Friday, July 22, 2011

Lexicon or Leprechaun?

It's been a long week. The transition from vacation back to real life was predictably difficult. What has been the toughest is the contrast between my most productive days of writing in, well, years (this past weekend), and a week of relative inactivity on the writing front due to fatigue from work. This feels like a week where I could have written a lot if circumstances were different. But I have written some little fragments here and there. So, some progress has been made this week. I have a busy weekend coming up, with a possible family day trip and prep work to have a new carpet installed in my basement. Hopefully I'll be able to get in some writing time.

I also had a strange feeling this week. One night, I was listening to some inspiring music and looking at some inspiring art, and I got a very vivid feeling of flying high above my imaginary world like I was an incarnation in it. I don't really know how to describe it other than a very vivid and literal flight of fancy. Maybe imagining very intensely brings with it a certain pathological tendency. If I go nuts, or something, at least people will be able to read this blog post and mark my descent into insanity from this point on. :)

When I wrote my first novel, I made a decision not to create an entire lexicon of terminology for my fantasy "universe". I didn't want the reader to have to learn a bunch of new terminology in order to connect with the story. I did use some unique names--mostly for monsters or creatures that were unique to my story. But for creatures that were based on real world mythological ones, I decided to describe them first and then use the real world name for them ongoing.

An example of this is the Griffin in Hemlock and the Wizard Tower. Now, I could have called it a GrifflePottenSnort, but would that have added anything to the story for the reader? My take then (and now) is no, it wouldn't have. I'm curious to hear from anyone that feels that learning a deep lexicon for a fantasy setting added significantly to their enjoyment of the story. I have decided to use a few more unique terms in the next novel relative to the first, but it will not be a dramatic change.

I hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. Lol, I don't think you're going insane. This writing malarkey affects us all differently and if you end up hovering above your imaginary world, then so be it!! Enjoy it... the writer's mind can be bizarre yet incredible!
    I'd not heard of your book before but it sounds fantastic (and the cover... it's gorgeous!) so I'm going to add it to my TBR list... hopefully it won't be too long before I get round to it!
    All the best
    Suzy Turner

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, and, although I do find these experiences to be somewhat unusual, I do enjoy them (no doubt that's part of the pathology).

    Your Raven cover is nice; and I read the beginning chapters, and it seems like a great story. I don't usually read YA, but this one may end up on my TBR list as well! Thanks a lot for the comment.