Wednesday, July 31, 2019

World Building: Your Obedient Servant

What does politics mean in your world?
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Last week we talked about governments, and naturally, what will follow are politics. Politics will be a large part of your book whether you intend it to or not, and I’ll tell you why.
“Politics” is a word that makes you groan when you hear it because, today, the world is so divided by politics, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it at all costs in your world building. There are politics present in every part of government and relationships between countries and peoples. A few things that you’ll want to think about are how your leaders are chosen, how long they’ll stay in power, and if you have different political parties, what they stand for and if they dissent with each other.
How are your leaders chosen?
This is a simple answer, depending on how your government works. In monarchies, advisors/politicians can be appointed by the king or queen to their position, inherit their position, or if they’re a constitutional monarchy, they can be elected into the position by the people. But, for your world, how will you do it? You could create a totally unique way of getting leaders for your country; perhaps a test of endurance, intelligence, or cleverness will do the trick for your people. For all we know, at the moment, you might have a Sci-Fi novel reminiscent of The 100 that has a leader of the people chosen by the kind of blood that they have and their fighting mettle, and is implanted with a device that imparts all the wisdom and memories of the leaders before them.
How long will they stay?
For your politicians, you’ll need to decide if it’s a lifelong commitment or if it’s something only lasting for a few years, a couple of terms, or something else entirely that you decide. Is being a leader in politics going to be a full time job for your leaders, or will it be as it was in the time of Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson, where a job in the government was only held in certain months of the year? With whatever decision that you make for this, make sure that it not only fits in with the way that your story is planned, but the type of government that you choose.  
Bear in mind, the longer that a politician stays in power, the easier it is to become power hungry and corrupt, which can lead to many interesting revolution stories.
Political parties
Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Whig—these are all names that we’ve heard for political parties around the world in some form or another. You can have whatever name you’d like for political parties in your world if you decide to have them, but you’ll need to know what it means. I don’t mean the definition of the word, per se; I mean what it is to be part of that political party. Does one stand on a platform of oppression? Does another stand on a platform of utopianism and world peace for all? Is there one in the middle ground that wants world peace without the risk of creating an unsustainable economy?
No matter the political parties that you choose for your world, make sure that it fits within the government you’ve chosen. Another thing you’ll want to think about is if your political parties are diametrically opposed (foes) or if they have some things in common, and how that plays out in not only the government, but for the people as well.  If you live in America—or anywhere, really—you’ll know the destructive power of dissenting sides of the political spectrum.
Hierarchy of the political spectrum
Lastly, in this section, I want to talk about the hierarchy of the political spectrum within your world. What will it be decided by? If you have a monarchy, will it be decided by the rank (duke, earl, viscount, etc) of the person, or will it be dictated by the position of the person within the government? Would you have a low born man like Thomas Cromwell rise through the ranks and become an advisor to the king? Would your position in the government and respect be based on how long you’ve been there alone?
There are a lot of options that you can go with in your story, but as you’ve heard me say many times before, and will hear me say many more times over the next nine weeks, make sure that it fits within the type of story that you’re telling.
Foreign Relations
Unless your country is an isolationist, there are going to have to be some sort of foreign relations with the countries surrounding it. What exactly will this mean? Well, it could be anything from race relations to geopolitical ones.
