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


After PortCon Update:

PortCon 2018 is over... but the making of the Avallac'h CosPlay is not. It is not possible to make a costume as detailed as I'm making in fewer then 400 hours, and only 129 hours went into the simplified first run version you saw at PortCon'18. The complete version will not be seen until PortCon'19

If you want to see this costume in person and watch it's progression onward as I continue to expand it... I'll be wearing it at the monthly Maine Association of CosPlay Enthusiasts (M.A.C.E.) events, throughout 2018 and 2019, you are welcome to join us. The list of current events can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/293470827423558/events/ This list is updated monthly, so be sure to check back often to find all the dates, locations, and details of events.



How to get started as a writer?
(Short Stories vs Novels vs Scripts)




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>>Should i be writing short stories and essays to build a portfolio?

Not if you plan to write novels.

The advice of "write short stories to practice before writing a novel" is one of the worst pieces of bad advice out there, and you'll never see it given by actual published novelists, you always see it said by hobby writers who openly admit to having no goal of publishing.

It's like telling a student chef: "go grill chicken on the barbecue, it's good practice to learn how to bake a ten tier wedding cake"

It's like telling a medical student: "here, put bandaid on these cuts until you are good enough at putting on bandaids to perform brain surgery"

Writing short stories is NOT good practice for writing novels.

No. No it's not. Yes, they are both writing, but, grilling chicken and baking cakes are also both cooking. But slapping a peice of meat on a grill and flipping it over a few times isn't going to teach you squat about how to bake a cake. Writing is the same way. You can write hundreds of short stories and essays, and you'll become great at writing short stories and essays, and you'll still be clueless as to how to write a novel.

Writing short stories only teaches you how to write short stories, which has a completely different style and form then novel writing.

Essay writing and journaling, only prep you for even more essay writing and journaling.

Now, I'm not saying don't write short stories or essays. What I'm saying is, don't write them AS PRACTICE for writing novels. If you like writing short stories and essays, there is plenty of demand for them out there and you can certainly make a career out of it.

Also, you do not need a portfolio for novel writing. Just write novels until you feel like you've written one that is worth publishing.

>>getting a job in a writers room on a show or movie franchise.

Now for this, you will need a portfolio for, but, you'll likely also need a college degree in theatre for it as well. If you have no theatre background, you'll be hard pressed to get a job working in any kind of theatrical production (which includes tv shows and movies, in addition to stage plays).

You'll want to find a college that has a theatre degree program (most do not) AND you'll want to start out by getting jobs at small production theaters. You'll likely start out as a stage hand, not a writer, but don't fret, as being one on one there while a stage performance is being produced, is going to give you valuable insight into how directors read scripts, how actors translate scripts into live action, how set designers translate descriptive notes in the script, how costume makers and make up artists translate the authors descriptions of the characters.

Believe me, you WANT this insight if you plan to write for tv or movies. Writing things on paper is fine and dandy, but often what writers write, is difficult for actors to actually perform. Getting to know what sorts of things characters can do on page, that actors can't do on stage, will do wonders at helping you write better scripts for tv and movies.

You'll need to learn the art of script writing which is a beast that in no way, shape, or form is any way related to novel writing. EVERYTHING you ever learned about novel writing, will get thrown out the window, once you get started in script writing.

Know that script writing is full on 100% DIALOGUE. There is NO description or narration PERIOD in script writing. You put the descriptions for the ENTIRE show, into 1 tiny page of director's notes stapled to the front of the script and that's it. So if you struggle with writing dialogue, know that you'll never survive in writing for tv or movies.

I started out in theatre before moving to novels. Wrote a few dozen stage plays, and found the switch to writing novels VERY difficult due to how very different the two styles of writing are. And I was doing short stories before writing stage plays. Having done all 3, I know how dramatically different each method is, and you can certainly do all three, but each one has it's own unique learning curve, so learning one, isn't going to help you in learning the others.

The best practice for writing for tv and movies, is to write lots and lots and lots and lots of dialogue.

Look into writing for stage first. Find a playwright group to join. MeetUp is a good place to start (https://www.meetup.com/) you'll be able to find in person writing groups in your area on their database. If you can't find one, you can make one (just know these are NOT online groups and you'll have to rent a physical location to hold your writing meetings in).

Also... I've worked in theatre for years, know that there is a HUGE environmental difference between being an author holed up by yourself writing whatever you want, and being a scriptwriter, constantly surrounded by hysterically screaming and yelling directors, prima donna actors, and having to not only write in a loud busy place, but also having to rewrite every line 100 times just to please a director for whom there is no pleasing.

