Writing Gongfu and Cultivation

You can’t have a cultivation story without a cultivation system. Most cultivation fiction use easy systems. Drink a potion, take a pill, practice techniques from a manual, breathe a certain way, then do it enough times and suddenly you become more powerful. But what if your goal isn’t power? The primary purpose of cultivation is […]

Walking Alone in the Age of Covid

All my life, I have walked alone. In all things I have forged my own path. As a child, I favoured solitary pursuits over group activities. My tendencies drew me away from the crowds, and towards the meditations of the ancient philosophers, the craft of art, the way of sword and pen in accord. In […]

Writing A Different Approach to Martial Arts

Most English-speaking readers would be familiar with Western portrayals of martial arts. In movies, television, games and prose, fight scenes are the cornerstone of Western fiction. One commonality I’ve noticed in most Western fight scenes I’ve seen is that they are portrayed as exchanges of force. Every fight scene is presented as a contest of […]

Welcome to the Era of the Five States and Ten Corporations

Chinese history is popularly and conveniently divided into periods defined by the ruling dynasty. In the world of Saga of the Swordbreaker, the land of Xiazhou is a hundred years into the greatest political experiment in the history of the continent. The Summer Revolution has ended the rule of immortal monarchs, bringing forth the era […]

Adapting to Omicron

Omicron is the word on everyone’s minds now. The word ‘Covid’ conjures up memories of lockdowns, mandates, restrictions, a full-court press of fear and flip-flops in the news. With the Omicron variant, it’s so tempting to fall back into the old patterns of thinking. As for me, I’m quietly optimistic. The data is extremely limited […]

A New Breed of Cultivation Fiction

Cultivation fiction is hugely popular. And why not? The protagonist beats down everyone in his path, inevitably becoming the most powerful being in the story universe. He amasses wealth, fame and fortune without breaking a sweat. All the men want to be him—those who don’t are ankle-biters who can be dispatched as easily as turning […]

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