As you may have read earlier around here, we are kind of big on power.
Some cliches are just whorish truths working over time, and one of them is “words have power”. As far back as Norse myth the act of calling forth a word from the self is a magical, perhaps even sacred act. In writing the Saga of the Lost Spheres, I have grappled a lot with the value of words. Should the settings and worlds I have and am currently writing about have fictional vocabularies, re-purpose known language or painstakingly use existing terminology to describe things. Should they have decorative slang or cultural terms to normalize them? In the larger body of fantasy fiction there are a thousand variations on these sorts of language use.
Setting out to create these worlds, I began writing knowing that their inter-relative mysteries would be a huge part of their uniqueness. From a language standpoint that had a lot of questions behind it is a well and fed into my choices to finalize language usage decisions. Ultimately, the way we choose to employ language as authors has a lot impact on the verisimilitude of our worlds. And from our Norse perspective may even represent the act of mystically transferring those powerful notions out of ourselves, giving more energy and reality to the dreams we cast up for others to experience.
So in crafting the Saga of the Lost Spheres, what language devices did I choose to use?
A Tolkien-esque lexicon of new language?
A Jordan-like reuse of the known?
A Sanderson-inspired familiarity and slang?
Of course the answer is:
E) All of the Above.
Five fictional languages, multiple re-purposed bits of english language, and yes ingrained familiarized names for some of the same concepts. Oh yeah, and times a lot of that by three worlds. But borrowing a page from fantasy’s sister genre of “Hard Sci-Fi”, when the serial fiction becomes available, I recommend you just dive in. You will learn a lot of this lingo as you go, as the characters live the reality of the language. Meta-story junkies can even have fun cross-analyzing ideas from society to society.
And yes… just in case there will be a glossary… or three.