Every creative writer has their “source” of information. For some, it is the history books. Others, it is works of science fiction. For Marc Okrand and Klingon (thlIngan) it is a “prisoner of war” with whom Marc is the only person who has access. In my case, I see the source unfold by itself. Suffice it to say that the world presents itself to me when the time is right.
This topic was the focus of my talk during the last Language Creation Conference held online earlier this year. Entitled, “The Art of Discovery,” I dive into what motivates me to keep going in hopes that my approach can help others who are in a creative rut. As it turns out, there are many other conlangers who cultivate their language(s) in this manner. The two most prominent figures in our niche who use this method are Jim Hopkins (Itlani) and Tony Harris (Alurhsa)—which surprised even me. It delighted me knowing that I was not the only one, as much as it did for those out there who had the exact same thought.
So, if you are so inclined, I invite you to watch my talk. It might help you get past a certain point in your language. It might also spark interest in designing a new language to practice this fluid technique. In either case, have fun with your languages; you just might muster a renewed appreciation for what they are and what they could become.