Re: Of days and weeks

For people who write a non-isekai work, for fantasies that are in a world with no relation to work, do you use Monday/Tuesday/etc as a default, or do you craft your own days? Is a week still seven days? Are there still twelve months in a year? 

If you're using a copy of Earth's calendar, how do you justify any similarities (if you do, in the first place)? 

For readers: do you question uses of things like "January" and "Saturday" when set in a world with no relation to Earth whatsoever?

Re: Of days and weeks.

As a reader I generally do not like it when a author does their own time system with novel times and lengths and names for periods of time whether that is versions of hours, months, days or years etc.

I also do not like it when an author uses our names for things Monday Tuesday January February etc.

Seems like a problem no? 

Personally I think the best feeling most comfortable answer to that is just the Author's 'ole reliable: Don't talk about it and let the readers brain fill it in and do the work for you.

That meaning: Don't mention if weeks or hours are different to our hours or weeks and don't use particular names of months or weeks at all, just specify the period of time if a character needs to state a time "Three weeks from now" "at the end of the week" It keeps it extremely generic and malleable feeling, like its just being translated. Like how feet and inches feels right in fantasy land, it just does. 🤷‍♀️

Re: Of days and weeks.

I do write an isekai story, but the world does not use Earth's calender for the most part.
I rather aggravatingly made it into 30 hour days, which on its own causes a headache. Then there are 12 months, each with 28 days. Weeks are 7 days because it makes sense from there. The only similarity I forced from Earth was the convention of 60 minutes in an hour, and the same for seconds. I haven't actually given any explicity dates yet and normally just give time changes like 'tomorrow', or 'a week later'.

There is a plot reason for the 60 minutes/seconds thing, but my recommendation is never change the hours in a day, nor minutes or seconds. Days in a year is perfectly fine, same for their arrangement in weeks/months. But adapting to entirely new measurement systems is hellish. All the non-isekai + non-Earth stories I've read just used our time system and never went into detail of its origin. Pretty sure most traditional fantasy books do that as well.

Re: Of days and weeks.

Lol, there is a date system in my world, I tend not to mention it at all.

It's a seven-day system. With four seasons and 12 months thought up as moons.  It's a world similar to Earth. However, the naming is different. I've just not thought of the names yet in the full calendar. Mostly because it's a little irrelevant. I named some of the months that are important to characters. And the reason why I did it that way is to just make it easier on myself. 7 days a week and 12 months a year is easier for me to keep up with when this project stretches over a long span of time, 50+ years.

The calendar that the POV characters use, is based on the goddess Diva and her demi gods. Each month of the calendar is either named after them and if a hard reference to them. Since they are worshipers of Dias, another god, there is a slight modification in the names, but it's still a twelve-month lunar calendar.

Days aren't really names. Days are just numbered. So for example. The month of Hearth is the 4th month. Any sort of dating, would be. 1st day of Hearth + year.
Months are 30 days as that's how I've been calculating things. 

Re: Of days and weeks.

If it's a second world it'll boggle me for a moment to see Monday, Tuesday, etc, especially since a lot of those titles are taken from our mythologies. It doesn't make sense for a day of the week in your universe to be named after Woden! I consider it a minor infraction, though, and I think it rarely comes up. 

I do appreciate it if an author takes the time to figure out and makes mention of it in a normal fashion with their characters! It's definitely extra points that'll help world building without being lore drop heavy.

Re: Of days and weeks.

I don't use days of the week in my writing, but for my calendar, instead of months I use seasons instead. Kind of Stardew Valley style, I'll use "Spring 18th" as an example. Since earth has 365 days in a year, I just divide that by 4 seasons and call my "months" 91 days long. I know seasons aren't equal to others, but I think it's a simple enough system to understand.

Re: Of days and weeks.

From what I have seen in fantasy literature, the use of names for days or months is rarely used. Most of the time they use stuff like "the 3rd month of Autumn" or "the month of the Summer Solstice" etc. That doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't name days or months, but it doesn't seem all that important frankly. More of a personal decision made by the writer than anything that needs to be done.

Re: Of days and weeks.

Our time system is built on ancient counting systems using base-12.  The 7-day week was a later addition taken from the Torah.

You can usually shoe-horn an equivalent system into any setting to make it seem familiar and logical, whilst being just illogical enough to seem human.

I've not done this, but I have written stories set on Mars, accommodating a (slightly) different-length day, longer years and no seasons to speak of (as Mars has very little axial variation).

Re: Of days and weeks.

I like calendars, they say a lot about a culture, so I tend to fill my worlds with local calendars. There's one world where I have thirteen different names for the different days of the weeks, just because I can. Nerds gonna nerd I guess. 

While the length of weeks and months may differ between ethnicities that tracks and names time differently, I always make a point of making sure the years are as long as they are on Earth, because otherwise it'll become a right-o hassle to track how old the characters are. I've seen a novel or two where the characters are actually a few years older than they're written to be, because the years of that world are longer than Earths. It is a bit confusing as a reader, to have to calculate how old a character is in order to get their correct age in Earth years. 

Re: Of days and weeks.

In my sci-fi space opera fic the calendar in use (Universal Calendar) replaces the Georgian Calendar, but there isn't any real difference between the two other than serving as a reboot from year 1 UC. In the past I always liked the idea of changing the months around to things like Jugust, Septober, Decembary, Aprimay... but I decided to just keep it simple for my sanity and readers that might find it confusing. 

Since it's set in a mostly fictionalized Orion Arm, I think there are inconsistencies regarding time disparity between NotEarth and RandomBackWater planet, including things like 7 days of the week and stuff but... I handwave it away and don't think too much about it. 

Re: Of days and weeks.

My story has time logs, I only stick to days/months/years. If it's every brought up in dialogue I try to make it like this.
"Ah yes, today is a fine day indeed, the 24th day of the 3rd month of the 200th year!" To give an example, but I try to keep it out of dialogue entirely. This is just to help keep track of how much time has passed rather than it playing a part in the actual story. In terms of calendar days it's just 30 days a month with 12 months a year but it's never going to be explicitly stated or explained why it's like that because, again, it doesn't play that big of a role except to keep track of time.

Re: Of days and weeks.

As a reader I almost never pay attention to the stories calendar. That being said there are absolutely ways to make it sorry relevant like with regards to culture. 

One thing I really honestly want to see is an isekai where there's a different length day so we can get some good Non-24 sleep disorder  representation, not that you need a magic portal premise for that but it would be really cool to see.

Re: Of days and weeks.

I was just thinking about this!  I'm plotting out a story idea that is partially based on the game Stardew valley, which has an unusual calendar system.  four "months" which are the seasons, each exactly four weeks, each week 7 days, with the names we use for our days on it.  Which is... weird. (my personal headcanon and part of where I am taking the story is that its not Earth, its a colony planet in the far future)

I am definitely against a fantasy or non Earth connected story using our words. Especially since talking about the calendar, the names of days and months, can be such an exellent way to slip in cultural details without infodumping.