Thinking about rewrites and sequels

I’m thinking about rewriting The Land of Two Moons. I’m also thinking about writing a sequel to it. And I’m also thinking about writing a sequel to The Book of Immortality.

These aren’t new thoughts. I’ve been thinking about writing sequels to The Land of Two Moons and The Book of Immortality since I finished the first drafts. Every once in a while, the thought pops into my head. I don’t actually have plots that could be used for sequels, just brief scenes and snippets, but plots are something that take quite a bit of work for me. If I wanted to write a sequel, I’d have to spend quite a bit of time outlining a plot.

As for rewriting The Land of Two Moons…there are a lot of things that didn’t make it into the story. And since it starts off as a comic and makes the transition to prose after chapter 6, it’s inconsistent. There’s no real way for me to make a collected version of the story if I wanted to.

But is it worthwhile to do any of these things? I have so many other stories I want to tell, and time spent on these is time I can’t spend on others.

I think I’ll re-outline The Land of Two Moons and see if I can stuff everything I had to take out back into it. That’s the first step of a rewrite anyway, and once I’m done with that, I can see if I still actually want to rewrite it.

Language of Meitsung: Zarya Heul

Introduction

Zarya Heul is a conlang I originally created in 2015. I’d been reading about the Tocharian languages and was inspired, so Zaryaheul /zarja.heɯl/ took some influences from Tocharian and was intended to be spoken by a fictional Central Asian people. It had some extreme vowel harmony (syllables could only contain front vowels or back vowels, not both) and consonant assimilation, which I thought was impressive at the time but probably contributed to me losing interest in the conlang after a few months.

When it came time to write The Book of Immortality, I decided to revamp Zarya Heul. I dropped the vowel harmony, greatly simplified the consonant structure, and decided that words wouldn’t compound/stick together like they previously did. This brought it from a somewhat synthetic language to a more analytic one.

Information relevant to The Book of Immortality:

Zarya Heul “silk language” is a language spoken in the homelands of the Zarya Tel people. These homelands comprise the entirety of the West Zarya Wa Province and the majority of East Zarya Wa Province in the Meitsung Empire, as well as some lands to the north and west of the Empire.

Phonology

Zarya Heul‘s consonant inventory is fairly “normal”. The 2015 version of the conlang had voiced and unvoiced versions of each consonant (not just stops), but that was dropped in the final version.

 

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal

m n ŋ

Stop

p b t d k g

Fricative

s z

h

Affricate ts dz

Approximant l j w

Trill r

Originally, the conlang had diphthongs; they were all removed. All vowels are now pronounced separately. Each vowel also had rounded and unrounded counterparts, but since vowel harmony was removed, there was no longer any need for them.

 

Front Back

Close

i u
Mid e

o

Open

a

Syllable structure is CVN, where:

  • V = any consonant
  • V = any vowel
  • N = any voiceless alveolar, /n/, and /ŋ/

Stress usually falls on the first syllable. Words are rarely longer than three syllables.

Nouns

All modifiers (adjectives, numbers, etc.) precede nouns and case markers follow. Nouns are not inflected as Zarya Heul is an analytic language. The resulting “noun phrase” is NUMBER ADJECTIVE NOUN CASE.

There are six numbers: singular, dual, general plural, small plural, large plural, and all. As the singular is default, it is unmarked.

 

Marker Meaning

Singular

One thing

Dual

et Two things

General plural

as

Things

Small plural wo

A few things

Large plural yi

A lot of things

All apa

Every

Examples:

  • kin astar mawu “one black cat”
  • men kiye gung et “two red houses”

Nouns have multiple case markers: nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, and instrumental.

 

Marker Meaning

Nominative

Subject

Accusative

len Direct object
Genitive sil

Possessor

Dative ra

Indirect object

Instrumental neng

With, using

Zarya Heul also has a series of locative markers, which can be understood as cases:

 

Marker Meaning

Ablative

din Away from

Allative

ku To, toward

Adessive

gat

On, on top of

Inessive hera

In, inside

Elative long

Out of

Illative yo

into

Pronouns

Pronouns are treated the same as nouns: they are preceded by modifiers and followed by case markers.

Person

Singular Meaning Gen. Plural Meaning

1st

yel I as yel We
2nd sen You as sen

You

3rd daru It as daru

They

Reflexive pronouns are followed with the marker nar:

Person

Singular Meaning Gen. Plural Meaning

1st

yel nar Myself as yel nar Ourselves
2nd sen nar Yourself as sen nar

Yourselves

3rd daru nar Itself as daru nar

Themselves

Verbs

Verbs have two types of markers: auxiliaries which express modality, and tense. Auxiliaries precede the verb and tenses follow it. If the verb is negated, the negation particle is first in line.

