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Sydney Witbeck
@sydney

*Nods solemnly* A handful is right 😂 Thank you! They’re both lovely but he’s definitely the one who makes everyone go “Oh that’s a beautiful horse!” It’s terrible for his already immense ego XD

XD That’s hysterical!!

It’s especially hilarious when it happens late like Aydin was an important character in all three books but it wasn’t until the tail end of book 3 that I realized I’d been writing him as such all along XD It’s just “Avoidance of eye contact, special interests, stimming, overanalyzing social situations, strong sense of justice, occasionally reacting wrong to a situation, sensory issues etc. etc. Yeah no, he’s definitely autistic”

😅😅 lol. Characters….sometimes they can be so unpredicatable!

We always have that one character who is so delightfully fun to torture but who we still love dearly. They’re often the best characters though XD I also love driving my characters to the absolute edge of their sanity. Especially Liorah, she’s so fun to drive absolutely desperate 🥰 Oh goodness that sounds ominous! I promise I love them XD

Yes!! I love throwing Ethan and Payton into the deep end **sorry guys** and hoping they will learn to swim and not sink! OK fine. I apologize to Ethan, but I don’t usually tell Payton I’m sorry. He doesn’t listen to me so I guess he kinda deserves it….

Oh THANKS!! XD

Thank you! I decided it on a whim and loved it ever since! Hmm, let me see… Yes, I have it nicely spread out, one per book. I mean, I need to have something to motivate her, and the promise of “You’ll get to commit arson pretty soon” is as good as any! XD Of course I can’t let her do it too often, she’s already so spoiled as a main character XD

Ha ha! That’s so funny I love it! Oh the things we do to make our characters do what we actually want them to do! Liorah sounds like such an interesting character, I love her! Also, I think you did a great of of describing the relationship between her and Gav. Conflicted/strained relationships can be tricky to write but when you pull it off….it’s such a satisfying feeling!

Ohh, that’s tricky! That’ll be fun though! I’m personally kind of uninterested in romance in most media, it has to be really well done for me to find it compelling, but I found that writing it is actually very fun!

Oh well, actually, I open with their wedding so the romance from that point on is a bit easier…. yeah me too. I usually don’t read romance unless it’s done the right way, if you know what I mean! What was your biggest challenge in writing that?

Ugghhh they’re SO HARD! I had to rewrite my battles like three or four times to get them right, and they’re still not quite what I wanted! Coming up with the plan is absolutely the hardest part!

YEEESS! (The second hardest thing was writing a song but that’s a whole different kettle of fish XD) The main reason I wrote the battle was to give me a good excuse to kill off Malon, my main villain. I have SUCH a hard time coming up with ways to punish my villains so I resorted to simply killing him off in battle. However, as there is no battle in this next book…..🙄🙄 perpetual banishment? idk 😅

Symbolism is just the best thing, I’m honestly guilty of overusing it if anything XD

Is that even possible! XD Is the symbolism in Gilded Blood? What is it?

Yep, yep, that’s how it is! I joke about all the awful things I’ve done to my characters, especially Aydin who hits a new rock bottom approximately three times a book XD Every time they think it can’t get worse YES IT CAN *Evil writer laughter*

Oh my poor characters. They aren’t allowed a moment’s peace.

My characters: Oh good things are finally calming down! I guess she’s finally going to leave us alone now.

Me: *rubbing hands* Just you wait, guys! Have you ever heard of the calm before the storm!?!

Aaaaa! Poor Aydin!😢😢😢😢 Things do look up for him by the end, right!?!

That’s HILARIOUS I’ve definitely been guilty of that XD Actually quite literally once… I trapped him (Aydin, coincidentally) in a prison and basically told him to figure it out. Somehow, he did. Still shocked at that one. Sometimes my characters use their shared brain cell (singular) and I’m always shocked XD

Girl! If you don’t leave Aydin alone, I am coming to his rescue!!!! XD Singular shared brain cell….. 😂😂 Yeah, I just let them do all the thinking work….saves me the trouble….

Yes and no! It’s a subcategory of sword since there isn’t really a standard kind of sword. It’s two-handed and pretty big, almost four feet long! It was used without a shield, and mainly on foot. The kind we do was for when you weren’t wearing much armor! The shorter swords, like you’d use on a horse or with a shield, with one hand, are called arming swords! They’re quite different in use from the longsword. I’ve done a tiny bit with one-handed swords, but really not more than a crash course XD

I never knew swords had “sub-categories!” So cool!! I’m going to have to work that into my next book if I get an opportunity. =) I would love to get a chance to learn how to use a sword one day!

Both before and after XD After I drafted it for the first time, but before I rewrote it! So I do have a few cool details here and there, plus it really helps me think of cool things to do in fight scenes! Some of the things you do irl are the kind that people think would be unrealistic to include XD Oh, watching battles would definitely help! It helps you pick up on the rhythm of it all!

Oh the many revisions my battle had to go through…. It was probably a toss-up as to who was more exhausted by the end, me or my characters XD By the way, I read your article on sword fighting from your blog! That helps a ton!! Thanks a bunch for making any of my future swordfights more realistic XD Maybe I can use the “I need to watch some battles in case I ever need to write some more” excuse to watch LOTR…

LOlll sameee!! On the other hand, swords require a ton of coordination, which I absolutely do not have either, but here we are XD

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to cut your own head off…wow. Sorry if that wounded graphic…

Loll, I get that! Though, you can change it as often as you like! That does help XD

Ha ha, yes! Well, I am (re)reading LOTR so I would probably change a lot depending on what chapter I am reading and what amazing quotes I find! XD

Oh awesome! That’s pretty close, that must be really exciting! Okay, so beta reading! Beta readers are people who critique your manuscript between drafts! Often they’re just friends and family, but having a few beta readers who are writers has been an immense help to me! If you socialize around SE, sooner or later someone will volunteer if they like your story (Like I did XD) They’re like editors, except they’re not professionals and often more subjective, and they’ll usually just read it once. They don’t do as much as an editor, but they’re amazing for pointing out what isn’t working and what is! It often helps you get perspective on a story when you’re too close to it and you have no idea whether it’s trash or a masterpiece (You know that feeling you get while writing XD) I’ve beta-read for people several times, and I’ve had beta readers go through my manuscript, and both have been overall great experiences! I love beta reading for other people because A. I get to read cool stories and talk about them to the author directly, which is epic, and B. It helps me with my own revisions. I’ve gotten a LOT better at editing by reading other people’s work and critiquing it! I love when people read my story because well… it’s amazing to get to share it! Plus it has helped IMMENSELY with revising, often they’ll point out issues I never would have spotted. Anyway, I’m happy to answer any more questions about it, if it’s something you’re interested in! If it’s something you might consider but you don’t know how to go about it, I’d be happy to tell you more about that too!

Thanks a bunch!! It is!!

Beta reading sounds so cool! Yes, I would be interested in letting you Beta read my story! I would love to have another writer’s opinion….. So when I finish, what would the best way be to send it to you?

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