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They were wondering what cultural or religious significance this bare patch of rocky cliff face just off the road could possibly have… until they translated it to discover it was the ancient equivalent of a 7/11 bathroom wall in the middle of nowhere Kentucky. XD

Oh, my goodness, that’s hilarious! XD I studied some Latin texts and I still think it’s one of the funniest things how many of the great ‘classical texts’ are basically fanfiction (Aeneid was literally fanfic of the Illiad) XD

Oh man, I am actually… about halfway (?) 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.

Oh, wow! That’s amazing! I’ve never attempted it, but I can imagine how much work that is! When I need variations on language, I often just take small elements of languages I know and just state that one of the languages works like that.

Example: “Why did you just use a double negative?” “Why didn’t you?” I’ve never actually used that one specifically, but I could XD

I also think it’s fascinating how common languages would work, especially in the cases where it’s a blend of several languages instead of just one language like ‘If you want to trade with us, you speak our language.’ That’s also a big part of colonization and doesn’t make much sense outside it.

A real-world language that worked like a blended language is Afrikaans, which is a blend of old Dutch, French, English, Malaysian, and some of the Bantu languages. I love how you can still pick out literal phrases and grammatical things and trace them back to the language they stemmed from. It’s kind of one of my fascinations XD

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?

Thank you! Not a lot actually. She visits six of seven tribes at one point or another, though, but there isn’t that much traveling. I incorporated the different cultures by using different characters. The main cast of characters are each from a different tribe. (Except for one tribe, because of geographical reasons, they’re just too far away.)

The tribes are kind of split into two main groups, the southern tribes, and the northern tribes. The northern tribes are near the sea, where all the fertile land is, and the others are scattered through the rest of the country, so there are big cultural differences between north and south. The northern tribes had a larger amount of immigrants so they had more cultural drift than the other tribes, who were more isolated because of the geography.

And when the two cultures mix, you get some funny mishaps. For example, differences in names for constellations: “Okay, you need to follow the Bear.” “Where am I supposed to find a bear? Oh, you mean the Plow!?”

Okay, that was way more detail than you asked for XD I tend to get carried away with worldbuilding XD

Ok, it sounds like you are going for a high adventure storyline, are you aiming for a YA audience or older?

It’s a YA. There is some violence, but so far I’ve managed to keep it from being too graphic. For some reason, my plots always tend to work out that they’re not that actiony until the midpoint, then there’s usually a plot twist and everything collapses, leaving my characters scrambling to stay alive. It’s happened twice already XD

 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.

I definitely agree! It’s important to leave some of the story for the reader to fill in. If you explain everything, there’s nothing left to think about or imagine, and a reader’s imagination is much stronger than the writer’s power of description. This is something I still struggle with. I either over-explain or leave it completely unaddressed. That’s pure practice though, and it’ll get better in the later drafts. (I hope XD)

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.

That sounds like an awesome scene and it has a ton of potential to illustrate your theme!

I love those characters! Mostly playing them in D&D, lol, so much opportunity for shenanigans…

Totally! I’ve never played D&D, but I currently have her in a Character Castle (A roleplay to develop your characters) here on SE. She’s just so much fun and causes all manner of havoc XD

I distinctly remember a moment when she was doing backflips in zero-gravity while arguing with her brother. That just about summarizes her personality XD Yeah, it was exactly as weird as it sounds. Many of the other characters were freaking out and Liorah was doing backflips and having the time of her life.

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?

Well, my primary inspiration was a combination of boredom and frustration XD It was at the start of lockdown last year, and I was getting extremely annoyed because I had to return most of the audiobooks I started, either because they were just plain boring or because they turned non-christian somewhere in the middle.

Eventually, it got so annoying that I, who hated creative writing up to that point, actually decided that if I couldn’t find a good book, I was going to write one. Oh, and I was really bored. XD So, I guess that’s when it started but when I actually started writing I just got really, really attached to my characters. It actually feels like spending time with friends at this point XD

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.

That’s an amazing answer! I think I do that to a smaller degree. A common theme I find popping up in my writing is how even the people who have good intentions may do awful things to accomplish their goals and how even the evilest people think they’re doing right. (Usually) It makes for an interesting narrative since my villain’s goals do actually make sense and are objectively good. (He wants to unite the tribes so there will never be civil wars again.) Although his methods are definitely completely wrong and he’s still an evil person. He believes in ‘the end justifies the means’ too much.

I don’t know, I didn’t consciously choose it, it just keeps popping up. It just feels very shallow to me when some stories entirely dismiss all the horrible things the heroes do because their goals are good.

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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