What time is it in your world? What day of the week is it? If someone is 20 years old, are they babies, young adults or elders?
When creating your fictitious world, do you consider that the orbit of that planet is not the same as Earth? I mean, unless you are mapping out a planet with the same dimensions as Earth, its orbit around its sun (or suns) would not be just over 67k MPH and would result in a difference in time.
If you have a planet that takes longer to go around its sun, is its rotation speed different? How many seconds, minutes and hours are in a day? How many days in a month? How many months in a year?
Of course, if you change all normal measurements of time, how do you explain it to your reader and make them comfortable in comprehending the measurements in your world? Going back to age question, even if your planet takes twice as long to orbit its sun so that the average age of your people is 40, it may come across wrong if they are getting marred at 8-10 years of age.
Then there are holidays and festivals that revolve around seasons and moon phases, does your world have these events that will need to be placed on a calendar? Does your civilization mark the phases of their moon or moons?
Wait a second… man, this all makes my head hurt. Isn’t it just simpler to use our Earth based calendar no matter the planetary makeup of our world? Is simpler better?
If you have not guessed it yet, I started thinking about the calendar for my NaNoWriMo fiction story. I want to change the name of the days of the week to reflect the great kings of Milani, but couldn’t decide how many days are in the week. That got me thinking that if I change the number of days in a week I should adjust the number of weeks in a month and the number of months in a year, and that’s about where my head started throbbing. If I change the calendar too much I then disrupt the readers comprehension of time in my world and could distract them from the story I am trying to tell. Or, am I not given the reader enough credit? Can the average reader accept major changes to the calendar?
Well, I have 9 days to sort this out… wait, what did I just say? 9 days until NaNoWriMo? That is creeping up fast. Guess I know what I need to be working on, along with the rest of my character sketches.
How do you handle the calendar in your fantasy or science fiction story? As a reader, you do prefer the author leave the calendar alone or does a fictitious calendar add to the fantasy?
Until next time…