I’m sure all writers have experienced the complications of creating their fiction novel world. Worldbuilding is complicated. It takes time planning , crafting and organization. Apart of worldbuilding especially for fantasy and scifi writers is map building, map making , map creation , whatever you want to call it.
Usually you see the gamers using maps to create their worlds and they have a whole bunch of software and sites for it. But did you know map creation is also a useful worldbuilding tool for writers?
I love creating maps (and also family trees but that is another post for another day.) No. I don’t draw. I can’t draw. Even though I went to art school my drawing ability is crap (that’s what my teachers said loud and clear) So what did I do? I use the computer of course .However, creating maps takes time and can get a little complicated especially on some software and sites.
My journey with creating maps started while I was planning my first draft. Remember if you listened to my first podcast episode I planned my book for a whole year before writing anything.
I still see places in my head that I have to figure out for my novel since things drastically changed in this 2nd draft . Like the overall structure in my world .
In my first draft the world was an alternative universe of Canada with a made up town that mirrored Nunavut in some instances. So for this I used google maps . This was around 2011 and so I wasn’t sure if there were any good map making sites or software then. I t was hard because using google maps I tried to create a mountain that wasn’t there and it became frustrating to play around with google maps.
I remember that if you were signed up to google you could have private maps and at the time on latest writing forum it was popular with most fiction writers to use google maps to create their worlds.
So now it is 2021 and I’m finally in my 2nd draft of my work in progress . So I’m still creating my worlds by using maps and I finally found a good free website to build maps . In this 2nd draft there are no alternate universe instead I created a whole new world called Neoera .
So far I’ve created two maps HERE IS ONE.
I’m still not finished but with just those two maps it took more than two whole weekends to complete.
Not that I didn’t know the cities and states of my novel it was like I didn’t know the many rivers and mountains I wanted – the terrain . And then I had to account for the scenery and what not I didn’t mentioned in the novel so far. So I had to research. Because in my novel I don’t mention the population or what not .
It wasn’t perse complicated but more time consuming. I mean it was fun . It wasn’t boring . I didn’t even want to stop playing around with the map making tools. While experimenting with the map making it allowed me to get more story ideas , story plots and see clearly the routes where my characters are traveling in the story and will be traveling in the future yet to be written novels.
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What maps have you created for your novel’s world?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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