Internal consistency is overrated

I’m one of those perfectionists. I end up trying to categorize and make everything perfect, especially in my worldbuilding. You see this in that, after over two years, I still on occasion tweak Larkspur.

That said- it’s impossible to be perfect. I’m not even talking about from a prose and writer-y point of view, but from a world-making view. I’m just one person, and trying to balance somewhat-historic terminology with accurate references, along with a consistent magic system, and just the overall consistency of a series, is a bit maddening. There are even terms and tropes about this sort of thing- early installment weirdness and retcons.

I’m going to mess up. I’m going to write the wrong term on occasion. I’m going to even write the correct term and realize later on that I have a better term (I changed the name of the plane of death in Larkspur 3 different times because of how I changed my world structure, for instance). In Harry Potter the first two books mention Hit-Wizards, with the term Auror replacing it afterward. Most people just let this go, some fanfic-writers make them two different jobs, but the difference is there.

And that’s ok! That’s how people work. Humanity in general changes terms, rethinks ideas, changes the meaning of things all the time. People are not all internally consistent and it’s ok that my world isn’t either.

The biggest example is in Larkspur’s sub-title. A Necromancer’s Romance. Now you and I all totally know what a necromancer is- someone who controls the dead, give or take, depending on the fantasy world we’re in. The term has been tweaked over time, with things like ‘Technomancer’ coming up because we recognize the -mancer suffix.

Except it’s technically wrong. -mancer and -mancy refer to telling the future through a medium. Which is why in the book proper I refer to Pierre and the other Suitors are necrocræft practitioners. But that has no meaning in the day to day world, while everyone will understand necromancer, so I went with the common meaning (I do ‘fix’ this in Delphinium, mentioning that he can also perform necromancy).

I recently changed a few terms in Larkspur, going by a historic-guide I found online about how to address noble and royal titles. In it the author mentioned that “Lord FirstName” was not done, because Lord always prefixed what the person was a lord of. So Lord PlaceName would be right.

For that reason I changed references to Ophion from ‘Lord Ophion’ to ‘The Lord Physician.’  Which is fair enough, the title Lord in that case is one of honor and not one that denotes land.

BUT yesterday I found out that the younger sons of, say, a Duke could be referred to as “Lord FirstName.” Because they do not have any land, but they are given this title as a courtesy because of their family. Of course that is true in English terminology, which is different than in Scottish, or Irish, and that’s just the UK. We’re not even going to the mainland yet. So while I may base Clandestina’s terms on it, there’s no guarantee that I won’t change it around in another realm.

(I really need to make another chart to keep all this straight).

Now this doesn’t affect much in Larkspur, or really in Delphinium either, but in books 3 and 4 with more characters it will be relevant.

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