Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Job Gen

When you're an inventor of worlds you often have to make up jobs for the characters who populate them. Generally speaking every society needs certain universal jobs to be filled (like leaders, workers, homemakers and caregivers) but if you want something less ordinary/more interesting, you have to make it up and coin a job.

I make up jobs according to whatever serves my cast and the story, but occasionally I'm also inspired by something entirely random. In my Darkyn books I needed a very specific job for the humans who were sympathetic to the immortals and would help safeguard them. I intended my humans to work like voluntary versions of Renfield from Dracula -- willing to serve and treasured because of their efforts, not forced and abused.

I kept going back to that one word: treasured. For me that encompassed the whole concept of the job; these people are rare, protected, valuable and greatly appreciated. In French the words for my treasure are mon trésor, from which I coined the word tresora (singular) and tresori (plural). On that single word I built an entire society of humans who served the Darkyn.

So where can you find some job-generating ideas? I put together this list in a couple of minutes by refining some results I got using this job title generator:

Neck Hunter -- the vampire's chief procurer, perhaps?

Street Beekeeper -- because cities need honey, too.

Bonded Trouble Scrubber -- if there was ever a cool title for "cleaner" in an epic fantasy, this is it.

Truck Puncher -- He's big, he's mean, and you better not drive down his private roadway.

Crimp Plotter -- Perfect pie crusts mean calling in this precise lady for a consult.

Internal Puff Voicer -- like a ventriloquist for fur balls, perhaps?

Curtain Router -- Stage-handy for sure.

Birth Roofer -- baby must be born in a special hut/outbuilding/manger with a roof made of [insert your native material here.]

Crane Receptionist -- help at the bird sanctuary's front desk, I imagine (and I'd love to invent a world based entirely on birds and bird societies.)

Bow Trainer -- very vivid idea for this one: living wild bows must be captured and tamed by this guy before they can go to the archers.

Where do you get your ideas for coining jobs? Let us know in comments.


  1. I honestly didn't really think, and slapped in titles and thought "I'll find something better, later". Well, that didn't happen and I have vampires ( vamp, immortal, or the derogatory in their world "sucker") and their Sources ( companion, food, the temp gig) and Acolyte ( the "eventually going to be immortal when I'm ready" vamp in training as it were). The few groups of 2-3 vamps that I call Enforcement are roving law and order types that the Council calls on to do the messy work. Never did come up with a name for anyone that does the grunt work clean up. I wish I'd come up with something better but I never did. hah.

  2. I can envision an entire series about the Bonded Trouble Scrubbers!


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