2018 April/May/June Update:

As you know, most of the year I publish 2 to 3 articles a day.

However, every year during convention season, I take a break from that to go full swing CosPlay.

From early April 2018 to late June 2018, article posting schedule will be sporadic, while CosPlay Season and Convention events are going full swing.

During this time period, you can expect most, possible all new articles to be focused on costume making, CosPlay, and the characters I'm CosPlaying.

UPDATE: It's now divided into 7 pages. The primary page "Meet Avallach" is now over 20,000 words long. At this rate, it'll cross 60,000 long before the costume is finished, and that's not including the other 5 pages. The primary page has now crossed 60,000 89,000 words and counting, the whole set of Avallac'h pages are now more than 200,000 words long, and more then 500 pictures of Avallac'h and his friends have now been uploaded on these pages, plus there are now 400+ hour-long videos f the costume making process as we record live, every second of this insanely elaborate, over the top CosPlay project.

As of May 19, just 29 days to PortCon we are embroidering his blue coat in a countdown against the clock to finish in time for the event, while we pray that The Dazzling Razzberry will be re-weilded back together and drivable in time for PortCon, after it's recent vandalism by Old Orchard Beach's ever growing Ku Klux Klan problem.

There will still be daily updates, but the BULK of the daily updates will be limited to the pages linked here:

  1. The Avallac'h CosPlay: Who is Avallac'h?
  2. Obsession: Meet Avallac'h
  3. [NSFW] Avallac'h & His Nude Women | Witcher 3 Game Screenshots
  4. Historical Accuracy vs Avallac'h (to go live later this summer)
  5. The Avallac'h CosPlay Costume Making Vlogs (will go live AFTER finishing the costume)
  6. How To Make The Avallac'h CosPlay (will go live AFTER PortCon)
  7. How Much Did It Cost? ($800+ will run to around $3,000) Budgeting The Avallac'h CosPlay (eing written as the costume is being made, will go live after completion of the costume)
  8. Why do children CosPlay rapists & rape victims? & WHY Avallac'h is a M18+ character. 
  9. PortConMaine 2018
  10. On Being a Handicapped CosPlayer: A Look At Events of PortConMaine 2017 That Resulted In 3 Disabled CosPlayers Getting hurt at The Convention and How These Things Could Have Been Avoided




Choosing Story Topics When Writing Short Stories




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(This is a reprint of a Squidoo article)

Choosing Story Topics When Writing Short Stories

Choosing a Topic to Write About: Are You Enthusiastic About the Idea?

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Choosing a Topic to Write About: Are You Enthusiastic About the Idea?

Writers are sentimental about their writing, but are they enthusiastic about it? You have found a topic to write about, but you don't know if it's one you really want to write about. How can you tell if you should use it as your next topic? Just ask yourself this: Am I sentimental or enthusiastic about the idea? Does it matter?

Love Your Topic

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Choosing a Topic to Write About: Are You Enthusiastic About the Idea?

Writers are sentimental about their writing, but are they enthusiastic about it? You have found a topic to write about, but you don't know if it's one you really want to write about. How can you tell if you should use it as your next topic? Just ask yourself this: Am I sentimental or enthusiastic about the idea? Does it matter?

Do not mistake sentiment for enthusiasm. They are not the same things. Don't believe me? Let's ask the dictionary:

Sentiment: noun

1.) Tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling or emotion

2.) A personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty

Enthusiasm:

noun

1.) A feeling of excitement

2.) Overflowing with enthusiasm

3.) A lively interest

A tender romantic emotion that evokes nostalgia vs. a lively interest filled with excitement. So how does this affect you the writer? Think of it this way: You may have sentiment for an old faded Valentine, but do you have enough enthusiasm about it to write a story about the Valentine and how it came to mean so much to you? It holds a warm place in your heart, and you will never throw it away, but do you burn with the feverish desire to tell the world about it?

Now think about your readers. Your reader has no sentimental attachment to your Valentine, if they saw it, they'd probably toss it in the trash, for it means nothing to them at all. Would they read about it? Well that depends on how you write the story, doesn't it? If you spend your times mooning over the Valentine and its sentimentalism, most likely your reader well toss the story aside calling it a load of sentimental tripe.