When you have relations with your neighboring countries, you’ll have dignitaries and ambassadors who will work on your or another country’s behalf. How your ambassadors behave is up to you and the country’s customs and people, but remember that these people will always be working in the best interests of their home country. This might mean that they’re going to be spying for their government, making magnanimous deals, or blackmailing foriegn leaders to ensure that they get what they want for their country’s, and sometimes personal, gain.
Ambassadors will also be the people who bring forward treaties to different countries and help work out the details based on the needs of their country and the approval that their leader gives them for trading power.
I spy with my little eye
Speaking of spying, will you have any spies in your world? Maybe they’ll go unmentioned; maybe they won’t, but there are many useful reasons to have spies. They can help bring down governments, they can improve governments, and they can also make wealthy families wealthier with information used for bribes and blackmail. Spies also make for great central characters and moving pieces on the political chessboard.
Race relations
I touched on what kind of races that you can have in your world in You’ve Got the Whole World in Your Hands, but now I want to talk about what that can mean if you have problems between races. Now, this doesn’t have to be only between fantasy races; it can also be between ethnicities of people as we’ve historically seen in the United States, but because this is a very touchy subject, I’d like to avoid getting further into it other than it can be a good example of systematic oppression of peoples that can lead to rebellions in your work.
There are a couple of things you’ll want to think about when writing about race relations, first being: How just how different are they? Are you going to have water races and land races, or closer to home, black versus white? And is it frowned upon to mix the races—Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, has talked frankly about his upbringing in South Africa and how he was the product of a crime: a mixed race couple loving each other. If there are mixed race people, what do they pass as? Is it obvious that they’re mixed race, or do they look like the dominant race of the world—do they have easier lives because of it, or is there a “one drop” rule?
Another is how races interact with each other. Is one race looked down on as inferior? Are they called names? And what names are they called? I don’t think I even need to mention what words have been used as slurs against different races throughout history, other than to say that they’re awful. But what kind of things will you have in your world? Let’s go back to the water and land-based race example: will they be called air-breathers and water-breathers with derision? Something a lot meaner that I’m not willing to come up with?
Unfortunately, poor race relations can be seen all over the world, and you don’t necessarily have to make it prominent in yours, but you do need to know the answers to these kinds of questions if they ever come up in your work.
I can’t talk about foreign relations without at least mentioning geopolitical relations because they go hand in hand. Now, if you’re wondering what geopolitical relations are, I’ll tell you. Geopolitics is the analysis of geographic influences on power relationships between international countries.
Just to give you a made up example to maybe help make this a little bit more clear, let’s say that Country A has a resource that Country B desperately needs, and it’s naturally and abundantly occurring in Country A. Country B will petition Country A to give them some of their resources in exchange for the one that they desperately need. Now, Country A knows that Country B will fail if they don’t get this resource at a steady rate, so Country A can now extort Country B for whatever it wants because neither Country C or D have this resource that Country B can ask from instead.
Mawwage… Mawwage is what bwings us
Marriage can be a very powerful tool in the world of politics, particularly if you have monarchies in your story. Historically, entire countries have been created by marriages. Take Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. After their marriage and the uniting of their countries, Spain was founded only a short time later. Granted, it was after they conquered other countries on the Iberian peninsula, but without their marriage bringing enough power and resources to their cause, Spain might not even exist today.
Countries aren’t the only thing that can come out of a political marriage. Marriage can bring in vast resources another country needs, an amount of money that a country might need to survive for the next couple of years, and allies for future wars—or to prevent the desire from future wars if the allies are powerful enough.

