Okay, this is my game face. The feedback has come back, mostly positive, yay, and so the next round of edits and rewrites begins. A full rewrite of the Prologue, a few hours of edits and sifting through the feedback, (sincere thanks to Meg, Talitha and Russell.)
One thing that’s come out is how the first couple of chapters has been polished to within an inch of it’s life, only needing a few minor things, but it’s been pointed out that the use of 2099CE slang is strong at the beginning but tapers off. The upshot is a bunch more slang is needed to season this world of words.
Now I have always been fascinated by the evolution of common language. Some words come into use and never leave, for example the ubiquitous F-Bomb, whilst others fall by the wayside like Groovy, Ace and Choice. (What you still say that?!) So with this novel it’s been fun inventing new ways to call someone an Arsehole. (Yes Arsehole not Asshole.)
So come on a little journey to where someone might call you a Sphinct, Triangle or Whack, where something can be completely Fracked Up, and only Westies say Wuks.
When creating a language, any language, whether it be for Sci-Fi or Fantasy, you should bind the vocabulary with rules, give a sense of logic to what your characters say. Every word should have a reason for coming into that particular use.
In Harmony, I’ve attempted to weave the words into the dialogue, to have the characters speak in the tongue of 2099 Australia, and Sydney specifically. One thing you realise as you study how languages grow and change, is the more isolated the place, the more the local lingo becomes unique.
In the present day, mobile phone/internet obsessed world, the language is slowly homogenising to an extent. What I’ve done with the story is created a logical timeline of language (much of it swearing or insult). I’ve thought long and hard on what would happen if there was a major catastrophe in 2048 and that inter-connectivity we take for granted today was lost for the next 40 or fifty years. Every word or expression needs a reason.
Fracking for fuel through the 2020-30’s caused major toxic problems, ie things can be really, really, really fracked up.
This is the letter A, note the hole in the middle is a triangle, therefore an A_Hole is a triangle. Sphinct should need no explanation.
Drug users, like the small packets of Happy available from a licensed Spence, have their own labels. A good Spence will have a wide variety of merchandise, servicing the pharmacological needs and desires of those who partake in such pleasures. Skank to ease the pain, Scream to touch the sky, Kick to keep you going and Bluies ‘fore you party. Pay the Spence and it’s yours.
And the people of Sydney and Kings Cross, they all have their labels, Head-Kickers and Night Walkers, Ragers and Ravers and Toolies, all are welcome if they’ve got the Creds to blow. The Trogs and the Roaches, inhabitants of the desolate old business end of Sydney, barely ever come to the Cross. It’s no place for the poor.
As you can see, language tells a lot about the world of Harmony. I look forward to you all getting to read the finished book.