1. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    Do you draw a map?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Albirich, Nov 7, 2013.

    I have been writing lately, I have created a world map, but not a city map. This might prove a difficulty later, I think...?

    Do you drawa map for a fictional city in your book? I see the bonus in doing so, but I suck at drawing, and I haven't thought so much through about the cities other than naming them. Should I attempt to draw one to keep a possible plot hole in city structures at bay?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I do. In fact, I'm fond of making very elaborate maps. But have a care, map making, regardless of how well you draw, is a superb way to procrastinate and not actually write. ;)

    This is a work in progress of my world map. I have a separate town map.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
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  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I personally love maps in books.
    I tend to doodle a lot when I'm world building as it helps my focus. The doodles aren't always exactly related or make any sense.
    However, I remember, I used to draw maps to plan out where everything is with more than just "This is south west, very far, few days."
    Visuals help me quite a bit.
     
  4. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    It depends where my story takes place. If it's limited to one city, or if it covers different realms I usually don't draw maps. If the story covers a bigger area in one fixed realm I do draw maps, but they are mostly simple.
     
  5. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    @Albirich Maps have their uses—a rough pencil sketch will suffice to get you motoring and put your locations and potential traveling distances in perspective. City maps, I do also, but again, I've only done as much as I need to. As @Wreybies says, maps can also serve to detract from writing. I would hazard a guess, we'd rather be seen as writers first and cartographers second.

    Although, how @We Are Cartographers feels about this, would only be second guessing. ;)
     
  6. Peter J Story
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    Peter J Story New Member

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    All maps are books unwritten.
     
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  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I drew a crude map to work out in my head the shortcut my protagonist takes to get ahead of a group heading down a river valley.
     
  8. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    For the current story I'm working on, I drew a map that I keep with the rest of my notes. It makes visualizing things a lot easier and keeps me sane.

    That is a very cool map Wreybies. Is there a specific program you used to make that?
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are two, in fact. The continents themselves were created by simply shuffling through different randomly generated worlds in this on-line fractal world creator. I just kept flipping through the randoms until one caught my eye. Fractal World Generator. The rest is done in GIMP. I import the pic, and then scale up the resolution to 4000 x 2000 so that I can do zoom-ins on certain areas like the two you see to the right of the main map. I use the blur function to smooth out pixelation in the large map before doing any zoom-in cut-outs. The mountains and forests are all different brush packages for GIMP you can find on the web. There's tons of'um. I have a Bamboo Pad that I used to outline the continents in black, which makes it easier to clear the oceans to alpha-channel transparent and then move the continents a bit if you like. A few layers to get the water, the mountains and forests, and the map border (also found online) and voila! :) You just gotta' play around with it. I'm no GIMP genius. Just trial and error.
     
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  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :oops: Never mind.
     
  11. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    That seems very helpful. It will come in handy for sure. Thanks for the information!
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is the same one in my link :) It's online. There's nothing to download so you can use it forever.
     
  13. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I can't wait to get home and check out that map generator! OOO!! New toys!!
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I used the world generator under General in that website. There is also one that is under the Fantasy and also under the Science Fiction categories in the same page that give different kinds of results. And I used the Mercator projection to get the map I used. Under the General world generator, if you see a globe that looks like what you want, you can click the globe itself to make it turn in increments to see all around and then hit Create when you like what you see. The resultant map is on 628 x 400, hence the need to use the blur function to smooth out the color increments after blowing it up too 4000 x 2000.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I know, (belatedly) that's why I deleted the post. :)
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I swear I must have quoted at the exact second you deleted. I didn't even notice that it wasn't the original text! :p
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That explains it. I had wondered if maybe when one edited a post the quoted versions were also edited.
     
  18. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The answer to that is no, and I know because of my frustration when I see my own words get quoted and my spelling errors are frozen in the quote even after I've fixed them in my original post.

    Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention to any would be map-makers, except for the Bamboo Pad, everything I mentioned that I used to make that map was 100% free of charge and completely legal, no pirating or stealing. GIMP is shareware, the fractal world generator is free to use, the brushes and other sundry items, I found on deviantart and other sites where the artist makes it clear that their stuff is available to use for free. ;)
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nope.
     
  20. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    As far as I can see, there are two issues here.
    1. How do you maintain consistency of character movements; and
    2. Should a map be included in the book.
    To which my answers are:
    1. Whatever works for you; and
    2. I've hear fantasy authors at conferences complain about the pressure from publishers to include maps whether they're needed or not. The consensus seems to to try to win the fight not to include a map if you are convinced one is not necessary, but if you lose it's better to go with one that's consistent with your vision than be lumbered with one done by a graphic artist who barely skimmed your novel.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This thread reminded me what I laugh I got out of Stephen Colbert's parody map of Middle Earth. I can't find a decent link, maybe everyone saw it already.
     
  22. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    My issue seems to be that I've already drawn a map, but would now like it to look a bit more professional. ProFantasy has some nice software out, but DAMN it's a tad pricey for me. Especially when I know that there's plenty of free source software floating out there on the internet.

    However, to answer the OP, I find having a map helps me. My MC travels across the world during her mission, and so it's useful for me to be able to track what area she's going through. These areas have led way to some interesting events happening. It also helps me develop her world a bit more, adding depth and details that while I may never use, are at least there.
     
  23. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I heard the same complaint from fantasy authors where publishers want a map.
    I find that odd... I like them, I'll admit, but I always imagined them to have been put into at the author's request.
    I never imagined there was an actual issue concerning something so... minor.
     
  24. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I draw floor plans with 3D modelers:
    [​IMG]
    Ro'shaan Dante's private stateroom. The large area is the living space, the second largest the bedroom and then bathroom and closet.

    [​IMG]
    Observation lounge. A stair way descends down from center left. Seating rests against the inner walls and video screens on every wall, inside and out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  25. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    I draw maps, just on paper. I like being able to see my world laid out in front of me and a detailed map looks really very impressive, especially when you know all about the various places.

    I've given this advice before, elsewhere, but always build your map around your story, rather than the other way round. You don't want to draw a detailed map to realise that, actually, you want your characters to be in a completely different type of location and that they're actually too far from somewhere and so on. Create your story, then your map. Decide your characters will journey from A to B, through the forest of doom where they meet X who convinces them they need to go to C as well.

    Both your map and story will change, but that's just the process of writing and editing.
     

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