Exactly! I’ve noticed the same thing, also in history. No matter how long ago, people have always been people and we’ve always done the same things. Many things were lost to time, but it’s amazing these little human touches you find everywhere, like how medieval scribes used to doodle while testing their pens or how they once found Viking runes high on a cave wall that read ‘this is very high.’ (Honestly, I still think that’s hilarious XD)
My favorite version of this was along a main road out of Egypt (I don’t remember specifically where). There was a spot that was just covered in etched writings and hieroglyphics from all over the place. They were wondering what cultural or religious significance this bare patch of rocky cliff face just off the road could could possibly have… until they translated it to discover it was the ancient equivalent of a 7/11 bathroom wall in the middle nowhere Kentucky. XD
You did it really well! They suit excellently! I usually translate words from a language in the approximate same region until I find something I can change into a name. And then once again translate them back just in case, like you said XD I’m fascinated by linguistics and languages in general, but I haven’t tried creating an actual language for a book.
Oh man, I am actually… about half way(?) through making a language of my own for the dragons in my world. When I first started looking into it, it was like shoving my brain through a sieve learning all the OTHER ways language could work. I have a lot of the raw and fundamental rules done for it (such as phonemes, ergativity, classes [genders], and syllable structure), but haven’t worked much on the lexicon. I want to finish at some point before I publish, but even if I don’t it was a fascinating journey.
You guessed all of them correctly! The MC’s tribe is the nomadic horse-riding culture (So much fun to write!), there’s a naval merchant tribe (They don’t feature much though), and I have a city and two tribes that are strongly based on Alexandria and classical North-Africa. The city is aesthetically closer to Jerusalem, but the tribes’ cultures are closer to classical.
haha, what do I win? XD For real though, that sounds really cool; it is such a rich and storied part of our own history. How much does the MC go traveling through the different tribes?
Well… both, in a way. It’s the primary driving force of the plot at large, but my MC is usually pursuing a more personal goal that is linked to the war. The personal goal and more general goal do usually tie together though, so she does end up influencing the war. (Often accidentally XD) Here’s the one-sentence summary of the first book (Oh, dear, here we go, I hate doing these XD): The king of a nomadic tribe is captured in a raid and his younger sister has to rescue him before it turns into an all-out war.
Ok, it sounds like you are going for a high adventure story-line, are you aiming for a YA audience or older?
That’s an amazing answer! Those moments are fun to write, but they’re really hard to get write. I often end up agonizing over them endlessly and then messing it up anyway XD Though writing something badly is always better than not writing it at all and since I’m that much closer to getting it right, I don’t actually mind.
Honestly, those moments have so much tension and build up to them that I find it best if the final delivery is simple. There comes a point, in those moments in real life, where words utterly fail to capture the magnitude of the reality in which we find ourselves, even if we can very easily objectively describe them. Death is a perfect illustration of this, what happened physically is plain and simple, a lot can be said about the grief and grieving the process, but that moment when it happens, when it impacts and flips your world on its head is so often beyond the power of a few words to truly describe. Trust in the weight of the situation – in that bridge you have built between the characters and reader through hundreds of words or pages, and the long hours the reader has spent traversing those bridges bonding with all you have built – to carry itself.
What’s your favorite part of your current WIP?
Probably the moment where Glenesh (the first books MC, and advisor to the king) has a discussion about choice face to face with the Sire (God), and then Andauryl (Satan). There is just so much packed into there, and is really the core of what this story is about.
I’d say my favorite would have to be my main character, Liorah. She’s the most chaotic character I’ve ever ‘met’ XD She’s sarcastic, stubborn, and reckless. Let’s just say she has a lot of room for character development, LOL. She’s still my favorite character since she’s actually really kind and caring deep down, she just hides it well XD
I love those characters! Mostly playing them in D&D, lol, so much opportunity for shenanigans…
So, I have a question for you: it seems like this story is really resonating with you, what is it that keeps the story going for you? What makes you keep going back to it?
For me, a big part of it is the fact that these are the kind of questions I want to have the answers to. A lot of philosophers apply themselves here, trying to discover the answers. And while philosophy is a fantastic thing, it fails to deliver that sympathetic perspective that helps us understand ourselves in our own humanity.