Anonymous asked: I’m having trouble naming my months? I’m writing fantasy and I really don’t know how I would name.
Look at some of the links I included in this post for starters, because some of them give examples of possibilities. Also, this article explains where we got the names for our months.
There are many possibilities for what you could do. One possibility is naming months after gods in your story. Another possibility is naming months for what is happening in your land, such as the weather. Take a look at how Martin Rayla of Gnome Stew named the months in his fantasy world:
Martin’s calendar has twelve months like ours, and if you look closely, you can see how they’re related to our months. First, a quick note that in archaic use, the word “moot” meant “meeting” or “gathering.” And “wane” means “to diminish.” Now, lets get a closer look at the month names Martin chose:
Frostmoot - (January) - “Gathering of Frost,” perfect for January!
Deepsnow - (February) - the thick of winter when snow is deep!
Winterwane - (March) - winter is fading
Rainmoot - (April) - “Gathering of Rain,” perfect for spring!
Palesun - (May) - the sun is yet weak, but gaining strength
Highsun - (June) - the summer sun is high in the sky
Firemoot - (July) - “Gathering of Fire,” July can feel that way sometimes!
Firewane - (August) - the heat is fading
Lowsun - (September) - the sun is losing strength heading into fall
Redfall - (October) - is this a nod to red falling leaves of autumn?
Snowmoot - (November) - “Gathering of Snow,” first snowfall of winter
Fellnight - (December) - the darkest time of the year
Of course, you don’t have to associate your months with the months in our calendar. It just works as a nice template. But lets say your calendar has only eight months, and that the new year begins in spring. You could do something like this:
1) Planting - first month of the year, spring, time to plant crops
2) Seedling - second month, mid-spring, plants are beginning to grow
3) Leaftime - third month, late spring, plants are tall and leafy
4) Sunharvest - fourth month, early summer, plants are ready
5) Goldleaftime - fifth month, mid-summer, new crops growing
6) Goldharvest - sixth month, late summer, second harvest
7) Ryetime - seventh month, rye used as winter cover crop
8) Snowfield - eighth month, the fields are filled with snow
Other possibilities for month names:
1) Months named after Gods in your world.
2) Months named after historic events in your world.
3) Months named after past rulers in your world.
4) Months named after animals in your world.
5) Months named after battle gear, famous battles, or wars.
6) Months named after various activities, mythical creatures of your world, or arbitrary things the people of your world find important.
Really, the possibilities are almost endless. The important thing is that they’re not completely arbitrary. You can mix and match origins, much like our own real world calendar which has months named after Gods, seasonal elements, and numeric divisions—but just make sure there’s a reason you choose each name. If you can create some sort of logical pattern like Martin did, all the better (but certainly not necessary).
Anonymous asked: Any tips on creating Alien cultures?
I could write a whole book on this, but I’m going to boil it down to the good stuff.
- It Will Not Be Earth-like. Your aliens may have different sexes (like this yeast, which has A and Alpha sexes) or the same sexes, it doesn’t matter: their ideas of gender and gender identity are going to be radically different than Earth’s. Your aliens will definitely have a different form of organization that will not be male + female + offspring. They may have a similar economic system, but I doubt it. Their objects will be completely different because they will have developed for a species without the five fingers-short palm-opposable thumb configuration we enjoy. Don’t limit yourself to variations on Earth cultures. Go wild!
- Variation. Many sci-fi worlds think totally the same, whether they’re all pointy-eared logicians or sluggish crime lords. We have much variation in our world and there’s no reason an alien world wouldn’t have the same. In creating an alien “culture”, keep in mind it should only apply to a part of alien culture as a whole. (Aliens also tend to look the same, when there are often variations among a species. More of a worldbuilding question, but you should consider phenotypic variation.)
- What do they value? This is one of the most important questions in worldbuilding. You can literally create a whole culture around what people value. Money? America. Peace? Hippie movement. Themselves? Romanticism.
Homoerotic subtext? Tumblr. So ask yourself what is most valuable to these aliens. That is what will receive precedence in their thoughts, politics, goals, economy, everything. That is what will shape and define them the most. I like starting with this question because then other considerations are easy: just focus them on letting beings achieve their value or values.
- There’s hella variables. Hella = a lot more than you think. I did a huge post on worldbuilding questions here. It’s probably two hundred questions long and I don’t think I covered everything. A post like that is probably more involved than you want it to be, so just answer these questions: What do they value? What do they believe in? How do they wage war (doesn’t need to be violent)? What forms (romantic, familial, platonic, other) of attachment are there? What is forbidden and why? What is their art like? What is their economy like? What - if any - government do they have? What is the biggest crime one can commit? What is the greatest act one can commit?
Shout out to my 117th follower who knows where I sleep at night.
I’m following way too many blogs. I need to ditch a bunch of my unfavourites.