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Thekherham
December 10th, 2003, 01:05 PM
I was just wondering how everyone felt about these items.
If I write a sciene fiction novel that takes place on another planet and has aliens as the main character should I put a pronunciation guide...
e.g. Thekherham Tee kee' rahm

at the beginning of the novel, right behind the name (like, in brackets), or at the end.

Glossaries: Do you look at these? Do you even bother? Do a lot of s.f. or fantasy books have glossaries?

Any other information on these two subjects would be helpful.

NeuroMortis
December 10th, 2003, 07:20 PM
Worked for A Clockwork Orange.

Gallowglass
December 10th, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Thekherham
...should I put a pronunciation guide...
e.g. Thekherham Tee kee' rahm

at the beginning of the novel, right behind the name (like, in brackets), or at the end.

Glossaries: Do you look at these? Do you even bother? Do a lot of s.f. or fantasy books have glossaries?

Any other information on these two subjects would be helpful.

I've seen pronounciation guides at the begining and at the back of books, I personally prefer the back of the book. If the reader is interested (and if its good, they are) they'll go to the pronounciation guide. One or two maps can go upfront if needed.

Glossaries are nice - they allow the writer to explain an item or point in detail without distracting from the story. I always look thorugh them myself. Even when they're the type of glossary sold as a separate book ;)

Thekherham
December 11th, 2003, 01:36 AM
After I posted the thread about pronunciation guides & glossaries I was thinking about maps.

My novel takes place on two planets... in various regions of each planet so i was thinking of doing maps.

wordsarepoison
December 11th, 2003, 05:25 AM
Footnotes could work. At the bottom of the page they're easy to find and there's no tiresome leafing to the back/front of the book for one single name.
You could just describe how the names pronounced, although if you need to do this often I imagine it would get tedious.

KatG
December 11th, 2003, 11:53 AM
It's more common in fantasy to have maps, glossaries and pronunciation guides and the like, but it isn't unknown in science fiction. Most of such stuff usually goes in the back of the book, except for maps which are sometimes at the front.

If you think it might be helpful, it doesn't hurt to add it. People who don't have any interest in them don't have to read them. I've got one where I found myself inventing a lot of words and I'm keeping a list simply for my own reference. But I can then turn that into a glossary for the work.

Ciuva
December 14th, 2003, 03:01 PM
I would recommend you to have glossaries if you feel you need it. Just one thing though. If you're going to have glossaries, make sure you have all words that need explanation in it. It is actually quite annoying when I find a word I don't have any idea what means, and try to look it up in the glossary - and the word isn't there. That's the same as I can't read the rest of the book without thinking about the one word I can't get an explanation of. Or if I have to read through the glossaries of all the other books in the series to find it.
Just so you are aware of it....

Lucky Joe
December 18th, 2003, 04:13 AM
I think glossaries and character lists can be helpful, especially if there are lots of things that need to go in them. Whenever I'm working on something I always have a working glossary open on my computer so I can quickly jot notes for my own reference.

My current work has quite a few characters so I'm thinking about having a character list or Dramatis Personae (Whatever it's called) at the front of the work.

Two series I've read this year (Steven Erikson's Malazan books and Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy) both had them and they seemed to work well.

pcarney
December 18th, 2003, 02:44 PM
Glossaries can certainly work, but I prefer including some sort of explanation when you first reference the word, then readers can go to the back of the book if they forget it. As far as the first explanation, I prefer to let the reader know by indirect reference.

alison
December 18th, 2003, 04:24 PM
You'll find that the publisher decides this, when they decide on the book design. In my Pellinor series, the Australian edition of The Gift has a pronunciation guide that was listed at the front of the appendices, at the back. (The conceit of the book is that it's a translation, which gave me the chance to write a whole lot of notes, which people could ignore if they wanted to; so a lot of background needn't clog up the story). In the UK edition of The Gift, they are putting the pronunciation guide at the front, separate from the appendices, after my translator's intro. Both have maps at the front: the difference is that Penguin Australia made a woefully inadequate map literally in the last week, whereas Walker has made a completely gorgeous map months before deadline, which goes across two pages. But there is a bit of a map fetish in my books.

alison