Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Cartographic Order

I drew a map yesterday.

I know, right?

Maps are awesome. When I was a kid, and then again when I was a wild and unkempt university student, my friends and I would draw "bases:" underground layers of excruciating detail, drawn in cross-sectional analysis. When I was an RPG-obsessed thirteen year-old, I painted my bedroom taupe so I could paint a fantasy worldmap upon it.

Despite all this, I don't usually draw maps for the worlds I write about. Part of this is probably to do with my recent proclivity for space opera, and my inability to locate three-dimensional paper with which to produce starcharts.

So you can imagine my enthusiasm when I came up with an idea for a story taking place in an actual (two-dimensional) fantasy land. There's nothing, after all, that I like more than drawing upside-down "V"s and "U"s (my world is both mountainous and hilly) and scratching illegible placenames in arcane scrawl onto paper I've soaked with teabags.

I'd upload the image, but my map is preliminary for the moment. There's still a lot of white space, and I've got to figure out what went on in those white spaces so that they can become fleshed-out world-space. One of the greatest things about a map is that you get to see all those places where adventure might yet take place.

-bn

2 comments:

  1. Space Opera does not accept that third dimension unless it accentuates space dog-fighting.

    I do like a good world-map, but I like it to be created after a couple of books have come out so the writer doesn't feel tied down in his description. For bonus points, he should hire some fan to try to construct a map out of the inconsistent references scattered throughout the series.

    Of course, you are obligated to upload the map regardless.

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  2. I think I drew a map for the first book I finished, and probably for the ones I attempted to write in high school. All my books since then though have been set on our world (or rather an alternate version of our world), so those wouldn't really be too interesting... unless I put some thought in what all the new political borders would be. It's never much of an issue though. (Saudi Arabia is a Brazilian territory! Or not.)

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