Monthly Archives: August 2008

Wordcounts

I always say that I am a world-builder, and not a writer. Well, I just found an old spreadsheet I used to keep updated back in the day when I still wrote stuff. I didn’t bother to check the numbers, because in all likelihood the difference is tiny. Turns out I wrote a total of 230,000 words – split over various unfinished works. Still, it’s actually quite a lot. That’s, what, as much as 2-3 normal-sized books?

Just goes to prove that I really need a life.

World Building Month, Week 2

Eliza has published the second showcase of world building month entries. Great way to read up on everybody’s projects. I actually try to follow all of them (I activated Google’s RSS reader) but I fear I am not doing too well on that.

There are also some projects that I simply don’t have much to say on – for example the science fiction universe Jan van Hove is creating. I kind of feel bad about it. However, while I’ve built Sci Fi settings in the past, and in general like science fiction, I currently just don’t feel like touching Science Fiction with a ten foot light saber (my Voyagers setting hates me for it).

The Script of Arnâron – Second Sample

Spent more time last night to work on the script. Current samples:

"Arnâron" in native script.
'Arnâron' in native script.
\"I think therefore I am\" in native language and script.
'I think therefore I am' in native language and script.

The first line simply reads “Arnâron”.

The second line reads “tonyo zu des ka zu” which means “I think therefore I am”.

You may notice that I flipped the “A”-triangles (/a/ and /A/ in X-Sampa) over to make for less eerie similarities. The “u” and “û” (“u” and “y” in X-Sampa) are now the two variations of the circle, while the “o” looks like a “u” – and is one of the glyphs I am really unhappy with. Same for the “ny” consonant (/J/ in X-Sampa).

I resisted the temptation to make the script right-to-left oriented, deciding I didn’t need the added headache.

The Script of Arnâron – First Sample

What’s even tougher than designing a language?

Designing the script for it.

I spent a goodly amount of time brainstorming on my alphabet today. In the end, I came up with 21 glyphs that will be the characters of the script… Except that I think they don’t really match each other stylistically. So there’s still a lot of work ahead of me. Still, I wanted to post a short sample just so that I have something to show for the many hours spent.

Script - First Sample
Script - First Sample

It reads “Arnâron”, of course.

Does it make sense that the “A” and “O” kind of look very similar to what’s in the latin alphabet? Well – the triangle and circle are just too simple to exclude them. And I figured since I’ll include them, it does make sense to use them in this way instead of confusing people by making the o-glyph stand for, say, “e”.

That said, it is very much a work in progress, and I am sure I’ll change a lot of characters around.

Schedules and plans

Time is always an issue. I have a regular job that takes way too much of my time, and usually leaves me with little energy in the evenings. And then there are other things. But no matter what I do, schedules always seem to be unpredictable. I knew there was a reason why I do not plan more than a few weeks ahead. It turns out that something I had planned to do won’t happen and that will leave me with ample spare time for the rest of August.

Figures.

So I’ll be world-building.

Since World Building Month is half-over, and I do want to at least have a complete skeleton of a world by the end, I thought about what needs to be done:

* Language. Very important.
* Religion. We know some basics already, but this needs to be worked out in detail.
* Details on the nations – Customs, history, rulers, attitudes.
* Money and trade: The economy needs to be designed at least in some detail. What do the nations produce, what do they export, and what do they need to import? Where are the main resources located, and what are they?
* Cities of Ârnaron.
* Ruins and relics: The shattered past lurks among the dunes.
* Astrology and zodiacs.
* Heroes and villains: Create at least a few of each as sample characters, so to speak.
* Prizes and princesses: What do the heroes and villains fight over, and how?
* The hordes: There are uncivilized, regressed barbarians everywhere, as befits a savage, mythical Martian styled world. Need to write about these guys, too.

I think that mostly covers it. I’ll probably deviate here and there and throw some other stuff in, as ideas pop up. But if I forgot something important or if there’s anything you actually want me to work out, do let me know via comments.