How to make secret scripts? Easy! Write out the alphabet and reorganize it or replace by numbers or just do mambo jumbo and use that as an alphabet!
As it turns out, it is far from being easy. Especially if you are in love with systems and your ideal version is the elves language Tolkien created. Actually, it is not. My perfect secret script is from my childhood, when I was in hospital and older girls had a secret language they used in their diary. It was flowing and you could connect the symbols up so they looked like nice flowing writing.
I’ve been striving since to get something similar. Not for a made-up language in a fantasy book. I want a Voynich manuscript! Yep, you heard me right. Now that the pages have been cut out for Luain, I woke up one morning thinking that after all the trouble, I really don’t want it to be just another Estonian book, but if I’m already going through that monster trouble with the pages I might as well screw it up completely! 😀 Make it unreadable for the picky and nosy. Not because of all the “secrets” that it is suppose to hide, but because besides my very own BoS, I’ve also wanted a secret language almost as long as I’ve wanted BoS. So, why not?
What makes it so difficult? Why make it so difficult? The why part is easy – because I can. The writing might take a year more perhaps, but I think it would be really cool and in the end somebody, who will get that book one day will go “oh my god, she really WAS nuts!”. And let’s be honest, that title attracts me more than to be president of something.
Ok, the difficulty of the task is that I’ve always wanted it to be based on Estonian. If I’m gonna write in that script, or code, I need it to be memorable without having to translate between languages. Estonian alphabet consists all the letters that can be found in English as well, so it seemed logical.
It has 32 letters, 27 f you don’t count the “foreign letters”. Those 32 is divided into vocals, consonants, audible and non-audible sounds and plosives. Like any other language. I like systems. What I’ve done so far is to divide them up in groups (including groups based on the way they are written – for example P and B, O and Õ and Ö, A and Ä, i and ä and ö and ü, etc) and tried to figure out symbols that would share certain characteristics for easier remembering.
The extra demands to this language are that it should be as close to handwriting as possible for it is always easier to write in a consistent line than painting out each symbol. And it has to be readable in rather small type size. I need to write a lot of text and the book has limits (sort of), so I need it to be readable even if it is very small. This means it can’t have many dashes or dots to make difference in the letters. Third – it has to be easy to master. If you have ever learned any symbol based language (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, hieroglyphic or Tolkien), you know there are always some symbols that don’t stick. No matter how much you learn them, you always seem to forget them. Well, I’d like that sort of “pseudo problem” to be out of my way before I take it in use.
Then I start going over the styles and try out symbols and see what comes of it, testing them out as a text. Omniglot has become my most visited page (thank heavens for it!) and I am now aware of far more ways to search “secret code” then I ever believed possible. Secret script, secret language, secret code, fictional script, fictional language, secret alphabet, alphabet scripts, fantasy alphabet, alien code, alien alphabet… I have even found few font makers, yet I am disgruntled by the fact that it is English based and allows no tweaking in that line. Meaning – I can’t actually use them.
Guess what? The only alphabet that I’ve managed to work out so far that falls under all of the categories above are runes! Although cute and adorable, I am still not sure of them. They are cool alright, but it doesn’t feel like me.
I know I should be more productive in writing area, but I’ve been running around miles and I’m dead tired. So tonight I’ll try first the language and then, if the mighty still gives, I will try some writing.