What language are we speaking today? Understanding Stephen Swartz

Swartz_After Ilium_FrontCvr_200dpi_3inOne of my dearest friends is author Stephen Swartz, a true renaissance man. A professor of English and a linguist, Stephen’s work frequently involves foreign settings, and with those exoctic places, come the exotic languages. He has devised a chart (you know how happy charts make me) to keep the many languages his characters speak straight. It is an easy way to do so, and is a great way to make what editors call a ‘style guide’ when you are working in different worlds.

For more about Stephen’s chart and his books, go to:

DeConstruction of the Sekuatean Empire: What language are we speaking today? Understanding the worlds of Stephen Swartz

But what if we don’t work in earthly languages? What if our reality is, in truth, UNreality?

All the more important to make yourself a style guide for your project. This will ensure consistency, especially when you are making up words.  Readers will notice inconsistencies, even though we as authors rarely see them in our own work.

Some things to consider:

What words need to capitalized at all times? Temple

What words must be hyphenated at all times? Battle-mage

How do you spell that city’s name again? Ludwellyn

Stephen’s Chart can be adapted to create a style guide for your work quite easily.  I think I’ll have me some fun with excel today!

style guide for Neveyah

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Battles, Books, Fantasy, Humor, Literature, Publishing, Self Publishing, Uncategorized, writer, writing

2 responses to “What language are we speaking today? Understanding Stephen Swartz

  1. Wow! I’ve been charted again!
    Actually, while working off-world, I do keep a list of place names and character names in the “alien” languages just for reference. Must be consistent! Also while running a spell-check, I’m extra careful of accent marks. I often add to my dictionary those names which are used a lot so the precise spelling is preserved.

    Like

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