Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Forgotten Worlds format explanation

I have been wondering for some time if some readers may have an issue with some of the formatting styles chosen for the Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds books. So, I thought I might make a quick post to explain some of the styles used for those who aren't certain or who believe those might be errors.


First off, because this series is multi-cultural and that involves many made-up languages, I had to find a way to designate when characters are speaking a different language, besides always saying it with every dialogue line. That could get very annoying.

Since the primary language is Standard (pretty cliche with science fiction), short for Standard Galactic Trading Language, I don't do anything special for that. That's your basic "English" language for the characters, because I'm an English-speaking author. However, if I had this translated into another language, Standard would be that language. You get the picture.

Second, in my Starfire Angels books, I have always used square brackets for the Inari language translation [], so I kept that.

Then, I added Ru'owa, the Feri language, so I had to designate that a different way, so I chose the fancy brackets or braces {}.

If I use a third language or don't use Inari, I may use the square brackets in that particular book but will state what language it is. Or I may use a different way to designate that language translation.

In general...

[] = Inari language dialogue

{} = Feri Ru'owa language dialogue


This was a little tricky. Traditionally, thoughts were always put in italics and so was telepathy. I've also used quotes around telepathy to designate speech. However, since Nya isn't telepathic but her thoughts can be heard by telepaths and sometimes telepaths can block their thoughts, I felt that it was important to differentiate in a new way.

What I did was only put quotes around non-POV thoughts that the POV character can hear. All POV character thoughts are quote-less. This can also be helpful, if you see the pattern, to know from whose perspective a scene should be seen. Sometimes it gets a bit hazy when there aren't any or are few thoughts or a character is observing another only from the outside.


I also used italics for some non-Standard (aka alien) words and also for ship names. This helps you see that sometimes a word isn't translated in [] or {} dialogue or that a word is actually a ship name and not a word, besides being capitalized.

Another way I use italics in the series is with dreams or Starfire visions, to differentiate dreams or memories from the present or reality.

If I think of any other formatting styles I've used not mentioned here or someone leaves a question, I will edit this post. Otherwise, I hope this helps alleviate any confusion.

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