How would I find a time setting in a fictional story?

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding How would I find a time setting in a fictional story?

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  • #101458
    Urwen Starial
    @urwen-starial

      I’m struggling to figure out what time period my WIP would be in. If it’s fictional does it need a real time period setting? I have diary entries that need dates filled in, and a ‘year’ settled in my story.

      The problem is, I’m not sure. Does it need a real time setting? If it doesn’t, how would I figure out the year and dates?

      I’m in dire need of help.

      "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

      #101459
      Princess Foo
      @princess-foo

      @urwen-starial

      If you want to figure out a rough time period that corresponds to the real world, think of what technologies you want in your story and don’t want in your story. For instance, if you know that you want guns to be invented, but no printing presses, a quick google reveals that to be the 1350s to 1450s. Then google “fashion of the late 1300s” or “technology of early 1400s” to get a sense of the time period and see if that is what you were hoping for.

      Now, do you need to pick a real time period? It depends on what kind of story you want. There is a genre called Historical Fantasy that’s basically the same as historical except all the countries, events, and people have been made up. You worldbuild like it’s fantasy, but with no magic or fancy fantasy stuff. You could make vague references to real-world figures and events, but if they are important then we start straying into other genres where historical accuracy matters.

      Or you could do an alternate history, although you would have to make it clear exactly what is alternate about it and why that matters. A popular alternate history setting is “What is the Germans won WWII?”

      Does that help at all?

      The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

      #101461
      valtmy
      @valtmy

        @urwen-starial

        As @princess-foo said, it will depend on what kind of setting you have. If it is fantasy, you will have more leeway in the numbers.

        Instead of our current BC and AD system, you may want to also consider different ways other cultures and civilisations have kept track of the passing of time. For example, for my current story, since the setting has a monarchy, the way it is usually stated is the Xth year of King So-and-So’s reign.

        #101462
        Naiya Dyani
        @naiya-dyani

          @urwen-starial I believe The Wingfeather Saga tracked time in terms of “the fifty-first year of the third Epoch” or something like that, if that helps!

          Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

          #101534
          Urwen Starial
          @urwen-starial

            @naiya-dyani, @valtmy, @princess-foo, thank you guys, this helps so much. my one question, do I need a time period if it’s fiction? to make it more relatable?

            "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

            #101537
            Naiya Dyani
            @naiya-dyani

              @urwen-starial I usually only deal with time periods/years if I have to for the story. If there isn’t a spot that requires a date (other than, “Hey, you want to do XYZ in three days?”), I typically avoid that as much as I can. Why? Because I find it difficult. 😛

              However, since you have journal entries, you may need to do that. It requires a bit of extra work, but it probably does add another dash of realism to it (one that my stories sadly lack 😀 ).

              So yeah, if you’ve got a better relationship with creating fantasy time than I do, go for it! I might suggest tying it in elsewhere in the story (e.g., something happened in X year or however you’re expressing time) just to introduce it/make it a thorough part of the story.

              Good luck!

              (*whispers* Hey, Kirat, is she treating you better right now than I’m about to be treating my characters?)

              Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

              #101546
              Urwen Starial
              @urwen-starial

                @naiya-dyani, Thank you.

                Kirat: She won’t let me kill her.

                Me: It’s not really my fault, some of my friends sent bodyguards for me, then my sister gave me one and a half, then my friend decided she wanted to. . .

                Kirat: SEE  WHAT I MEAN??!?!?!?!

                Me: Poor, poor, distressed boy. So sad. Such sad.

                 

                "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

                #101549
                Naiya Dyani
                @naiya-dyani

                  @urwen-starial Poor Kirat! 🙁 It’s probably for character development, though!

                  Tai: That’s what you say anytime you want to do something bad.

                  Me: But it’s true!

                  Kiet: Um. . . what did breaking my leg have to do with character development?

                  Me: I think you know. Now here, take this cat and don’t let Tai rile you up.

                  Kiet: *squeezing cat* You know you can’t just manipulate me into doing whatever you want using cats.

                  Me: Are you sure?

                   

                  Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

                  #101552
                  Urwen Starial
                  @urwen-starial

                    @naiya-dyani, Aww, Kiet, you like cats? We might be getting a new one today, it’s so cute! Wanna come over and see it? *beams*

                    He sounds like such an awesome character! Please Kiet, I want to meet you!

                    "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

                    #101554
                    Naiya Dyani
                    @naiya-dyani

                      @urwen-starial

                      Kiet: *looks at me hopefully*

                      Me: Sure, go ahead. You’ve earned it.

                      Kiet: *grins, then blushes and waves* Hi, Urwen. Naiya’s not actually that bad.

                      Grace, Tai, Dari, and Kedori in chorus: YES SHE IS.

                      Kiet: *shrugs* She gave me a kitten in the story. That’s enough for me.

                      Dari: Yeah, that and a tragic backstory.

                      Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

                      #101556
                      Urwen Starial
                      @urwen-starial

                        @naiya-dyani, Yay! I can’t wait to see you Kiet!!!!

                        Could you describe him so I know who he is when he shows up? He sounds like such a great character!

                        Oh, *remembers manners* Everyone else sounds like great characters too! *Looks at Grace, Tai, Dari, and Kedori* heh, heh. Cats.

                        Me: hey Kirat, Kiet’s coming over today, you can’t harm him or a LOT of bad things will happen to you. Get me?

                        Kirat: *goes pale, then nods* Yeah. sure. Who’s Kiet?

                        Me: my friend’s character, he likes cats.

                        Kirat: oh. okay.

                        Me: *to Kiet* the cat’s name is Jiffy Skippy PB Roberts. I’ll send Naiya a picture with you two when the cat gets here.

                        *smiles fondly at Kiet* Can’t wait to see you buddy!!!

                        "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

                        #101561
                        Naiya Dyani
                        @naiya-dyani

                          @urwen-starial Kiet: *sparkle eyes* I can’t wait!

                          Grace, Tai, Dari, and Kedori: *in chorus* No worries, Kiet’s pretty great.

                          Me: I can actually give you a pic! Grace made me a picture of him in the character art forum and it’s absolutely adorable 😀 .

                          Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

                          #101563
                          Urwen Starial
                          @urwen-starial

                            @naiya-dyani, HE’S ADORABLE!!!!!!!

                            *realizes that I had an outburst*

                            heh heh, sorry. Désole in French.

                            Désolé Kiet. Je suis très contente. Tu voudrais un café? Un thé? Eau? Légumes et pain? Ré?

                            Translation: Sorry Kiet. I am very happy. Would you like a coffee? A tea? Water? Vegetables and bread? Rice?

                             

                            Let me me know if you need anything while you’re over.

                            "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

                            #101564
                            Naiya Dyani
                            @naiya-dyani

                              @urwen-starial Kiet: *smiles* Meye seja ono kishinija!

                              That’s Aboreil (his native language) for “I don’t need anything but cats!”

                              Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

                              #101565
                              Urwen Starial
                              @urwen-starial

                                @naiya-dyani, aww, he’s so cute!!!

                                Forgive me if I’m wrong.

                                please!

                                "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

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