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bear by san

December 2021



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lion in winter oops

If I'm going to write a fat fantasy with maps, I'm going to have to draw a map, aren't I?


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isn't that supposed to be fun? or you could outsource it (Queen's cartographer, reporting for duty, ma'am)
What's fun about it? Trying to figure out some kind of logical geography and ecology that also fits my story needs? Or making ugly chicken scratches on paper? Not so much.

Alas, outsourcing the contents of my head and my reasoning process isn't exactly possible.
I always end up having to do that just to keep the travel straight. <.
Bantam didn't make me draw an artsy map, but they did expect a copy of the map I'd made for my own reference, for the artist to use.
It's the map for my own reference I dread.
You could hire a mapmaker.
Promise me you won't have any rivers flowing into mountains or caves in swamps? My current (pre-fab) D&D campaign is driving me nuts with geography like that.
Actually, you would be surprised how many caves you find in swamps. They are made by water, after all.
Or at least rough it out (A is northeast of B which is on the coast...) so someone else can draw it for you.
If you like technology-art, you could give Fractal Terrains a try:

(You can use the demo for free)


Bah! Pencil. Vague lines. You can't see it from POV, and it's all going to change by chapter 10 anyway.

[careful not to shake head unless cities shift around unexpectedly]
Mapping software?
Umm, why? Sir Pterry doesn't tend to bother with them.
Si Pterry doesn't (for the most part) write the kind of fantasy where you'd *need* detailed maps.
Rough something out as you go and have someone else make it neat for the actual book.
You kow, a few years ago I scribbled down a map for the book I'm working on right now, which seemed like fun and useful at the time, but now that I'm almost into the editing phase of the book, I'm noticing that things on my map are too far apart and my characters have probably spent weeks on horseback getting from one place to another... So I tossed the map.

The morale: make sure you don't regret drawing the map later on. Or maybe just rigorously adjust the map afterwards, to suit the story. And that's also a moment to stop and thing about how professional you want the map to look and maybe get a real illustrator/mapmaker to draw it for you. For now, for your own notes, a self-drawn map might just do.
I kind of had the same problem with the Time of the Dark series, though I think that was more that the author seemed to have her heroes trotting along at freeway speeds.
Sounds like fun, to me!
You can find outline blank maps online for school teachers. What i do is find a large scale map, (they're all fractal anyway) reverse the land and water, and fill in the dots.. That avoids the "Square Continent in Square Ocean" problem. Upper Canada or Minnesota have lots of water and land. But if you are doing Central Asia morph, then all you need is a few rivers and mountains.

Of course i am inordinately proud of my map of Mundge or what ever i called it.

Never mind.
Well, I need rivers and mountains and several inland seas and more mountains and some desert and trade routes and three different empires (maybe four... depends on if I decide that the Mongolcossacks have conquered the Phauxsians yet or if the Phauxsians are hanging on. Mongolcossacks, Tibnotans, and a Nottoman Empire are probably enough, aren't they?)
So I'm a nonvisual person, a lousy artist, and I hate naming things.... *g*
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