marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

to market , to market

Useful things, markets.  To buy, to sell, both fat pigs and other things -- to build up your world with the kinds of goods you offer -- to test your powers of description --

Any good sized market is going to sell lots of goods that the characters aren't interested in.  For local color if for nothing else.  It would look pitiful with only a handful of merchants.  But a great slew of things raises challenges in keeping it from being a dry-as-dust list.  Smell, sight, sound -- plus, of course, the hints on exoticness.  You can't rely on people knowing that in medieval times, oranges and pepper were exotic goods, far fetched from strange lands by slow and laborous means.  (The cognomen "The Pepper King" carried slightly different connotations back then.)  And even if they did, you may have to establish this world is like that one.  And if a market sells phoenix feathers, dragons' teeth, and powdered unicorn horn, is that because these creatures are commonplace, or because the market is not?  Amply opportunities to inclue the reader -- which is a good thing, because there is an ample need to.

And that's not getting into the vendors and their cries, and populating the market with crowds, many of whom can be be more exotic than the wares, entertainers, and where all of this goes.
Tags: description, local color, travel, world-building: creatures, world-building: economics, world-building: geography, world-building: magic (objects)

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