Join me next week when I talk about war.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

World Building: Big Brother’s Watching

The kinds of governments you can have in your world
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Big Brother, Uncle Sam, Fascist Pigs. We’ve all heard of some way our governments around the world are described but have you thought about how the government in your world is going to run?


I know, I know; government, what a bore! But knowing what kind of government rules in your world informs the decisions that your characters will make. I’ll apologize in advance, dear reader, this is going to be another long post.
In this section, I want to briefly talk about the seven types of government—there are plenty more specific government types, but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to limit it to the seven traditionally taught in school. I know, I know; you learned this in history class. We all need a refresher on what exactly these governments are and do in order to make informed decisions about the government in the worlds that we’re creating. And I promise not to let my background of wanting to be a history teacher get away from me. For each definition that you’ll see for the kinds of government, they will be coming from Merriam-Webster. Keep in mind that there are plenty of countries that can be variants of multiple kinds of governments, so just a single kind might not work for the kind of story you want to tell.
A democracy is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
What does this mean for your world? It means that your country can hold free elections without the influence of a dictator in order to win each election held. These aren’t often seen in fantasy or SciFi novels, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t work. If you want to look at this kind of government, you can look at the United States (sort of), New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, etc.
A republic is a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.
A republic is similar to a democracy, but rather than a single elected official ruling it’s a group of elected officials ruling the people. If you want to look at a combination of both a republic and a democracy, the United States is a democratic republic. If you want to look at just a republic then you can look at countries of Venezuela, Germany, Bosnia, Somalia, and more.
An Autocracy is a government in which one person possesses unlimited power.
An autocracy is going to include monarchies and dictatorships. These both lend themselves well to fantasy, dystopian, and SciFi novels. With your monarchies, you can have an absolute monarchy that is often easier to write, an elective monarchy, or a constitutional monarchy. Dictatorships also have multiple types. You can have a sole dictator, an authoritarian oligarchy (or collective dictatorship), and an absolute democracy. If you want to look at autocracies, take a look at the UAE, Cuba, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and more.
An oligarchy is a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.
This one is a combination of an autocracy and a democracy. These governments are often ruled by the wealthy, nobility, corporate, religious, political, or military control. As with autocracies, oligarchies lend themselves well to fantasy, dystopian, and SciFi novels. If you want to look closer at oligarchies, Russia, China, and Iran are well-known examples.
A theocracy is a government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.
When I first started researching for this post I thought there was no way I was going to be including a theocracy because who puts that in books? Turns out, a lot of people in very successful novels. If you want an example in books how a theocracy works, check out the Dune Series by Frank Herbert where he employs a feudal theocracy, or in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. If you want an example in world governments Yemen, Vatican City, and Afghanistan are ones to look at.
Communism is a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.
Communism is both a type of government and a social ideology. This is a government where goods are owned by everyone and available to all when needed. This is often confused with socialism, which is the same in certain areas but different in others. If you want examples of communist states China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam are examples of communist states.
Fascism is a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
A fascist government is a one-party dictatorship that is severely against democracy. This type of government puts the nation above the individual, and are historically militaristic. Take Germany or Italy during WWII—those were both fascist states. After WWII, however, there are very few surviving fascist governments. This type of government is perfect for a viva la revoluciĆ³n dystopian, fantasy, or SciFi novel.
I lied. I’m going to include one more that could be very effective in a fantasy, dystopian, or SciFi novel. A plutocracy is a government by the wealthy.
If you want an example of a plutocracy in fiction, look at the dystopian The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins. Panem is ruled by the rich while the districts are left in squalor and forced to fight against each other regularly. Unfortunately (for our writing purposes), there are very few modern examples of a true plutocracy. You could argue that Russia is a plutocracy, but they also have elections.
No matter what government system you choose, make sure it fits the world you’re creating and the story you want to tell. Other things you’ll want to think about after setting up this government is what kind of social hierarchy you’ll have within it, and what services are offered by said government.
Hallelujah! We’re finished with the kinds of government, and a huge congratulations to you if you made it through that. Now, on to services. These are going to depend on what government you choose, what time period you choose, and how many taxes will be collected in your world.
In this section, I want to list a couple of services offered by local, state, and federal governments you may or may not have thought of:
  • Education
  • Social services
  • Roads and transport
  • Waste disposal
  • Economic development
  • Countywide planning and the environment
  • Police and fire protection
  • Military
  • Trash collection
  • Environmental health
  • Tourism
  • Leisure and amenities
  • Planning permission
  • Parks and recreation
  • Libraries

Legal Systems
Your legal system will all depend on the kind of government that you choose for your world. Meaning, is it going to be a corrupt legal system that serves the state, or are your citizens going to have certain rights given to them by a constitution and can’t unlawfully be detained?
It’s the Po-Po! might not actually be the Po-Po. What you’ll want to think about while building your legals system and government is, who is actually going to be the one enforcing the law? Is it going to be state militias that the governing lords of the land put together for their purposes? Is it going to be an actual dedicated police force that is paid to enforce the law of the land without bias—or perhaps with bias? Or, will there be a state military that enforces the laws from above without questions or morals?
I’d like to call my lawyer
Lastly, I’d like to talk about who really upholds the law. This is also going to depend on what type of government you choose for your world because, like the above list, there are a lot of options that you could have. Will there be judges and court systems in your world? Will punishment for a crime be imprisonment without any recourse simply because you committed a crime, and you’re let out when you’re let out? Will trials be held by the lord of the land, such as a clan chieftain, and what he says goes?
No matter what kind of government, police force, and judge you choose, make sure that it fits within the world that you’re creating and makes sense within the story you’re trying to tell.

Join me next week when I talk about politics.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

World Building: Are You There, God? It's Me, Writer.

Religion within your world
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Religion can be the foundation of society, or it can be the downfall of a society. When creating your world, you’ll need to decide how religion is going to affect the people of your world.

Religions and the Gods

To my knowledge—and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong—there has yet to be a society that doesn’t have some sort of organized religion or god that they worship; it can be an actual god, or it can be nature and the sanctity of life itself. In this section, I want to cover how many religions there are, what kinds of religions, if there are any sorts of tension between religions, if there’s a social hierarchy in a specific religion and even your country, and how religion and magic work together.

