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Do you create maps to accompany your world, or is it all in your head?
Absolutely. 81%  81%  [ 17 ]
Only for the important locations. 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Never. 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 21
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 Post subject: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:24 am 
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I'm a bit of a mapping geek, so I thought I'd see if anyone else around here shares my view. The question at hand is: do you use maps for your worlds? If so, how do you draw them and how thorough are you? If not, why not? What are some of your favorites?

Just thought I'd start picking your brains. :D

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~ Psalm 73:25-26


Works in progress

The Skyriders Trilogy (outlining)

What Waits in Shadow (fantasy short story--editing)
The Stranger's Gift (fantasy short story--editing)
The Crystal Orb (fantasy short story--writing)
And too many half-started ideas to count


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:33 am 
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I like making maps for fantasy worlds. I can't draw them very well, though, so they're just for reference.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:12 am 
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If you want to map, map. Map as much as you want. Even if you never show your map to other people, you've increased your understanding of your world, which will enhance your writing.

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Redemption is to be purchased, to have a price paid. So I was redeemed from my master sin, and from justice, which demanded my death. For He paid the price of sin by becoming sin, and met the demands of justice by dying for us.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:02 pm 
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For me, maps are a nearly essential tool to have to make sure I'm consistent, but I'm not artistically inclined so I'm very lax about drawing them, and while I'd like to use a computer program to create a map that matches my vision for the bits I have envisioned and fills in the gaps I don't have any ideas for, I haven't been able to find a program that meets my needs.

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Author of A Year in Verse, a self-published illustrated collection of poetry: available in paperback and on Kindle.

My blog includes the following "departments":
  • Background on the Shine Cycle, my planned fantasy series, spanning over two centuries of an imagined world's history, several universes (including various alternate histories and our own future), and the stories of dozens of characters (many from our world).
  • Strategic Primer, a strategy game I'm developing, played by email, assisted by programs I'm developing. The current campaign (moving slowly, less than one turn a month) always needs more players.
  • My poetry.
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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Neil of Erk wrote:
If you want to map, map. Map as much as you want. Even if you never show your map to other people, you've increased your understanding of your world, which will enhance your writing.


Good point, Neil. Having a visual representation of your world, with location names and geographical features, really solidifies it in your mind. At least for visual people like me. ;)

kingjon wrote:
For me, maps are a nearly essential tool to have to make sure I'm consistent, but I'm not artistically inclined so I'm very lax about drawing them, and while I'd like to use a computer program to create a map that matches my vision for the bits I have envisioned and fills in the gaps I don't have any ideas for, I haven't been able to find a program that meets my needs.


Maps are essential for me, too. Even if they weren't, I would probably draw them since I love doing it. I would also like to find mapping software that would enable me to create digital copies as well as the ones on paper. I haven't yet figured out how to transfer what I already have onto the computer. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26


Works in progress

The Skyriders Trilogy (outlining)

What Waits in Shadow (fantasy short story--editing)
The Stranger's Gift (fantasy short story--editing)
The Crystal Orb (fantasy short story--writing)
And too many half-started ideas to count


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:17 pm 
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I have one map, one very bad map, of Tevo which I did on Paint. :rofl: I should probably hand draw some, I'd find I could do it better that way I think.

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From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
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Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king

J. R. R. Tolkien


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Lord Tarin wrote:
I would also like to find mapping software that would enable me to create digital copies as well as the ones on paper. I haven't yet figured out how to transfer what I already have onto the computer. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

For mere "digital copies," I'd suggest either a good digital camera or a good scanner ... but for what you probably meant, you'd probably be interested in this thread (which itself links to my blog posts outlining the features I'm looking for).

_________________
Originally inspired to write by reading C.S. Lewis, but can be as perfectionist as Tolkien or as obscure as Charles Williams.

Author of A Year in Verse, a self-published illustrated collection of poetry: available in paperback and on Kindle.

My blog includes the following "departments":
  • Background on the Shine Cycle, my planned fantasy series, spanning over two centuries of an imagined world's history, several universes (including various alternate histories and our own future), and the stories of dozens of characters (many from our world).
  • Strategic Primer, a strategy game I'm developing, played by email, assisted by programs I'm developing. The current campaign (moving slowly, less than one turn a month) always needs more players.
  • My poetry.
  • Miscellaneous essays.


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:33 pm 
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Lady Elanor Mimetes wrote:
I should probably hand draw some, I'd find I could do it better that way I think.