You say you want to write novels, and you want to work as a writer in tv or movies... they are not only two starkly different writing styles, but they are also two starkly different writing environments.

Novel writing you can do whenever, however, as you please, you are your own boss, you set your own rules, set your own hours, can take days off and vacations whenever you want to, you write what you want to write, when and where you want to write it, and you can dilly-dally with writers block to your heart's content.

Get into a tv writing room, and you are at a high stress job, with long hours, lots of overtime, and strict schedules. You have to be in the office when your boss says. Remember - writers for tv shows are a dime a dozen and the first day you are 5 minutes late to the office is your last day on the job. You have no freedom to write what you choose, you write what you are told to write, you are NOT the creative team, you simply set to words the ideas given to you, pay is barely minimum wage, there are no days off or vacation time, and first time you complain you have writer's block, you're fired.

Most people have a personality suited for one but not the other, so it's highly unlikely that if you enjoy the fast pace, social butterfly, loud, noisy career of tv writing rooms, that you'll also enjoy the very slow paced, peaceful, quiet, no people around, just you and yourself, near hermit like solitude of novel writing. Or vice versa. You'll really want to look at the type of lifestyle you prefer and the type of personality you have, and compare that with these two starkly different writing careers, because highly unlikely you'll be happy doing both.

As for your portfolio? A tv writing room, is going to want to see your ability to write a high quality script that can translate well for the actors and director. The only way to build that kind of portfolio is to start writing short 10 minute stage plays and get them produced. What you want in your portfolio, is NOT your actual writing, but rather clippings of the newspaper reviews, written by the art critics who attended the live productions of your stage plays.

The hiring manager of a tv writing room is gonna want to read a lot of glowing art critic reviews saying you have talent as a playwright, before they'll want to hire you to write for their tv show. They'll likely ask you to have some like "a minimum 3 years experience on stage" and want references from the theatres and directors you've worked with.

If you are starting from ground zero and looking for an end goal of working in a tv writeroom, you want to get into local theatre and start working on getting as many live stage performances of your work produced as possible, and you'll want to get a college degree in theatre. You are unlikely to get hired into such a job without a college degree and without having already had multiple live stage performances of your scripts produced. Also, this is considered as "dime a dozen job" meaning you'll be fighting tooth and claw against literally thousands of others who also want this job. This is a career with only a dozen or so job openings a year world wide and thousands of people who want it. VERY difficult to get your foot in the door, and without a degree and a portfolio of glowing reviews, you won't even get close to the door, let alone get your foot in it. People joke about there being thousands of starving writers, waiting tables all around Broadway and Hollywood, but, it's really not a joke. There really are thousands of starving writers, waiting tables all around Broadway and Hollywood, while desperately trying to land those hard to get studio jobs. My brother-in-law lives just outside of Hollywood and a couple weeks ago he was telling us how the sideways are lined with hundreds of homeless writers and actors, dreaming of working in tv studios and movie productions. Entire cardboard box shanty villages line the streets. That's the harsh reality of trying to get a job writing in a studio. THAT is why you want to get a degree and have that portfolio of review. It'll put up leaps and bounds ahead of all the ones who just headed to California expecting to apply for a job and get hire without training.

If you are starting from ground zero and looking for an end goal of publishing novels, just start writing novels. No other training required, though seeking a degree in either English Literature and/or Teaching High School English Grammar, is going to seriously improve your mastery of grammar rules, which will help you in writing novels. However a college degree is not required to get published. Do know that most novels take 2 to 4 years to write and edit, then another year or more to find a publisher who wants to publish it, then once accepted can take an additional 2 years before it goes to print. At minimum it'll be 5 years from the time you wrote it till the time it's published and it could be MUCH longer. Then the average LIFETIME pay (including advance and royalties) for the average novel is only $5,000. Unless you are pumping out a lot of novels fast, novel writing is not a career you'll be able to live off of. The average novelist has 1 or 2 day jobs they do on the side. I was a retail sales representative and merchandiser for 16 years alongside writing novels, before I was able to quit my day job and live off my novels. Most writers never reach the point where they can quit their day jobs. So that's an aspect to consider as well.

Now don't let any of this get you down. There's nothing to say you can not succeed in this goal if you set your mind to it. Just know the type of competition you are up against and the type of realities you'll have to face along the way. By knowing what to expect, you can plan out what you can do to combat these issues once you face them.

Half the reason people fail in this career, is simply because they had a dream, and they ran with that dream unprepared, and were shocked when reality slapped them in the face. Preparing ahead for the possible hardships you'll face on your road to success, will go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.




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