Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Robert Klein II, Sep 17, 2014.
So just how much of this map actually pertains to the story at hand? How much will you end up having to redraw as your story develops?
My advice is to concentrate first on the hard part - the writing. Drawing intricate maps may be fun, but it can be a means if procrastination.
All of Grendaria, Marshlands, and Exion have been used so far. (Mostly) Three of the Grendarian kingdoms have yet to be seen, although everything besides Waterport has been visited in Exion.
The Pyrandris Desert will be near then end of the book (In brief parts) In book 2 the Northen Isles will be brought in and in Book 3 Isdilia will actually do something besides have more background than everywhere else.
I drew a computer version of this and had someone draw it out. I do better with maps when writing. If there's something I want changed I'll say "Nope! That's the way the planet was made, and you can't change it!"
Other than that, this entire area will be in use. I could've made a bigger one but I tend to ignore the non-important areas.
I kinda agree and disagree with Cogito on the procrastination aspect of it.
I had a story that I wanted called "The Six Kingdoms". As the name states, it revolves around six kingdoms in a high fantasy story. I scrapped it temporarily so I can separate it from any ASOIAF similarities, but I started it with a very basic map just so things didn't get confused. "Kingdom A marches troops towards Kingdom C". Well if I don't know where either of those are, I'm screwed and all my work was for naught. So maps are good.
Now the detail of this map seems a bit more like procrastination. Even if someone did it for you, that's too much effort for something for a story not even close to written. Mine was more like a rough doodle on an index card and nothing had names yet.
They did it in three days I did the original computer copy in... 6 hours? Yeah, it could've waited I suppose. The first book is about 30% (After I finish the draft it'll be around 50%)
I could post the original computer copy if you guys want to see it... although it's humiliating
That's my map (hoping that I uploaded the right file). It took my half an hour to draw out. Six hours... jeez. I built the map, figured out what I wanted to do with what I gave myself, and got to work. Six hours is a bit much to put into something that may or may not even work. But I don't know, that's me.
Btw I'm horrible at uploading photos so forgive me
I'd feel barren without something like this -
"B County is due north of F County. If you ever get lost, just go in the opposite direction of our deity's plaid shorts."
Edited to say: the above is in jesting, of course. I remember a year ago I tried to make a functional map to track the locations in a fantasy and found it mind-spinningly complicated. It looks like you'll be able to add plot points like rivers and stuff, and you're letting the story form the map, not the other way around.
A rough sketch of a few circles and lines is mote than sufficient. Better because there is less temptation to show it off. Never lose sight of what the real product is. The product is the writing.
Furthermore, if your setting is so complex that a detailed map is needed to keep track of it, how will it read?
When you answered my (rhetorical) question about how much of the map was relevant to the story, I was dismayed. All that sounded like far too much for one novel. And as an unpublished author, you shouldn't even think of a series at this point. Every novel must be complete in itself, and selling one self-contained novel is more than enough challenge at this stage.
I always find maps of people's fantasy WIPs always amusing, but it most be stated: Cogito is not wrong. Tolkien seems to be the guy who started all of this off, and the wish to have your own language. One need to keep in mind that Tolkien was an expert in medieval philology and literature. He knew Norse and Saxon runes (which is what Dwarf runes are based on) and his Elvish is Welsh at the core, with some fancy lettering to look pretty. He was writing a new, private mythology based on these ancient stories, and thus the world he created was a fantasy world he lived with for years, as a way of making the hours spent marking student's papers go past a little quicker. It's easy to get through something boring if in the back of your head you are on some boat living in your own little pseudo-Norse/idealized old English world.
Tolkien was also very boring man in many ways.
Very nice! I like the second version of it you posted. It's much easier to get a grasp on. I understand the need for a map..
Here's mine. Arlynon, I call it (having just realized it's not on the map ). It's the second one I made, a long time ago, very much to procrastinate, but also because I just wanted it. lol I have a graphic design degree, and while I'm unemployed and not looking to get back into graphic design, using photoshop to create is just as much a part of me as writing.
Yeah, my map isn't perfect.. It doesn't have roads, it's all one big kingdom, some of the rivers don't have names, and I probably need more cities. But what I have right now is all I need for my story at present. If I find she needs to go somewhere else, I'll add it in there. But it works for now, since the first book takes place in Preithos and Liyuo Nhoma.
