Tag Archives: Cosplay

Inhabiting Your Characters – Cosplay

Hey everyone!

If you keep up with my fiancee’s blog, you’ll have read that we recently attended Anomaly Con, a Steampunk convention in the Denver, CO area.  And as part of our time there, we were in costume!

Tinker and L3GEND. Photo by Death’s House Productions. Makeup by Beck Stewart.

Specifically, on Saturday Beck painted us up to be like robots!  In fact, if you’ve never heard of them before, we were specifically ‘fan bots’ from the Steam Powered Giraffe music group and their fictional universe.

And I’ll say this…it was a unique experience for me, for many reasons.  A couple of weeks before, Beck did a test run of my bot’s makeup on me, and it was a surreal experience when the makeup was done and I looked in the mirror.

I was someone else.

That’s how it felt.  Like, for a moment, I seriously felt like I was the fictional character we had made up together, named L3GEND.  And then interviews with characters from sci-fi and fantasy movies started playing through my head, about how they felt the same when they first got into the full makeup and costume from their characters.

In fact, we just went to the Denver Art Museum’s Star Wars Costumes exhibit, which is part of why I’m a day late on this weekend’s post.  While waiting in line, they showed videos about the costumes, including Natalie Portman talking about how she felt donning Padme Amidala’s costumes, and it sounded like she had a similar experience.

And it got me to thinking something for writers…

Inhabiting Your Characters in Cosplay

I’ve toyed with the idea in the past, and Wayne Adams has even mentioned trying to find cosplayers to portray my characters at conventions when I have a booth.

Photo by PixieGoddess Cosplay and Art. Wig styled by Beck Stewart.

But what if I worked on creating costumes for some of my characters, and actually wore them?  Would this allow me to ‘get into their heads’ so to speak?  More than I already am, any way?

In and of itself, that might not be enough reason to, but then there are the reasons of being ‘in character’ at cons when I have tables, not to mention, if the costume is impressive enough, it might garner more interest in the novels.

But I want to go back to the original point: inhabiting my characters.

Maybe doing so would give me ideas about different directions I could take their characters.  Maybe even totally change the story direction, as has happened more than once already.

I can’t do this for all of my characters, but maybe the primary protagonists.  Cardin Kataar being the most immediate character I’m thinking.  But which costume?  His tattered rags and worn out, mismatched armor from The Sword of Dragons?  Or his newer armor from Burning Skies?

Cover by Christian Michael

To be honest, that matters a little less than the actual prop itself, the Sword of Dragons…how in the world could I construct such a large weapon?  Especially to make it acceptable to take to places like conventions, where they have very strict rules on what they will allow for prop weapons?

And then the armor itself…thanks to an artist I hired last year to start doing character sketches, I actually have a sketch of Cardin Kataar I could go off of for the armor.  Could I learn to make the leather pieces myself?

It’s an exciting idea, but also a time-consuming one.  I am intrigued enough at the idea that I might at least do some preliminary research into it.

What do you all think?  An intriguing idea?  Any authors out there ever do this before?

Thanks for reading! :)
-Jon Wasik

The Sword of Dragons – Writing A Prologue

Hi everyone!

Image Source - http://geistig.deviantart.com/
Image Source – http://geistig.deviantart.com/

I have a lot of exciting news to start this post off with!!  :D  Firstly, part 1 of the series finale for The Orc War Campaigns has been posted, and as always, is completely free to read!  So click here to head on over to theswordofdragons.com and check it out!

Just as exciting, earlier this week, I began writing the manuscript for book 3 of the Sword of Dragons saga!  *bounces up and down in excitement*

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but my girlfriend and I always spend Wednesdays together working on our projects (usually she’s working on something cosplay-related while I work on book-related things.)  With the Orc War Campaigns all but finished, there was only one thing left to do :)

But…as is often the case, starting a manuscript is difficult at best.

Prologues – A Good Idea In Theory…

The difficulty I’m running into?  The prologue.

Somewhere back in time, over a decade ago, I thought, “I want to start my fantasy novel with a prologue!”  Fast forward several years to when I started writing book 2, and I thought, “I’ll write a prologue for all of the books!”

…and I decided that even though prologues are so difficult for me to write.  I rewrote book 1’s at least a dozen times, and about half that for Burning Skies.

So when I sat down to write book 3’s prologue…my mind drew a blank.  Maybe it’s my ADHD, which has been worse than usual lately, or maybe it’s just because prologues are difficult.  It took me over an hour to write one page (well, it ran a little bit more than one page), and in the end, I was completely dissatisfied with it.

The Purpose of a Prologue

Prologues tell a story that frame the novel.  What is this novel going to be about?  What might one or more of its themes be?  Or perhaps its primary purpose is to give the reader a little bit of history that isn’t covered in the novel itself, but is important to understand the story.

Image Source - www.ravensnpennies.com
Image Source – http://www.ravensnpennies.com

For The Sword of Dragons (book 1), the prologue told the story of the forging of the Sword and the end of the dragons’ civil war.  For Burning Skies, it framed the origin story of the Necromancers of Vestuul.

Book 3 of the Sword of Dragons will easily be one of the most complex stories I’ve ever told, with multiple threads converging in the final 1/3rd of the novel.  But the biggest event centers around the Order of the Ages, which is the central religion of Halarite, and the gods that the religion believes in.

