• Four of the Best Martial Arts Novel Writers: Be Sure to Read Their Works!

    A friend of mine, who is an oriental martial arts instructor, asked me to write a biography of his life. He was thinking of something to gift himself for his twentieth year as a martial arts instructor. Already tired of getting martial arts paraphernalia, combat suits like those you can see at http://goodbye.ninja/, being the most common, he really wanted something unique and he can be truly proud of.

    The idea of having a book written about his adventures (and misadventures) is actually his wife’s. He wanted it too. And being a close friend, who knew much about his life, he thought of having me write a book. With much delight, I accepted it as a challenge!

    He wanted to novelize his life as a martial artist. It’s a challenging genre that I have never actually treaded before. So, I had to find some of the best writers and novelists in the martial arts fiction genre. Here are the top five martial arts novel authors I’ve found:

    1. Kylie Chan

    It’s quite peculiar for a woman to write about martial arts. But Kylie Chan proved it can be done. Under this author’s name is a long list of martial arts novel books, many of which have landed the bestsellers section of local and international bookstores. Some of her popular novels include Heaven to Wudang, Hell to Heaven, White Tiger and The Longshot. Her novels have some of the most riveting plots I’ve ever read. The action scenes are perfectly captured in words.

    1. John J. Donohue

    Deshi, Kage: The Shadow: A Connor Burke Martial Arts Thriller, Sensei, and Tengu: The Mountain Goblin are just a few books that bear John Donohue’s name. A karateka and kendoka, Donohue is considered a big wig in the martial arts circle.

    His over three decades of martial arts experience coupled with academic life enables him to produce martial arts literary works both in fiction and non-fiction formats. His works include the Connor Burke series: Sensei, Deshi, Tengu, and Kage.

    1. Erika Krouse

    A self-professed “awful poet,” Erika Krouse transitioned from poetry to fiction. She has earned accolades for her work, Come Up and See Me Sometime. But it was her novel, Contenders, that is actually in the martial arts field. She does a fantastic job, depicting vividly what’s happening in the story.

    1. Eric Van Lustbader

    Eric Van Lustbader has published over twenty-five novels (bestsellers at that!). Most iconic of which is The Ninja which introduces Nicholas Linnear – one of the modern fiction’s enduring and most beloved heroes. The novel was turned into major motion pictures. But his more popular works include the new Jason Bourne Series. A teacher by profession, it’s amazing how he can conceptualize exhilarating tales of martial arts adventure.

    Before I worked on my friend’s biography, I made sure to read the works of these great writers. I’ve found them very helpful especially on how to make the story enticing for readers.

  • Practical Ways to Become a Better Writer

    Practical Ways to Become a Better Writer

    If you’re looking for practical ways into becoming a better writer, then I’ve got just the post for you. Lately I’ve been thinking about more specific tips about how somebody could write better about any given subject, and a few things have come to mind. There are definitely steps you can take to become a better writer and I’m going to outline some of them here, but one or two of them will probably seem obvious to most readers. That’s ok with me – it means I can still give most people one or two things to think about.

    My first and best tip is also the one that will take the most time and effort to reap rewards from. I recommend you seek out the works of great writers from our past and read through them for yourself. Don’t just limit yourself to one age or country either; read books from all over the world, from authors of many different backgrounds. If you were to focus on American writers alone, you would never discover Franz Kafka. If you were to focus on German writers alone, you would never discover George Orwell. Read, I say! And read a lot. I try to manage a few pages of something every trip to the bathroom.

    Expanding your knowledge base like this will teach you about perspectives from all around the world. It can give you insights into times and places that are long in our past. This is one of the reasons I am a huge history buff, and that’s my next tip, or suggestion really. Study your history. There is a lot that every writer can learn by just looking at the history of the world surrounding them. World history is a broader subject that’s also worth studying, but understanding where you come from is important to understand where you’re going if you ask me.

    Maybe you’re not writing a blog post or educational article or report at all. I know a lot of writing is about entertainment too. If that’s what you’re doing, then you’ll want to write out character bios, scenes, events and interactions beforehand. Plot things out ahead of time. I already mentioned that above, but this is especially important to people writing for entertainment purposes. Your jokes will need to be good and relevant to get laughs from your audience, and that’s just one example of how planning ahead like this can help.

    My last practical way to become a better writer would have to be to accept the fact you can write badly. I write badly all the time. I don’t usually send out first drafts of my work; usually I’ve read over an article several times, made some edits and revisions, changed some words around and rewritten entire sentences before I post something. If you want to become a great writer, accept that you can also be a bad writer, then write and be willing to look over what you’ve written and make the necessary corrections. Regular revisions will make your work better overall as you avoid mistakes in the future.

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