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2 Added extreme cases to demonstrate idea.
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It can.

Anything that makes the reader stop and think is likely to slightly derail the readers train of thought. It's a risk their attention doesn't return to where it was before.

This is always the case. Indeed it is sort of necessary for storytelling; you need new thoughts to be conjured and old ones forgotten. The trick is for these to be consistent with where you want to take the reader. If the difference in culture of the character or the story is something you want to place emphasis on, great. If it's incongruent there is every risk it interrupts a train of thought you wanted and replaces it with one you don't.

I think of it as having very similar logic to that of Chekhov's gun.

Things to note:

  • It's likely not to be a big distraction and, like others have pointed out, if the reader really is immersed and wants to return: this is unlikely to prevent them.

  • It will come up a lot if it's a major character but after a few views, each will be even less distracting.

  • This is more of a question about the reader than the text. Pretty much anything could either jar or resonate with someone. There's no way to be certain, even if it's a cliche like calling your cow "Daisy", that won't set someone down a different path, like: "that's a bit cliched", and break immersion. The only thing you can do is be mindful of what's likely impact is for your audience.

EDIT below:

Upon reading my answer, I thought there might be a way to make my thoughts clearer: exaggerate them.

  • You can use a name that's impossible to pronounce: Say you want an, alien - everything is new and confusing - science fiction/fantasy, world. Want to show the protagonist out of their depth within it? Have them meet a character they have trouble referring to because their name is a particular shade of purple. This shouldn't damage the immersion. To the contrary: if that makes sense let alone would work, might be exactly the sort of thing you might want for your readers to pondering for the sake of immersion. Casually introducing this creature as "Peter" will ask questions that, if you don't have the answer to, will probably harm that feeling.

  • Or just need a rudimentary understanding of the classics to have a stab at: Say you want to play off the idea of an eccentric artistic type, it's not wrong to have them had their name changed to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for "axe-in-a-block-of-wood".

However: if there is no reason to do this, and the reader is not expecting it and you deviate from the Latin alphabet: it's going to linger with them until you explain why.

I also thought it may be worth noting, as has been mentioned, that there is a slightly separate issue that may come up in tandem: Names that are difficult to parse.

Say I tried to write this using html colour codes to get a shade of purple or used some academic representation of the hieroglyph. Even with the context of the question, that might trip someone up. Not something to lose sleep over, but it wouldn't add anything to the narrative. The finer points of representing hieroglyphs and why I have syntax highlighting aren't relevant to the narrative. Don't force your readers to tackle them and they will stay focused on what you want to tell them. If it's necessary to avoid calling your alien "Bob" though...

It can.

Anything that makes the reader stop and think is likely to slightly derail the readers train of thought. It's a risk their attention doesn't return to where it was before.

This is always the case. Indeed it is sort of necessary for storytelling; you need new thoughts to be conjured and old ones forgotten. The trick is for these to be consistent with where you want to take the reader. If the difference in culture of the character or the story is something you want to place emphasis on, great. If it's incongruent there is every risk it interrupts a train of thought you wanted and replaces it with one you don't.

I think of it as having very similar logic to that of Chekhov's gun.

Things to note:

  • It's likely not to be a big distraction and, like others have pointed out, if the reader really is immersed and wants to return: this is unlikely to prevent them.

  • It will come up a lot if it's a major character but after a few views, each will be even less distracting.

  • This is more of a question about the reader than the text. Pretty much anything could either jar or resonate with someone. There's no way to be certain, even if it's a cliche like calling your cow "Daisy", that won't set someone down a different path, like: "that's a bit cliched", and break immersion. The only thing you can do is be mindful of what's likely impact is for your audience.

It can.

Anything that makes the reader stop and think is likely to slightly derail the readers train of thought. It's a risk their attention doesn't return to where it was before.

This is always the case. Indeed it is sort of necessary for storytelling; you need new thoughts to be conjured and old ones forgotten. The trick is for these to be consistent with where you want to take the reader. If the difference in culture of the character or the story is something you want to place emphasis on, great. If it's incongruent there is every risk it interrupts a train of thought you wanted and replaces it with one you don't.

I think of it as having very similar logic to that of Chekhov's gun.

Things to note:

  • It's likely not to be a big distraction and, like others have pointed out, if the reader really is immersed and wants to return: this is unlikely to prevent them.

  • It will come up a lot if it's a major character but after a few views, each will be even less distracting.

  • This is more of a question about the reader than the text. Pretty much anything could either jar or resonate with someone. There's no way to be certain, even if it's a cliche like calling your cow "Daisy", that won't set someone down a different path, like: "that's a bit cliched", and break immersion. The only thing you can do is be mindful of what's likely impact is for your audience.

EDIT below:

Upon reading my answer, I thought there might be a way to make my thoughts clearer: exaggerate them.

  • You can use a name that's impossible to pronounce: Say you want an, alien - everything is new and confusing - science fiction/fantasy, world. Want to show the protagonist out of their depth within it? Have them meet a character they have trouble referring to because their name is a particular shade of purple. This shouldn't damage the immersion. To the contrary: if that makes sense let alone would work, might be exactly the sort of thing you might want for your readers to pondering for the sake of immersion. Casually introducing this creature as "Peter" will ask questions that, if you don't have the answer to, will probably harm that feeling.

  • Or just need a rudimentary understanding of the classics to have a stab at: Say you want to play off the idea of an eccentric artistic type, it's not wrong to have them had their name changed to the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for "axe-in-a-block-of-wood".

However: if there is no reason to do this, and the reader is not expecting it and you deviate from the Latin alphabet: it's going to linger with them until you explain why.

I also thought it may be worth noting, as has been mentioned, that there is a slightly separate issue that may come up in tandem: Names that are difficult to parse.

Say I tried to write this using html colour codes to get a shade of purple or used some academic representation of the hieroglyph. Even with the context of the question, that might trip someone up. Not something to lose sleep over, but it wouldn't add anything to the narrative. The finer points of representing hieroglyphs and why I have syntax highlighting aren't relevant to the narrative. Don't force your readers to tackle them and they will stay focused on what you want to tell them. If it's necessary to avoid calling your alien "Bob" though...

1
source | link

It can.

Anything that makes the reader stop and think is likely to slightly derail the readers train of thought. It's a risk their attention doesn't return to where it was before.

This is always the case. Indeed it is sort of necessary for storytelling; you need new thoughts to be conjured and old ones forgotten. The trick is for these to be consistent with where you want to take the reader. If the difference in culture of the character or the story is something you want to place emphasis on, great. If it's incongruent there is every risk it interrupts a train of thought you wanted and replaces it with one you don't.

I think of it as having very similar logic to that of Chekhov's gun.

Things to note:

  • It's likely not to be a big distraction and, like others have pointed out, if the reader really is immersed and wants to return: this is unlikely to prevent them.

  • It will come up a lot if it's a major character but after a few views, each will be even less distracting.

  • This is more of a question about the reader than the text. Pretty much anything could either jar or resonate with someone. There's no way to be certain, even if it's a cliche like calling your cow "Daisy", that won't set someone down a different path, like: "that's a bit cliched", and break immersion. The only thing you can do is be mindful of what's likely impact is for your audience.