes of the body armor.
    BIG RED
    Forty-seven arrows. Not one arrow hit the damn mule.
    Big Red smiles.
    In front of the fireplace, Prince.
    BIG RED
    Bear said if it took that many arrows not to kill a man, he should live.

    Like so: X did this. Y did that. Q did something else.
    The problem I had understanding these passages came from the disconnect between cause and effect. What Y did wasn't entirely and obviously connected to what X had just done, nor did it seem to cause what Q did next.
    There are more variables age, race (three), sex, the sick, FAMILY and death so this approach wouldn't work.

    Thank you for being you.

    ;)
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