Back in 2016 I started doodling a magic knight. I then drew a mage to accompany her, and then an archer, a rogue/thief, and a cleric. I’ve since lost the images for the rogue and cleric, but I still have the images for the first three – even though I almost lost them as well.
I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of conlang-related posts I want to make on this blog. I’ve essentially run out of conlangs to document, and writing up that documentation gets kind of boring anyway.
So I thought it would be best to make an entirely new conlang and record my progress in a series of weekly blog posts. That way people can see how I make conlangs, especially people who are interested in making a conlang (that isn’t a simple naming language) but don’t really know where to start.
As mentioned, this won’t be a naming language; it will instead be a “full” conlang. Since I don’t create conlangs “in order”, I doubt there will be separate posts specifically for phonology, nouns, verbs, etc. unless I manage to write a lot about those things.
Each week, I will be writing a blog post that includes:
All the work I’ve done on the conlang that week. Did I create noun cases? Verb conjugations? Decide on word order? I’ll explain all my decisions as well.
A list of all the words I created during the week.
I’m also using this conlang for Lexember this year! At the end of the month, I’ll do my usual Lexember post will all the “official” Lexember words. That will definitely not include all the words I create this month, since this is a new conlang and there are a lot of words I need to create in order to do grammar/conjugation/declension tests and other things.
I briefly considered randomizing everything – phonology, word order, number of cases, etc. – but then decided against it. I may roll dice to decide some things, especially if I’m having a hard time making a choice, but having everything be completely random would be absolute chaos and I don’t want to deal with that.
Next week, December 13, will be the first post. I’ll introduce the conlang (including its name) and everything I’ve done so far.
In November, I started writing Samael. I already knew that I wasn’t going to be writing a traditional novel. Instead of having chapters in my outline, I had “issues”. Just from the outline, it was obvious that most of the “issues” would end up being more than 2000 words – some substantially more.
It wasn’t until I actually started writing that I decided what I was going to do: break up each “issue” into parts. I then also decided that I’d add in things like character profiles, locations, information, etc. Back when I drew comics, I always had the last page of a chapter be some kind of informative page. This is essentially the same thing. And Samael was originally envisioned as a comic – I still think it would be great as a comic! – so it feels quite right to do this.
As an example, here’s Issue 6:
6.1 – Entr’acte #1
6.2 – Entr’acte #2
6.3 – Miroslav Radic
6.4 – Entr’acte #3
6.5 – Entr’acte #4
That’s two “chapters” of writing, followed by a character profile, and then two more “chapters”. Not all issues are this long – Issues 3 and 7 are only have two parts.
So far, I like this. I don’t know how well it would work with other stories, but I think it’s something interesting to experiment with.
This month did not start off well. I wrote a grand total of 148 words on day 1, which increased to 418 on day 2. I got caught up by Sunday night (the 7th) by writing 5771 words. It was not a great experience and I do not want to repeat it.
What I also realized by the end of Sunday the 7th was that I did not have enough in my outline to reach 50,000 words. Since I’d been outlining Broken Sword before I set it off to the side to work on Samael exclusively, I thought that if I got through all of Samael and couldn’t think of a good way to continue the story, I’d write the beginning of Broken Sword.
I…did not get to do either of those things. I outlined more sections of Samael, but I also ended up not reaching 50,000 words despite it.
But let’s look at week 2 first. The week 2 slump actually hit me pretty hard this year. I wrote during the week, but it wasn’t enough. By the end of Friday, I was 4k behind.
I actually did pretty good in week 3 – I was one day behind until Friday. I got super tired, then my computer crashed and wouldn’t boot. I panicked, fixed it (the video card was loose. That’s it) and then was too tired to do anything else, so I went to bed after writing about 600 words.
By that Saturday, I was only 500 words behind. Things were looking up…but I was going to run out of outline, so I spent most of week 4 (Thanksgiving week) working on more of the outline. This meant I fell behind during the week. I did start seriously writing again that Friday.
And then…I just kinda stopped? I got to 42,083 words on November 28th and decided not to write more. I definitely could have reached 50,000 words, but I thought it would be best not to write 3-4k for three days straight.