the moment you focus on time and place over essential humanity is the moment you have a caricature, not a character
A round of applause for this piece of gold, amid all the other sensible advice.
And its even harder if you're trying to write a fantasy story based in its own realm of reality but with heavy influence from the middle ages in terms of technology and lifestyle etc...and enough historical and realistic detail for readers to 'live' and properly experience the book(s) rather than feel disconnected due to the fantasy element.
Details such as religion, race, gender roles, etc...are all vital but there's also the difficulty of deciding where to draw the line in terms of the fantasy realm and how such standards work among the other existing races in the book(s). You have the added challenge of trying to make the other races as tangible as the humans.
And people wonder why I haven't written much of the actual book yet-I'm still far too busy doing all the research and fleshing out the fantasy world and its people including creating its entire history and smoothing out all the details on how everything works and links together.
This tutorial is brilliant and gives excellent advice to writers. Thank you for creating it because it really explains the importance of detailed historical research.
I envy you being able to hand something like this in - science papers are pretty stifling that way:/ Although you do get the excuse to sound like a pompous ass, so I guess it balances out in a way