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Thoughts on Writing – Developing a Fictional Language – The Immortals’ Language (Choosing the Sounds)

With Wind and Words now complete, I’ve been thinking about the next story in the series (along with a short story set in Reveratch, a completely different region of Cirena).

One thing I’ve determined is that Ancient Cirenan needs to play a role in the story. The problem?

I’ve developed the Cantingen language, and a few odds and end words from Cirenan, but nothing extensive.

Making matters more complicated, Cirenan is supposed to be something like English… a mixture of languages that isn’t entirely consistent. This means that, whereas I can easily create a new Cantingen word when I need one (I even have a list of words that fit the language but don’t yet have meanings, specifically for this purpose), I can’t do that for Cirenan. At least… not on the scale that I’m going to need for the next story. Not until I have an idea of what languages are going to influence it.

As such, I’ve been thinking about the different languages which will influence Cirenan.

There are three that I can think of in particular:

  1. Cantingen – (This is one of the original languages of that world, though it wasn’t as consistent in ancient times as it is at the point where The Wishing Blade series picks up. More prevalent on the southern coasts.)
  2. Immortal – (The language of the humanoid wolves and bears which inhabit the immortal realm. There would be several variations of this dialect depending on the region and what kind of creatures are using it, but the primary one that will influence Cirenan is the variation based on the wolves. More prevalent in the northern and western regions)
  3. Litkanston – (This is the language that developed in the southern regions of Cirena. I haven’t explored this one yet).

Thankfully, I already have a pretty good handle on the Cantingen language, since it’s the basis for word magic (and featured prominently in the Stone and String series).

Now, thanks to developing some of the details regarding Reveratch, which sits on Cirena’s northern border and shares space with the Immortal Realm, I’ve started looking more in depth at the language of the immortals. I haven’t come up with an official name for it, so, for now, I’ll simply call it the immortal language. (Sorry… all my creativity is currently being directed to developing the language, not naming it).

The first thing I did was try to consider what things were important to the immortals, and which immortals would be represented.

The immortal realm is fluid, meaning that different places are not always next to each other at the same time. Oral storytelling to preserve memories (and thus, how to get from one place or another), is important. My focus is primarily on the wolves, who share a similar language with the bears (Bears are important to Reveratch). The wolves’ belief system is also a bit different from that of the Cantingen people, and varies from group to group. In general, though, they do not worship Madia/Madiya (and some may even see her as an affront to Karewalin), and while they see Listhant-Nsasrar as a creator, he is not the only creator of their realm.

That is what I started with, though those details may change as I continue to develop their world.

Ultimately, for creating the sound of the language, I started with the main “immortal” name I already had: Nsasrar. Anything I constructed for this language needed to be able to accommodate his name.

So I moved on to deciding which sounds I wanted to keep, and the representations using the English alphabet for each.

I got a bit of inspiration from looking at one of the Inuit languages, in that (at least according to the article I was reading), you could signify a short vowel by only using one, and a long vowel if there were two of the same vowels. (I could totally be wrong about this, though, and I need to dive back into the realm of internet research to find that article again).

I ended up with this for the immortals’ language:

  • i (sick)
  • ii (eye)
  • a (sack)
  • aa (aid)
  • e (bed)
  • ee (weed)
  • o (soap)
  • uu (moon)

There is also “u” (uh). However, it is only shown before a consonant, or if to represent its occurance after the “uu” sound.

The reason for this is that a single consonant, by itself, will automatically have the “uh” sound added (though it is not emphasized).

For example, Nsasrar sounds like “Nuh-sas-rar.”

(Eventually I need to relearn IPA so I can use a more specific way of designating sounds).

I also determined that an apostrophe will break apart words, indicating when a sound should stop.

For example, “amaa’a” is pronounced “ah-may-ah,” with a bit of a harder stop between “may” and the second “ah.” The second “ah” recieves more emphasis that it would if it had not been seperated. (Also, this way we can see that amaa’a should be pronounced “ah-may-ah” instead of “ah-mah-ay.”

This is different from the Cantingen language, which uses the apostrophe to designate “of” and has a hard “c” sound.

For example:

shodo’charl (stone of passage) is pronounced “show-doh-kuh-charl”

These are differences I’ll have to remember as I swap back and forth between working on the different languages.

Next I decided on the consonants for the immortal language, and I specifically wanted ones that I could picture being growled, barked, or yapped (with a little room for imagination).

This was my resulting list:

  • c
  • ch
  • cr
  • d
  • dr
  • g
  • h
  • l
  • m
  • n
  • r
  • s
  • v
  • vr
  • w
  • y

There is one other consonant: “q” (sounds like: “kwuh”) but it is specifically reserved to mean “I.”

