Korean-Based Fantasy and Glossaries

You guys know me by now.

You know that I love to chuck you in the deep end, and–like one of those particularly terrifying parents–leave you either to sink or swim. I don’t do too many explanations in my novels: I let things reveal themselves as time goes by, and I prefer not to say something outright if I can leave the reader to infer it.

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However, when it comes to Korean-based fantasy that uses some of the words I’ve been learning in my Korean language lessons, I’m at something of a standstill. In keeping with the cultural forms of address and respect pertaining thereto, I’ve used quite a few romanised Korean words (don’t worry, I don’t expect you to read them in 한글) in Lady of Dreams. This means that there’s a lot more for people to have to learn as they read.

On the one hand, I still love the idea of leaving you guys to sink or swim (cos I’m diabolical like that). On the other hand, there’s the usual amount to learn without telling: slightly steampunkish stuff, Dreaming stuff, several romantic entanglements, etc. I mean, I don’t want to break you guys.

It’s also a question I’ve been asked by more than one or two readers, and when more than one or two of my beta readers mention something, it’s usually time to sit up and listen.

So. Lady of Dreams: a glossary of romanised Korean words? Yea or nay?

Let me know!

(Also, if you haven’t already done so, head on over to Lady of DreamsKindle Scout Nomination Page, and if you like the sample, please nominate me to receive a Kindle Scout contract. If I’m published with Kindle Scout, anyone who nominated Lady of Dreams will get a free copy!)

10 thought on “Korean-Based Fantasy and Glossaries”

  1. Intisar Khanani February 21, 2017 at 12:00 amEditReply

    Yea, but super short – a “most important terms” kind of approach. Like I really do want to know if Yong-Hwa’s instrument is real or made up. And at the back of the book (just put a link in the table of contents so those who really must find out know where to go). You don’t want extra front matter between your story and the reader. 😉

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorFebruary 21, 2017 at 9:15 amEditReply

      Oh! I like that idea: just the more uncommon ones that can’t be learned by inference.

      And yes! Yong-hwa’s gayageum is a real thing! There’s a girl called Luna on Youtube, who does really amazing covers of modern songs on the gayageum: I’ve been checking out her covers since WAAAAAY before I started learning Korean, too 😀


  2. Mei-Mei February 21, 2017 at 3:57 pmEditReply

    I agree–a short one at the back of the book would be helpful. That way people can look if they want (I always like cultural notes) or ignore it if they want to “sink or swim.” 🙂

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorFebruary 21, 2017 at 6:19 pmEditReply

      Thanks! That’s two votes for ‘short, and at the back’ 😀

  3. Ruth February 21, 2017 at 9:03 pmEditReply

    So I was reading some Dorothy Sayers a while ago and she just assumed that we all knew Latin, French, and even some Greek. I had to use Google to get the gist of the most romantic part of the book. I think therefore that a glossary would be helpful. But yes, short, and at the back 🙂

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorFebruary 21, 2017 at 9:06 pmEditReply

      Thanks, Ruth =) I love authors assuming that I’m clever, but I have to admit that I resort to Google occasionally, too… 😀

  4. Elizabeth February 22, 2017 at 5:09 amEditReply

    I concur with my learned fellow commenters! One more vote for short and at the back.

  5. Andrea Beatrice Reed March 6, 2017 at 6:20 pmEditReply

    May I please ask for a long-enough-that-I don’t miss-anything rather than a short appendix?

    • W.R.Gingell Post authorMarch 6, 2017 at 6:38 pmEditReply

      Haha ? I’ll do the long-enough-to-cover-everything-short-enough-to-keep-it-interesting Glossary!

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