Where the heck are you?
All world building starts with a map. If you are using a real location – buy one. If you are creating a world – draw it. Now I can hear the moans and I understand I struggle to make a stick person, these aren’t drawings for an art gallery but for your personal use alone.
I prefer to start with a ‘wide’ view and then narrow down my building so that is the way these posts will flow.
Below is the map I created for my current WIP.
Why draw a map??? Ohhhhh the heartaches a map would have saved me in writing the Night of Gryphon series. Were the mountains to the left of the Oracle Valley or to the right??? Had mentioned a river along the way??? Etc. Please please learn from my pain and draw a map.
For real locations, you would need:
a) State map (so you can see the neighboring cities and land marks – believe me this saves time to get it now )
b) City map
If a large city – I.e. – Chicago then a suburb one of your close setting. (For my current romance suspense under my other name I have one of the state, one of the city, one of the college, and one of the local mass transit routes).
For fantasy/sci-fi writers then I suggest drawing several.
a) A general overview of your world. One like the picture above. This overview map could even be more wide scope if you are doing a sci-fi or fantasy that includes planets. Then you could have several before you’re ready to break it down to step b.
b) Then I have 7 individual maps – one for each of the countries –
Next week we’ll discuss the details of your maps… Sometimes too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.
I’d love to hear about any basic map making tricks you have. This is always a growing learning area for me.