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  1. Earthshine

    Earthshine Member

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    Mapping and Geography

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Earthshine, Jul 12, 2014.

    Hey everyone. I'm currently working on developing the setting for my current fantasy novel and I'm having some issues with mapping my world. When I was younger, I used to create worlds without any thought as to how these worlds would work in terms of geography. For instance, I never considered that the presence of mountains would have an effect on the climate (e.g. the presence of a rain shadow). Now that I'm older, however, I find myself caught up in worrying about whether or not the world would work.

    So my question is...do you think it is important for the setting to 'work'? Or is it really not that important? And if you think it does matter, do you have any tips on creating a world that works?
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think it doesn't matter too terribly much unless you really include a lot of elements that start to stick out to the reader overmuch, you shove it in their face, so to speak. The reader, unless forced by you the writer, isn't going to be thinking about these things anywhere near as much as you. In one of arguably the most successful Science-Fantasy (it has elements of both) franchises, the Darkover novels by M.Z. Bradley, the tiny pocket of habitable land on the planet of Darkover doesn't scientifically work at all, and on many, many levels, but it doesn't matter because her stories are so compelling and character driven that you don't care why there would be this one little temperate patch on an otherwise frozen world where entire forests explode into flame if someone farts too hard. :confuzled: She's even goofed on occasion with inconsistencies from one novel to another as to where things are located, and again, who cares. Her novels rock. ;)
     
  3. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If you're writing fantasy, probably doesn't matter at all. If it's sci-fi or real world, I think it matters to a few people but it's not one of those things I hear many people say ruined the credibility of a novel for them.

    It did bother me that Tatooine seemed less than credible because it was too dry for life.

    I've built my world with one large continent and some islands. So I've been researching how that might affect weather, especially cyclones. I need my characters to be on the same land mass.
     
  4. hughesj

    hughesj Member

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    Maybe creating a map for your world would work. There are plenty of tutorials for this online using programs like Photoshop (paid) and Gimp (free). That way you can see the mountains and rivers and such and your city placement and everything will come naturally, creating a believable world. I do however, usually trust the author when reading books and I assume that the characters have their sustainability all figured out, so don't worry too much
     
  5. Moonbeast32

    Moonbeast32 Member

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    The world I'm working on is a different planet from Earth entirely. That gives me more freedom to make up my own rules with weather and geography.
     
  6. Earthshine

    Earthshine Member

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    Thank you everyone. Your answers were really helpful :). I'm off to do a little mapping...
     
  7. maskedhero

    maskedhero Active Member

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    Since it is fantasy, you could stick to how things work, or you could push for a creative stomp and stretch it out a bit...why not have magic manage those things?
     

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