55 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Let me start with a disclaimer: some languages are naturally more tolerant of long names (and long words) than others. In Finnish, you've got names like Väinämöinen. In Hebrew, if something has more ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
27 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

We are good at pattern recognition and if you keep the bizarre names to a minimum you should be OK. Long is fine, so long as they can be scanned and not confused with one another. I rather like Tey-...
SFWriter's user avatar
  • 23.8k
23 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

There are no pros. The cons are people will not read them more than once, so your story becomes confusing, and they will stop reading altogether. They may sound exotic to begin or appearing once or ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
20 votes
Accepted

How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

This has been handled a few ways in comics: Have the text in word balloons be a translation of the original, with a footnote indicating "translated from other-language-name". You can graphically ...
Goodbye Stack Exchange's user avatar
17 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Pros Appeals to linguaphiles (especially if names are rich with internally-consistent historical or cultural meaning) Can add a sense of realism/immersion It is difficult to represent unfamiliar ...
Artelius's user avatar
  • 666
16 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

You've already got a lot of pros and cons here but I'll add one more: You'll make an audiobook almost impossible to produce. Do you want to get this book published? If you don't, if you're writing ...
GGx's user avatar
  • 9,923
13 votes
Accepted

Should I include an appendix to reference words of an in-universe language for a fantasy novel?

A "dictionary" for your fantasy language should never be needed by the reader. If the reader has to learn a language, or flip back and forth to a dictionary, the flow of the reading is broken every ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
10 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

A compromise might be that you have a long and complicated name, but also have a common short abbreviation of that, which normally is used. For example, using your name: The city had the almost ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 4,017
9 votes
Accepted

Does it make sense to (partially) create a conlang that you don't intend to actually use in the story?

I think instead of creating the language, you can save a lot of time by just doing as you did in the question: Decide on features of the language that will make a psychological difference in the ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes
Accepted

How can I keep my dialogue nuanced and informal without breaking the illusion that the story is a translation (from a fictional language)?

Basically, you want your choices to call as little attention to themselves as possible. The best way to do that, under the circumstances, is probably just to "dial it back." In other words, write ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
8 votes

How can I keep my dialogue nuanced and informal without breaking the illusion that the story is a translation (from a fictional language)?

When writing fantasy or any form of fiction that exists in a world vastly different from ours, try to imagine the text you're writing as a translation. Yes, even for your own main character. Remember ...
Kyle Li's user avatar
  • 1,688
8 votes
Accepted

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Disclaimer This answer was created by pulling together pros and cons from the other answers on the page (at time of writing) I am not claiming credit for the contents of this answer, credit goes ...
Ajnatorix Zersolar's user avatar
8 votes

Should I include an appendix to reference words of an in-universe language for a fantasy novel?

The best appendix is one the reader never needs to use. The same thing applies to footnotes. They're there for people who want the exact reference. They shouldn't have material that you need to ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
8 votes

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

If the purpose of the cipher is encryption, use the substitution cipher. Have some character study it, know it is encrypted and that E is the most commonly used letter in English. Ah, E has been ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

For most people this would be either annoying or far too simple to be interesting. Many people will know a little bit about substitution ciphers and leet speak. Those are quite often taught in ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
6 votes

How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

You have two choices that I can see, and which one you use will likely be dependent on the amount of foreign-language copy you have versus the amount of space you have in the panel to display it: 1) ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
5 votes

How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

If you're stuck with characters that all know how to spell/speak the language, this could be done when words are being transcribed. For example, if Gahinohi is a name, he could be making reservations ...
Chelsea's user avatar
  • 421
5 votes
Accepted

How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

If you don't have a non-native or non-fluent cabbagehead character (and they're awfully useful; I don't know why you're hobbling yourself like that), then another reasonable course of action is to ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
5 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

When you talk about the "translation", do you mean that you are writing your book in some language other than English and you are translating between English and your native language to ask this ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 25.6k
5 votes

What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

You may rely on the Monty Pythons' wisdom : "Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Panties...I'm sorry...Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Bach. Names that will live for ever. But there is ...
Olivier Dulac's user avatar
5 votes

Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

If you wish to depict encrypted text, use an actual encryption. Something that could be decrypted by hand, but would require some effort. That would be a fun for a puzzle-minded reader to figure out, ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
5 votes

Does it make sense to (partially) create a conlang that you don't intend to actually use in the story?

To me, the answer is more about you and your writing process than about constructed languages. I am not constructing a language but I've done lots of worldbuilding that will never be visible to my ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
5 votes

How can I shorten a piece of writing without losing its original essence?

Eliminate superfluous words; you are saying things with too many words. To demonstrate such a transformation, I will take your first line through stages: I strongly believe that such type of dieting ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
5 votes
Accepted

Would incorporating a constructed language into my story this way cause confusion later?

Writing isn't like filming a movie. In a movie it's trivial to show detail. Swing the camera over the set and you're done. A one-second clip can contain tens or hundreds of tiny details depending on ...
Anna A. Fitzgerald's user avatar
5 votes

How do I write a character learning a foreign language?

Language acquisition in the real world has five phases, usually applied in the realm of child development, so your character's language learning process may be similar. This is especially true since ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 8,752
4 votes

How can I keep my dialogue nuanced and informal without breaking the illusion that the story is a translation (from a fictional language)?

Translator's footnote. * [Translator's note]: Dargo was using a heavy Tuvelarian accent, characteristic to the small, isolated rural settlements of Tuvelar. To reflect this, I'm using the Texan ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 15.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Formatting multiple languages while avoiding italics for native speakers in their POV

So, does the attempt to not italicize for native speakers make sense? Would having it not italicized for native points of view but italicized for non-native be reasonable? I think this is a good rule ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
4 votes

What font should I use to write alien language?

[Not a lawyer], but even so I don't think copyright is the biggest potential issue. You could go the whole hog and invent a character set (as Iain M. Banks did for the "Culture" series (http://...
ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible