Sunday, October 6, 2013

Superman II ( Trailer ) 1980

Get your Romance Novel plot from the Wall Street Journal

Here is an article that lays out the plot of a Romance Novel -- bare bones, but very realistic:

Five things to think about:
Roman Muradov
1 Student loans
According to Fidelity Investments, 2013 graduates who had borrowed had an average of $35,200 in college-related debt, so lots of millennials bring debt into their marriages. The average household headed by someone under 35 carried $89,500 in debt in 2010, including mortgage debt, the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances shows. (That's up from $53,700 in 1989, measured in 2010 dollars.)
The first thing to do is have an open conversation with your spouse in which you both disclose all the skeletons in your financial closets. You should also make a plan for tackling that debt that makes clear whether each person will help pay down the other's debt or if it's the responsibility of the borrower alone. Before even getting married, you should also share credit reports with your spouse so you can work to improve your scores in advance of a major purchase, says Theresa Fette, CEO of Provident Trust Group in Las Vegas.
2 Making a budget
Setting a budget is no fun, but it's critical for a young couple because money can be tight at the beginning of a career. Money conflicts are a top reason for divorce (which itself can wreak financial havoc), so making a financial plan with your partner and sticking with it can help avert lots of arguments about overspending or racking up credit-card debt, says Michael Mussio, a financial planner at FBB Capital Partners in Bethesda, Md. You can use an online program like Mint or LearnVest to map out a budget and see if you're spending too much in certain categories, says Joan Snyder Kuhl, head of consulting firm Why Millennials Matter.
3 Planning for children


Genealogy is a subject which, from time to time in life, people can obsess over.  Thus it can be a marvelous source for plot twists, or a character's sudden understanding of why they feel as they do about themselves.

Here is a gif posted online displaying the heritage of the figures in the Bible.  Imagine the arguments people could have over this image -- imagine someone posting it on the wall of their cubicle or office and getting fired for that. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Loreful has released a video with me in it!

Loreful has released a video about AMBROV X, the story driven, cross-platform, science fiction RPG based on my Sime~Gen novels, but taking the story into space for a First Contact Adventure.

You can see the presentation mentioning me, and my co-author Jean Lorrah, here:

It starts with the CEO of Loreful, pictured above, and goes on to show you some eye-popping animation work.  If you know how these things are made, you will be impressed.  If you don't - you will be impressed with the artwork.

What impressed me the most -- the EDITING!  Oh, OK, it says nice things about me, and that is impressive, but really this is a bit of editing work well worth studying.

If you know the Sime~Gen novels,
you understand how complex and deep the worldbuilding and backgrounding are -- how intricate the characters and their problems.  All of that will be unfolded throughout the episodes of this Game with new characters facing new problems -- in a FIRST CONTACT scenario with aliens invented by the Loreful writers. 

Presenting the essence of the Sime~Gen background in a tiny-little-video like this which is mostly not about the background of the created universe, but about the Game you get to play in that universe, is an EDITING TRIUMPH of the first magnitude.

If you've been struggling to boil your novel down to a "query letter" or synopsis, read my previous post on this blog

Then consider the additional steps needed to turn a Sime~Gen synopsis into a pitch such as this one.

You'll appreciate the craftsmanship behind this little video once you try to make one like that for your own novels.

by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Monday, July 1, 2013

Videogames Have To Be Written For Screen, Too! by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Videogames Have To Be Written For Screen, Too! by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Jean Lorrah and I have been working with Loreful, a videogame developing company, on a Sime~Gen RPG, and it's an education in writing craft like you wouldn't believe!

It's very different, an innovation in the videogame field, and may rack up a number of FIRSTS. 

Here are some ways to follow, watch, participate and evaluate what's happening in this hybrid-field that blends the movie industry with the computer industry with every sort of personal creativity you can imagine.

--------FROM LOREFUL--------------

... the first phase of our campaign leading up to our Kickstarter on Sept. 3, 2013. We are launching as well as all of our social media channels. From today until the Sept 3rd, we will be slowly growing our social media presence and awareness of Ambrov X, our Kickstarter and our presence at the Cincy Comicon on Sept. 6-8. To do that we need your help!

If you would be so kind as to follow, like and/or share our channels we would be eternally grateful to you.

Our Social Media Channels are as follows:


------------END ANNOUNCEMENT-----------
You may learn an unexpected amount by watching a series of novels used as deep background, BACKSTORY, to unfurl an epic space war using a story-driven role-playing video game is set to arrive cross-platform from PCs to touch screen devices. 
If  you're a storyteller who doesn't game, you will very likely want to watch the steps taken to create this unique product.  
The List above gives you a variety of points of contact, but here's what to remember, taken from 
Cagle continued, "Not only do we have the opportunity to expand upon this diverse Sci-Fi universe, but we are also challenging the format of RPGs by releasing our game in five episodes, ranging from three to five hours of gameplay each. We have seen a significant market hungry for more story-based RPGs and in 2012 we witnessed an incredible response to the power of episodic gaming, particularly around telling emotionally engaging stories. With the episodic model at the core of our design strategy, we intend to start where the need is the greatest, in the Sci-Fi genre."

Set in a far distant future, Ambrov X casts players as leaders of an unlikely but elite crew tasked with planting space beacons which allow for faster than light space travel. The Ambrov X saga unfolds into an emotional story of First Contact, while also confronting issues and themes central to the Sime~Gen Universe.
"Ambrov X will draw players into a vast universe filled with intrigue, action and adventure in the space opera tradition. With a nod to great science fiction of the past, the story will emphasize weighty and sometimes controversial issues confronting players not often seen in the gaming genre," Cagle explained. "Players can expect all of the features that define a modern RPG; player character customization, fully-voiced dialogue choices that truly impact the story, crafting, companion reputation and fast, skill-based combat. However, we aren't just copying what has been done before. Our design strategy continues to drive us to find new innovations to old problems. These innovations will set us apart in the market."

Ambrov X is slated for a Q4 2014 release on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Ouya and Gamestick. Future releases on PS Vita, WiiU, PS4 and XBOX One are being considered. For more information, visit For exclusive updates, follow the official Ambrov X social channels at and @AmbrovX on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Comedy in Screenwriting

I don't write comedy -- though it's a very lucrative field.

I do, however, deeply appreciate the great situation comedy we generally call "life."

We've all been in situations where something strikes us funny, but nobody else is laughing. 

That happens when two people look at the same events from different points of view.  The question is, how do you show other people the FUNNY point of view?

It's not random, and not just a Talent that you're either born with or not.  It is a learnable skill.

Here's a famous textbook on how to carve up the Event you are trying to recount, and show how it is actually very funny:

Allan Cole and Chris Bunch (the famous screenwriters) wrote a wonderful series of Science Fiction novels called The Sten Series, and those are all now back in print and well worth re-reading.  One of the most famous characters from that series is not Sten, the Hero of the title, but Kilgaur a heavy-worlder human descendant of the Scots who tells really long, really bad -- and really funny -- jokes.  These jokes illustrate the principles in that book because Allan Cole is a screenwriter.  He learned this stuff in on-the-job training.

You can find them in e-book, paper, and audiobook here on Allan Cole's Amazon Page

Here is Allan Cole's IMDB page

And here is a blog with a discussion of Allan Cole's autobiography and what screenwriters can learn from it.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg