Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Writing the Weapon and the Cultivator

 Knight, Gloomy, Mystical, Sword, Shield, Atmosphere

Different cultures have different ways of treating weapons and martial arts. Bound up in historical, legal and cultural cornerstones, a society's relationship with weapons speaks to deeper underlying norms. To reach a higher level of worldbuilding in the art of writing, think about how your culture views weapons and warfare. Here are some real-world examples of the influence of weapons and martial arts and how they are reflected in society.

Historical European Martial Arts tend to be technical and weapon-oriented. HEMA schools focus on developing the body mechanics, attributes and tactics necessary to employ their preferred weapons. Armoured combat is field of study in itself, as practitioners seek to strike at gaps in the armour and/or close in to wrestle the opponent to the ground. Unarmed combat is limited to wrestling and grappling, and may be treated as a separate school, or as a supplement to weapons work, especially for armoured combat.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Decoupling From Amazon

 Legionnaire (Galaxy's Edge Book 1) by [Jason Anspach, Nick Cole]

Over the weekend, Amazon de-listed Galaxy's Edge by Nick Cole and Jason Anspach. While the series is now back up on the Kindle Store, this event caused a disruption in cashflow and no small amount of confusion and acrimony from GE fans and their circles.

Nick Cole speculates that a hacker got into Amazon. Brian Niemeier presents another alternative: an attempt to shadowban GE to promote Disney's similarly-named Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Note that Cole and Anspach's GE was published in 2017; Disney unveiled their GE only in 2019. It could simply be a rogue employee with an axe to grind against Cole and Anspach. Or it could simply be Amazon's algorithms failing again.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Saga of the Swordbreaker continues!


The IndieGoGo campaign for Saga of the Swordbreaker has been extended! The campaign will now run for a further 28 days, finishing at the end of the month.

Although we failed to hit the original campaign goal of $2200 by 31st December, we still made a good show of ourselves. The campaign now stands at 84% funded. There's only $349 left to go.

In hindsight, kicking off the campaign in December was a mistake. Most people would be focused on buying Christmas and New Year gifts. They wouldn't be terribly interested in books that would only arrive in March at the earliest. Not only that, their gift budget would be highly stretched too.

Not only that, shortly after I began the campaign, one challenge after another cropped up in my life. Posting the marketing articles was all I could do. I didn't have much time and energy left to do much of anything else, including posting updates.

Nonetheless, I am grateful for your support. There's only a little bit left to go before the finishing line. I'm confident that this time, we'll be able to hit the target.

To back Saga of the Swordbreaker, click here and share it on social media!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Way of Wuxia

The romance of the jianghu crosses borders and cultures. It is freedom from cultural strictures, skill with martial arts, an iron code of honor. In China, its greatest appeal comes from its sharp contrast with Confucian norms, with its emphasis on rigid social hierarchies and complex etiquettes. The West sees parallels with the knights-errant of old, and the cowboys of the Old West. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Metaphysics and Worldbuilding


Previously, I discussed how I plan to write the gap between East and West in my latest series, Saga of the Swordbreaker. One of the topics I touched upon was the difference in metaphysical paradigms between China and the West. Let’s go into greater detail in metaphysics and worldbuilding.

This post isn’t about religion and worldbuilding. A religion is a set of beliefs, behaviors, rituals, morals, worldviews, organizations, sacred texts and places. Metaphysics has a more nebulous meaning. It is composed of the words ‘meta’ and ‘physics’, implying that it is concerned with concepts beyond the realm of ordinary physics—that is, the material, mundane world.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Writing the Gap Between East and West

 Yin Yang, Harmony, Balance, Silhouette, Ying, Religion

Once I encountered a ‘cultivation’ story on Amazon. The title was a single word in romaji, cool-sounding in English but emotionally neutral in Japanese. The blurb was typical of a cultivation novel: MC is the Chosen One who will become the strongest being, like all the other Chosen Ones destined to become the strongest beings in their respective universes. The author was unmistakably American.

With growing trepidation, I cracked the cover open.

Two minutes later, I closed the tab.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Kit Sun Cheah on The Writers Room!

 I'll be appearing on The Writers Room to discuss cyberpunk and related matters with J. Ishiro Finney! You can watch the interview below or on YouTube.

To learn more about my current project, SAGA OF THE SWORDBREAKER, click on the link here!