You have reached the end of the story. What follows is merely some general musings about the story and what comes next. If this doesn't interest you, feel free to click away.
When I first started posting Mother of Learning on Fictionpress, all the way in 2011, I had no idea it would become as popular as it did. The story, as it was originally conceived, was meant to be a tool for fleshing out the fantasy setting I was building. I had noticed that diving into the setting from the perspective of an actual person living inside it really helped me notice the missing details and various inconsistencies that I would have otherwise missed or glossed over if I was just looked at it from a big picture perspective. Mother of Learning was simply going to be a way for me to visualize the daily life inside the world I was building.
I needed a plan, of course. I knew from my previous writing attempts that I wasn't one of those people who can write a story while making things up as they go along. Rather than picking something sensible, however, I chose to make it an epic time travel plot spanning multiple continents and involving a small legion of supporting characters. Because if I'm already going to dream, might as well dream big, right?
Right. I wrote a story summary, outlining the entire novel from start to finish. I created a character document containing brief descriptions of all important characters. And then I sat down and started writing.
I wrote about eight chapters before I decided they were not good enough and just plain wrong. So I completely discarded them all and started from scratch.
I then wrote four brand new chapters. I soon discarded them as well. They were no good, either.
The third time I also wrote four chapters, but this time I actually liked the result. I liked it so much, in fact, that I decided it wouldn't hurt to share my work with the world. I posted all four chapters on Fictionpress, thinking I would be lucky to get even a hundred regular readers. Nine years later and here we are.
Mother of Learning is finally done. I very much enjoyed writing it, but I'm glad it's done. It was meant to end here, and being able to bring it to a completion feels good. Some parts of the original concept had to be cut out of the story as it progressed, but I feel the story is ultimately better for it. I was a very inexperienced writer when I first made the original story plan, and its sheer scope was almost unreal. It's a miracle it served me as well as it had by the end of it.
The story is not perfect by any means. Over the years, I have seen a fair amount of criticism about my work and writing style that feels true. I am pretty sparse in my descriptions, for instance, especially of people. My characters apparently have a tendency to sound very similar to one another. My word choice can be occasionally jarring to perceptive readers, since I often use modern terms without thinking about whether or not they fit the setting. Some of the info dumps and extended explanations probably drag on a little too much. Parts of the story, especially ones towards the end of it, can feel rather hurried and poorly paced, and I'm not sure I really did them justice.
Still. I am happy with how the story turned out in the end, and I am happy to have found so many readers interested in reading this silly story of mine. My audience has been extraordinarily patient and generous to me over the years, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I hope that, having read entire story now, you find the journey to have been worth it.
What do you intend to do now?
Well, in the short term, I intend to sit down and do some editing. I have received many, many typo reports and lists of mistakes from my readers, but I have been focusing solely on writing new chapters for a while now, so they have simply been gathering dust in my editing folder. Now that the story is over, I intend to go over each chapter and correct all the typos people found, so that new readers stumbling on the story have a less frustrating experience.
Also, while the story itself is done, I intent to continue writing more worldbuilding articles for the setting of the story as a whole. Ironically, despite starting the story to help with my worldbuilding, I have kind of been ignoring the worldbuilding side of things. That's kind of sad, so I hope that will change now that the story is done.
You should publish the story!
I fully intend to look into publishing options, now that the story is done. I've been putting this off until Mother of Learning was finished, since it's bound to be a time-consuming and frustrating task. Since I am almost entirely ignorant of what this will involve, however, I will not make any promises in regards to this.
Do you intend to continue writing after this?
Of course. I like writing and I have plenty of ideas for new stories after this. I'm not sure if the ideas are any good, but I certainly have no shortage of them. I'm going to have to make some story plans and write up some test chapters, but I'll be sure to come back with another story.
Are you going to write a sequel to Mother of Learning?
Maybe. Definitely not any time soon, but I do have some ideas about a possible sequel eventually. My current idea is that it wouldn't be nearly as long or grand as the original, and would mostly focus on showing the aftermath of the original and what the characters do in their everyday life. A sort of extended epilogue, more slice-of-life than a grand mystery of the original.
Anyway. This is still in very rough stage, and I can't even guarantee that it's going to happen for sure. I guess you'll just have to wait and see about this one.
What was your inspiration for the story, anyway?
Various Dungeons & Dragons content, the Avernum series of games, Fullmetal Alchemist manga and anime, and time loop fanfiction.
Anything else you want to say?
Nope. This is it. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.