Now, those may change as I develop the language, but that’s my starting guide for developing words.

I’ve already made a few determinations about the organization of sentences, how words change when paired with other words, and a starting point for the indication of tense and interrogatives, but those are still very much in development.

For now, I’ll leave you with a few of the words and a sentence I’ve translated thus far.

I – q – (kwuh)

drink – dramer – (drahm-air)

cold – uuanuu – (oo-ahn-oo)

milk – novo (no-voh)

quickly – vree – (vree)

I drink cold milk quickly.

translates to:

Dramvreeq novauuanuu.

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If this interests you, let me know, and I may go into more detail about how I’m actually trying to put the sentences together later. For now, I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Infinitas Publishing Status Report – December 2017

It’s that time again! I think November might have been the more productive month for me, but I had anticipated that this month would be a little slower with the holidays coming up. Still, some progress and future plans have been made. 🙂

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Glitch: I’ve finished preparing the book cover for the first book in the Glitch mini-series, and I hope to be sharing that soon. Also, now that Isaac’s on break from school, we should be able to find some time to do the read-aloud to check for inconsistencies, and then all that’s left is formatting and proofreading. 😀

Fractured Skies: I finished reading through the revisions from the major overhaul, and now Fractured Skies is in the process of going through beta-reader feedback. This will probably take a little while, as I want to make edits between readers, but it’s moving along, and I’m excited to see what the beta-readers think of it.

Distant Horizon: The new cover is complete! Those who are subscribers to the Infinitas Publishing newsletter have now seen it, so I’ll be revealing the new cover on this blog soon. I’m making a few tweaks to the manuscript (uploading a smaller file size, switching back matter, and changing the title font… but no changes to the story, everything’s aesthetics), so I’m going to wait to upload the new cover onto sites until everything’s done. But that’s the next step. No date set yet for changing the paperback’s cover, though I’ll likely need to switch that once Fractured Skies is ready to release (since it should have a cover from the updated version).

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Little One: I haven’t said much about this project yet, but I’m happy to say that I’ve finally done the first round of revisions to it, and it’s ready for Isaac to read. Yay! I’ve been wanting to revise this one for a while now. It’s set in 2012, several decades before the events of Distant Horizon, back in the heyday of heroes and villains. This is one of the novels where we get to see the beginnings of their world and learn more about characters who have previously only been mentioned in passing.

Book Three of The Wishing Blade Series: As of yet, still untitled. Isaac is now reading through it, so I’m starting to get his developmental feedback (and I expect that I’ll be making some major changes). Once I’ve made those edits, it’ll go out to beta-readers. It may be a while before we reach that stage, though, since Glitch is on the forefront of our projects.

Stone and String 2: I think I have a name for it! Hopefully I’ll be able to announce it soon, once I’m sure that’s the title I want. Anyway, I finished the last half of the story. It still needs revising, but the rough draft is finally complete!

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: This month, I have mostly focused on preparing for the holidays and finalizing two covers for my own projects, so not much new here. (Though next month I’ll have to step back into gear with other covers).

Game Development: On hold while Isaac is busy with his classes. That being said, I’ve recently learned of a genre known as LitRPG/GameLit… and I’m fascinated by the game mechanics playing a noticeable role as a major part of the story. (Probably doesn’t help that some of the fourthwaller characters in a few of my stories believe they’re characters inside a game). I’m hoping to read more books in this genre as time allows.

Marketing: Isaac and I have chosen a website name for the Distant Horizon book world, and we created a mockup for the main cover image on that page. Long story short, we’re working on getting that website up, and we’ll be launching a new newsletter to go with it. Hopefully we’ll have more on that in the coming month. (In the meantime, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, we still have our overarching Infinitas Publishing Newsletter).

Cyberpunk/Dystopian Snow White Story: I started doing a few revisions to the first couple chapters, but got side-tracked with getting stuff ready for the holidays and beta-reading. Still, this is on my to-do list.

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That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this post! 😀

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Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

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Infinitas Publishing Status Report – November 2017

All right, this time I’m actually going to get the status report done early in the month…

Does mid-month count?

Anyway, October was busy, and the beginning of November was even busier, so I’ve got a lot to cover. Either way, it’s that time again–time for a status report! 😀

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Pre-Writing Workshop at the CCCAC: I mentioned in the last status report that I was teaching a set of classes at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. I think it went well. My students all had great ideas they were fleshing out. I just wanted to give a shout-out to them and say, “Good luck with your novels!” 🙂

Glitch: I’ve gotten feedback from my second beta-reader, and today I start the process of incorporating that feedback into the final version of the mini-series. Once those tweaks are complete, it’ll be time to do the read-aloud (where Isaac and I try to catch awkward sounding sentences and anything we might have missed in the previous read-throughs).