That is the story the prologue will frame, the origin of the sixth and final god of the Order’s pantheon, named Zairel.  Why?  Well…that, my friends, is a story for another time ;)

In any case, this is the story I’m having trouble framing…not because I don’t know the story, but because a prologue should grab a reader’s attention and make them want to know “What’s going to happen in this novel?”  When Zairel’s story ends 10,000 before the novel starts, it seems (key word) like that’s all there is to tell about his story.

So the question is….how do I make the prologue seem like there’s more to his story, and that the next chapter in his story will be exciting and worth reading?

Moving On

In any case, the prologue is written…for now.  I have no doubt I’ll go back and reread it completely.  But I can’t let this difficulty hold up the rest of the novel.  So yesterday, I started writing chapter 1, and I intend to move forward with the rest of the manuscript.

So, intrepid readers, what do you think about prologues?  Do you like them?  Hate them?  If you’re a writer, do you like to write them?  Do you have any advice for all of the other writers out there about how to write them?

Please feel free to leave comments below, I love hearing from all of you!

Thanks for reading,
-Jon Wasik

Holidays and Adventures!

Hi everyone!

I apologize for the gap in posts, 2 Saturdays without a peep!  But worry not, I’m back, after several new adventures to talk about!  It’s not often that I write a blog about what’s going on in my personal life, but there’s been so much, I just can’t not share!

Image Source - http://hotelbellwether.com/
Image Source – http://hotelbellwether.com/

It began with the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, when just the day before, my girlfriend and I left town to go see my parents.  It was a big day for us, since it was her first time meeting my parents!  And I’m very happy to say that the first meeting went very well :)

Thanksgiving itself was quite a busy day!  With food prep, some play time with frisbee golf (Beck did amazing for her first time! :D ), lots of food, and lots more family.  I think at one point we had 14 people in my parents’ house, including family and friends!  So much delicious food, and such fun times!

And then… :D Cards Against Humanity!  If you ever want to have a delightfully awkward time, play CAH with one or both of your parents ;)  But it was seriously a blast, and Beck and I had such a fun time!

Image Source - nerdist.com
Image Source – nerdist.com

We also go to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and that was such an incredible movie!  I had high expectations going in and it still blew me away by how good it was!  My favorite character is of course Newt, he’s so delightfully awkward :D  Beck’s favorite character is Queenie, she’s such an adorable character!  If you’ve seen the movie, who is your favorite?

We also went to a river walk park and saw soooo many deer, more than I’ve ever seen at that park.  It was quite magical :)

wolf-creek-passBut then the real adventure began when we tried to make it back home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  A storm that wasn’t supposed to hit until that Monday came early, and I wasn’t able to get us over one of the mountain passes. We ended up having to turn around and stay in a hot springs town in a rather…interesting motel.

Picture something straight from the ’70’s….or perhaps even older.  We walk in, and the first thing we see is a floor to ceiling heater, and then on the other side of the bed…a plug-in radiator.  Thinking the in-unit heater was broken, I turned up the thermostat to see.  It worked…and made a series of ticking noises before a frightening BANG after it finished every cycle!  So naturally we used the radiator that night…

Then there was the mislabeled shower (cold is hot, hot is cold), light switches you had to reach up high to turn on (on the opposite side of the room from where you enter), bad electrical (threw the breaker…), and the hardest bed I’ve ever slept on…

And yet…I was glad to have that extra night with Beck.  We got to talk a lot and learn so much about each other, and for all of the troubles that came with that extra night, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything :)

I’ve been on the go non-stop ever since we got back, so much so that I only just today finally went grocery shopping (for the first time since before Thanksgiving,) and am just now getting to writing this very article!

Modeled by Beck Stewart, photo by Inoli Images
Modeled by Beck Stewart, photo by Inoli Images

Among the many things we’ve done recently was a crazy fun cosplay photoshoot that a friend of ours organized!  (Check out our friend’s cosplay page!)  I wasn’t in the shoot itself, but Beck dressed up as Jack Frost, and she looked amazing!  (For the photo, please go check out Inoli Images, the photographer who took that photo! And while you’re at it, please go check out and follow Beck’s cosplay page!)

It was a little cold outside, especially at the end of the day when the wind kicked up around sunset (seriously, this sunset at 4:30 is ridiculous…) but it was a blast!

For those who are not familiar with the term, cosplay is an amalgamation of Costume/Play.  In a nut shell, it’s where someone dresses up like a character and acts as if they are that character.  It’s loads of fun, and the cosplay community is huge!

Wayne Adams of Show X was the one who really started to get me into it, and Beck is really into it, and makes some of the most amazing costumes!  (Check out her cosplay facebook page!)

Doctor Who?
Doctor Who?

If you’ve ever gone to a convention like a Comic Con, then you’ve seen cosplayers :)

Anywho, I apologize for the semi-disjointed blog article, but I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures these past couple weeks!  I had meant to do another vlog, but perhaps I’ll try for that on Saturday, when we resume our normal blogging schedule!

Tell me about your recent or upcoming holiday adventures!  And if you’re a cosplay, please post links to your pages/blogs in the comments section below!  :D

Thanks for reading
-Jon Wasik