Choosing a Job for your High Fantasy Character

It seems like characters in High-Fantasy novels always seem to either be farmers or warriors. Part of that could be because when someone says “medieval” we immediately tend to think warriors, nobles, or farmers. The truth is not exactly like that.

In medieval times there were construction workers, people who worked on beauty products, and fashion designers, and so on. In fact, most jobs today can still be related to jobs in medieval times.

YouTube videos could be related to medieval entertainers such as acrobats, singers, and story-tellers. Corporations could be compared to powerful guilds; which were collections of artisans and merchants who would get together in a sort of gang and either buy out the competition, or force them out of town.

Sort of like a certain store I know of…

The arts have not changed much either. In medieval times, there were sculptors, painters, and playwrights.

In my opinion, a characters job should not just be something you jot down for back story, because a job can change who someone is, and also alter the plot.

For example, a man who specializes in making beeswax candles might seem boring, however, only the rich could afford beeswax candles in medieval times, so that merchant who sells to the houses of the rich might know all sorts of gossip.

Or, a man who makes beauty products might find himself framed with murder as someone puts a powerful poison in a mixture heading to a wealthy lady. When she puts it on her skin, it is absorbed through and kills her, and he is framed for it.

Once you stop thinking about those from the past as dates in a book and start thinking of them as people, it will open several new writing opportunities.

My suggestion is that when you are trying to think of jobs for your character, do not try to think of “medieval jobs” because that will only limit you. Instead, think of a job that is available today, and think of how it might have been in the past.

Once you have an idea for the job, I do suggest this is when you go to the history books just so that you have a little more information to go off of.

Just so you guys know, I have no problem with your characters being a farmer or a warrior, but I wanted to make sure that you know these are not the only options available.

I hope this helps, and thanks for reading!


 

Related: Medieval Job Ideas

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