Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts

I love writing my secondary world fantasy, in diverse worlds beyond our own, but there are some reoccurring problems that need to be addressed.  Most of them - the calendar, appropriate naming - I really enjoy tackling, but there are a few that, for some reason, I never quite feel satisfied with.

Forms of Address.  I'm not talking about noble titles - those tend to sort themselves out.  I'm talking about the equivalent of Mr. and Mrs. (and Miss and Ms.!) in the world.  Master and mistress is ... acceptable, but sometimes doesn't feel right.  In Butterfly's Poison, I used "Ner" for men and "Nel" for women - but then you have to make it clear from context that the word isn't part of their name.  For some reason, whenever I reach this particular decision, I struggle with it.

Police!  So what do you call the cops in a fantasy locale?  I tend to default to "the guard," but I can't use that every single time, and then it creates cases where it's unclear if the word is meant to be a noun or a verb.  Add different branches to this - the king's guard; the city guard - and it gets more gnarly.  And are guards also soldiers?  Bah!

Greetings and Courtesy.  Do people shake hands?  Bow / curtsey?  What if the person they're meeting is of much higher or lower rank?  This is such a little detail, but it's easy to forget what you've decided and a pain in the neck to fix in editing.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I planted one of these details in Unnatural Causes and forgot it ...

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