I recently started writing a story set in a fantasy world. However, I'm having trouble introducing certain concepts of the world.

For example, the world this is set in runs on a different time system to earth. However, I'm finding it very hard to introduce the time system in a way that doesn't just sound like I'm rambling. Especially since my story is written from a first-person perspective, and it would be weird for them to break the fourth wall and just start talking to the reader. So, what is the best way to introduce this concept to the reader in a way that is logical and makes sense>

  • 1
    edit for more clarity: I have tried to have the protagonist explain the concept to other characters, however, it doesn't really make sense as everyone in this world already understands how the time system works Sep 11, 2020 at 1:22
  • In my story, I had a main character who was a teacher, and was explaining basic concepts to children. The children then asked obvious questions, which the main character patiently explained.
    – DWKraus
    Sep 11, 2020 at 3:03
  • 1
    Instead of adding your "edit" as a comment, you need to use the edit link to insert your clarification into the text of the question itself. :-) Sep 11, 2020 at 5:21

1 Answer 1


Introducing concepts that the point-of-view character takes for granted is always interesting and will take practice. However, there are some useful points to consider.

  • Introduce only the relevant data. Many writers wrestle with this but not all world-building is relevant.
  • Slip in allusions to it, ones that assume the knowledge. For instance, if the narrator talks about how a broken clock was telling time and now it's back to normal, many clues could be slipped in.
  • Characters who don't know it are useful. You mention it's first-person, and while it's a convention that you can just address no one for no particular reason in first-person, if your narrator was telling the story to someone specific, there could be things that the narrator just explains. Characters in the story, with a legitimate need to know, are also useful.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.