Sentimental tripe. Yep, that's what kills many a story. People don't want to read sentimental tripe that moons and simpers over days gone by and the writer's obsession with their own past. The reader wants to know the hows and whys behind the Valentine. They want the facts, every juicy detail. The Valentine in and of itself is not enough to keep the reader reading, there has to be something more. Think of the Valentine as the skeleton, the bones of the story upon which you must build up the muscle and flesh to give it substance. Write a story about the sentiment of the Valentine and bore your readers to tears. How do you correct that? With enthusiasm. Question is, do you have it?

Your reader wants to know how the Valentine became sentimental. They want to know how the Valentine came into the possession of your character. They want to read about the chain of events that caused it to become a sentimental item. Write a story about the Valentine and how it came to be important TO YOUR MAIN CHARACTER. Instead of sentimental mooning you have vibrant enthusiasm. You have a character, not yet turned sentimental. Now the reader has a reason to want to read about the Valentine. They can see a character that has feelings and emotions just like them. They can become the character and feel what the character feels when he feels it.

But are you truly enthusiastic about your idea? Do you burn with the desire to write it? Do you feel that you cannot exist until you have spread the word throughout the entire world? Does a fiery passion to tell everyone everywhere about your story, drive you forward? That is enthusiasm, and that is what you need to tell a great story. Leave the sentiment behind, and let your story burn with passion, let that passion fill your soul; pour your soul into the story.

This Article Copyright 2006 Wendy C. Allen

2018 Update:

Choosing Story Topics When Writing Short Stories

Is there any reason why to not write all three of them? If each is only 2 to 4 pages you could do 1 a day or 1 every other day, and have all 3 finished in a week, without any need to choose one over the other.

Then after you've finished writing them, you can decide which one you think is written the best to turn in. Are you writing this for a school assignment or a writing contest or something? I assumed that because the way you said...

>>So I need to write a short story (2-4. Pages)

...which indicated to me that this was an assignment.

So, a few questions (you don't have to answer them here, just ask yourself these when thinking about story ideas to help you figure out what you want to write.)...

  • What genre do you want to write? A few to choose from: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Absurdism, Historical, Time Travel, Alternate History, Ghost Story, Western, Literary, Slice of Life, Non-Fiction...
  • Which style: Character driven? Plot driven? Setting driven?
  • Will you have a theme/moral/message? (Animal Rights, Suicide Prevention, Say No To Drugs, etc)
  • What point of view (POV) will you use? 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person, or 4th person/broken wall?

How you answer these questions will help you to determine what you want to write about.

Personally, I prefer to write character driven, 3rd person, Slice of Life Dark Space Fantasy, with a theme of suicide. You see that as being the common thread of all my stories.

Now, I write a long running series (2,000 short stories and 130 novels published since 1978) that is set in a world where time travel, portals, Elves, and wizards exist. I have a database of 75 characters, any one of which I use as a main character depending on the story, though I have 3 primary characters and 1 main character who are my go-to characters for most stories.

So, this means that I already have my characters pre-made, meaning I start with a character first, then give them a story to be in.

The primary main character (SEEN HERE) is a suicidally depressed Elf wizard on the run and wanted for murder. Generally the story will be 2,000 to 7,000 words long, and will be a single scene, from a single day in his life, told from his POV in 3rd person. It'll be lice of Life format, meaning the entire story likely takes place in the space of a single 15 to 20 minute space of time in in life, looking only at the one very specific moment of his life.

So, that's how I do short story writing, and with that in mind, looking at your story idea choices, I would pick 2:

>>A story to raise awareness to bullying or mental illness.

So, what I would do with it is, and in fact, what I HAVE done already, is ...