I find drawing maps by hand to be easier.

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Eomer: "How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"
Aragorn: "As he has ever judged. Good and ill have not changed."
~ The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien

....::::My Blog::::....


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:30 am 
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I love drawing maps by hand (I copied California out of the atlas when I was 11 for Pete's sake, and that was only the beginning). That said, I want to have both forms so I can share my worlds with my readers who I don't know personally.

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Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26


Works in progress

The Skyriders Trilogy (outlining)

What Waits in Shadow (fantasy short story--editing)
The Stranger's Gift (fantasy short story--editing)
The Crystal Orb (fantasy short story--writing)
And too many half-started ideas to count


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:08 am 
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I love mapping! I do detailed maps for each continent, and then extremely detailed for countries I use in books, though that detail is more political, such as duchy boundaries, etc, as opposed to topography. The political side fits my purposes better. I do all mine by hand, and then scan them so others can see.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Drawing maps is one of my favorite parts of world-building... I usually draw by hand, as Paint is more unwieldly and drawing with a pencil is more natural/easy...

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Lord Tarin wrote:
I'm a bit of a mapping geek, so I thought I'd see if anyone else around here shares my view. The question at hand is: do you use maps for your worlds? If so, how do you draw them and how thorough are you? If not, why not? What are some of your favorites?

Just thought I'd start picking your brains. :D


I've drawn exactly three decent maps of my fantasy world in my lifetime (the other few maps are fated to burn in a bonfire one day). One was of my entire world (that can be found in this forum... somewhere...), and the other two were maps of one country, Elani, which is where my fantasy trilogy takes place.
I draw them by hand, because anything I draw on the computer is a failure (not that my hand drawings are much better). I'm... fairly thorough, I think. I draw the different terrain and climates using different colored pencils, and I add a legend and a compass. If that's not thorough, then no, I'm not.
If I had to say why not, I would say it was because I'm a terrible artist, and I'm afraid to get anymore thorough for fear of messing everything up.

My favorite would have to be a pencil drawing of Elani that I did. No colors in that one, and it's based off of Tolkien's style of map-drawing. I'd show a picture, but it's too big and I can't take a decent photograph of it.


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:23 pm 
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I make lots of maps for my worlds just so I can keep track of things and not make any errors.
Wither or not I would add a map in the actual story or not I don't know since I haven't finished the story. But I think I probably will.

I also don't make only geographical maps. I've got political maps, resource maps, road maps, trade maps, and I'm planning to make a wind pattern map.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:32 am 
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Yehoshua Mimetes wrote:
I also don't make only geographical maps. I've got political maps, resource maps, road maps, trade maps, and I'm planning to make a wind pattern map.

Wow, I like how thorough you are. :)

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Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26


Works in progress

The Skyriders Trilogy (outlining)

What Waits in Shadow (fantasy short story--editing)
The Stranger's Gift (fantasy short story--editing)
The Crystal Orb (fantasy short story--writing)
And too many half-started ideas to count


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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:09 pm 
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Yehoshua Mimetes wrote:
I make lots of maps for my worlds just so I can keep track of things and not make any errors.
Wither or not I would add a map in the actual story or not I don't know since I haven't finished the story. But I think I probably will.

I also don't make only geographical maps. I've got political maps, resource maps, road maps, trade maps, and I'm planning to make a wind pattern map.


Wow! Impressive!

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:22 pm 
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I absolutely love maps! :D They really help me visualize things better, and in some cases *coughLordoftheRingscough* if I hadn't had a map to look at, I'd have been entirely turned around and not known where in the universe the character was heading. o.O So I would opt for doing maps, not only because they're helpful, but they're also fun. ^_^ They don't have to be fancy to be serviceable, but I can understand needing to map wind patterns and such if one does a lot with dragons or something. :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:11 pm 
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I marked absolutely. Now... I've never made a map before, but I do love them. Which is why I answered the way I did.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:28 am 
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MAP absolutely! I make my maps on Photoshop using a drawing tool and brushes of Tolkein, which have mountains houses.

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 Post subject: Re: To Map or Not to Map
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:10 am 
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My memory is not the best so I feel as if maps would help keep everything organized, if only you use it for your novel's "fact bible". Although, I do enjoy looking at maps in different books where there are fantastic lands and such. It gives more of a realistic tint to it all. Only when I saw the map from LotR did I realize how far everyone traveled.


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