1. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico

    Map making

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Wreybies, Aug 10, 2008.

    When I was a WL (wee lad) I reveled in the making of fantasy maps. I would make them just for the sake of making them. I would color them in with colored pencils (I only discovered the joy of crayons after I got over myself and became an adult) and would carefully delineate the continental outlines with respect to the plate tectonics ruling the shape of the world I was drawing.

    Do you make maps? Do you make them for your stories? Do they help you? Why?
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I don't draw maps specifically, but I do roughly draw a setting. That way, it becomes way easier to describe it while writing. I feel it's just a lot easier when you have something to look at in front of you. I really like the idea of drawing a map before describing it in your writing.
     
  3. Last1Left
    Offline

    Last1Left Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    You know that box next to the Wendy's?
    I draw maps so I can get the traveling sequences between places right. Also, geography has a major impact on how civilizations develop and interact. I find knowing the geography of your world and its effects greatly improve the realism of it all, so maps help again. I've also heard of some people's stories born entirely from doodled maps (David Eddings, for example).
     
  4. StormWarrior
    Offline

    StormWarrior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Europe
    I have drawn a map for the story I'm working on, because it was the easiest way to get the continents clear in my mind, making it easier to describe them.
     
  5. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    I'll admit to not being an expert on plate tectonics, but when I draw my maps(this indicates a yes for all qeustions), I do try to hold myself to a certain standard of realism. They are all for stories, though as a conworlder, I include plenty that doesn't affect the specific story. I think they do help me, with organizing plot, keeping background realistic, using proper description, and suggesting alternative routes to the plot goal.
     
  6. Nilfiry
    Offline

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    I draw the maps first then plot the path of travel according to the map. I forget the path sometimes if I just try to describe it. Also, I like to write more than one story that takes place on the same continent. Ehh, I guess I just like to draw maps.
    About the plates, I have thought of it, though I never got around to doing it. The maps I draw are all very big. Why, I have one that is 68" x 66" (172.72cm x 167.64cm) and another I'm currently working on that's 42.5" x 77" (107.95cm x 195.58cm). These two are a part of a whole world map that I'm working on since I'll need a world very soon.
     
  7. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    Never did that but the idea really appeals to my OCD . . . might give it a try!
     
  8. gigantes
    Offline

    gigantes Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    i used to make a lot of maps for dungeons and dragons campaigns. one time i made a map with a friend and we almost came to blows over ownership. that map gained instant historicity.
     
  9. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I used to, when I wrote fantasy. It was great fun. I was always captivated by the maps at the start of the Dragonriders of Pern books. But then, I was a strange child.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico

    I love my brother to death, but I do at times wish I had had a brother like you, Matt. :p Menolly and her little fire lizards were some of my best friends as a child. I used to pretend that I was destroying Thread in my backyard with a water pistol. :redface:
     
  11. Ungood
    Offline

    Ungood Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    6
    I need at the very least 'association maps' or diagrams, schematics, or something that tells me what is where (even if not to scale) to tell the truth or the place becomes a blur in my mind.

    So yes, I really need a map of some sort to get a feel for what is going on.
     
  12. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'd like to make maps, but I'm so dreadful at it that I can't. The best I can do is just come up with a general idea of things to keep my writing in order. I'm the same way with real maps, I've found; I can follow them with EXACT DIRECTIONS, which I've studied ahead of time, but when it comes to just wandering around, or trying to do things in reverse, or following them spur of the moment, or whatever, I'm horrible. And the only map I'm really good at following, in truth, is for a very small limited area (a nearby island I visit).

    Fortunately, the only times I've really needed maps are when my stories are loosely based on existing areas, like the island in question, so I can just use the real map and modify it as I see fit. :)

    What's tricky is when the area you want to map has some weird interdimensional properties and can change its size and area at will! My Island does that. Can't really account for it on a map. ;_;
     
  13. Kratos
    Offline

    Kratos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Maryland, United States
    I love drawing maps for my books. Stories have even come out of the maps, and I've gotten good ideas from them.
     
  14. WritaBurst
    Offline

    WritaBurst Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have any of you ever had a story that had a large city involved and roughly mapped out the city?
    I'm not thinking fantasy, but modern.

    I'm curious, because I wonder if it would help me when writing my current story.
     
  15. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I don't draw up maps, unless I'm playing a game like D&D. But for writing, I just form a picture in my head if I need to keep track of spacial relationships.

    I suppose I might end up needing a visual aid if I were involved in a more complex sety of locations, but it hasn't happened yet.
     
  16. Rawiya
    Offline

    Rawiya Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    If my story heavily depends on locations of things, I'll draw an Infocom map. Just squares connected by lines denoting where things are in relation to each other.

    And to answer WritaBurst, if I'm writing a modern story in a modern city and run into the same problem, I'll use the city map, or GoogleMaps.
     
  17. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You remember Infocom???
     
  18. ParanormalWriter
    Offline

    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    USA
    I actually used to have fun playing around with maps for my fantasy worlds. They were useful in some respects. For example, they helped me keep locations straight in my head. Most of all though, they were just fun to make. An indulgance of my love for world building. I haven't doodled one in years, but I still enjoy examining the ones they have on the inner flaps of some books. Robert Jordan's are pretty awesome. In fact, I named my youngest daughter after a city located on a Wheel of Time map. (It weirded the family out, I think).
     
  19. Lillias
    Offline

    Lillias Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    I've drawn maps since I was a little kid and I do love doing it. However I am frequently frustrated by the fact that its kinda hard to create as much detail as I'd like there to be.
    I try to make them all realistic and I do use them for writing , but I'd say if my books ever got publish someone ELSE would have to draw them better because they look like crap. LOL
     
  20. Rawiya
    Offline

    Rawiya Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    1
    Infocom taught me how to read. :p

    My parents didn't have any money but were both still in college as Computer Science majors. So we had a computer. Five years old and I was navigating DOS. Oh...those were the days.
     
  21. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,837
    Likes Received:
    10,015
    Location:
    Puerto Rico


    Forgive the non sequitur, but that made me remember a story I once read called The Death of Dr. Island. There is an experimental film based on the same intriguing story. I would provide a link, but there is some significant nudity shown on the link.
     
  22. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    Perhaps you'd care to say which one?
     

Share This Page