There are five tenses: far past, near past, present, near future, and far future.

Tense

Marker Meaning

Far past

esa A while ago

Near past

arza Recently
Present toku

Currently

Near future ker

Soon

Far future lau

A long time from now

The far past is used for actions that happened a significantly long time ago. What is considered a long time is fairly flexible, and usually up to the speaker.

Yel weki esa zarya heul len.

  • I spoke Zarya Heul a long time ago.
  • 1SG speak FAR-PAST zarya heul ACC

The near past tense is used for actions that happened recently. It is similar to a perfect aspect.

Yel woan arza as kisang len.

  • I recently saw snakes.
  • 1SG see NEAR-PAST GEN-PL snake ACC

The present tense is only used for actions that are currently occurring.

Yel miya toku.

  • I’m running right now.
  • 1SG run PRES

The near future tense is used for actions that will happen soon. Like with the far past, what is considered “soon” is up to the speaker.

Yel penke ker as sare len.

  • I will buy eggs soon.
  • 1SG buy NEAR-FUT GEN-PL egg ACC

The far future tense is used for actions that will happen far in the future.

Yel penke lau as sare len.

  • I will buy eggs at some point.
  • 1SG buy FAR-FUT GEN-PL egg ACC

Verbs that are not marked for tense can be used for general statements:

Yel miya.

  • I run (for exercise, as a hobby, in general, etc.).
  • 1SG run

Yel penke as sare len.

  • I buy eggs.
  • 1SG buy GEN-PL egg ACC

Verbal auxiliaries are used in place of mood:

Auxiliary

Marker Meaning

Can/could

dur be able to
May/might king

possibly

Must/shall tenai

Requirement, obligation

Dur is used to indicate that an action can be carried out:

Yel dur miya.

  • I can run (I am capable of running).
  • 1SG can run

King is used to express that an action could possibly occur:

Yel king penke as sare len.

  • I might buy eggs.
  • 1SG might buy GEN-PL egg ACC

Tenai is used to express that a verb is an obligation or requirement:

Yel tenai penke as sare len.

  • I have to buy eggs.
  • 1SG must buy GEN-PL egg ACC

Negation is indicated with the particle tu:

Yel tu miya toku.

  • I’m not running right now.
  • 1SG not run PRES

Other Parts of Speech

Zarya Heul has two determiners: ngas “this”, which is used for objects close by, and keyu “that”, which is used by objects further away.

There are two locative adverbs: poku “here” and tsung “there”. Location can also be expressed with the constructions ngas kilar “this place/here” and keyu kilar “that place/there”.

Zarya Heul has multiple question words. Interrogative phrases start with a question word and end with the question tag mat:

Location

Word Meaning

Beginning of phrase

lang how

Beginning of phrase

garas what

Beginning of phrase

muka when
Beginning of phrase liya

where

Beginning of phrase yar

why

Beginning of phrase tuwe

who

End of phrase mat

Question tag

Examples:

Yar sen miya toku mat?

  • Why are you running right now?
  • Why 2SG run PRES question-tag

Liya sen penke as sare len mat?

  • Where do you buy eggs?
  • Where 2SG buy GEN-PL egg ACC question-tag

Languages of Meitsung: Célis Zisun

<< Languages of Meitsung: Mayu lháni & Meitsung soré


Introduction

Of the conlangs I created for the the story that eventually became The Book of Immortality, the dragon language was always the most fleshed out. It had to be, as it was used as a magic language and there were going to be passages written in it. I didn’t have to expand the grammar much.

Also, this conlang didn’t have a real name until earlier this year. Célis zisun means “mountain language”, and it’s one of the two dragon languages spoken in Greater Meitsung – primarily in East and West Rhécare. The other dragon language, mízha zisun “island language”, is spoken on the island of Mízharos.

Phonology

The original dragon language contained /ɲ/, /ɸ/, /β/, /x/, /ɣ, and /ʍ/ in addition to every consonant listed in the table below. The number of fricatives was truly ridiculous, and it made no sense to have /ɸ β/ and /f v/ as well as /h/ and /x/. Those consonants weren’t even allophones or anything – they were independent phonemes.

