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Newsflash: It's Okay To Call Me Out

It’s okay. I can take it. Hit me with your best shot for using such a simple naming convention. I’m supposed to be a fantasy writer. It’s my job to come up with crazy names to fit into this fantastic world I’ve created.

Are you thinking, “T.J. wait a minute! I have nothing against you!”?

Love that! I’m glad you think I’m pretty cool.

A hand drawn map from the book series The Broken Realms
A Map of the Broken Realms

Here’s why I said what I said. You have the prerogative to call me out on the obvious naming choices in my story world, and you may think I’m being a little silly. I’m okay with that, but it’s moderately true. I mean, I named my story world The Broken Realms because it’s two different layers of my world that have been forced to exist on the same plane.

Why did I do this?

Well, I can tell you, but it will be a little spoiler to how the series ends. So if you don’t want to know, stop reading here. I won’t give too much away, but I thought you might like a warning.

When I started writing Heart, I had no intention of making it a series. I just had this idea and wanted to put pen to paper. The name of the story world was The Broken Realms. I did not think too much into at the time because everything was supposed to end after book one. Pursuing it further wasn’t a consideration since I just wanted to write a book to say I’ve done it, and I honestly thought Heart was where it was supposed to stop, but when I got to the end, I realized my story wasn’t complete. I had fallen in love with the act of writing and creating.

Because of this realization, I started asking deeper questions. How did the realms become broken? Why are the two realms so similar, but also different? Will I keep the realms the way they are, or will I heal the land at some point?

That last question was the question that got me thinking about how I was going to finish out the story started. I decided that to have the resolution I wanted for the characters and the world; I needed to heal The Broken Realms, so each realm was once again on a different plane of existence. They will once again be The Shade Realm and the Sun Realm, each with their own unique differences.

A dog sleeping on a blanket
Gadget, my writing buddy.

That mightht seem a little silly, but the justification was important to me. Once I finish the series, I have other book ideas planned within the world, but maybe I’ll call it The Healed Realms. Or maybe I’ll let sleeping dogs lie, just like my adorable dog presently napping next to me. That’s one of those things that will be decided later, though I have enough to think about.

The truth is, I’m happy that the name is so simple. It allows for me to be creative in other areas of the world, ruining nothing, and it allows for readers to easily understand what is happening. Personally, I do not enjoy when authors get so crazy with names that, as a reader, you cannot remember who is who or what is what. I’ve been called out for that mistake by my beta readers, and I’m glad they did. I would rather change a name, making it a little different from what I originally intended than for a reader to be so lost they lose enjoyment in the story.

So, now that you’ve read my reasoning, do you still think I deserved to be called out? If yes, then go for it. If not, thanks for joining me on this brief journey of explanation. Until next time, Fictionados!



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