After that, all that’s left is to prepare Glitch for publication. Formatting, finalizing book covers and blurbs… It’s just about done. Yay!

Fractured Skies: The huge overhaul of this manuscript has a been completed, adding in a whopping 40,000 words. The novel was 114,000 words before, and now sits around 155,000 words. That’s not including the scenes that we outright cut because they weren’t adding what we wanted. I think this version sounds a whole lot better. It fleshes out characters and goes a bit more in-depth as to what’s going on, and it connects the various plot pieces better.

Once I finish edits to Glitch, I’ll be re-reading through the revisions I made to Fractured Skies to make sure I like the changes and to see if there’s anything I can cut before I send it to beta-readers.

Distant Horizon: Like I mentioned last time, there’s a new cover in the works. Not much to update here, since I’ve been focusing on revisions of other books. I intend to have the new cover up before publishing Glitch.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold. I’m hoping to edit the various episodes during breaks between projects. Progress is slow, but hasn’t come to a complete halt.

Book Three of The Wishing Blade Series: I still haven’t come up with a name for this one. However, I’ve finished tightening the manuscript, so it’s ready for Isaac to read  once he has a break from his classwork.

I still need to outline book four, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of where it’s going. I just need to work out the details of how it’s going to get there.

Stone and String 2: I haven’t named this short story yet, but a little while back I started writing a rough draft for the sequel of “Stone and String.” I had to put it aside to work on other projects, but I’m now in the process of making revisions to what I’d already written. Once that’s complete, I intend to outline the rest of the story and complete the rest of the rough draft by the end of the month.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: A book cover here… a book cover there…

Game Development: On hold while Isaac is busy with his classes.

Marketing: This is a new category for my reports, but I thought it warranted a mention. I’ve been reading up various marketing strategies that are intended to help authors promote their books, and I’m hoping to develop a different newsletter for each of the different genres I write in (I’m currently thinking of having one newsletter for fantasy works, such as The Wishing Blade Series, and one for dystopian science fiction, which would encompass the Distant Horizon series and Glitch, and possibly the latest project I’ve been working on). That’s a development that’s still in progress, though, and I haven’t solidified these plans yet. (Though if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, we still have our overarching Infinitas Publishing Newsletter.)

NaNoWriMo Project: I mentioned in my most recent blog post about the Magic’s Stealing promotion that I had an all-new project I was working on for NaNoWriMo. My goal was to achieve 50,000-65,000 words in 12 days, writing in a world I hadn’t written before. Well, that’s been completed! (I’m hoping to have a more detailed post on that challenge soon).

General info… the novel (50,300 words) is a cyberpunk/dystopian retelling of Snow White from the point of view of the huntress (instead of the huntsman). The accompanying short story (11,600 words) is a cyberpunk retelling of Red Riding Hood.

I had fun writing it, and I’m hoping to start edits in December (after I finish editing these other projects). I’m hoping to write at least one more novel-length story in that series before releasing them.

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Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

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That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed this post! 😀

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Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Time for a status report! Now that the move to Michigan is mostly complete (and I’ve finally gotten my car back after a run-in with the local wildlife), we’re slowly getting back into the groove of things. Still got a few things to take care of before we’re all settled in, but things are finally getting back to normal. 🙂

DH Divider

Glitch: I’ve completed the major edits, handed the manuscript to Isaac to check over, and have been working on his changes. Due to the structure of the story, we’re actually considering breaking it into three individual stories, each around 35,000 to 45,000 words long. They’ll rely heavily on being read in order, but should each have their own beginning, middle, and end. I’ve sent the first part to a beta-reader to see what she thinks. If we do split the story into three parts, we’ll most likely release each part around two-three weeks apart, so readers won’t have to wait long to read each book. With luck, we’ll be moving forward with this project sooner rather than later.

Fractured Skies: I’ve made the second round of major edits based on Isaac’s feedback from a year or two ago, and now I’ve handed it back to him to look through. It needs a bit of work in order to match it to the style and tone of Distant Horizon. But this one is certainly in progress.

The Multiverse Chronicles: On hold.

Book 3 of The Wishing Blade Series: Working on plotting. Once Fractured Skies is out to beta-readers, I plan to start editing what I already have written of this manuscript, then write the other half of the book.

