1. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Neccesities in Fantasy

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by jwatson, Aug 4, 2009.

    Hey everyone,
    I'm wondering what you think of not having a name for a world one would create. Instead of trying to find one that is catchy, is is advisable to just call it earth, or refer to it as the world?
    Thanks
     
  2. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    Of course, depends on how you want the reader to experience the story, right?

    "Earth" brings the reader in using his own experiences. The fantasy world is grounded in familiarity at the start. This is of course excluding the term earth as a regular noun (i.e. He treaded lightly on the ground, for the earth was rocky and jagged.)

    "Other-Worldy-Name" brings the reader to a foreign place. This evokes the "once upon a time" or "long ago, in a galaxy far, far away" type feel. "The world" isn't really a name, so it still fits here, I think.

    Consider two successful fantasy stories: Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings. Harry Potter is more rooted in reality than the other. It borrows from our own experiences (even highschool!) and makes them magical. In Lord of the Rings, however, Tolkien only borrowed the metaphysical (and some religious/spiritual) basics, and invented most everything else from scratch. Which kind of story do you want to tell?
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Many fantasy novels occur on earth, while others occur in an alternate realtity of earth, some in earth of the future, etc.


    It really depends on the story and the setting the story requires.

    Terry
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Well this story takes place in the olden days-ish, like a medieval times type setting and so far I've just been referring to it as "the world" and it's not concerning very much though I do wonder whether I should find a better name for it...
    Thanks for you posts
     
  5. wave1345
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    wave1345 Member

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    Calling a fantasy world "Earth" brings in some messy inferences and expectations - unless
    you're specifically writing about an alternate Earth. But if you aren't writing about some
    Other Earth, I'd come up with a new name, in order to completely divorce your setting
    from the realistic and from the reader's experiences.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I am always leery of the creation of world names outside of science fiction where it tends to be necessary. In fantasy, I think there would not be so much need to refer to the world name. In science fiction I can see the need because you might be going from one planet to the next.

    In Fantasy, I can't really see the need except for the dramatic flair of mentioning it. In such occasions, the mention of world name tends to come off as self conscious and...hokie.
     
  7. lyteside
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    lyteside Member

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    well said, Wreybies.

    It is quite possible the characters in the fantasy world don't understand Earth the same way we modernists do. They may understand the land they walk as flat, or their all encompassing universe, etc.

    They might refer to it in the same way i say "I have a soul." I don't name my soul, for purposes of differentiating it or anything else... i just have one.

    In my fantasy story, characters just refer to their Earth as the new world. In history, they refer to it as the old world. They think in terms of ages and seasons more than places they are on.
     
  8. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    good points guys, but I think that I'm not going to be referring to it as a whole anyways, probably just separate countries, so if I do happen to need to call it something, I'm going to stick with "the world/the earth."

    Thanks again , you were very helpful :)
     
  9. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need to name the world. But you should probably name the different countries and such places.

    But you can easily stick to The World, if it should come up.
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with what Unit 7 indicated.

    Kingdoms, countries, confederations, mountain ranges, plains would work.

    Examples: The Kingdom of Krikus, The Duchy of Kirkus, The Krikus Expanse, The Plains of Krikus, The Krikus Confederation, The Kirkus Isles, etc.

    My fantasy novel Flank Hawk that will be published later this year (okay, minor self promotion ;) ), is set in the future. The continents/land masses are basically the same, but the political boundaries and country/kingdom names are different.

    Good luck,

    Terry
     
  11. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think fantasy stories set in worlds that are much like earth (in medieval times, often) are weaker than fantasy stories simply set in our earth's past. You can go really far into fantasy stuff and still suspend the readers disbelief. Think of classic fairy-tales. They're all set on earth. Even the totally outrageous ones with dragons and fairies. They take our rich world and add more supernatural richness to it, instead of using a blank slate that may never be filled halfway.

    I'd only go for a parallel world if it was so utterly alien and outrageous that the reader would never accept it as earth.
     
  12. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I'm in the same boat as you, jwatson.

    My story has both Earth as we know it (where my two MCs start from) and an alternate unnamed, medieval-ish Earth-like world they end up in. I dunno what to name that world either, if I should name it at all.

    However, I agree with Unit and TW, the specific country may have a name, but not neccesarily the world. Most fantasy novels I've read do that (Dragon Keeper Chronicles, The Inheritance Trilogy/Quartet among others), so maybe that's the best option.
     
  13. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Mine don't switch planets or anything, they start off in on a planet and the setting is of the olden days with swords as the most high-tech weapons. It's just a fantasy world, and my characters do not travel to another one that it sci-fi-ish to me.
    My countries have names, the world however, does not, nor do I intend to call it anything original. It will always be "the world" to me :p
     
  14. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thats all that is ever really needed for a story like that.
     

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