February 22, 2018, 04:41:10 PM

Author Topic: Fantasy word choice funtime  (Read 1774 times)

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 09:31:48 AM »

Light is a universal concept and represents righteousness, purity, and general goody-two-shoeness in the cultural hive-mind, so using it like that shouldn't be a problem. But maybe there's something better? Why is the light a good thing, in your world?

For example, in my hopefully-still-prize-winning short story, someone says "thank the dawn". They live in a world where they are not sure when and if the sun will come up, so the light of dawn holds special significance to them. So they are saying the same thing, but with different words.

Well in my WIP, everyone believes that everything came from Light, light is good etc etc, if you become a magus you have to chose whether to become a dark magus and use the nether and have the ether ripped from you or become a white magus and use the ether and have the nether ripped from you-- they are complementary forces that do different things, and magi believe it's about whether good or evil is stronger within you, while people who use magic in the traditional way, who haven't had half of their soul ripped out are considered dirty and persecuted as witches--if they don't come to take the Trials and become a magus they are burnt at the stake. The fact is that they're wrong and 2000 years ago, magi used both forces together to create these giant statues to seal the Fell, making it impossible for anything to leave the mountains, and it would take someone capable of using both forces to undo that, so they started the practice of choosing one force over the other and over 2000 years the reasons for the practice got mixed up in all these value judgements.

Also the gods don't really appear for the most part (there's a peddler-hero god that turns out to be an evil af immortal that was cursed by higher powers that he doesn't really explain), people believe in a sun goddess who unveiled the sun and caused life to burst forth from the earth, but one of the big bad guys is a Cardinal who after praying to her forever finds a cave that his Priory was built on top of, with an ancient, pre-literate shrine to a goddess of darkness and a bloodstone that gives him all these powers so he starts a secret cult while pulling the strings of the both the ruling council of his country and the church.  And he can steal people's souls. Later you find out that all life was birthed from a goddess of darkness, not light.  So... idk... that still doesn't help me with finding a substitute expression.

So regardless of whether Light *has* to be associated with good or not in my own head (or even in the realities of the world I've built), people *believe* that it is, so consequently that needs to be reflected in the way people think and talk. If I want to twist it, it has to be done from the conventional starting point.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 09:42:13 AM by Bradley Darewood »

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2018, 11:16:10 AM »

A term I really wish I could steal from GRRM is "nameday" to replace birthday

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2018, 11:20:45 AM »
A term I really wish I could steal from GRRM is "nameday" to replace birthday
I'm not sure that one comes from GRRM, I've seen that in many books for ages ???
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Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2018, 11:39:54 AM »
A term I really wish I could steal from GRRM is "nameday" to replace birthday
I'm not sure that one comes from GRRM, I've seen that in many books for ages ???

What other ones?

Offline cupiscent

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2018, 08:56:47 PM »
I would've called "name day" a separate thing from birthday, as in the Greek Orthodox tradition.

I could've sworn that in medieval Europe you celebrated on the day of the saint you were named for as well (rather than day of your birth), but it's too early for me to go hunting for that.

I do know that in Korean tradition, you count from conception date (not sure how they calculate this) so you turn "zero" roughly three months after you're born, and that's when they bother naming you. (Because, y'know, why bother casting the auguries/pissing off aunties if you're just going to die quick anyway...)

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 09:38:45 PM »
What other ones?
Not sure... maybe John Gwynne's?

I could've sworn that in medieval Europe you celebrated on the day of the saint you were named for as well (rather than day of your birth), but it's too early for me to go hunting for that.
That's true, and apparently in Eastern Europe that's still a thing, because I got a friend from Hungary and she once arrived saying it was her name/saint's name day.
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 09:40:34 PM »
I would've called "name day" a separate thing from birthday, as in the Greek Orthodox tradition.

I could've sworn that in medieval Europe you celebrated on the day of the saint you were named for as well (rather than day of your birth), but it's too early for me to go hunting for that.

I do know that in Korean tradition, you count from conception date (not sure how they calculate this) so you turn "zero" roughly three months after you're born, and that's when they bother naming you. (Because, y'know, why bother casting the auguries/pissing off aunties if you're just going to die quick anyway...)

Agree it can be confusing to assume a name day is the same as a birthday, often this will be seen as wrong.

