Welcome to my novel’s world!
My fantasy novel WIP is set on the world of Feld. Biome-diverse, it has tropical, temperate and frigid zones, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
The first book, which I am currently writing, is set entirely in the great city of Bræstuüm, (Bray-stuw-um,) a city built into a crater left by a meteor strike thousands of years before.
Now, just as a quick aside, I saw something online recently where someone disparaged authors for using umlaut’s in fantasy names. I believe they may have been a linguist, and so presumably had reasonable grounds for their position, but here’s the thing — it’s fiction.
I always remember hearing about William H. Macy talking to the Cohen brothers about the opening of the movie Fargo, which states it is based on a true story. It isn’t — the whole thing is fictional, and Macy had concerns about that untrue statement, worrying that people might be taken in by it.
The Cohen brothers responded by saying that essentially, because the whole thing is fictional, why can’t you have a fictional statement at the beginning saying that it’s true?
Macy relented and starred in the movie, which is a favourite of mine.
Now I’m honestly not sure which side I come down on, especially considering the apparently really true story of the Japanese woman Takako Konishi, who allegedly died in real life trying to recover the fictitious treasure from the film from the North Dakotan tundra.
Were the Cohen Bros. in some way responsible for Konishi’s death due to that one statement, or was Konishi an adult who was irresponsible in her choices?
I don’t really have an answer, but the question bears thinking about.
Anway, my umlaut-laden city is populated by humans, dwarves, orcs, goblins, gnomes, satyrs, elves, a handful of sylphs, (mostly visiting dignitaries,) and one troglodyte.
Most of the city is powered by magic, and has an odd mixture of medieval fantasy blended with high-tech derived from this magic.
So if you’re happy reading about a satyr involved in an escape attempt from the authorities in a hovering antigravity haycart with no wheels, but balk at the site of an umlaut in the city’s name… well, I don’t know what to tell you.
I’ve incorporated Germanic, Scandinavian, French and other punctuation into my world, partly to give some interesting pronunciations, but also to add flavour. If the flavour is not to your taste, that’s fine. Just don’t tell me I shouldn’t add umlauts et al, because I’ve invented the whole world.
If it helps, you can assume that the book is translated from a Feldian language, and those marks were to help with difficult pronunciations?
I’m happy to hear rationales why fantasy worlds shouldn’t incorporate punctuation from anything but the mother tongue they were written in, but I’m not sure you’ll sway me to change Bræstuüm’s name.
That’s it for now.