First things first: my friend Ankie told me she liked the seperate naming style for my "pseudo-Asian" characters, so I'm going with that suggestion. If I ever get published, she'll be mentioned in the acknowledgements! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Now my two previous post were about my (seemingly nameless) characters, but this one is going to be about the world they live in. Of course, I can't give too much info, since I'm paranoid about people stealing my ideas. (I see them everywhere...that dark shadow in the corner isn't supposed to have eyes, right? 0.0)
But I want to make it more clear how my world works and how the people who live in it are.
So here it goes:
My world consists of four continents: North, East, South and West, (no big surprise there) but I'm mainly focussing on the East and West. Now before I start rambling on about the relationships of the continents and such, I just want to state that even though I might use certain comparisons to the real world and real countries, I do not harbour any negative thoughts about particular countries or races. If for instance I say a certain tribe resembles the French but I give them the big bad baddie attitude, I don't mean to say the French are bad people. Understood? Great! Just so we're clear.
First the East and the Eastern Empire:
Since I have a special fondness for Asia (ancestory is strong), I decided to make my MC "pseudo-Asian". My biggest influences while creating the Eastern Empire were Japan and Korea: manners, customs, reverence toward ancestors, emotional control, Shintoism and martial arts are the pillars of their culture. The Empire is governed by an Empress.
The education is superb. All children go public schools, no matter how rich or poor their parents may be. They are often also taught some form of self-defence.
After public school they have three choices: 1) become an apprentice 2) enroll in the Imperial Army 3) attend the schools at the Imperial Palace. Whichever way they choose to go, their education continues until they are twenty.
The Eastern Empire has great working relationships with the North and South and therefore teaches its people the languages and customs of both countries. Although the relationship with the West is almost non-excisting, the Easterners know the language of the West too. All of them are polyglots.
Korean influence: The names of the Eastern Empire characters are based on Korean names, sometimes I use a real name, but with a different spelling.
Japanese influence: The Easterners are called the People of the Rising sun, revere a sungoddess (Amaterasu) and my main characters follows the seven principles of Bushido.
I wanted to use honorifics but in the end whether I used the Korean or Japanese honorifics, it would be too obvious. So I'm leaving those out. Unless I can come up with my own.
The West and the Western Empire:
The West is basically "pseudo-medieval". The standard human race which you can find in all fantasy books. They originate from the North, but after a failed coup the Westerners settled in the West. (Oh really?) They are mostly fair-haired, with the exception of a few redheads (including the Emperor). The Empire of the West actually is only an Empire in name, it's more like a kingdom.
The king decided he liked the way the Easterners honoured their Empress and began calling himself Emperor. The Western education distinguishes between commoners and the royal family. The commoners don't have access to the licensed teachers and only recieve 5 years of education. There aren't many choices they have when it comes to jobs: they can become servants serving the Empire, enroll in the army or they can take the regular jobs (baker, smith etc.).
Like many (not all) Brittons and Americans, they only speak their own language (the language of the North) since everyone speaks that language. The Westerners care not for other languages or customs.
The West trades with the North and South, but not the East.
The North and South:
I'll admit I haven't put much thought into these two yet, but I have some things written down. The South is a kingdom and the North is an aristocracy. The North is almost impassable for outsiders who don't know their way. The image I have of the South is influenced by India mostly. Both have great relationships with the East and trade with the West, but they still look down on the Western Empire because it's only been around for a few years and is relatively young.
That's all I have on these two right now, sorry it's so short. I need to do more research.
I hope everything has become a bit clearer now, sayonara mina!