Are Constructed Languages Legitimate?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Esperanto, since I’ve talked about it and have done a test drive of the language. It’s a constructed language, one that did not evolve over time, but was created by a linguist for a purpose. It was to be the international language, easily learned, and easy to understand. This is a legitimate language, and there are actual native speakers of the language, having grown up using it as a main language.

But there are other languages that are real languages that people can learn and use. Probably the most famous ones are:

  • Klingon, created by Marc Okrand for Star Trek movies and subsequent TV series.
  • Quenya, created by J. R. R. Tolkien, and spoken by the elves in The Lord of the Rings novels.
  • Sindarin, created by J. R. R. Tolkien, and spoken by the immortal elves of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Na’vi, created by Paul Frommer, and is spoken by the Na’vi in the Avatar movie.

Both Klingon and Na’vi are functional languages that can be learned and spoken in conversation. Quenya and Sindarin were never intended to be used by people, and only a few hundred words were created. Not enough for advanced conversation. However, they have been further developed by fans, and Sindarin apparently now has twenty-five thousand words published.

Do you think these are legitimate languages? Do you think people should try to learn them? Personally, I want to learn Klingon. I have the dictionary. If you could learn any of these languages, which would you like to learn?

Authors Answer 62 – Our Favourite Created Characters

Isn’t choosing your favourite character out of all the characters you’ve created like saying which of your children you like the best? Is it unfair? Well, we’re not talking about that, but we are going to talk about who we think is our favourite. This question comes from Authors Answer contributor Eric Wood.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 62 – Who is your favorite character that you created (either for a book/story or just because)?

Linda G. Hill

That’s a tough one. I love most of my characters – it’s hard not to when I know them so intimately and understand what they’ve been through. Even the bad ones! I’d have to say one of my favourite characters is Drommen, a chronic public masturbator from my “Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right” series on my fiction blog. After a year, it turned out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all. 🙂 You can find Drommen here, if you’re interested.

Allen Tiffany

Kira and IrSaa are my two favorites from my upcoming Military Sci Fi series (End War , see more at ). They are the MCs, and over the whole of the series will get equal stage time.

Much of the early story is about Kira when she is between 18 and 20 years old as she goes through some very hard times leading what is left of her lost colony through a an alien siege. Later, she is isolated away from her home, family and friends in the second and third novels. Pressed into military service by first one faction and then manipulated into helping the other faction after they rescue her, Kira is smart, but adrift and in a foreign land. At times she is unable to tell friend from foe.

We initially see IrSaa when she is between 32 and 34. IrSaa is a brilliant, relentless Special Forces officer that is as smart and sophisticated as she is calculating and brutal. She is self confident to a fault, and like Kira, IrSaa has a unique talent that makes her a powerful warrior. Unlike Kira, she is mature and self-directed with a clear understanding of her role. But what she really wants in life only crystallizes later.

When circumstances bring them together in the midst of a galactic war between the two factions of humanity that have abandoned a dead Earth, all kinds of things are going to happen. Sisters in arms? Best friends? Lovers? Mother and daughter? Teacher and student? Sworn enemies? …It’s complicated… It’s big, it’s violent, it covers a lot of ground and years, but at its heart the series is about these two women and their relationship and how it changes over time. Hopefully it is going to be believable and compelling.

So, yes, these are my two fav characters. Both are complex, admirable and flawed. Sometimes they have a common purpose and sometimes not, and both are in a game neither fully understands and over which they have less control than they think.

It is hard to provide a lot more detail here in any way that makes sense, but here is the logline for the 500,000-word epic: End War: Two women. Two warriors. One Destiny. Loyalty and Betrayal. The wreckage of humanity will litter their passage.

D. T. Nova

Probably Hiiro from my upcoming novel. I keep wanting to do more with him and being more satisfied with the way scenes focused on him turn out.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

My favorite character is the one I’ve never actually put to paper. Let me explain… When I was young – say, maybe 6 or 7 – I used to be a bit of a devil at bed time. I often had a hard time falling asleep, so I’d crawl out of bed and start playing with my toys instead, which of course would eventually result in my parents coming in and ordering me back under the sheets. One night I whined to my father that I couldn’t fall asleep, and he told me to just close my eyes and think about everything that had happened throughout the day; he told me to play it through my head like a movie, and eventually I’d fall asleep. At the time I misunderstood what he was trying to tell me to do, so instead I closed my eyes and began to tell a story in my mind. I imagined myself as some kind of hero, off on wild adventures. Eventually, I did fall asleep. And the next night I did the same thing, and the next night, and the night after that. I’d come up with cooler and wilder stories every night, or sometimes if it was a really good adventure I’d repeat it the following night. It actually got to the point that sometimes I would wake up in the morning and already be anticipating bed time so I could go on another adventure.

