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New and Improved, my process in inventing scripts

From:Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Date:Friday, March 17, 2000, 14:10
> >Really beautiful! I wish I could have conscripts as beautiful as yours >(but, except for Nosjhe which is beautiful only by chance :( , they are >all >very ugly... Maybe the one I made for Itakian is not bad, I have to look >at >it to see how it works in actual sentences).
Thanks! Well I try to work at mine until I am satisfied with their look. If I am not happy I keep working at it until I am happy. That's how I "beautify" them in my minds eye. Perhaps i subconsciously try to make them pieces of art, so they become aesthetically pleasing to others. I actually think it's prettier in the calligraphic form than the handwritten form. I'm starting to dislike the square form actually. It just seems too blocky and coarse for my tastes. I can give you a little insight as to the process I go through when making a new script (this isn't a strict plan, this is how I usually do it, in no particular order): 1. Keep drawing symbols until I find a pleasing or eye catching image. With my other more original scripts, it takes me several tries to get something I like. If the script is derived as with Ranaka, i keep trying different mutations until I find one that is pleasing. When I script I draw the glyphs how I like them (although as evidence from response here, and offlist people like them also). Sometimes I'll see a shape that looks cool, and do an alphabet based off of that. I'll also use characters I have used before (i am partial to a shape that is like a mirror image of N). 2. When I have enough symbols, I chart them up to see how they look together. Usually this is when the more complex symbols get dropped or simplified. This is also when I assign a sound to them. I usually assign a sound to the letter if it looks like it goes with that letter (obviously with ranaka I couldnt do that, so I had to tweak the mutations until It looked like it went with that glyph). I also think about the shapes of diacritics here also, and I experiment with different forms, seeing what looks best (that is if the script uses them, like ranaka). 3. Find unity within the script. This means I try to keep them looking "related" or like they go together. Usually very stiff looking symbols, or overly rounded symbols get dropped or changed. In Ranaka, i didn't want any symbols to look too much like Latin letters (a symbol resembling F would be out of place, however the O shape is fitting with the style so that's why I kept that shape). With Ranaka i had to make it look like it was somewhat related to the other scripts of South East Asia also. 4. Keep a fair mix between stiffness and softness. Meaning, if a symbol is too stiff and straight I drop it because it doesn't "feel" right to me. If it is too rounded (with lots of loops and curls) it gets dropped or simplified. If I find my alphabet is too full of hard looking letters I either make new symbols or mutate them (you wont see me making a runic script because they just look to hard and angular to me, and not soft enough). 5. Write out different words to see how the lettering looks. Often I will find one symbol that i didnt find in the previous steps that needs to be changed. I'm usually happy by this point, but sometimes i'm not fully satisfied (i'm not too happy about 'i' in ranaka, but after seeing the calligraphic form it's beginning to grow on me ;)). 6. Invent different styles. This is where I find out what style looks best with each script (obviously the calligraphic style goes well with ranaka). Some styles I find dont fit, and others make the script look much nicer than handwritten form (as with ranaka). This is where my creativeness gets a chance to play. Anyway, this is how I usually go about the process of making up a new script. It's a little more detailed in reality, but that's the basics of what I do. This of course isn't a strict, regimented outline, it's what I can remember myself doing the last couple of times. I also hope this seems coherent :). I should be in bed, but I just can't sleep right now.... ________________________________________________ It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...