What kind of religions

This is such a diverse subject that I really only want to cover three things because everything can fall into at least one of these categories.
First, there’s polytheism: this is when you have multiple gods in your religion like Hinduism or the majority of the ancient pantheon-centric religions you’d find in Greece, Rome, or Egypt. This specific type of religion lends itself well to fantasy novels to create a rich and diverse culture that your characters can live in. Each god has certain attributes attached to their names that can influence your character. Take Ares, for example; he’s the Greek god of war. The citizens who enjoy his patronage will naturally be more inclined toward aggressive personality traits and perhaps be skilled tacticians. With hundreds of gods readily available—and hundreds more you could create—there are limitless possibilities in developing your characters and culture.
Next, we have monotheism. These are your religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, where there’s only one god followers worship. These religions, while not as diverse as polytheistic ones, can still bring a richness to your culture. Take Christianity; there are so many denominations that you can go down the information rabbit hole and come out months later and still not know all the differences in theology in each denomination.
Finally, we have a two-for-one. Agnosticism and Atheism. The reason why I’m covering both of these at the same time is because they’re only one thought away from each other: “There are no gods,” and, “I suppose there could be; we don’t know everything.” In general, agnosticism acknowledges that there could be a god or gods of some sort while Atheism doesn’t believe that there are any. This religion—or rather the absence of a religion—is a very practical option for dystopian novels and futuristic sci-fi novels.
How many religions?
After you decide what kind of religion you want, you get to do it again and again…and again. There’s nothing to say that you can’t have only one religion in your story for your country, but the likelihood of that being realistic is low. In the United States alone, there are 313 religions. In the world, around 4,200. For your world and country, you can have as many or as few religions as you want. Either way, you’re bound to have some tensions between people and their religions.
Tensions between religions
No doubt you’ve heard of the Crusades, whether it’s in history class, the comment section on a religious post on Facebook, or watching period piece movies. The tension between Christianity and Islam is an easy example of what kind of tensions can arise between the religions of your world. Whose god is the one true god? Are any other religions acceptable? These are questions that your people are going to have to deal with in your world.
If you want a fantasy example of this, you can look at George R. R. Martin’s religions in A Song of Ice and Fire. He based his Faith Militant off the medieval Catholic Church, which waged war against the Muslims of the middle east.
The social hierarchy of a religion
Each religion has its own hierarchy, but the question I want to post to you is, does that hierarchy remain in the church, or does it extend out into society as well? Would a person with the equivalency of a cardinal in your world’s religion get the same amount of clout and social well-to-do? Does more responsibility come with more love from the public? Is being a ranking member of a church something to aspire to in order to gain wealth and power as it was in the days of the Borgias? Or, would their hierarchy stay within the church and they just be an ordinary person doing ordinary things when they aren’t wearing the mantle of their church?
Religion and culture
I talked briefly in our post about cultures that religion will take a large part in the shaping of a culture. This is likely where you’ll see polytheistic religions shine. I want to give an example from Game of Thrones where they worship the old gods and the new. I want to talk about the new, the Seven. While worshiping the Seven, mothers will make intricates weaves of these seven gods on a wreath, in order to appeal to the gods to protect their children if they’re ill or have been hurt. Things like this shape the way other cultures who don’t share the religion will view them, or lend support if they do.
I also want to touch on the fading of religious traditions with a single question: As society grows and advances, will cultural religious traditions fade to make way for new technology, new stories, and new traditions? You’ll have to decide this for your own world.
Religion and magic
Lastly, before we move on to ethics and values, I want to talk about how magic and religion work together. There are plenty of religions, like Wicca, that embrace and celebrate the use of magic in their religion. And there are also religions that don’t tolerate magic in the slightest, condemning to death—at least historically before it was cool for people to have rights—any magic user it could get its hands on.
So the question, my fellow writers, is are you going to have peace for one and all, the Salem Witch Trials, or something in between for the people of your world?