 

Labial

Dental

Alveolar

Palatal

Velar

Glottal

Nasal

n (ɱ)

 

n

     

Stop

p

t d

   

k g

 

Fricative

f v

θ ð

s z ʃ ʒ

   

h

Approximant

   

l

j

w

 

Rhotic

   

ɾ r

   

 

In contrast, I added one vowel – /e/. The original dragon language only had /ɛ/ as a front mid vowel.

 

Front

Central

Back

Close

ɪ i

 

u

Mid

ɛ e

 

o

Open

 

a

 

Diphthongs are /iu/, /io/, /iɛ/, and /ia/. Syllable structure is CVF, where C is any consonant, V is any vowel, and F is /n/, /l/ or /s/. There are no words that start with vowels. Primary stress falls on the first syllable of a word, and secondary stress falls on following odd syllables.

Orthography

Since this conlang was first developed when I was still obsessed with Irish orthograph, there are some influences – namely, using <c> to represent /k/. That also immediately distinguishes it from the other languages of Meitsung.

Letter

a

c

d

dh

e

é

f

Sound

/a/

/k/

/d/

/ð/

/ɛ/

/e/

/f/

Letter

g

h

i

í

l

m

n

Sound

/g/

/h/

/ɪ/

/i/

/l/

/m/

/n/

Letter

o

p

r

rh

s

sh

t

Sound

/o/

/p/

/ɾ/

/r/

/s/

/ʃ/

/t/

Letter

th

u

v

w

y

z

zh

Sound

/θ/

/u/

/v/

/w/

/j/

/z/

/ʒ/

Nouns

Nouns (and adjectives) are marked for case, number, and definiteness; those markers are suffixed in the form case-number-definiteness with the exception of the vocative case, which is a prefix.

There are six cases: nominative, genitive, accusative, dative, instrumental, and vocative. For some strange reason, there were originally separate possessive and genitive cases. I’m genuinely not sure why.

Case

Marker

Nominative

Genitive

-in

Accusative

-ul

Dative

-eta

Instrumental

-we

Vocative

a-

Célis zisun has two numbers: singular and plural. The singular is unmarked, and the plural suffix is –le. Nouns are assumed to be indefinite by default. The definite ending is –(a)ne.

Why is there even a definite marker in this conlang. I’m not sure. Perhaps I was thinking of the Scandinavian languages at the time.

Pronouns

Pronouns are marked for case and number in the same way nouns are – not definiteness, because…that wouldn’t make any sense.

 

Singular

Plural

1st

len

riv

2nd Informal

rhal

rhale

2nd Formal

van

vanle

3rd

dhas

dhasle

Verbs

Verbs are marked for tense, mood, and person/number. There are three tenses: past, present, future, and three moods: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. The 2nd person formal and informal are not distinguished in verbs.

 

 

Singular

Plural

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

1st

2nd

3rd

Past

Indicative

-esan

-esva

-esica

-esrí

-essi

-esne

Subjunctive

-eson

-esonva

-esonica

-esonrí

-esonsi

-esonne

Present

Indicative

-an

-va

-(i)ca

-rí

-si

-ne

Subjunctive

-onan

-onva

-onica

-onrí

-onsi

onne

Imperative

-lion

-liova

-lioca

-liorí

-liosi

-lione

Future

Indicative

-inan

-inva

-inica

-inrí

-insi

-inne

Subjunctive

-inonan

-inonva

-inonica

-inonrí

-inonsi

-inonne

Numerals

Célis zisun‘s number system is base ten. To form numbers in the teens, the word lemu “ten” is followed by a numeral. For example, lemu fari is 15. To form multiples of ten, a numeral (2, 3, 4, etc.) is followed by the plural form of ten. Heda lemule is 40 and pel lemule wora is 68.

Other Things

There is a copula, hen, that’s much more irregular than other verbs. Adjectives follow nouns, and adverbs follow verbs. Word order is Subject-Object-Verb, and has been through all forms of this conlang.

Despite this conlang being more fleshed out than the previous two, it’s still largely a naming language. Perhaps sometime in the future I’ll come back and work on it more, but for now this is all there is.

Languages of Meitsung: Mayu lháni & Meitsung soré

Introduction

In the very first, 2014 version of The Book of Immortality, there were five languages, four of which descended from a single proto-language.

The four languages descended from the proto-language were separated into two families: dragon and tiger. The dragon languages were the language of patience (an ancient language, akin to Latin, which was used in the modern day for casting magic spells by dragons and elves) and the river tongue, which was the modern language spoken by the dragons (akin to the modern Romance languages). The tiger languages were the language of passion (again, an ancient language akin to Latin, used in the modern day for magic exclusively by the tigers) and the white language, the modern tiger language.

