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Sydney Witbeck


Hello again! How was your vacation?

Oh that’s a delight you sure are challenging him XD Trapping the villains and heroes together is always highly entertaining though somewhat murdery XD We used to have a castle for all the villains together and let me tell you, that ended exactly as you expected. I had one of my villains in there, an assassin. She ended up stabbing someone and getting her shoulder dislocated in a fight, but not before she got chased and bitten by a goose. Sometimes you just have to make fun of your villains a tiny bit XD

It’s been *cough cough* interesting. And by that I mean, Sorren and Payton got in a fight. Sorren almost chokes Payton. Sorren later threatens another charrie who has PTSD; the guy’s brother comes after Sorren and knocks him out. And then there the whole “Who wants to just leave this guys behind and who believes in showing love to your enemies” debate. Nothing like a good conflict to bring out the most interesting and emotional sides of our charries….

Liorah will have you know it was Aydin’s fault. For once she’s not lying XD

*dies laughing*

Well… yes and no. I never like when characters develop so much that they lose all their fun flaws, so I left Liorah’s ‘thirst for chaos’ side pretty much untouched. However, she matured a lot and got better at using her powers for good instead of personal amusement XD I mean… usually. Her development goes in all kinds of directions, she’s often developing positively in one aspect and negatively in another. For example, she learns important lessons in book 1 but she also comes out of it way more traumatized, bitter, and vengeful, and in the process of developing out of the bitterness in book 2, she gets issues with perfectionism and pressure, so her development fuels her flaws. It’s incredibly fun XD Besides that, there’s the inevitable power crawl that comes with character development. It’s interesting because book 3 Liorah is definitely scarier than book 1 Liorah, but she’s also way more aware of the consequences, so I’d say she’s actually less violent. In book 1, Liorah is self-centered and does things out of fun or spite, whereas in book 3, Liorah is way more focused on the bigger picture and the greater good. I recently went from drafting book 3 to rewriting book 1, so I had to jump from one extreme to the other, and lemme tell you, it’s absolutely noticeable. It makes me happy because it means I wrote it properly XD There I go rambling again XD

I don’t mind your rambles at all! XD I never considered having negative & positive development….but Leiorah sounds like she’s come a long way! Payton’s….getting there. I think? Hopefully. I just blinded him as part of his development and he’s kind of freaking out scared right now…

Lolll, that’s such a mood XD Sometimes I’ll lose a word in English so I end up writing the synonym in a different language XD It’s even worse when I’m thinking of a phrase I can’t properly translate XD I think the words I lose most often in English are “pendant” and “hatch” (as in the opening in a floor or roof) I have no idea why it’s those two specifically XD Also names of specific plants or birds. I never know those XD

XDXD It’s called a Writer’s Mood. (If you want the official name lol) That’s so funny! I’d do that if I knew words in another language that weren’t Hello or Goodbye XD What other languages do you do that in? XDXD

Lolll I know that feeling XD I have a notebook, texts with writer friends, and my phone’s notes app. The notes app is always the wildest because it’s where I write down stray thoughts without context. Sometimes I’ll get back to them and have no idea what I meant XD I once wrote one character telling another “But what did the pigeons think of the matter?” I have NO idea where this came from and less than no context. There are no pigeons mentioned anywhere else XD

IKR!?!? We do that so that no matter where we are if an idea hits, there’s a spot to jot it down. lol That’s great! I love it! *snorts* *sorry* *dies laughing* PIGEONS?!?! XDXD

Oh YES so many! I didn’t intend it to be this explicitly Christian when I started it, but it just wouldn’t stay out of the story, and now I’m really happy with it XD Let me see… themes of forgiveness, redemption, and doing good in spite of everything are really prominent! Besides that, I made a few plot choices specifically for moral reasons. For example, the story is centered around war, like many fantasy books, and my main characters are pretty caught up in it. In stories like that, it sometimes turns into sacrificing NPCs to make the main characters look cool, and that never sat right with me. I make an extra effort to show the value of each life, even the unnamed enemies. After all, in another story, they might have been the main character, and they deserve that much. In the story they’re nothing, but in life, they mattered. Besides that, I have several characters who are really aware of this. Aydin and Faye, specifically. They both have a ‘no killing’ code, for everyone. Faye even has a ‘no weapons’ and ‘no violence unless for direct self-defense’ code. Not all my characters do, and some of them do end up in fights where they kill someone. However, I’m extra careful to show the full consequences of it, both on them and everyone else. Besides that, most of my main characters have some kind of faith. I didn’t want to make up an alternate religion, it kind of sits wrong with me personally, and I didn’t want to explain why or how Christianity is a thing in a fantasy world, so there aren’t many details, but God is definitely present. I put a little more work into the Lehabim religion. (The tribe Liorah and Gav are from) It’s not modern Christianity, even though it’s definitely the same God. A lot of the practices are drawn directly from the Old Testament, and none of them contradict it. It’s very similar to Old Testament Judaism. I had a lot of fun using some more obscure biblical symbolism for it! Besides that, Aydin ends up finding faith. It’s not direct and it’s not a main arc, but it happens in the background, more as a part of the rest of his arc than a direct conversion. How about you? How has your faith influenced your writing?

Now I have to say, I just LOVE that about the fighting/value of life. Every life counts before God b/c we’re all in His Image, but the culture has definitely lost that.  I know what you mean. I kept the religion in my book Christianity. I might change that in another book, but that’s if it’s an allegory not just a fantasy novel. The Judiasm symbolism is neat! And AYDIN!! MY FAVORITE!! HAPPY ENDING!! *hugs him*

So there are different tribes in your book? Are there separate rulers for each one?

I think my faith has mostly influenced my writing in the fact that my whole purpose behind writing is that I want to have fiction that can be adventurous and also God-honoring. I had a hard time finding books like that for awhile and I was fed up with books where sin was unaddressed at the end or God was just thrown in as an afterthought. I knew God wanted my whole heart and I didn’t want anything going in my mind that would tempt me. Literature is SUCH A POWERFUL tool and that really saddened me. So I was like, well, if I can’t find ’em, I’ll write ’em XD Also all of my stories revolve around a character who either finds, recovers, or strengthens their personal relationship with God.

*okay leaving my soapbox now*


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