I will be the first to admit, ethics and values are not contingent on being a religious person, because there are plenty of people in the world who are religious and just as corrupt or, conversely, as ethical as someone who is not. But, there can be no denying that religion often plays a heavy hand in what is dictated as ethical.
What are they?
First of all, what are ethics? Ethics are the moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity. What we want to figure out is what these moral principles will be for the world created in your writing. They could be as simple as mimicking the morals that you grew up with as a child, or you could create a whole new world of moral code for your people.
A few questions you’ll want to ask is what is normal and acceptable in your society, but wouldn’t be acceptable elsewhere? Will there be an abhorrence to slavery, or is it widely used across the whole world as a means of disposable labor? Is swearing considered uncouth, or the more you swear, the more respectable you are? Is it a society of every man for himself, and what he steals is his, no matter what? Your morals can be whatever you want them to be.
Let’s talk about Sex
Now, Timmy, when a mommy and daddy love each other very much…
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard this talk if you’re old enough to be on the internet. Sexual morality is historically tied hand-in-hand with religion. There are plenty of examples in history of what would be socially acceptable for displays of sexuality would be: Can your women show their ankles without being called a hussy? Can women sleep with whomever they like without being stoned in the streets or forced into a life in the convent or, conversely, into a life of prostitution? Is there free love for everyone, without any stigma of homosexualy, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, homosexuality a crime punishable by death?
Only you can decide what the morality of you people are going to be, but make sure that it fits within the culture that you’ve created.
What are the consequences for being unethical?
Lastly, I want to talk about the consequences the come with wrongdoing. If someone steals something, will they have a harsh punishment of losing a hand or, more humanely, some jail time? Are there any consequences at all for unethical behavior? Who gets to decide what the punishment is? Who gets to decide what is ethical and what is not? These are all questions that you’ll want to have answered for your people and for your readers.

Join me next week when I talk about government and legal systems.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Author Interview: Lisa Borne Graves

Join us today as we interview Lisa Borne Graves, author of our newest book: Celestial Spheres: Fyr.

What inspired you to write Fyr?
When I want to start writing a new book, I usually start with a random concept to spark ideas. Celestial spheres was a term I’d heard in Science class and pops up in very old texts. I wanted to look more into it to create characters based off of the concept. Instead, what I found in my research was a world of possibilities—literally. The term is the archaic theory of the universe, so I decided to create a world based off this system, and Fyr was born.
Ancient theories were full of symbolism. Did you incorporate that in Fyr?
Well, I am a bit overboard when it comes to symbolism and themes. The celestial sphere system of the universe in itself is symbolic. Back in the day, they envisioned other elemental planets in addition to the ones they knew existed. Fire, to me, was the most profound since it can mean anger or passion, but foremost, a fuel to light the way. I designed my prince to have fire as an innate power for all these reasons. He battles darkness, another symbol that scares us from a young age. Symbolically, it is the propensity for evil in us all. Light comes into play with Toury as innocence, goodness, and guidance. There are different kinds of magic, one being stone magic, so all the precious stones have properties much like healing crystals. The stones tie into eye color, which is paramount in the land as a symbolic window to the soul but also as power and familial markers. There are themes surrounding all this magic of the conflict of love and power and how autonomy is our most precious human asset.
Wow! Your world is so vibrant. How did you craft it?
Honestly, bit by bit. When something cropped up that needed answering, I researched or found an explanation. Based on a new planet, it needed to be enough like Earth to find a connection. I thought to myself, what if back when they believed in this planet, they were able to get there? So I crafted my world with a hodge-podge reinvention of British history when it comes to architecture, dress code, and manners. However, it isn’t precise as I wanted to allow for a world to evolve without the implementation of technology and industrialization—almost like an alternate universe feel.

And of course, that world is populated with such compelling characters. Who is your favorite?

Absolutely the hardest question to answer, like asking which child is your favorite—it’s a good thing I only have one kid! But as my son would say, “I love them all.” Honestly, the evil, the good, they are my creations. If forced, I must say Alex. Throughout the series, he will face the hardest decisions and must change the most. Toury is an extremely close second. She is strong from the beginning but has to face a strange world and insecurities. I never doubt her as I do Alex, which makes him so fallible and beautifully human.
They’re both great! I can’t wait for readers to fall in love with them too. So, who are your favorite authors?
Again, impossible to answer. I’ve read way too many books and enjoy a lot of genres. I have a soft spot for the classics, though, particularly British literature. Authors who have left the largest impression upon me are Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Nick Hornby. There are a lot more, but these have been the most impactful.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lisa. One last question: what can we expect next from you?
I’m working on book two of the Celestial Spheres, entitled Draca. Next year, we’ll see Alex and Toury go through more struggles and triumphs and face different villains, and we’ll get a glimpse of dragons. But before then, I’m releasing another book baby into the world. In February, I’m launching a YA paranormal romance series, entitled The Immortal Transcripts, centered around Greek gods living a present day “mortal” life, where the god of love causes an uproar by, ironically, falling in love. I have loads of ideas but am trying to limit myself to these two series for the time being.

by Lisa Borne Graves

At seventeen, Toury arrives in Fyr, where magic is power, a prince’s love is deadly, and female autonomy is a dream. Formerly a loner and burden to her adoptive parents, she ruins her chances of a fresh start by offending an ogler who just happens to be the prince.

