The Land of Two Moons: Final Thoughts

I finished writing The Land of Two Moons in mid-February. It hasn’t occupied very much of my mind since then, so there are a lot of fine details about the story I don’t actually remember.

There are a lot of things that got left out of the story. Some of them got left out because they ended up not being relevant to the finished story – this is something that happens with every writing project. You can’t use every single idea you have. There are some things that got left out because The Land of Two Moons was originally envisioned as a comic (and was a comic for a prologue and six entire chapters), and I would not have been able to draw them. Since the entire script was written by the time I was finished drawing chapter 1, I didn’t put those things back in when I transitioned to prose, largely because I wasn’t thinking about them. And then there are things I thought about putting in, but then didn’t write them down and completely forgot about them.

I scripted out a bonus chapter where the readers would learn where the name “Tyvokala” came from. There were multiple pages removed from the end of chapter 1, where Nymue would already show suspicion toward the Avatar & the government, which were taken out because the chapter was already too long.

I don’t exactly feel disappointed with the finished product – I’m more content, if anything. The story is done and I’m happy it’s done. It took up enough years of my life. I’m not 100% satisfied with the way the story turned out, but I don’t think any writer is.

If I ever get the time – and I doubt I will, I’ve got tons of other stories to work on – I’d like to rewrite The Land of Two Moons as a proper novel. The prose version of the story was directly based on the comic script, and there is a lot that I did not describe in that script. A lot of stuff that was going to be shown in artwork that I didn’t bother describing because I was just going to make a couple of reference sheets when it came time to draw things.

I’d say what I produced was decent, but there is definitely room for improvement as well.

The Land of Two Moons: Languages & Cultures of Tsurennupaiva

I did quite a bit of worldbuilding when I first started developing the world of The Land of Two Moons. Most of my attention was focused on the Rennuryhpa (rennu “moon” + ryhpa “people”), who are the majority ethnic group of Tsurennupaiva. Originally, they were referred to as “Selenians” in English – just like Tsurennupaiva is called “The Land of Two Moons” – but after writing the entire story, I realized that I never actually used any of those words to refer to them.

When you do a lot of worldbuilding, not all of it makes it into the actual story. In this case, I’d say that most of it didn’t make it into the actual story.

Now on to the actual point of this post: the languages and cultures of Tsurennupaiva.

500-ish years ago, the moon Ellinen blew up and destroyed 90% of living species. This was later called the Cataclysm. The remnants of humanity spent ~250 years on Sairren, another moon, and returned back to the planet. Then they founded Tsurennupaiva.

During that time on the moon, most of humanity (who came from all over the planet, not just one country) developed a new culture and started calling themselves Selenians (in Rennukat: rennuryhpa). Their language, Rennukat (rennu “moon” + kat” language”), is not a creole or mixed language like you would assume, but a lesser-spoken language that was chosen to be the language of the new Selenian people and adopted en masse.

Selenian culture was, to a large extent, constructed in order to deliberately avoid the mistakes made by the Old Humans – the people who lived before the Cataclysm. The Cataclysm was and still is seen as a punishment from the gods for the behaviors and lifestyles of the Old Humans.

The Ciniáne and Miryani people are two of the largest minority ethnic groups in Tsurennupaiva. Brithan Thiosciare is Ciniáne, and Ren Fennel is Miryani. Both of those characters (and their cultures) came from the second version of The Gate at the End of the World.

Both the Ciniáne and Miryani people existed before the Cataclysm, and have largely managed to keep their cultures & languages intact despite everything that happened, including the pressures to adopt the Selenian culture and language.

While the Ciniáne language is a naming language with slightly more fleshed-out grammar than usual and I’ve thought about the culture, the Miryani language and culture are…nonexistent. This wasn’t going to be the case, especially when I was working on The Gate at the End of the World since Ren was actually a main character there. But in The Land of Two Moons, she’s a secondary character who’s primarily out of focus.

I definitely did not get a chance to explore everything about these things that I wanted to. A large part of the problem, I think, was the (necessary) switch from a comic to prose. There were a lot of things that I planned on showing through visuals that simply that did not make the transition to writing.

Camp NaNo July Results

This month was a lot. My A/C went out on July 2nd, and it wasn’t fixed until the 8th. I got very little writing done during that time period. After that was fixed, I…continued not to write very much.

I genuinely haven’t been very motivated to write this month. I’ve mainly been working on blog posts, and I’ve had quite a bit of success with those – I’ve written and scheduled 22 blog posts – but actual outlining for Broken Sword? I only wrote 2,849 words.

My original goal was 20,000 words. I changed that to 10,000 on July 20, since there was definitely no way I was going to reach 20k. This is actually the first time I’ve ever had to change a Camp NaNo goal.

I outlined myself into a corner with Broken Sword. I have a few options on how to start the next section of the story, but unfortunately, none of them seem any good. Outlining is essentially on hold until I figure that out.

I did, however, start re-outlining the first chapters of Samael, a story I first started writing in 2015. I reworked it into a setting I liked in 2019 and wrote the first four chapters, then stopped to focus on The Land of Two Moons and The Book of Immortality. I’ve been thinking the story over in my head this whole time, and now have some better ideas on how to start it and have certain ideas & themes carry on through the entire story.

Also, it’s a story that takes place in 2023 (in a cyberpunk version of our own world, with some fairly major differences) so I’d like to start finishing chapters and start posting it here sometime in mid-2022 at the latest.

Anyway, I ended this session of Camp NaNo with 11,964 words. Hopefully the next couple months of writing will not be as chaotic as this one.

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Camp NaNo July Plans

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I’ve been so busy these past few weeks that I haven’t had any time to think about Camp NaNoWriMo. I know I want to get a lot of blogging done. I’m going to continue outlining Broken Sword like I’ve been trying to do for the past month.

I have no other goals at the moment. This is probably the most unprepared I’ve been in years!

I’ll definitely think of other things to do in July, but at the moment I’m seriously coming up with nothing.

My profile on the website is here in case you want to follow along or friend me.

The problem with having too many interests

I have a lot of creative interests. I draw. I write. I paint. I worldbuild. I create conlangs. I (used to) draw comics.

Each of those things is fairly time-consuming. If I’m drawing, that’s time I can’t write. If I’m working on a conlang, that’s time I can’t be painting. Time spent working on one interest is time taken away from everything else. If what I’m currently working on takes longer than expected, it makes things even worse.

Back in May, I set a goal to complete 1 painting per month. That happened in May, but the end of June is quickly approaching and I haven’t had time to even sketch out an idea. And since I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, I doubt that month will be any better.

I know most creative people primarily focus on one thing. It allows them to actually improve their craft and have hobbies on the side. Sometimes I wish I’d decided to do that instead of spreading myself thin over several different things.

If I’d focused on my artwork, would I be a working artist? Would I have learned and improved at a faster pace? Would I be making money with it? Would I have an audience?

I’ve been posting my artwork online since 2007. I’ve had very little attention on all the websites I used. Maybe that would have been different if I’d tried harder to find an art community instead of just doing the bare minimum – drawing – and then immediately moving on to different things.

I have the same feelings about my writing. Less so about conlanging. My particular feelings on not being able to draw comics any longer will be addressed in a different post (probably).

I know if I picked one thing and stuck with it, I wouldn’t be as busy and wouldn’t feel as guilty taking time for myself. But I want to do all these things, and I genuinely like doing them, too.

I guess I’ll just continue onward. Slowly.