Calendars and time

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Calendars and time

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:12 pm

Since we all write fantasy I expect most of us use different calendars than the ones we find in the real world. And while I have most of my calendar finished I am still having trouble on deciding how to count the years. (We Dutch have a very nice word for the counting of years which is "Jaartelling" which literary means "year count", I could not find an English equivalent so I will be using "year count". For example we live in the year 2016 of the Christian year count).

I know there are different ways to count the years. I could use the rule a leader, a significant event, use periods of a set amount of years en give them names.
So for the first you would get. It is the fifth year of the rule of king Richer. Which is nice and local. It only is used for one country. But I think this can get incredibly messy. Since the periods of rule are not consistent and it differs from neighbouring countries. One of the good points is that it will be easier to use by small people and locals.
Using a significant would be easier. You would get something like we have now. It is the year 2849 since the elf wars or it is the year 118 since the uprising. These are also limited in range but the are more likely to affect a wider area. The problem is with events that happened long ago, the small people probably won't care for the event or don't know what it was about.
And then I could also use periods of a set amount of years. Dragon age uses a system like this. I believe they use a period of hundred years and events of the previous age determine the name of the new age. So dragons sightings in the age before the dragon age gave the dragon age its name.

Of course I could use all of these together but It would be nice to be able to compare it to a reference year count otherwise people including me would probably be very confused. I think I would like a year count like the one in dragon age best but I have been stuck on this problem for a while now. What kind of calendars and year counts do you use? And how do you keep track of time?
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Re: Calendars and time

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:21 pm

For my current story I use a calendar of 264 days divided into 13 moons (months) of 18 days. Each month starts on the new moon so the full moon is in the middle of the month. Each month also consists of 4 weeks so there are 52 weeks in total. A week is made up out of 7 days. So aside from the moons keeping track of time is about the same as you would do in this world. Clocks exist and work the same way as they do here.
There are 4 seasons and each is considered 91 days long. Since there are 4 seasons there is also midsummer, midwinter and the spring and autumnal equinox which also are 91 day apart from eachother.
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Re: Calendars and time

Post by Call Me Nefret on Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:19 am

For right now, I'm using normal years. I've talked about history in passing, although I don't mention specific years. I may continue with the normal as I've already mentioned age in years and I want the people reading to know about how old they would be in our time. Of course there will be different eras, as eras are based on history. It's a monarchy, so using reigns of kings would make sense. Although I had one king that only reigned for like 2 years. XD So I may just include that as the era of the previous king or current or something.
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Re: Calendars and time

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:32 am

I honestly hadn't thought about calenders or the like. My story is only set over about nine months, so I didn't really think I needed to mention the years... But now that I think about it, my world seems to be in a perpetual summer... I guess it could just be a hot country, like Australia (where I live)... Or that the story can be set between Spring and Autumn... Hmm, I'll have to think on this.

Very Happy Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

(On a random note, I wrote a story from a southern hemisphere perspective, where north is hot and south is cold. I had so much trouble with this because I was so used to reading and even writing from a northern hemisphere perspective, despite the fact that I've only ever been in the northern hemisphere for about three weeks of my life)

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