1. J_Downloading
    Offline

    J_Downloading Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Australia

    Maps

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by J_Downloading, Jun 11, 2015.

    How many of you draw maps for your settings? Do you find it helps you to get a more firm understanding of the setting? What do you use to make it? What do you include - only the close-by features or do you make an entire world map?

    I'd imagine it's pretty common to make maps for fantasy stories, but have any of you every made maps for non-fantasy settings?
     
  2. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,826
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Usually if I do a non-fantasy story I set the story in a place that already exists and if needed I can just pull up a map of that area. It just seems much easier.
     
  3. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    I will be drawing a map, definitely. Still in research mode, but a town map, spaceship map and then new world map are all in the pipeline. I am probably going to use pencil and (blank) paper for rough drafts, go over it in dark texta, then scan it in to the computer for colour, grading, etc. I may end up using an app to draw the 3 maps too, for consistency's sake.

    The smaller the area in question, the more detail. World map will be sparse, town and spaceship far more detailed - down to rooms on the space ship and dwellings on the town map.
     
  4. Fullmetal Xeno
    Offline

    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,364
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Kingdom of Austniad
    I've made several maps for my fantasy project, it's still incomplete but the maps have helped me tremendously on where things should be and how i want the final product to be in the final stage.
     
  5. Stacy C
    Offline

    Stacy C Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
    I've never written anything so geographically complex that I needed to draw a map, but if I do, I will. I would never publish it in the book, though.
     
  6. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,241
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    I did a map once for am idea - really enjoyed the map but it's a concept I haven't really come back to. My main project is set in the real world, but my alternate-world side-project has some minor maps and honestly I've thought about commissioning some more from DeviantArt so that I have a street-map of the city (or a view of the skyline). So for fantasy it can be important, but don't let the worldbuilding get in the way of the story.
     
  7. Frazen
    Offline

    Frazen Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Australia
    It really depends on the story. I do it because otherwise I end up making mistakes about the places and how the characters can get to each. I actually find it useful to use a real map as a sample. It makes it much easier to make a map of your own. You can also read books about making cities and how things logically are arranged in a city. That the distance of the farming lands from the city is very much makes it necessary to have good transportation system, or things like that.
     
  8. Chewie
    Offline

    Chewie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    London, England
    I've used a map for basis for my story, It has changed so many times I couldn't count. It helps me define distances and locations, so I know who borders who and which way people will travel to get to my capitol where the back half of the book takes place. It doesn't define anything though as it is all constantly moving depending on what works for the story.

    My map is a world map so its pretty sparse only having the major city names (or places key to the plot) and then large geographical places (sea, lakes, mountains), to add a little texture. I just used pencil and paper as I don't think its ever going to go with my book, its more for my reference so I don't confuse myself.

    By non-fantasy to you mean your using the real world as it is now or in the future or the past? If its in the future I think a map would work as things can change and depending how far it was in the past maybe a brief map just for reference. However if it is in the current time I would say no. Anyone with internet can find where your talking about and you can focus more on the writing.
     
  9. Lyrical
    Offline

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    257
    I frequently use maps. I'm going to be making one for my current story, even though it really only takes place around one city.

    Usually, for fantasy stories, I'll create maps of the continent where the story takes place, or the world. It helps me get an idea of the different influences of cultures. For example, one story I began a while back centered around these 3 kingdoms. I knew that one was by the sea, one was in a marsh land, and one was in an ideal location for farming and production. When I drew the map, however, a 4th kingdom suggested itself to me further away. The plot doesn't involve that one, but knowing it is there influences the culture that I write. Also, knowing where the different forests and lakes are helpful for knowing the resources of the land and how characters get around.

    (EDT: the smaller the setting, the more detail I put into the map. If I'm drawing a world, I tend to just put the important things [major mountain ranges and lakes, country borders, names of major places.] If it's just a single country I get more detailed, and if it's a city, I tend to map out every minutiae)

    I don't usually have a problem with too much world-building, but when you get into maps you do sort of have to cut yourself off at a certain point.

    My current story is more urban, kind of, but I plan to draw a basic map of the city and surrounding landscape so I know how to orient my characters better and see if there are any hidden plot twists hiding in the map.

    As for the mechanics of it, I sometimes draw it on paper, scan it, and finish it off in Photoshop. I also have a tablet so frequently I just draw it straight into Photoshop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  10. Daemon Wolf
    Offline

    Daemon Wolf Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    134
    I make maps for myself. As a way to make sure all the movements around a ship are practical and not just some random thing. I usually just use MS Paint.
     
  11. Kallisto
    Offline

    Kallisto Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    87
    I couldn't function without some kind of map.
     
  12. halisme
    Offline

    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    692
    Yes. My genre is low fantasy and the setting I'm using at the moment is mostly islands, so knowing where each one is relative to each other is very useful. Fortunately, a game I bought had a very good map maker so I use that as a base and then alter it in other software as needed.
     
  13. Bjørnar Munkerud
    Offline

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I've made maps for two of my stories (one high fantasy and one urban/science fantasy), with several for each. Some I've made just for fun and some to more easily be able to visualise where things should be in a room or neighbourhood. I've even made a map of water currents ... for no discernible reason. I use MS Paint, by the way. I'm not investing any time or resources into my map-making and I'm a terrible drawer, but I get the job done when it comes to my own consumption.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
    Daemon Wolf likes this.
  14. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,892
    Likes Received:
    10,077
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Lyrical likes this.
  15. Inksmith
    Offline

    Inksmith New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    France.
    To build my worlds, I usually draw a map on lined paper or what-have-you, and add to it gradually. I recently found a website, four hours ago to be precise, that allows you to create these pretty funky world/roleplay maps.

    Here's the URL to it, folks: http://inkarnate.com/
     

Share This Page