1. CatsEyeDjinn

    CatsEyeDjinn New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2021
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Clubview Centurion
    Currently Reading::
    Wicca, a guide for the solitary practioner - Scott Cunningham; The Dark Tower series - Stephen King

    Maps!

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by CatsEyeDjinn, Sep 28, 2021.

    Hi all.

    Do you use maps in your stories? How do you create the maps? Do you make the map first before writing the story, or does the story shape the map?

    I built a map for my novel, using Inkcarnate.com, really easy to use interface, great website and not expensive for a membership.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts, opinions and suggestions.
     
    MartinM, Joe_Hall and J.T. Woody like this.
  2. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    Hi!
    I use maps in my stories, and i believe i use inkcarnate, too (im using my phon e to type this, so i cant double check at the moment). I know i've used it in the past, at least.
    My coworker hand draws his maps and they are SOOO legit! Like its amazing the detail he put into it, then he scans it into GIMP and adds texture and colors and stuff. Im attempting to redo one of my maps in GIMP.

    Typically, my stories come first, then my maps. I get to a point in my story where i have all these places that i e either talked about or my characters have been, and i need a visual to keep them all straight. So i create a map.
    I have one of them posted in my progress journal (that one may be the one i made on inkcarnate).

    Theres another fantasy map creater that i like, but it takes a while to figure it out because you basically type in information (cities, population sizes, races/kingdoms/allegiance/etc, as well as hiw many lakes, rivers, forests and whether you want a Pangaea continent, an archipelago, or a hybrid) and it gives you customizable, generated options. You can even create banners for your people). I have one that i made using that system and i like it a lot, but the system as a whole, i need to mess around with it more
     
    CatsEyeDjinn likes this.
  3. Joe_Hall

    Joe_Hall Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2021
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    155
    Yes. And yes. I love maps. For instance, the main continent in my WIP was once struck by an asteroid nearly wiping out the original races and reshaping it vaguely into a crescent moon. The shapes of landmasses, temperatures, cities, and cultures can have a large impact on the way I write. I tend toward discovery writing so as my characters travel across the map, their adventures are driven by my world-building.

    I use a program called Wonderdraft by Tabula Rasa. First I sketch out on paper roughly what I want, then I go make it in Wonderdraft. It is super easy to use, has easy brushes, terrain types, rivers, city icons, road markers, etc. I want to say it's like $30 US and the purchase is one time. wonderdraft.net if you are interested in checking it out.
     
    CatsEyeDjinn likes this.
  4. Storysmith

    Storysmith Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    271
    I think you mean inkarnate.com. Inkcarnate.com appears to be something else.

    Personally, I'm a huge fan of maps, and particularly like the auto-generated ones from https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/. I find that if I just stare at them, I can't help but start imagining the civilisations and histories of the lands.
     
    Night Herald and J.T. Woody like this.
  5. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    this is the one with the complicated customization piece.

    This is one of the maps I made on Azgaar (and edited)
    upload_2021-9-28_13-47-15.png
     
  6. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,692
    Likes Received:
    5,657
    the one for another WIP i made on inkarnate:
    upload_2021-9-28_13-50-0.png
     
  7. LucyAshworth

    LucyAshworth Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2020
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    78
    I start with what the culture and interactions are supposed to be like. Certain terrain will give rise to certain lifestyles. Fractured terrain will give rise to divided tribes. Being stretched over latitudes gives rise to varying climates. In early development, harsh areas will demand innovation and expansion. Bountiful landscapes will be fought over. Junctions and intersections will be popular. Isolated areas are a wildcard, like a mutation; most areas that are cut off from other people will stagnate or regress. China united a large area and developed quickly, but it was also safe from outsiders for natural barriers. Likewise, America has had the advantage of ocean borders.
     
    CatsEyeDjinn likes this.
  8. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Location:
    USA
    Oh man, how many SFF stories have I dreamed up based on random maps from old Civilization II or similar games I used to play. It's...a lot. Plus with games like that you actually go through historical development of a bunch of civs, in addition to the geography. It's like a perfect backstory generator.
     
    Night Herald and CatsEyeDjinn like this.
  9. CatsEyeDjinn

    CatsEyeDjinn New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2021
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Clubview Centurion
    Currently Reading::
    Wicca, a guide for the solitary practioner - Scott Cunningham; The Dark Tower series - Stephen King

    That is gorgeous!
     
  10. CatsEyeDjinn

    CatsEyeDjinn New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2021
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Clubview Centurion
    Currently Reading::
    Wicca, a guide for the solitary practioner - Scott Cunningham; The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
    Awesome, id like to read that story
     
  11. Night Herald

    Night Herald Malfunctioning clockwork person Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Location:
    Norway
    Currently Reading::
    "Dracula" by Bram Stoker
    Yeah, I love maps, though I don't really make a lot of them. I've meant to, but you know, distactions... Anyways, I haven't yet started with a map, I tend to do them as the story starts to come together. I do think a randomly generated map could be an excellent spark of inspiration, though. I intend to try it out in the near future.

    Here's one I made a good while back, the main setting for a novel. It's fairly rushed and barren, some of the writing is illegible, and the geography is outdated. Still, it feels great to be able to actually see the worlds in your head, even in a distorted form. I hope I'll get around to making a new version soon, along with more detailed local maps. I also want to chart out parts of the wider world.


    OK v4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
  12. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    17,950
    Likes Received:
    27,098
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    No, my characters don't typically get lost. :D
    I think maps are more a Fantasy thing. But
    It would be interesting if Sci-fi did something
    similar, but that would be a much bigger under-
    taking for anything that takes place over many
    worlds, and not just one (or a continent.).

    I suppose it's much more interesting to show the
    world, and not have a 'tour guide' of sorts for the
    reader. Though I do know many seem to be keen on
    having a foldout map when reading books that have
    them. I don't understand why, considering it doesn't
    have the same characteristics as a strategy game
    where you move your pieces about the board.

    To each their own.
     
  13. AbyssalJoey

    AbyssalJoey Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    México
    Yes, I love maps and I sketch rough maps at the same time I create my stories, this allows me to have a better mental image of what is actually going on, it also allows me to decide travel routes and travel times.

    Also, I think that the lay of the land influences a culture quite heavily, you probably would not get a horse heavy culture (like say, the Mongols) on heavily forested areas; by the same token, skin tone seems to be an evolutionary trait heavily linked to biomes, therefore, I also use that to decide where I put humans/species with different skin tones (this has a limited application on the modern era and is completely irrelevant in sci-fi).
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice