Worldbuilding — Dates/Months/Years

I was just interested in getting some thoughts on this.

As I’ve been working on my drafts of my current project, whenever the subject of a date or month came up, I’ve just based it on the months/seasons of the Gregorian calendar in the northern hemisphere. So the story starts in mid-[name_f]May[/name_f], my MC’s birthday is [name_u]July[/name_u] 23, there’s a holiday mentioned that takes place in fall for harvesting… you get the idea. Initially, I did this out of habit, but I kept it for the sake of ease. Now I’m finding myself scratching my head about it though because I’ve realized that having the months [name_u]July[/name_u] and [name_u]August[/name_u] are dependent on there being a [name_m]Julius[/name_m] [name_m]Caesar[/name_m] and [name_m]Augustus[/name_m] in this world.

And don’t even get me started on years. Where do I begin counting? If I make the year 1550 (to pick a random date), will it lead people to assume that the knowledge and technological advances in the world are exactly the same as it was in Europe in 1550? (At the moment, there are simply no discoveries/inventions that were dependent on an industrial revolution as one has not happened yet). I haven’t even touched years yet, although I probably will eventually because my MC is a history nerd and someday will have to talk about the Treaty of such-and-such-year. I’ve just been avoiding it.

If there are any other world builders out there, I’m curious how you address dates/months/years in your world!

Thank you! I love reading how other people deal with worldbuilding troubles. It really is an odd beast.

I had an idea that make the process still easy to understand while not creating a system that’s dependent on certain historical figures that never existed in this world. I thought about keeping seasons and months but basing the months off of constellations (like zodiac signs). It’s already something I considered when I came up with my characters’ birthdays and was something that made me hesitant to change the system.

I feel like years will have preconceived expectations regardless? If I say it’s 2100, people will assume that there are futuristic technological advances, the same way people will make assumptions about the technology in 1600. So I guess it’s unavoidable unless I make a new number system like you did but I can’t do that because numbers and math give me headaches lol. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not a mathematician! So I shouldn’t worry about it (but I still will).

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I already have a few constellations figured out (another character is good at navigation)! They’re similar to the ones of the Zodiac but not exactly and their stories are much different. I haven’t come up with specific names yet though, just the icons.

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