In one story called "The Hanging Tree"

What happens is this:

Quaraun comes from a culture that outlaws same sex couples and is hiding that fact that he has a male lover. When he is accused of bedding with other males, he does not deny it and openly admits to having sex with other men, not realizing that this will incit his accusers into an angry mob, that next strips him naked, drags him to the center of town and publically tortures him, with most of the village coming forward to join in. The infamous highly detail, incredibly grizzly scene that got the series banned off FanFiction.net followed, as one Elf, pulled out a knife and forces it up into Quaraun's penis, then rippe the knife in a backward motion, slicing Quaraun's penis completely in half, leaving behind a scar known as "a sub penal incision". Following this Elf's example, other village slash Quaraun, belly, thighs, and groin with knives, leaving him horribly scarred for life. When they finished torturing him, Quaraun is left for dead, his bloody remains used as bait to capture The Elf Eater of Pepper Valley. Unknown to the Elves however is the fact that it was the Elf Eater himself who is Quaraun's lover, and upon discovering what the Elves did to Quaraun, the Elf Eater slaughtered the Moon Elves, then takes Quaraun and spends the next several months nursing the dying Elf back to health. Quaraun eventually recovered, but he is left with a crippled leg, severe PTSD, rampant phobia that cripple his ability to function in society, and the horrific scars that he often bemoans.

This entire story is just under 3,000 words long. And it shows a horrify look at bigotry, bullying, and herd mentality of a mob joining a bully and nearly killing a gay man.

This is one of the very early stories in the series, which happens wen he is very young. This story is the foundation base point that the other stories reference back to.

In dozens of stories written after this, readers see Quaraun's life as it goes into a downward spiral of depression and mental illness, as he turns first to drugs, then to drinking, then to cutting, and eventually to multiple suicide attempts.

In There Is No Mournful Lamb Inn you see a quick 5 minute space of time, when Quaraun walks up, covered in blood, weak, dizzy, and unable to remember where he is or what happened. His best friend fussing over him, bandaging Quaraun's sliced wrists and telling Quaraun, that he tried to kill himself again, but this time, he killed one of their friends when they tried to stop him. A very short story, barely 1,000 words long, it gives the reader a horrific look into how badly bullying has damaged Quaraun's mind.

In another story called Map of The Town you see the wizard, dozing of while listening to a soldier describing a series of murders that happened in town. The reader never finds out about the murders because Quaraun falls asleep and in the next line he's being jolted awake by the soldier yelling at him. Quaraun is holding a 3 year old boy, who had just witnessed his mother murdered earlier that day, and the soldiers yelling makes the child start crying. When Quaraun asked the soldier to stop scaring the boy, the soldier starts yelling racist bigotry hate for the boy's race. Quaraun responds by punching the soldier and then finally letting his true feelings about the bigotry and racism going on. This story spans just under 2,000 words.

In Alone you see Quaraun's lover, having a mental breakdown, after Quaraun goes missing. A super short story only 700 words long, the reader sees a character who is normally "the strong one" fast falling into mental breakdown now that he is alone.

In In Black Tower you see Quaraun missing, and one of his friends wounded, and Quaraun's lover taking care of their injured friend. This quick story takes place in a lighthouse and tells the reader, something is horribly wrong, but never fully let's them know.

Thus you can see how in my previous writings, I have taken this concept:

>>A story to raise awareness to bullying or mental illness.

And written it in multiple ways, with multiple characters, in multiple settings.... each story 2 to 7 pages long, each focusing on one character per story, but each character being connected to other characters of other stories in the series.

So, that's what I would do, and what I have done. I pick a character and focus on a very tiny space of time, often a the story spans under 10 minutes of the character's life. And rather then trying to tell the "big picture" it just focuses on one character's perspective of the current situation they find themselves in.

Hopefully this helps you to decide what to write with your own story.

Good luck with it!




So, I was over on Reddit, you like I often am, and found this question. And answered it, like I do. However, the answer I initially gave was a simple generic answer. If you want to read my original answer unaltered, simply click on Reddit's embed feature links which Reddit provides for webmasters to be able to post their answers on their websites, while linking back to the original thread on Reddit (if you didn't know Reddit offered and encouraged the use of this feature, look for it in the "share" features underneath every post, comment, and reply on Reddit).

I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.

In any case, as with all of my Reddit answers found on my site here, my original post on Reddit is much shorter then the article here.


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