Accelerating the pace of the story is proving a bit tricky. Not the acceleration itself, but the introduction of the acceleration, the reason why the pace is picking up. So far it is in one slightly larger than normal chapter, but I may end up splitting that into two chapters and extending each of them.

There were the usual November Christmas sales, and so I bought a CD with basic knowledge of 70 languages for NZ$4. It mentioned having over 60,000 words and phrases, which means that it has less than a thousand per language, although I imagine French and Spanish may have more detail than Zulu.

I figured that not only will learning a new language help stave off Alzheimers, but the little games like crosswords and fill-in-the-sentences will help me learn new syntactic tricks. Maybe a phrase in another language will translate well. I’m going to have to be careful in determining which ones to use though. I’m thinking of going for Italian first (everyone learns French or Spanish). It would probably be more useful to learn either of them, but I’ve decided on Italian. Now I just need to get a disc cleaner so that my laptop can actually read the disc.

One of the more interesting things will be seeing how the languages have diffused into each other, such as verde in French and verdigris and verdant in English. There’s an idea I’ve been toying with for a while, that I’ll almost certainly wait until I’ve published a couple of books before I go for, to write a series of unrelated books in the same fantasy universe, and to actually build different languages for each of the nations, with word diffusions in the geographically close ones.

This is an incredibly ambitious idea (which is why I’ll wait for a while until I’ve got more experience) that was born when I watched the behind the scenes clips for Game of Thrones. The producers mentioned that they didn’t want the Dothraki speaking gobbledegook (which is always obviously fake) or just guttural English, so they invented a whole new language of over 1,500 words, with the words for ‘ride’, ‘rider’ and ‘to ride’ being extremely similar (dothrakh, dothrak and dothralat respectively). It was created by a professor of languages, which explained the artfulness and realism of the language, and while I cannot reasonably expect to create anything of that quality I will continue to unreasonably hope to create something equally amazing. As a bit of trivia, the actor Jason Momoa, who plays Khal Drogo in season 1, is fluent in Dothraki.