My Characters and the Setting's Nationality...:

Total posts: [43]
Producer X Rin
This sounds like a really dumb question, but hear me out.

THE biggest element that is stopping me from actually writing my work is that I can't decide on which country to set my story on. I'm a South Korean who is MUCH MORE fluent in writing in English but wants to write a Light Novel-ish story, aka anime in written form. That's a problem when choosing characters' name and all. What do I do?
Why not make up a country?
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Depending on the scale of your story, you could just avoid mentioning the nation it takes place in. That's what I do.
Producer X Rin
[up] I would have done that, if the school life of my main characters wasn't an important part. I'm more familiar with Asian school system, although I did spent two years in American high school.
And why using a nation's system obligates you to mention the nation?
Producer X Rin
[up] Uhm, you do realize that the nationality is really evident from the names of the characters, right?
Actually, I hadn't thought of that. Crap.

I guess it shows that I don't have names for 99% of my characters.
Producer X Rin
No, I just wait until I've got to write the names of my characters, and then find them names.

But a Nameless Narrative sounds like a good idea, actually. I'll use that, in one of my stories.

edited 26th May '11 1:55:37 AM by Dealan

The name thing is not entirely true, most countries usually have pockets of given native community who have native names.
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Well, since you're more familiar with the South Korean school system, that's probably the better option since it's more familiar to you (unless you want to go all out with your research). But if you're worried about using appropriately Korean names, you could always look up some names online.
"Proto-Indo-European makes the damnedest words related. It's great. It's the Kevin Bacon of etymology." ~Madrugada
12 annebeeche26th May 2011 11:41:53 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
If the setting doesn't really affect the story, just write what you know. If you know South Korea, have the story take place in South Korea.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Producer X Rin
It would be no problem if I'm trying to write my work in Korean, but that's not the case for me and I can write only in English. So if I ever get to publish this, the target audience is people from Western hemisphere.
14 MrAHR26th May 2011 03:15:29 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
We don't give a flying fuck if we read a story about people in Korea. Honestly.
Producer X Rin
Well, that's a bit blunt way to put it.

Oh righty then. Guess that means I could get to work on this one. *sighs* And to think that I spent all that time coming up with American names for my characters...
^^ I do. When you write a country — explicitly telling the reader they're in Japan or France, then the reader's preconceived notions about these countries come to mind. Maybe good cheese, jovial atmosphere, the Arc d'Triomphe, and a lot of wine. Even though it seems rigid to consider locations based on their country, I always find it interesting challenging these perceptions into something original. Because not everyone in Canada goes "Eh?"

edited 26th May '11 3:23:42 PM by QQQQQ

Producer X Rin
[up] Good point there.

Speaking of which, what images pops into your mind when you hear about South Korea?
The most common things associated with S. Korea seem to be video games and Starcraft.

That's about all I know about the country. I'd like to know more about what it's really like over there.
19 MrAHR26th May 2011 03:30:37 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
QQ: Well, I meant care as in, nobody is going to complain about it. Most people aren't going to see a book set in a place that is not America, and go "agh, I'm not going to read this!"

edited 26th May '11 3:33:24 PM by MrAHR

Hm. I think many similarities with Japan, and also China. Particularly in their rapid development into (post)cyberpunk-like levels, and the similar attitudes. They have Shinto temples there.. I think, do they also have Sakura trees? I like their cuisine, from what I've had of it — noodles, dumplings.

They also have some good MMO games; Ragnarok Online and GunZ spring to my mind. I've fond memories of playing them. Other than that, most of what I've imagined about South Korea come from the Vengeance trilogy and a few other Korean films. I've never visited there before, though I love to someday.

I want to try eating at one of their floating restaurants; let's hope I don't get seasick! wink

Well, I meant care as in, nobody is going to complain about it.

Not everything needs to be critically examined. What's the point of it otherwise?

edited 26th May '11 3:34:06 PM by QQQQQ

21 MrAHR26th May 2011 03:34:01 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I think you are missing my point. I'm just saying that d roy's worry of having an english book set in Korea is unfounded.

edited 26th May '11 3:35:47 PM by MrAHR

Producer X Rin
You guys apparently have never heard of one element of Korean life that practically defines it. For good reason, I guess.


Seriously, think of your typical anime school. Then take away all the club activities and replace them with endless study hall till 10:00 PM (11:30 PM in my school). That's an average Korean student's life and really, the only reason you are seeing so many posts of mine that I'm a divine level of The Slacker.

I don't even know how it works in other schools. The problem with it is that some of the plot requires them to venture around in the city afterschool, and most of main characters are supposed to be Badass Bookworm. Then again, many Korean works acknowledge it anyways. Seriously though, that's why you don't see that many works primarily dealing with students.

edited 26th May '11 3:39:12 PM by dRoy

23 MrAHR26th May 2011 03:36:58 PM from ಠ_ಠ , Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
It's a common asian stereotype. I've heard of it.

edited 26th May '11 3:37:05 PM by MrAHR

At dRoy's original question, I say you write the character's names as true to their Korean origin. Don't bowdlerize them into say, Peter Parker when you mean Park Woo Jin.

Oh my— it's simply Study Time(R) when you're on your break? And you have to stay at school that late at night? (Or is that just optional, when you have nothing else better to do?)

edited 26th May '11 3:39:11 PM by QQQQQ

Producer X Rin
[up] In my school? Mandatory. I usually post during break hours.

About names it went like,

  • 장현수 (Jang Hyunsoo) - John Hansen.
  • 최지호 (Cheui Jiho) - Travis Kresreb
  • 서은아 (Seo Eun-A) - Madeline Clementine

Well, if America and other English countries have a large Light Novel market, I might go for that, but if not? I don't know what to do.

edited 26th May '11 3:43:54 PM by dRoy

Total posts: 43