Alex, the Prince of Fyr, is no novice when it comes to pressure. He has to face his father’s ailing health, the expectation to marry soon, and the hidden necromancers trying to take over the realm by exploiting his dark curse. At least there’s hope in a cheeky savior, but Earth girls aren’t so easy.

Toury and Alex learn that the strongest magic cannot be conjured but must be earned. They must risk their lives, hearts, and futures to save the land from a darkness of apocalyptic proportions. But can they trust each other enough to save Fyr? Or will everything they hold dear turn to ash?

Fyr will be available July 14, 2019

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

World Building: What Did You Just Say?

How language shapes a country
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Last week, I talked about culture, and if you made it through that monster of a post, I commend you. This week, I’ll give both of us a bit of a break with a shorter post on language and how it reflects on your people.

Number of languages

How many languages you have in your world will depend on how many places your characters are going to visit. You could have a universal language that everyone uses—it’s quite common in fantasy novels to see a “common tongue” or characters “speaking common.” Or if you’re wanting to have other languages, it could be as easy as using a few words in another already established language because your cultures are based on places on our Earth, or you could just say that the other character is speaking another language and give the translation. Now, you don’t necessarily have to display the different languages, because they’re hard...or are they?
Creating a language
We are going to unashamedly plug a site that we’ve recently discovered called Vulgarlang. If you want to create your own custom language, and you don’t have the wildly amazing skills of Tolkien for creating language, then this is the place for you.
Directly from their website, this is how Vulgar works:
Vulgar is capable of generating over 100 quadrillion unique and usable conlangs using pseudo-randomness. However the languages it produces are far from random strings of letters; a great deal of research has gone into ensuring the languages are as naturalistic as possible. Fantasy languages may be created for worlds where anything is possible, but naturalism is often a goal for language creators. If you want your characters’ culture to feel real, their language should feel real too.
Language by race
Depending on what kind of story you’re wanting to tell, you might have some alien races, or you might have fantasy races in your world. In the event that you do, you’ll need to figure out what kind of language they will be speaking. You might be thinking, “Well...they’re going to be speaking Dwavish,” or, “They’re going to be speaking Elvish.” Be that as it may, what kind of Dwarvish or Elvish? Is it going to be a formal language, a regional language, or will you be using a tool like Vulgarlang to create your own unique version of the language instead of just telling the reader that's what they’re speaking?

Now you’re speakin’ my language

Just like the real world, there are people who can speak more than one language. Will your people naturally be bilingual, or even trilingual? There are countries in our own world that are naturally bilingual countries, like Canda, which has two national languages.
I’ve got a secret
In this section, I want to talk a little bit about the secret language that people can use within a society of some sort, whether it’s wizards or an order of knights.
First of all, you’re going to want to determine if you want a secret society or a group of people to have code words for each other and how they came about. Is it illegal to be a mage in your world, and practicing magic users can let people know who they are without revealing to the rest of the world their secret? Or will you have an order of knights who essentially operate in the same manner of Freemasons, where everything is done ceremoniously, and it’s frowned upon to tell anyone what happens within their walls?
Och, ye dinnae hear it from me, lad!
Lastly, I want to talk about dialects. There are more dialects in this world than anyone can rightly count. So, are you going to include dialects that you already know, like a Scots dialect or a Cajun dialect, or are you going to make your own? Or even keep everyone speaking the same.
No matter what you decide to do with your languages, you have to remember, it’s how people communicate with each other, and it can be very easy to ruffle character feathers if something doesn’t go quite right.

Next week, we’ll be having an author interview with A4A author Lisa Borne Graves about her novel, Celestial Spheres: Fyr, and in two weeks, we’ll resume our world building series when I talk about religion.

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