Month of Firsts: Writing & Life Update – August 2019

Hello dear readers! M. L. Wang here with a brief update on my life, writing, and other author stuff. First, I just want to let everyone know that since this day of August 21st is my birthday, I’m celebrating with my own little ebook sale. There’s honestly no gift better than new readers, so I’ve… Continue reading Month of Firsts: Writing & Life Update – August 2019

A Gardener’s Guide to Character Writing – 6 exercises to create a functional & fully realized character

The following 6-point guide to character writing is comprised of two 3-point guides. The first three exercises should help you create a functional character. The next three should help you turn that functional character into a compelling one. You know those lists of questions intended to help writers develop their characters? What is your character’s… Continue reading A Gardener’s Guide to Character Writing – 6 exercises to create a functional & fully realized character

Thoughts on MASK OF SHADOWS by Linsey Miller (Let’s talk about assassins)

SUMMARYSallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home. When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The… Continue reading Thoughts on MASK OF SHADOWS by Linsey Miller (Let’s talk about assassins)

Thoughts on GIRLS OF PAPER & FIRE by Natasha Ngan (slow-build stories and reader investment)

SUMMARYLei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's… Continue reading Thoughts on GIRLS OF PAPER & FIRE by Natasha Ngan (slow-build stories and reader investment)

Why I Can’t Write Book Reviews – My History as the Worst Reader

NOTE: Reading back over this post, I'm not very happy with it. I don't hate it enough to delete it - since I do want an answer on hand for when people ask why someone who writes books doesn't read or review them with any regularity. If you're here for the quick explanation, here is… Continue reading Why I Can’t Write Book Reviews – My History as the Worst Reader

July 2019 Writing Update

Giving progress updates on City of Ghosts is difficult because the book has already been drafted multiple times (the most recent draft having been completed during my senior year of college, 2014) so most of the work involves rewriting and restructuring. As far as that process goes, I'd estimate that I'm about 25% done. It's… Continue reading July 2019 Writing Update

Finding a Fantasy World (by turning ours upside down): An Uncomfortably Personal Look Back on the Creation of Duna

A lot of weird things happen to a story when you work on it from age twelve to twenty-six. The Theonite Series has gone with me through puberty, my first crushes, my Harry Potter phase, my Batman phase, my Star Wars phase, my Shounen anime phase, changing shape with each one. That much thematic confusion… Continue reading Finding a Fantasy World (by turning ours upside down): An Uncomfortably Personal Look Back on the Creation of Duna

The Sword of Kaigen

About my upcoming novel – The Sword of Kaigen

Hello Dear Readers! M. L. Wang here. With The Sword of Kaigen coming out in two weeks, I wanted to ramble a bit about the setting, characters, magic system, and the general experience of writing a 600-page fantasy. The Setting While I went to extreme, conscious lengths to research to the West African cultures that inspired the… Continue reading About my upcoming novel – The Sword of Kaigen

Indigenous Mande Alphabets and Ethnic Identity

Note: The following essay on Mande scripts was originally written for a linguistics and anthropology course I took at Knox College. As it was the last assignment of my senior year and I had a solid A in the class anyway, I used it as an excuse to ramble for pages about the Mande alphabets I… Continue reading Indigenous Mande Alphabets and Ethnic Identity