Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unto Zeor, Forever mentioned - LoveCats DownUnder: Rachel Needs Book Advice!

LoveCats DownUnder: Rachel Needs Book Advice!

I'm putting the link to this blog here because I keep losing track of it and it's a phenomenon and a half in a writer's life to see a book remembered exactly this way.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dangerous Books For Girls Video Found Via Google+

Melissa Walsh pointed me to this video on Google+ and I need to save it and talk about it a lot on aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pilot for TV Series "House"

I found this via a screenwriting Group on Facebook Rockett Writer Group a "closed" Group you must request to join. It was posted by
House_1x01_- _Pilot.pdf (application/pdf Object)

I'm putting the link here because I've been watching House recently with that dissecting eye which produces my long, boring essays on writing craft.

Now if I had a parallel source of the ratings for each episode, and a spreadsheet of the changes made after ratings variances, maybe I could learn something about the decision making process that the decision makers themselves don't know.

Here's the parent website with links to a number of scripts posted online for free reading.


It has series "bibles" and as of Dec 2011, here's a list of recent additions:

Latest Scripts

  • Hell on Wheels 1x01 - Pilot
  • Breaking Bad 3x01 - No Mas
  • American Horror Story 1x01 - Pilot
  • Happy Endings 1x02 - The Quicksand Girlfriend
  • Happy Endings 1x04 - Mein Coming Out
  • Hidden Episode 1
  • Merlin 4x03 - The Wicked Day
  • The Office 2x19 - Michaels Birthday
  • Outnumbered 4x05
  • Torchwood 4x01 - Miracle Day episode 1
  • Last Man Standing 1x01 - Pilot
  • Man Up! 1x01 - Pilot
  • Grimm 1x01 - Pilot
  • Once Upon A Time 1x01 - Pilot
  • Beauty and the Beast 1x19 - Everything is Everything

Pendant Productions - Star Trek: Defiant MP3 and Podcast

Pendant Productions - Star Trek: Defiant MP3 and Podcast

As writers working toward a career in writing, you should seriously consider the market potential of RADIO DRAMA delivered via the internet.

There is an ever-growing number of such outlets.

Audio-only writing instills a story-discipline that will serve you well in a film career. If you combine that with a day-job in journalism, you train for the fast-paced, demanding, tailored-to-order world of Film Production (Hollywood or not, time is money is the prevailing adage.)

Journalism makes you fast and accurate with your words, and Radio Drama writing gives you drill in organizing a story.

In addition to this, I'd suggest you read the following e-book:

Those are short-stories from magazines published during the RADIO DRAMA ERA. Besides being interesting stories, and by the creator of the character ZORRO (one of my favorites), who also wrote for film, the underlying story-structure and thematic material are precisely relevant to today's web-based radio-drama world.

Put all that together, you will have a long and lucrative career.

But don't think it's easy money. This stuff is very hard work unless you're born with enormous talent.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Comment On Review Of Twilight Breaking Dawn

Take a good look at the following blog:

Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Why Do People Hate it So Much?

The author nails BREAKING DAWN and the whole Twilight thing both correctly and incorrectly.

a) correctly:

From the very opening monologue it’s about some of the deepest things we have: what it takes to become an adult, and what falling in love can involve.

And it hits these concerns full centre, full power.

First of all it’s a neat dramatization of a Love dialectic. We get both versions. Classic romantic, an eternal truth (the vampires), and a more cynically deconstructed scientific notion of a gene-spreading imperative that deceives about its true nature (the imprinting of the werewolves).
---------end quote-----------

b) incorrectly:
Twilight asks How important is Love? How far would you go? Would you leave everything you value? Would you step into a dark unknown? Would you surrender to a far greater power? Would you dare to swap your soul for love of another? Would you? Would you really? And if you would, how incredible must the experience of that love be?


If you were a teenage girl wouldn’t you thrill to that idea?

Come on. Don’t be curmudgeonly. What’s wrong with making films for teenage girls? Don’t they deserve a bit of the magic too? Especially when it goes so deep into what makes us human.

Genuinely loved it. Can’t wait to see what happens next time.

Oh, and if you want to get into another animated debate here’s another post about Lord of the Rings wiping the floor with Harry Potter. There’s a pretty lively comments section…
---------end quote----------

The error here is the "teenage girl" limitation.  Yes, the publishers and film-makers probably narrowed the focus to make it blatantly "teenage girlish" -- but no, that's missing an important point.

Like my Sime~Gen series, both Potter and Twilight are accessible to readers/viewers first in the pre-adolescent and adolescent stages of development.  But human nature, the nature of the adult, is  not to erase all trace of childhood and adolescence and become something utterly new and irrelevant in adulthood.  "Adult" means the product of all experiences back to birth -- and maybe earlier!  Maybe including prior incarnations, who knows?

So works such as Potter, Twilight, or Warhorse, "speak" to every human being at every age or stage of life because they have something to say about "who" you could have become had you made other choices, and they address the entire issue of whether you made an optimal choice and what you choose to do next.