Present day convention among many Eastern Orthodox community here is as cupiscent suggests and many Greek as well. We have Macedonian family and believe me there are name day celebrations somewhere at least monthly.  A national characteristic is love of good party.  ;D

A name day is an even more important celebration than a birthday and involves a big family and friends party. It is held on the feast day of the saint the family surname* is associated with, and any family missing the name day celebration has to have a very good excuse or are in big trouble.   There are a lot of saints and every surname can be associated with one.

ETA* Just checked and they celebrate individual names on their Saints' days as well and as described by cupi and ScarletBea. I just knew there were a lot.  Of course, more parties. Must admit the Macedonians are wonderfully generous, hospitable, love happy dancing and brilliant at BBQ . ;D (But, dont tell on me, their music is dreadful. ::))

« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 10:55:55 PM by Lady Ty »
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Offline Yora

Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2018, 08:06:26 PM »
For philosophical reasons I don't want to use the word Evil. Evil implies that there is some factual dualism of Good and Evil, which I specifically want to avoid. But sometimes, you still just have monsters or places that seemingly desire nothing but to kill and cause suffering. Is there another word that could get this across?

The closest related words I can think of as description are cruel and hateful, but Hateful Forest just doesn't have quite the snappy ring to it.  ;)
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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2018, 08:36:18 PM »
Malevolent, Baleful, and pretty much any word beginning with mal- or bal- come to mind. I wonder about your approach to naming - if you want to avoid dualism in naming, it implies you don't want dualism, begging the question: why have an evil place in the first place, if there's no good or evil?
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 03:05:21 AM »
I'm sure most of you guys know about it, but http://www.thesaurus.com/ is my go to place for writing. I usually hit it up once if not many times while editing. It's just so useful for finding a word that has the meaning I want but the sound I like.

For instance, "hate" brought me the following:

animosity
antagonism
enmity
hatred
horror
hostility
loathing
pain
rancor
resentment
revenge
venom
abhorrence
abomination
anathema
animus
antipathy
aversion
bother
bugbear
detestation
disgust
execration
frost
grievance
gripe
irritant
malevolence
malignity
nuisance
objection
odium
rankling
repugnance
repulsion
revulsion
scorn
spite
trouble
black beast
bête noire
ill will
mislike
nasty look
no love lost

"Forest of Spite", "Forest of Scorn", and "Forest of Rancor" all fit the bill, along with others.

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2018, 03:23:20 AM »
Now combine with all the synonyms for forest and you're done.

"Welcome to the Grievewood. Most everything's poisonous here. What isn't poisonous has thorns. Biggun's that'll scoop your eye right out of your head."

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Offline JMack

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2018, 12:17:53 PM »
In my last story, I kept trying to remember a word for a ruined building, like a castle or such. I ended up with “pile”, but kept thinking there is a fantasy-ish two-syllable word that is escaping me.

And yes, I used thesaurus.com for “ruin.”

Word detectives?
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Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2018, 04:02:41 AM »

So here's another one.

What's an archaic word for a sweatshop?

My MC's mother lives in the slums of the Outer City sewing clothes to be sold to the nobility by Lord who owns the Slummer's Quarter, making less money than she has to pay the same lord for her rent.  He's like a slumlord back when they were just called lords.  What do I call the physical place in the slums where she goes to sew with other women?

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2018, 05:45:18 AM »

So here's another one.

What's an archaic word for a sweatshop?

My MC's mother lives in the slums of the Outer City sewing clothes to be sold to the nobility by Lord who owns the Slummer's Quarter, making less money than she has to pay the same lord for her rent.  He's like a slumlord back when they were just called lords.  What do I call the physical place in the slums where she goes to sew with other women?

This works!

"A sweatshop is a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours under poor conditions and many health risks."

So ... "factory" is probably what you want. Sweat shop was introduced later to describe particularly harsh factories.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweatshop

Also that's what the place Fatine did her sewing was called in Les Miserables (though I only saw the movie).

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Re: Fantasy word choice funtime
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2018, 05:57:27 AM »
In my last story, I kept trying to remember a word for a ruined building, like a castle or such. I ended up with “pile”, but kept thinking there is a fantasy-ish two-syllable word that is escaping me.

And yes, I used thesaurus.com for “ruin.”

Word detectives?
Rubble, hovel, words for things that are left behind in a mess (jumble, tumble, crumble, etc.), remnant, words for the shapes (heaps, mounds, etc); word for its use now: quarry; word for its comparison to other things: warren, maze, boneyard ... that's all I got
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