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Yeah, I thought it’d be a cool detail if he decided his sister should be literate. XD

Wow, really? I always had the idea that like 99% of people in the middle ages had no idea how to read or write. Well, maybe 99% of peasants. The royals and scribes I thought probably did, except for women, but I’m not sure if women could be scribes? I don’t know much about medieval times, but it was definitely an interesting era!

Yeah, it was actually estimated that at least one person in every household could read, even among peasants. And as far as I know, nuns did also write. By medieval times, I’m pretty sure scribes mostly did administrative work and reproduced manuscripts. (Don’t quote me on this, I’m not sure XD)

Some of the most interesting evidence they found was a cooking book, dated to the late middle ages. What’s so interesting about that, obviously, nobility didn’t cook, and noble men certainly didn’t. So, the target audience must have been peasant women. Who could apparently read.

One of the most interesting findings I’ve read about is a series of birchbark found in Novgorod, Russia. It’s hundreds of texts (915 items in all) Notes, letters, and even a marriage proposal.

One of my favorites is a few drawings by a seven-year-old boy. There are bits of an alphabet in one corner, so he was apparently practicing writing, but he apparently got bored and started doodling. It’s adorable because the style is exactly the same as little children draw now. The eyes, the hands with too many fingers. I just think it’s adorable. (To find the texts, you can Google something like “Onfim texts” The boy signed his name as Onfim, so I think you can find them like that.)

What’s so interesting about this is that it more or less proves that peasants were definitely reading and writing, their texts just weren’t preserved. I thought this was really cool!

Eeek, he sounds intense! And freaky. XD He’s gonna be an interesting character to figure out, since as you said, you don’t know him that well yet. I have another character in TAS that’s sort of antagonistic (she’s the one whose brother was murdered by Paul), and I’m trying to figure her out. Maybe I’ll use tonight’s writing time to make a character profile for her.

Have you ever written an antagonistic character you actually DON’T hate, but kinda love? XD This is the kind of character she will be. I’m actually using her to create conflict in readers, providing them with a balanced view in regards to Paul. Also that she and Temira are parallel characters.

OOh, that’s awesome! Yes, antagonists can be awesome to pull your heroes back to earth. In my first book, most of the characters are antagonists in some way (Mostly because Liorah isn’t acting rationally or wisely and everyone is trying to talk sense into her XD) They can be so awesome!

The best thing is you’ll know all your facts exactly and won’t have to do tons of research. XD

Exactly! And even more, it gives me an excuse to research Edwardian sewing methods! XD

*sheepish laughter* Temira is actually the character from TAS I relate to the most, and I project TONS of my issues onto her. It ain’t so uncommon. *more sheepish laughter*

LOL, exactly! I spread my issues around fairly! Gavril gets perfectionism and overachieving, Liorah gets stubbornness and defiance, Faye gets timidity and shyness, Ziyad (another character of mine) gets anxiety XD I could go on like this, but they all get some messed-up-ness XD That makes it much more interesting to write XD

So I started writing when I was four technically, but I usually tell people around seven or eight ’cause that’s when I started writing novels. Before then it was just short stories. My novels were always exactly 200 pages long, since I bought those college-ruled notebooks to write in, lol. I’d say I wrote about forty of those. The ones I was proudest of was a six-book series… literally about the characters in MarioKart. So just a fanfic, I guess. XD Besides that series (which I called Adventures on the Island), everything I wrote was about girls of around eleven or ten living in 1800s Anne of Green Gables towns. XD Then I wrote sequels where they met awesome dudes and got married. XD

The longest novel I ever wrote was 400 pages, which I penned when I was around thirteen. It wasn’t focused on God though, so I don’t have it anymore.

It’s awesome that you’ve been writing so long! That’s amazing! I hated creative writing with a burning passion until about eighteen months ago XD

A friend actually inspired me to start writing. And I was getting extremely frustrated with returning books because they turned the wrong way in the middle. I basically decided the bar was so low that even I couldn’t write anything worse. And that was at the start of the ‘Rona, so I was bored.

My sole motivation was boredom and spite. LOL

I’m not completely decided between traditional or self publishing. I always thought it would be traditional, but then I actually did research on that route. The main thing holding me back is that I’ve heard the publisher has the final say on changes to your novel, and you could get an editor who doesn’t agree with you on what the final product should be. So you could end up with your novel completely changed from how you wanted. My goal with TAS is to write what God leads me to, not what an editor or publisher wants. So I’ve actually started seriously considering self publishing. I’m not yet sure which way God wants me to go, so I’m basically waiting to see where He takes me!

That’s amazing! I’ve never done much research into publication. I knew when I started that I wasn’t going to publish.  Mostly, I’m not happy with the quality of my work yet. I still have too much to learn and it’s not ready for publication. Also, it’s a trilogy, and that’s notoriously hard to sell as a debut if I was planning to publish traditionally.

Besides, I’m writing in a nonexistent genre XD It’s too Christian for a secular market, but it’s a fantasy, which you can’t really sell easily to a Christian publisher. (I have read only a handful of ‘Christian fantasy’ books and I disliked all of them. They really love the allegory, don’t they?) Besides, getting a book deal is a pretty big commitment, and I’m not planning to write full-time anytime soon.

This is just for me to have fun with and write down all the sarcastic comments I’m too shy to say irl XD

It’s so awesome that you’re going to publish! I’m sure it’ll do great, especially since it’s just a really cool premise! If I saw it in the store, I’d totally pick it up! It’d be awesome to see Paul from a closer perspective.

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

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