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Finished one formatting project, now working on book covers. Not much new here.

Game Development: Trying to work out the kinks in a fantasy-based civilization building game. We have a few ideas, but we’ll need to test-play them.

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Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with our latest book releases and promotions, sign up for our Infinitas Publishing Newsletter!

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 I hope you enjoyed this post! 🙂

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Behind the Scenes – Song of the Sword

This is a cover for Melange Books. For this cover we wanted to keep with the theme of the previous books: Dragon SwordSword of DoomSword of the Quest, and Star Sword. Again, I piece-parted images of the model to get the dramatic pose we wanted, and per usual, I added specific lighting to the background and foreground using overlay and softlight blending layers, in order to make the image look cohesive. Adding a bit of “fog” at the base of the image allowed the title to stand out better while blending out the legs of the model where the stock image was cut away.

SBibb - Song of the Sword - Book Cover

Stock images from The Dollar Photo Club (Site no longer functional):
two images of the model

Stock from Dreamstime:
https://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dark-ominous-rain-clouds-lightning-image18357018 – sky
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-castle-kreuzenstein-leobendorf-near-vienna-austria-image45372240 – castle
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-roche-rock-ancient-ruined-chapel-perched-top-rocky-granite-outcrop-known-as-located-mid-cornwall-dedicated-to-st-image32326080 – rocks

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The Shadow War – Now Available for Pre-Order

If you enjoyed reading Magic’s Stealing, then good news! The pre-order for the next book in the series, The Shadow War, is now avilable for pre-order!

The book is still in progress (The Shadow War has been through three beta readers, and now Isaac is reading it), but I expect to have it completed by February 2017. Actually, I’m hoping to have it done sooner, but being realistic, I’m trying to give myself a bit more time to complete the project. Once it’s finished, The Shadow War will probably be about 47,000 words long, though the final word count may vary.

Since I was running the promotion for “Stone and String” on Kindle (a short story set in the world of The Wishing Blade), I wanted to make sure I had the second book of The Wishing Blade series available to pre-order. The series starts with Magic’s Stealing, and continues in The Shadow War.

Now, for the book cover!

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

The Shadow War

Young Adult / Middle Grade Fantasy

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

The Shadow War - Book Cover

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

 

The kingdom of Cirena is under attack from an army of shadows—beings who can only be hurt by magic or fire. But magic has been stolen, and as the shadows spread, infecting all they touch, the last two ribbon mages race to the nearest port city to warn them of the impending invasion. One of those mages, Toranih, is among the few who can see the Trickster-cursed army, and she’s determined to get magic back—no matter how much she distrusts it. But when she is captured by shadows and a secret is revealed about her future, her only chance of survival may be to fight the shadows from within.

Available for Pre-Order:

Amazon US ~ Amazon UKBN.com ~ iTunes ~ KoboSmashwords

Add to Goodreads

The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl

Enjoy! 😀

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Thoughts on Writing – A Blurb for The Shadow War

I’m preparing to create the pre-order page for The Shadow War, the second book of The Wishing Blade series. I’m still in the editing phases, and it’s going to be a little while before it releases (I’m planning to set the release date for February, though I’m hoping to release it sooner). But I want to have the page up before I do the Stone and String freebie days from Kindle Select.

Before I can create the page, however, I want to have a blurb ready (those dreaded, tricky things that entice readers to buy the book). The Shadow War is a YA/Middle Grade fantasy novella (47,000 words), the second of The Wishing Blade series. (You can read the blurb for the first book by clicking here).

So I’ve been thinking about a blurb, and this is what I’ve come up with:

The kingdom of Cirena is under attack from an army of shadows—beings who can only be hurt by magic or fire. But magic has been stolen, and as the shadows spread, infecting all they touch, the last two ribbon mages race to the nearest port city to warn them of the impending invasion. One of those mages, Toranih, is among the few who can even see the Trickster-cursed army, and she’s determined to get magic back—no matter how much she distrusts it. But when she gets captured by the shadows and a secret is revealed about her future, her only chance of survival may be to fight the shadows from within.

While this may be what I use for my initial post of the pre-order page, I want to make sue it works in the long run. So my questions for you are these:

  1. Is the blurb intriguing?
  2. Does it reveal too much? Too little?
  3. Does it show clear goals and motivations?
  4. If you’ve read Magic’s Stealing, does it interest you in reading The Shadow War?
  5. If you haven’t read Magic’s Stealing, does it interest you in learning more or looking inside either of the books?

Thanks for your input! I appreciate it! 😀

I hope you find this post helpful for your own writings. What pitfalls have you run into when writing a blurb?

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