With a course called Create A Language Clinic,
I could see where you’d be thinking, “Sure…
writers of science fiction or fantasy need to
learn how to build fictional languages…
“But Why the Hell Would Anyone Writing Fiction Set In the REAL World EVER Need to Learn That Nonsense?!”
Because if ever there was a skill that ONLY applied to those of us writing in the weird neighborhoods of fiction, it would seem to be inventing your own language.
Except, of course… actually creating a simple working language of your own gives you—the writer of ANY genre—some superpowers for your fiction that you haven’t yet imagined .
When you learn the simple skills to create a language of your own (even if you never use it in your fiction) you gain the following amazing tool kit of “every-writer-needs-these” skills…
Among other things, you will:
- Intentionally build story ideas around concepts that don’t even exist in English (or your first language, or even among human beings). Using my simple, step-by-step process, you’ll invent ideas and concepts no other human being has ever thought, and you can use these concepts to build plots and conflicts that haven’t been written to death. Whether you want to go big by making this idea the core of a novel or series, or whether you want to keep it small, the process of inventing ideas will let your fiction move through a future, or a past, or a present a bit different than the current one…
- Build little tweaks into your native tongue that will give your fiction the flavor of a different time, or place, or perhaps just a distinct, unique, fascinating sound that will still be readable as English (or your preferred writing language)…
- AND you’ll come up with character names that are different, still pronounceable, but not “from around here” wherever here may be to you…
The fun, simple process of creating an original language expands the way you CAN use words…
Here’s why: Building an easy little language that isn’t like your own (whatever your preferred language might be) lets you see your own language — and all the bits and pieces and tools of it — in new and useful ways, and lets you understand the limitations of your own language… and how to work with them, around them… and when you need to… how to run right over them.
Why Build A Language?
Because language is a writer’s primary tool.
I know this seems obvious. Maybe even “well, duh…” obvious. But hang with me here for just a sec.
Your job as a writer is to translate your thoughts into symbols on a page, and to hope like hell that you can do it clearly enough that someone on the other side of the page can…
And ten years, or a hundred years, or a thousand years from now, someone is going to pick up your book, and start reading your words, and in doing so, is going to travel into the past… into the moment you’re living as you’re writing them.
…these strangers you will never meet will experience those symbols you put down as an adventure, and will for a while live inside your adventure and fully experience all the passion, mystery, beauty, and wonder you poured into it… and will be able to see the people you created, hear their voices, empathize with their troubles, and care about what happens to them.
- Even though your characters and your story are letters on a page…
- That represent a world that exists only in your mind…
- Until you turn it into symbols…
- So that someday your world will exist in theirs.
We cannot begin to guess the forms our words will someday take…
But in the future there will be concepts that don’t exist yet, just as in the past there were concepts that—because the civilizations that held them are now extinct—are equally lost.
And for your fiction, you can use my techniques for inventing concepts to give your stories in the far past, the here and now, the distant future, or in times and places that never existed and never will, REAL, GENUINE freshness. Something that is just yours, just you… and just wonderful.
Written language is a phenomenally cool human thing that allows us to step into the past to read the minds of people who have been dead for a hundred years or six hundred—and it is also the phenomenally cool human thing that makes it possible for us to package up some of the really important things about ourselves and send those packages into OUR future, to take our own shot at still being able to talk to people long after we’re dead.
- To still make readers laugh and cry,
- To give them a different way to see their own lives,
- To send the what and the why of what you care most about from your NOW forward to a future you cannot imagine
In Create A Language Clinic, you’ll learn:
To generate story plots from language-building or SLANG-building
To create a distinct sound for your language, or just for your writing
To build names that fit your characters’ worlds, or nations, or just neighborhoods
To use language to shape your fictional cultures and characters
To develop concepts that do not exist in the English language (or any other) and make them both fit and matter in the stories you want to write, in whatever genre you love
To work your creations—whether a few pieces of unique ‘neighborhood slang’ or an entire fully fleshed-out alternate language—into your fiction in ways that that will not alienate your readers
And if you are writing SF or fantasy and you want to go really, really deep, to create working spoken and written languages, you can do that, too. It just isn’t required.
“I was very surprised at just how easy you made the whole thing feel… compared to some of the conlang sites I’ve wandered around, this is the least technical explanation I’ve seen… and that’s a GOOD thing. I was also surprised, and pleased, to begin to feel as though it really was OK to just make it up as I went along, and if I didn’t like it, well, I could just change it.
The ideas of having to have rules, and then a ton of exceptions to them, and to need a reason why, well, those ideas are pretty hard to let go of. You helped me see that I wasn’t really letting go of my organization and details, I was making it my own… and it could be a lot simpler and make more sense then anything that we normally deal with in language. A few words can certainly go a long ways.”
— Shawna Caldwell, new language builder
This class is for:
Novelists and other fiction writers in all genres
RPG Gamers, Game Masters, and Game Designers
Conlangers and other language enthusiasts who would like to develop languages SPECIFICALLY for use in fiction (most conlangs are completely unusable for this)
And anyone who ever wanted to understand HOW languages develop and work by taking one apart, and then putting a whole new one together from the pieces
Create A Language Clinic includes the PDF course in both the classroom reader and as a downloadable, printable version, with the printable PDF Create A Language Clinic Worksheets included with the course.
It also includes an active, well-moderated forum where you can ask questions and get answers and other help.
“Of the things that surprised me—probably the most important (and amazing) was that most languages are not like English! I admit, that was the main factor that kept me from trying to create a language before this—I kept thinking of English’s huge vocabulary (all those synonyms! Eep!), and the grammar’s zillion parts and rules and exceptions, and my mind would go blank except for this polite little flashing thought, like the computer notifying you there’s been an internal error and it’s going to die now, thank you, of Languages are very fun things and we enjoy using them, of course, but making up one of our own is definitely beyond our abilities. Leave it to the experts (I talk to myself in the plural, sorry).
Hard on the heels of this realization—that most languages are not like English—was an even happier realization of I can do this! And it’s tons of fun!
The third surprise was that I like the language I’ve just come up with—I’ve named it Brescani—so much that I want to keep developing it until it’s as deep as a real language, with an extensive vocabulary and everything else I’d need to use it in the real world.”
—Maigen Turner — new language builder
You can do this,
Novelist, Writing Course Creator