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WOAH! Your findings are so cool! That’s especially awesome that nuns wrote.

And oh my goodness, I just searched up Onfim. That is just ADORABLE. I love how the drawing is so scribbly!

I know right! It’s the cutest thing, little kids’ drawings haven’t changed at all!

Another very cool thing I found was how scribes used to embellish their writing. I don’t mean the fancy illuminations, though those are lovely, but I’ve seen pictures of little doodles they made while testing their pens.

Pen testing texts are always hilarious because it’s basically whatever popped first into their mind. Several examples that they’ve found: “I am very cold” “The ink is thin” (Complaints about parchment and ink were very common) “Writing is excessive drudgery.” Basically lots of complaints. Though, the oldest Dutch text ever found was a little song-lyric a scribe scrawled in the margins!

And they used to embellish holes by drawing around them. For example, they’d draw a face and leave the hole as a mouth or a cave with the hole as an opening. Or they’d just sew it together. But often they’d use bright colored threads and pretty stitches. I think it’s so pretty that once upon a time, hundreds of years ago, someone decided to make this little useless thing pretty, even though only a few people would ever see it.

Why have I done so much research about medieval manuscripts? Acyn, one of my characters, is a scribe’s apprentice and then I got distracted by researching it XD

And yeah, history in general and the medieval era, in particular, are my favorite rabbit-holes XD

By the way, is there a specific reason you chose to name your character Liorah? First of all, I love the name, and second, while searching for names for my two newest TAS characters, I came across Liorah in the Hebrew girl names list. It means “light unto me” and does originate from Hebrew. So pretty!

Aaah! Someone figured it out! Yes, actually! Well, not at first. At first, it was just a nice-sounding name that was easy to pronounce. (Unlike some others. I’ve mentally pronounced Acyn at least four different ways XD) (Also, fun fact, I almost named her Ivanya. But I’m glad I didn’t, I really love Liorah as a name!)

But as I kept writing I started weaving more and more light and dark symbolism into the story, so it gets a lot of meaning throughout the story. (But only if you know to look for it. 😉 ) I use the ‘Be the light of the world’ passage as inspiration and worked a lot of stuff around that.

I pick my character names on a lot of factors. I try to have characters from the same tribe have similar language origins. The Lehabim mostly have Hebrew names. (Which is a pain since most girl’s names end in -ah and most boy’s names end in -el XD)

The Nebatan has similar-sounding names but they’re often closer to English names. Like ‘Faye’ ‘Sage’ and ‘Juniper’. (Geographically, they’re way further north and had a lot of cultural drift from nearby and there was a large wave of immigration from a ‘European’ country etc. etc.)

For the Kezbes I often go to Turkish names because they just sound so cool!! I don’t know why, they’re just really awesome and unusual names. Like ‘Lachlin’ ‘Kongar’, and ‘Darya’.

I also have a lot of Arabic names sprinkled in completely at random, purely because they’re pretty. ‘Sahar’, ‘Acyn’ and ‘Ziyad’ are all Arabic. (Though Sahar is actually also Hebrew! It means dawn in Arabic but moon in Hebrew!)

It’s definitely not limited per tribe, I have some people who randomly have names from other countries because it worked better, (Chantara is a Thai name) but I tried to make them have the same aesthetic.

And… I kinda just do it randomly, often. XD I sometimes work with meanings, but not a lot.

How about you? What’s the naming process for you?

Haha, I love it! Same here. I find myself relating to Paul on a lot of issues too, actually, lol. Mainly his guilt over his past – which is actually what I enjoy portraying most in TAS. Seth, his adoptive nephew, gets all the anger, impatience, and frustration I struggle with. XD And Reuben, the elder (biological) nephew, gets the doubt and skepticism. Ariella, the newest addition, gets the struggle between forgiveness and vengeance. (Her name used to be Keziah, but I renamed her. XD)

Ooh, all those names are lovely! (I actually have a friend named Keziah, it’s such a pretty name!)

I actually find projecting stuff like that onto my characters helps me work through it. I guess it gives you a lot more perspective, and it just makes your writing feel much more authentic. I can very often tell when an author was writing from experience because it feels so much more raw and detailed. (Good authors can fake that pretty well, but with less practiced ones it’s easy to see which are based on real-life experience.)

For instance, just the other day, I was referencing something in the first chapters of my second book. (Which I wrote… last November? I think?) And I read a few snippets of dialogue, and I was kinda shocked at how dark and hopelessly depressed it was. I knew those were my depressive feelings Liorah was expressing, but I guess I hadn’t completely realized it at the time. Always very funny when that happens XD

Ooh, the struggle between forgiveness and vengeance is the theme of my second book! It was very fun to write about because it’s such a multi-faceted subject! There are so many sides to it and it just stays complicated no matter how you twist it.

Every motivation counts! And I believe God grants motivation, so if you were motivated to write, He’s got a plan for that. If it involves publication or if it doesn’t.

Thank you, I hope so <3

I totally get that. I won’t be ready to publish my Biblical fiction for a very long time. Right now is the time God is teaching me to wait, be patient, and just to enjoy the ride. It’s completely okay if you’re not planning to publish, and like I mentioned before, God has a plan for every writer that may or may not be publication. As for me, I had much different plans for my writing before God changed it all, and I’ve still got lots to learn

That’s awesome! I guess learning as you go along is just a part of the journey!

I’m not planning to write full-time, either (another reason I’m considering self-publishing much more seriously). I may be looking very far into the future, lol, but I feel called to a divinity degree and full-time ministry. I believe God is calling me to keep writing a part of my life, but not as a full-time career.

That’s amazing! I think what I love about writing is that you can keep it as a hobby without any guilt because you don’t have to pay for materials LOL XD And looking far into the future is a good thing!

I love how Temira’s POV provides that closer perspective. It’s the most important thing that fuels TAS. Paul’s sister’s POV shows the very down-to-earth, intimate, relatable side of him (he was an actual human being, after all! XD). Of course, Paul is St. Paul to us, but to Temira he is just Paul her brother. She sees him as a normal little sister would see her big brother. XD She does revere him greatly, but she is not in awe or fearful of him. He’s her brother, and will always be just that first and foremost to her.

I think that’s what I’ve always loved about Biblical fiction! It makes them feel like people, and it makes them far easier to connect to. They can feel awfully distant at times XD

I think Paul less than others, maybe because of the medium in which his books were written. They were just meant for a small community, and you can kinda see that it was dictated instead of written down. It’s more stream-of-consciousness and more personal than many of the other gospels. It makes it interesting to read 😉

  • This reply was modified 2 months ago by Rose.

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

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