Eventually I began writing, but the writing never really followed the nighttime adventures, and those adventures never stopped. Even today I still have this little ritual (except on the nights that I’m so tired I just pass out), and the character is still the same: an idealized version of myself who is prettier, stronger, cleverer, faster, cooler. I imagine her as this perfect character who can do anything, and I don’t think I’ll ever really let go of her, but I’ll also never write about her because wish fulfillment doesn’t make for good literature. ^_~

Paul B. Spence

Er… What to say without jealousy setting in? Well, Hrothgar Tebrey is my primary character, so… I have to say that I’m really fond of Daeren Drake.

H. Anthe Davis

My consistently favorite character is probably the one that serves as my icon here on WordPress, Shaidaxi.  I’ve played/written him since I was maybe thirteen, making him an easy skin to slip into when it comes to the series; also, he’s a snarky and erratic individual, so his dialogue is always entertaining to write.  However, I’ve found that other characters occasionally eclipse him when I get a chance to focus on them, so I often have a temporary favorite that I dedicate a lot of side-story to.  My current temp fave is Linciard, who I’m trying to un-mire from the plot swamp he’s been stuck in.

Eric Wood

My favorite character I created is a little boy named Timothy. As a five year old, he has a wild imagination and a grand adventure through a grocery store looking for his Mom and stuffed bunny. He’s kind, sweet, and thoughtful. Everything I wish my own kids were (more often).

Elizabeth Rhodes

My favorite character doesn’t have a story of her own yet.  A dream I had years back inspired her creation, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with her.  She’ll likely be the protagonist in that first draft I’d mentioned in the last Authors Answer.  But her name is Leila, she was abducted by some outside force in her teenage years, and came back with abilities that could either make her a hero to her home planet or the subject of a Salem-style witch hunt.

Jean Davis

Hmm. There are so many favorites. I have to say all my main characters are favorites or I wouldn’t want to spend so much time in their heads. If I have to pick just one, I’ll go with Vayen, who hails from my space opera series because we’ve been together the longest and through multiple books. When I’m writing him, I have to make an effort not to channel him throughout my daily life because tends to be confrontational, especially in relationships.

Gregory S. Close

I have a few favorite characters, and I love them like I love my kids, each with his/her own qualities, but not necessarily one better than the other.  Developing favorites can make things hard if and when the character has to die, or otherwise suffers miserably.  I don’t want to end up making excuses to preserve my favorites.

That said, one of my all-time favorite characters to write is Osrith, the world-weary mercenary and knight errant from In Siege of Daylight.  He’s got a very simple moral compass, some might say a little too simple, as the needle points directly between Self Preservation and Preservation of Friend/Loved One.  Nothing much in the way of religion, national pride, virtue or chivalry intrudes on that.  Therefore his approach to some classic epic fantasy conventions can be unconventional, and that’s always fun to play with.

S. R. Carrillo

This one is hard! Seriously, in just one series, I have created so many characters that each have soft, squishy places in my heart, but… I think my OVERALL favorite woule have to be my original OC and one of the main characters of my debut novel, The Soul – and that would be Sol Bell. He is complex yet simple, soft yet fearsome, strange yet adorable. Only he could get an outcasted angel to fall in love with him. ;]

Jay Dee Archer

This is not an easy question to answer, considering I haven’t discovered the full personalities of all of my characters yet. However, I’d have to say that my current favourite is a character I have developed pretty well, but haven’t written much for. She’s the main character of my first novel. On April 23 last year, I introduced her in the A to Z Challenge. For the letter T, I wrote the story The Teacher, and Solona Knight became known to the world. If you read the story (please go there and read it now. It’ll only take a minute), you will have noticed she has a kind of power that could be said to be magic. It’s a science fiction story, though. What I like about her is how she’s handled the power she has, though her situation is not unique. She’s the first, though. She’s put into a position of responsibility at a young age, which I have yet to write about. You will see that in the my first novel.

How about you?

Have you created a character that you love? One that you would consider your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.