The rejection of your "teenage girl within" (even if you're male) is a major issue, and may have something to do with the rejection of the Happily Ever After ending we've been discussing at length and depth on aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com in my Tuesday posts.

This labeling of TWILIGHT as "teenage girl" material smacks of the labeling of certain science fiction works as "fantasy" simply because they included themes arising from an exploration of human psychology -- examples are Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern (science fiction about a lost Earth colony) and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels (science fiction about a lost Earth colony), Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels, (science fiction about an alternate Earth).

Today C. J. Cherryh is still writing very successful novels in her Foreigner Series, but now that science fiction background is allowed to include that human dimension once forbidden.

So I expect that "teenage girl" dimension will be accepted as adult fare by general audiences just as the "fantasy" dimensions are becoming accepted today (even or especially on TV Series).

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Why Not Send A PDF Of Your Script First?

You know that this blog focuses on writing craftsmanship-- but keep in mind that this isn't the "old fashioned" or "trad publisher" type of writing.

The world is changing as much as it did with the deployment of the moveable type printing press.  The writer's business model has collapsed, and is being rebuilt along new lines.

The search for a new publishing model is thrashing through new territory.  Everyone who's ever considering going into "business" is searching for "talent" to "exploit".

You hear it on blogs everywhere -- "content" we need "content" -- what is that?  WRITING TO BE EXPLOITED.

Writers need to "search" for material as frantically as business folk are searching for a biz model.

BREAKING DAWN and HARRY POTTER films -- the new Spielberg WARHORSE -- they're hitting huge markets with common-denominator material, "Primal" material such as Blake Snyder teaches you to exploit in SAVE THE CAT!  Each of those films is a "Save The Cat!" example.

I found an interesting post on a new Facebook Group I joined (which I found via another blog which I found on the right margin of a LinkedIn page which I was on because of a comment that a LinkedIn writer had made on an update to my LinkedIn status ... whew!  The comment was from a screenwriter, and the blog on LinkedIn was about screenwriting, which cited this facebook screenwriting group on LinkedIn .... that's why it's called social networking!)


This is by a script "reader" (who makes a first judgement about projects) who is objecting to the amateurish over-eagerness of some writers attaching pdf files of an entire script to a mere first-query letter.

As you know, I watch the "Indie" markets -- film and publishing -- for what is being done with the new tools of this new world.  I'm aware of how much overflowing eagerness is driving young writers with a vision of what they could accomplish -- especially when these blockbuster films dangle vast sums of money before their eyes.

"I can do that, but I can do it "better"" they feel in every cell of their body.  Many, maybe most, are correct about that.  Nothing is being done to the fullest extent of the tools available (yet).

But when you have written the final scene of a story, you always feel it's the best thing that has been written ever -- (or sometimes the worst -- emotional "blow-off" is the state after finishing a draft).

The focus then shifts to either burying the thing in the backyard with a headstone, or trotting it out before the eyes of those who could get the film made, or the book published.

The "thebitterscriptreader" entry is about those writers who KNOW they've done something colossal, bigger than WARHORSE or POTTER, but either don't know what to do next, or don't know how to do it, or don't have the maturity to reign in their certainty and work through the next step.

What is that next step?

Well, this is depressing for some, but the next step is actually the FIRST step that should have been made on the project.  That's to articulate the CONCEPT in one line, develop it to a pitch, a paragraph, a page, 5 pages, synopsis.

If you develope a project from concept via those baby steps instead of leaping directly into writing the wondrous script, you can then tweak the statements in concept and pitch and construct your query letter/email.  And that query will indeed embody the essence of what you've written.

The reason people SEND that whole script when they should send only a query is that they don't know how to explain the driving essence, the true payload, the elegance, beauty and emotional PUNCH they have created in their script.  They can't "explain" it because it isn't clear.  It isn't clear because they wrote the project backwards, procedure wise.

How do I know this?  Been there, done that, got my head handed to me good and proper.  If you want the story, pick up a copy of UNTO ZEOR, FOREVER, or just peek "inside" on Amazon and read the introduction where I talk about how I learned.  ( find Unto on Amazon here
http://astore.amazon.com/simegen-20 )

Years and dozens of projects after you've learned to think "concept" first, then "market" then developing the pitch to take to market, then writing the story -- then you will be able to have an "idea" and just write it.  When you come to an "unclear" section or a wrong-step in your procedure, you'll go write up the "outline" or pitch or back cover copy, re-focus and know the next scene.

Here's one important secret.  The reason you want "thebitterscriptreader" to read your script is the reason you want to write that script -- which is the OPENING SCENE and FINAL SCENE connected by theme and illustrated by action and symbol.  In other words, it's the theme explicated into concrete images.

Everything else in your script has to be pared away -- don't weep, use it in another project, but get it out of the way of this project and focus this project on that one thing that will make this "bitter" reader grab it out of the avalanche of half-baked projects sluicing down at him seeing $$$$ all over it.

Just remember, if you have to attach the script, you've made a major error in writing it.

Here is the blog post on this blog about how to create that cover letter, the concept, and all the way up to the pitch that can sell the project, script unseen!

Jacqueline Lichtenberg