Hey all, I've been tossing up between titles and no titles. The trouble is that a lot of them have the same family name and I hate the ungodly issues that crop up when Mr. Rosentia, Mr. Rosentia, Mr. Rosentia and their wives Mr. Rosentia, Mrs. Rosentia, and Mrs. Rosentia are coming to tea. Of course, having no titles and referring to people by their first name is kinda weird too. I mean, there's a sort of egalitarian value going about in the magocracy (yes, you won't see it on Rosentia Island - they're a backwater village literally weeks by sea to anywhere of value), but when you have some people with 'Sir' or 'Lady', you expect to see a title for the others.
Originally I thought of making all of the commoners Mr. and Mrs. under the pretext that they're not considered important enough to be known by their first names - which is an awesome twist on our traditional views of rendering folk child-like by using their first name. But while that's certainly unique (as far as I know), it's also painful to get across in a book. Then I thought of how this is a series and I'd have to get it across every. single. time. and decided not to.
So now I'm thinking of having all the nobility being referred to as Master / Mistress FirstName LastName of House Blah (as not all family names match the House name). I think it's cool, it works for me, and it removes that whole married / unmarried division of women that the Queen would have thrown aside during the revolution. I mean, yes, there is an important married / unmarried division where all the unmarried are considered to be a bit childish but a) who would signpost that and b) do I really want to invent a masculine form of Miss?
I guess I could use Master / Mistress and Mister / Mrs. but would the reader readily understand why people are called Mr. Carrius, instead of Mr. Rosentia?
Also, Master and Mistress have a fairly dominant and somewhat magic vibe to them in my mind anyway so it should work. What do you think?