This applies mostly to those writing fantasy, sci-fi, and ancient historical fiction.
If your setting is not on Earth, it becomes illogical to use Earth time measurements. In our own solar system, if one character is from Earth, and is 30 years old, and another character was born at the exact same moment, but on Saturn, the second character would only be 1 year old. This gets worse on planets that spin slowly. For example, if another character was also born at the same moment, but on Mercury, they could be 125 years old, but only 185 days old! Or suppose the setting is a generational space ship, and the characters have never been near Earth or our Sun.
For ancient historical fiction, be sure to research how time was measured during your setting. There were places that once used phases of the moon, rather than trips around the sun, to determine the date.
Minor details like this will make your setting more realistic for readers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in preparing to write settings that feel like characters – my A to Z Challenge theme for 2015. If you long to discover more in-depth details on this topic, I have a .99 cents (US currency) ebook available on Amazon and Smashwords.
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Question of the day: What is your favorite time of year?