2021 T : Time

#AtoZChallenge 2021 banner

In the modern world, the measurement of time can be taken for granted. Devices from cellular phones to computer screens, a roadside sign or a cheap digital watch alerts us of actions to be taken or appointments made. Just as in the real world, a fantasy world needs to have descriptions for measurements. If an invented measurement of time or distance, the unit needs to be understandable--and comfortable--for the reader. Measurements different than the familiar could be jarring to a reader and possibly even throw them out of the story.

One thing that is common to most worlds are heavenly bodies. The stars may have different configurations and more than one moon, but they provide an easily understood guide for the characters (and the reader) as they traverse their world much as the stars did for the sailors of old.

Now that the characters have a map how to measure the length of a journey. Historically, the marking of time comes from important event such as full moons and planting or harvesting seasons. A full cycle of the seasons is a year. For the Windmaster Novels, a slightly different term was used to represent a cycle of the world. Turn replaced year.

The heavens are again used with the measurement of a full moon. Since there are two moons in The Windmaster Novels, not only do you have the recognition of the time between full moons, but also the less frequent conjunction of both moons being full at the same time and appearing to coalesce into a super moon.

A week can be a sevenday or ten day depending on the world.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

At an individual level, a character can use the candlemark to determine how long they have been at a task. A candlemark is how long it takes a candle to burn down between marks notched into the sides for measuring shorter time periods. I particularly like the visual of the candle burning low when the character is researching in an archive. 

Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

Public life can be measured using bells to alert the town, large group, or ship of the time. This works well as long as the keeper of the bell is accurate through the use of an hourglass.

To mark shorter breaks of time, heartbeats or breaths. They may not be quite as accurate since they can both speed up with activity. I wouldn't want to use them to determine when to charge as part of a coordinated battle plan, but to show the reader the passage of a few moments they are more than sufficient.

To read the stories and see the various combinations of time and space, click on the covers in the banner for excerpts of what the music helped create.


If you're following other blogs in the challenge, here's the master list of the other participants.

To make following the hop easier, here is the link to all my posts. Just remember, the next day's post isn't live until midnight.

~ till next time, Helen

No comments:

Post a Comment

By posting a comment on this site, you agree with the site's Privacy Policy on how your data is stored and handled.