Worldbuilding Part 2

I am currently working on a short story about two brothers on the front line about to charge into battle. It is set in a somewhat nondescript setting and time (though certainly prior to the common use of gunpowder in Europe) and so whether the story is set in my fictional world or the real world will depend greatly upon what names I give the brothers. If I give them “fantasy” names, essentially names of my own devision or at least suitably uncommon, does the reader care about the story I am telling if it will only be one or two thousand words? I could easily give them good Scottish names and then the reader can automatically set them in any number of wars between Scotland and England. But then I am not adding anything to my greater story. It is just a tale of two brothers charging into battle, not potentially a scene that sets up larger conflict or the creation of reusable characters.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.



About Jeff McElroy

After serving for four years as a Power Ranger, Jeff McElroy left the service to pursue a career in the arts. Paintings of cats and unicorns taking naps together earned him international fame and a ridiculous financial nest egg. Retiring at the early age of 23, he spent the next forty years living on the shore of Lake Huron. Mr. McElroy burned through his monumental monetary cache and needed to return to work. This time around, he has decided to pursue writing as a career, which is why he has invested his time and money in the blog you are currently reading.
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3 Responses to Worldbuilding Part 2

  1. I don’t really think naming characters has anything to do with the setting and time of a story. More with the genre of the story. Leave the names blank (put in placeholders) and write the story, names should come naturally after that. Whether they be “fantasy” or not, they should come to mind as you are writing it.
    Hope this helps and thanks for reading my stories.

    • In the case of the story I was working on (I did sort of use placeholders but also came up with names I wanted to use) the names could have set the time and place to a certain degree. I went with fantasy, but had I used English or Scottish or Irish names that would have cued the reader to one of those countries as opposed to my fictional country (which is conveniently analagous to The UK). I enjoyed your stories quite a bit; will you be posting more soon? I noticed they were all posted today.

      • I might be. Those stories were written in August of last year for a class of mine, and I just figured I’d share them. Currently, I am working on a novel, but it’s just in the first draft. I can probably post the first chapter here and then add the chapters as I write them. Not sure.
        Thanks for reading them, and I am glad that they can be shared.

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