Pretty neat looking maps! I drew some when I was younger for my first story. It took place in a kinda magic reality/ alternate universe/ mishmash decade ( I don't know what the hell I was doing ) but my maps weren't quite this interesting or detailed. Basically I ripped off the shape of Canada and the States and added some different boundaries and stuff.
I like the map Brooks! Did you do it yourself?
Also... I could try doing a single book. (I'll make it able to be one book) Although if it's good it's getting a few more books added. It'll be too long for a single novel.
I don't do fantasy languages. I just use German for the graben base language and French for the language in Isdilia.
The reason that I enjoy such detailed maps is because, other than helping you keep track of where everything is, it makes potential readers a bit more interested.
For simpler terms as to the places visited in my book -
Riven Town, Millington, Exion, Gra'nod, Deriax, Quel'Drin, Gra'danis, Ro'dra'an, and the single place in the Marshlands that actually has significance.
I messed up on three have yet to be seen, it should've been 4. I was originally thinking of "Three that have been seen."
Superb drawings! I like to visualise my setting on paper before writing, so I stick to a plan instead of meandering all over the place.
What the others said about procrastination makes sense, but I can't really judge you for it. I spent over two years drawing character pictures, notes and maps before I actually opened the Word document and started typing. As far as I'm concerned, I'm all the better for it as I rarely hit writer's block and can power onwards.
If you feel it will help you during the writing process, by all means do it.
While I do believe that isn't procrastination it is excessive preparing. Although since it helps I believe it to be good. How are your drawings?
Oh, they're just scribblings, mostly in pen. I already have the solid blueprint in my mind, and with no artistic ability whatsoever I rarely go beyond the occasional doodle. My setting isn't very complex; there are only four towns on a space the size of the Isle of Man and the population will probably be ~10,000 to boot.
Another thing, according to your profile you're quite young. I applaud you for having such an intricate plan with exceptional drawings already. I'm definitely jealous!
I've always enjoyed creating maps for my settings. Soon enough I'm going to make one for the stories I am writing now, along with a detailed history. I might post the map here when I'm done All the maps on here are pretty awesome.
My plot is pretty detailed. With six antagonists, the protagonists, and four of the main protagonist friends. There are also many minor antagonists and protagonists.
That is a very detailed map, and very good one! I see some forum users aren't that into creating a detailed map, but I certainly don't see any harm in it, especially when we're talking hours of creation time and not days. You have a world in your mind and it is good to get it drawn out. Even with bags of inspiration, drawing the map can pull you further into the world and make writing even more exciting. I've drawn maps for my story, they help to get a sense of the distances between the locations. I'll post mine, though they're not as good. The more detailed map is a small island within the whole (the larger map is the world I created a long time ago, and the story I'm writing is one of the several adventures that happens within it) and has Gaelic-inspired names for the locations (from my Scottish travels ).
You drew these? Very nice.
How long did it take for each one?
Also - as for my story. I have a trilogy planned (Could be a Pentalogy)
Plus, I'm planning to make stories based around many other things in the world.
Finally, my favorite will be - The Great War. If I ever have a nice sized fan based I'll do a series on this.
Yeah! I initially drew them at work in a notebook, but wasn't happy that they were on A5 lined paper. They took no more than an hour each. The Bleakendom map was so clear in my head that it was really just confirming my thoughts. Both were fun to do though, and that's what I want my story to be for me: fun (it's something I just really want to do for myself, and it turns out that the group of people I've let read it so far have enjoyed it, but given me bits to edit).
The world itself is something that has been swimming around in my mind for a long time and I have about twelve stories in note form (not all are things I would flesh out into a book, but they provide some good background). The main story I'm writing is still on a first draft and about 50% done. In that respect, sounds like we've had similar processes!
I've got an ending currently that wraps up the story, but can become a sequel. As I feel like I'm writing for myself at the moment I'll probably just carry straight on into that after and self-publish the first story I've written.
How big is the book you're writing? Comparable to the other books you've planned?
Well so far this novel is 288 pages in and is a little over half way. The others will be about 400 pages.
If I do a series on the Great War it'll be a huge series though.
I'm doing a series of twelve but each book won't be awfully long. The shortest will be 144 pages (72,000+) words.
I'd suggest combining them for bigger books possible?
Separate names with a comma.