The fifth language was “Common”, spoken by elves and humans. It was represented by English.

Once The Book of Immortality reached its current form, I revamped the dragon and tiger languages and also created a conlang for the humans and elves: meitsung soré. The dragon language is much more fleshed out and requires a blog post of its own, but the tiger language and meitsung soré are fairly basic naming languages.

Mayu Lháni

Mayu lháni literally means “tiger language”. It always contained /ɬ/, but the uvular consonants were added in the final version of the conlang.

 

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular

Nasal

m n

(ɴ)

Stop

p b t d k g

q

Fricative

s ɬ x

(χ)

Approximant r l j w

The white language had /e/ and /o/ and no vowel length distinction. I decided that mayu lháni would have three vowels to distinguish it more from the other conlangs.

 

Front Central Back

Close

i iː

u uː

Open a aː

Syllable structure is CVC. Mayu lháni is agglutinative, and word order is Verb-Subject-Object. Since I never actually fleshed out anything other than nouns, this doesn’t matter much.

Nouns have four cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative) and three numbers (singular, dual, plural).

Case

Singular Dual Plural

Nominative

-pe -ma

Accusative

-ge -pege

-mage

Genitive -a -pea

-má

Dative -ih -peih

-maih

I also created some numbers:

Numeral

Number

1

tús

2

pín

3

har

4

qina

5

nálhi

6

ísa

7

wara

8

lhuyu

9

táki

10

kata

100

talhi

1000

qin

Meitsung soré

Meitsung soré means “splendid language”. Since I knew from the beginning that all I needed was a naming language, all I created was the phonology and orthography. There’s no actual grammar in this conlang.

I spent some time wondering if I wanted to have both /r/ and /l/. I ended up liking enough of the words with /r/ in them that I kept them both.

 

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal

m n ŋ

Stop

p t k
Fricative s ɕ

h

Affricate t͡s t͡ɕ

Approximant ɹ~ɻ l j w

Having both /e/ and /ɛ/ was also something I deliberated on for a while. But I didn’t want to change the pronunciation of Lisel /lisɛl/ and I wanted /e/ in the language, so…I kept both.

 

Front Central Back

Close

i u

Mid

e (ə)

o

Open-Mid ɛ

Open a

Syllable structure is CVF, where C is any consonant, V is any vowel, and F is /ŋ/, /l/, /n/. I know it seems pretty random that /l/ is mixed in with the nasals, but again…it’s because I wanted Lisel’s name to work in the language. I’m not sure why I didn’t allow the other approximants to be finals as well.


Languages of Meitsung: Célis Zisun >>

The Book of Immortality: Origins

The first inklings of this story started in 2014 when I decided to combine Western & Chinese mythology. The elves and elemental magic came from the Western side, and the dragons and tigers came from the Chinese side. There was a fairly even mix between the mythologies, but I didn’t have much of a plot, so I set the story aside until I had a burst of inspiration in 2017 and started work on The Book of Immortality.

I create three different maps for the original setting. The first has been lost entirely, but I still have images of the other two.

tboioldmap1

This is the second map, which was created in August 2014. “Resunishe” was the city where the story started. This obviously became Resuni, the capital of East Meitsung in The Book of Immortality.

tboioldmap2

The third map is much more similar to the final map of Meitsung. The Kingdom of Flames (tiger territory) and Dragon Mountains (dragon territory) are in roughly the same areas.

Unfortunately, I seem to have deleted most of my notes. The only character name I remember is Sirilrhis. He was in the story from the very beginning, as were his kids (though Vidhas had a different name and Zhivasu’s name was spelled differently).

Lisel existed from the very first draft. She was always an elf, but she had a different name (Rensel, possibly) and a much different personality. There was a female tiger character who was some kind of guard. She didn’t make it into The Book of Immortality. There was no equivalent to Kiyaska – I don’t remember if there were any human characters.

The story actually started off in the same way: Rensel attacked Sirilrhis so her people could get him to help them. However, Rensel was an archer who used a bow. She also wasn’t a leader – she was super insecure and genuinely not the best at what she did. This was actually she was picked to shoot a dragon: so they wouldn’t lose anyone actually valuable if she failed and died.

I also write two short stories. They were posted on this blog in 2014 and I took them down some time later, likely when they became irrelevant.