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11

Once a physics professor told me that we, in daily life, measure distance with time. In fact he is right. If somebody aks - "how far away is the mall?", we answer "It's fifteen minutes away". That means that measures are always relative to normal everyday standards, not scientific ones. In old days, moon or sun was a good way to measure time: "It will ...


8

I understand your concern; minutes at least are very much a reflection of an age of clockwork and in a world with no such machines detailed measures of time jar the reader. I don't know the exact setting of your world, by which I mean that if it's medieval that allows for wildly different tech to if it's Aztec, but here are a few general suggestions: Hour ...


6

How much do you suppose that your fantasy world resembles our own world? And how much do you want to deal with made-up units of measure? I don't suppose that the people in a fantasy world would speak English, but fantasy novels written for an English-speaking audience normally have all dialog in English. Perhaps you could explain that by saying that the ...


5

Mercedes Lackey's Valedmar series has established candles (of a specific although unexplained size) which burn steadily enough to be marked off and used for timekeeping. So "three marks" (that is, however long it takes the candle to melt down three of the marks carved or painted on the side) is three hours. I have never heard of measuring time in prayers ...


5

If the units of time are established, then yes, that's a good way - providing you add the mode of transportation. Five minutes of leisurely walk away Eight hours of forced march A fortnight on horseback an overnight train ride Three hours of flight on dragon back Two days by a blimp Walk ahead for three prayers, then turn left. Thirty generations in an ark ...


3

Just by way of example. This year I am writing a blog of fairy tales and have evolved a system for the folk to tell the time without the widespread use of definite timepieces. The day in any major settlement is split into a number of bells (presumably the bell ringers have hourglasses or similar to keep track of when the bell should be rung). The bells run ...


1

One additional thought: Maybe the way you give time should depend on whether it is done by the narrator or by one of the protagonists. The narrator is telling the story to a present-day reader, so unless the narrator is supposed to be a person of that fantasy world, it would be natural if he tells times the way he expects the audience to understand. So if ...


1

There are some interesting units that really do exist that are seperated by society, or not widely used anymore. Measure (sun) - I don't remember if it was the Aztecs or Incans, but one of these groups measured the length of the day by the span of the sun.I think there's something like 34, and since they were near the equator, the passing of seasons wasn't ...



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