March 22, 2019, 06:56:07 PM

Author Topic: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?  (Read 2514 times)

Offline Gothos

Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« on: September 27, 2012, 05:31:14 PM »
As a lover of maps and of cartography I often find myself creating maps for not just the worlds, continents and major kingdoms that I'm writing within but for every stretch of land possible, even places that will most likley never be seen but I feel as though they need to be there at least rather than just assumed to be there, in my head in any case.

I was just wondering how everyone else goes about it. Because to be honest maps are not really needed in a book (well depending on how the author goes about it) they are a nice little bonus, but I find the most important aspect of the map is in helping the author keep a grip on his world. Even down to history and how the world has changed and where things use to be.

Does anyone also do city maps, these can actually be great fun but they can take up a lot of time from actually writing.
I saw them on the shores
the deepening pits of their gaze
vowed immortal war
against the sighing calm
of Jaghut seas . . .

Gothos’ Folly
Gothos (b.?)

Offline Jian

  • Kingkiller
  • ****
  • Posts: 1226
  • Total likes: 4
  • Gender: Male
  • Can't think of anything clever for this...
    • View Profile
    • Writer's Periodical
Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 06:01:23 PM »
I actually keep a mental map of my entire world at all times. It's a rather simple diagram. But I wager there are more that like cartography (WHYYYY?) so looks like I'll be drawing a map.

Yeah, be prepared to see some very rigid coastlines and shores. That isn't on purpose. My hand shakes like it's on fire whenever I draw. It's how I found out I couldn't be a surgeon. I was at the surgery table with this patient, and boom. Slipped. XDDD
Oh, I have a blog. http://dullboredom.wordpress.com/

Check it out, if you've got the time. Much appreciated.

Writer. Read my free, serialized story Radio Silence and vote to keep it free and serialized!

Offline Nyki Blatchley

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 06:47:55 PM »
I've been drawing maps of my main world for several decades now, and they've gradually evolved.  They started as relatively local maps for specific stories, but I went to maps of whole continents, and I now have a complete world-map (outline only, since my stories cover several thousand years, so everything else is subject to change).

I'm not a great draughtsman, but they're adequate, certainly for my purposes.  My method is to draw them by hand, then scan them in and add all the text in MS Publisher.  I've tried one or two mapping programs, but they won't let you do the crinkly bits yourself.  I like doing those, and I might even win an award for my fjords.

I've never tried city maps.  It would be great fun, but very time consuming.

Offline Gothos

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 07:27:31 PM »


I've never tried city maps.  It would be great fun, but very time consuming.

I always use this as an excuse not to write (because I'm lazy at times) but at least that way I'm still working within my world.
I saw them on the shores
the deepening pits of their gaze
vowed immortal war
against the sighing calm
of Jaghut seas . . .

Gothos’ Folly
Gothos (b.?)

Offline Doctor_Chill

  • RPG Ringleader and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3700
  • Total likes: 776
  • Gender: Male
  • You've been pugged.
    • View Profile
    • Acerbic Writing
Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 10:47:47 PM »
As a lover of maps and of cartography I often find myself creating maps for not just the worlds, continents and major kingdoms that I'm writing within but for every stretch of land possible, even places that will most likley never be seen but I feel as though they need to be there at least rather than just assumed to be there, in my head in any case.

I did this plenty of times before I started writing. I had maps of all kinds of weird ideas. Now I have a rough draft of something or other which will change plenty of times before I finish this novel.

If cartography paid well, I would become one. :)
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline jefGoelz

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 02:35:32 AM »
I think city maps are only needed if all of the action happens in that city, and you really need to know how the neighborhoods fit together (which is almost never needed).  I'm contemplating something for a slightly fictionalized victorian london, but probably won't. 

my problem w/ mapping is the distortion in all of the map projections, which drives me crazy.  Mapping is easy if you have a flat world, but is a pain in the butt if you want to accurately map a spherical world.

Offline Nyki Blatchley

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 05:32:28 PM »
my problem w/ mapping is the distortion in all of the map projections, which drives me crazy.  Mapping is easy if you have a flat world, but is a pain in the butt if you want to accurately map a spherical world.

We've been having a discussion about that on fantasy-writers.org.  There are projections that create a lot less distortion than Mercator, but it's hard to get mapping programs for them, but the distortions on Mercator only seriously affect the polar regions.  I tend to ignore that, although I might have to find a solution if I needed a map specifically for those regions.

Offline Eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4007
  • Total likes: 1969
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 01:16:47 PM »
Thought all your map lovers might want to check this out  :)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38923607-the-writer-s-map?ac=1&from_search=true
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Not Lu

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 06:49:27 PM »
Here's a cool free map maker for those of you that want to make your own maps.

https://inkarnate.com/


Offline Skip

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 06:57:19 PM »
As one who loves maps and cartography ... I hire a cartographer.

My mapping needs are unusual because I work with real Earth history, but in Altearth there are parts of Europe that are occupied by, for example, the Five Troll Kingdoms. There are the dwarvish cantons. And, as per the tagline, the Roman Empire never fell. So political boundaries vary, while the geography doesn't.

Place names change, however. I try to use older names instead of modern ones (e.g., the Ister River = Danube River).

I send historical maps (including cities) to my cartographer. I make a copy with annotations so he knows what must change. Then he works his magic and we come away with a specialty map. Here's an example from the first novel, Goblins at the Gates.

https://www.altearth.net/writing/goblins-at-the-gates/
Visit Altearth

Offline ArhiX

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 07:31:11 PM »
At first I was making lots and lots of maps. They were usefull when I wanted to create relations between countries and were figuring out how I could make a conflicts much more diverse. I still have like a hundred of them hidden somewhere.

Now I keep 2-3 rough drafts with names on it.

I am a lover of maps but it takes too much time to draw a nice one.  :'(
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline SugoiMe

Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 09:34:12 PM »
I have a large hand drawn map and I've made a digital version of it for my books. I've recently done a couple of country maps as well. They're time consuming but fun to do, so I make time for working on them. There's something to be said about working really hard on something visual and then finishing it and being satisfied with my work. Same thing goes for formatting for print.
"And then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Offline Jenny HJ

  • Coreling
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 4
  • Gender: Female
  • Ent Provider to the horticulturally deprived.
    • View Profile
Re: Your World Maps. How do you go about it?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 10:12:28 PM »
I have a few pages of maps. i need them to keep my distances and times consistent.  I added terrain to allow me to adjust for pace in difficult areas. I also have water-averse characters so there needs to be a map of rivers etc to allow me to work out where they can and can't go.
 

As for how I made them...

 I emptied a bag of rice with my eyes closed on a huge sheet of paper,  put a couple of rough features in that I needed, then drew around the outline of the heap of rice :) my coastlines are gorgeous!

Once my seas/ continents were in place I located the main towns features and points of interest.  Some of which, my characters have not been to yet.