Writing with the gorglum

The gorglum, such as Trinka’s companion Grble, have an interesting writing system that isn’t mentioned in the book.

The characters

The gorglum writing system uses tail-like vowels that are added onto other characters (sometimes called an “abugida,” rather than an alphabet), making for a very compact style. Although the gorglum still have more than 26 letters to represent people’s speech sounds, they have one less vowel than my other systems, since “oo” (as in “cool) and “oo” (the “oeh” sound as in “book”) are represented by the same character. (Of course, they have different characters for representing the speech sounds of their own language…)


gorglum vowels

The consonants in the gorglum writing system are all circular shapes that they can make with their feet (they the add detail with their fingers).


gorglum consonants

Gorglum punctuation is also circular:


gorglum punctuation

A sense of direction

Direction is very important in gorglum writing, since many of the characters are mirror images of each other. The gorglum typically write right-to-left, although they sometimes write top-to-bottom, and usually leave out spaces between characters. Here are the names “Grble” and “Trinka” all put together.


The name “Grble,” written right-to-left

"Trinka" written right-to-left

“Trinka” written right-to-left


The Burmese alphabet gave me ideas for the overall look of the gorglum writing system. When put together, the words also resemble many of the jeweled ornaments that are such an important part of gorglum life and culture.

Although the people on Apostrophe might think that that the gorglum modeled their writing system after those of people (if they bothered to pay any attention to creatures most consider beneath them), it’s actually the other way around. Most of the writing systems of Apostrophe were originally based on the writing skills learned, long ago, from the gorglum. (This wouldn’t be admitted by any but the most heretical scholars, however.)

A question for you…

Because its style is so different from English, I find gorglum writing to be more difficult to read and write than scripts such as the ath, or Willow. Are you up for a challenge?


A sample question…


... and answer.

… and answer.