Posts Tagged ‘worldbuilding’

☞ Fantasy narratives do not simply arise from the creation of an inchoate fictional universe. The writer has to concretise the universe in order to create a coherent and convincing narrative. One of the ways that this could be done is through the drawing of reliable maps. In this article, Tegan Beechey does a marvelous job of illustrating how this could be achieved.

“A good map is, I’d venture to say, just as vital to you as it is to your characters; you need a map to know the size of the world they occupy, the length of their journey, its difficulty, and distance. Furthermore, a good map serves as an important tool for your readers as well. It can give them perspective in a completely foreign world, offer subtle clues to the history and culture of your creation, and create mystery and the promise of adventure.

But just as a good map can bring a novel to life, a bad map can highlight an author’s shortsightedness, reinforce weak conceptual links between the stages of a plot, and direct reader attention to lazy writing and worldbuilding.

Making a good map is not as simple as purchasing good design tools or the appropriate number of ink pens. Making a good map is a process of thought with clear stages. Each stage can be viewed as an important step in framing your world as well as in mapmaking. By making a map early in the writing process, authors can create a sense of time, place, scope, and scale, and allow this vision to color their writing.

The following guide offers 10 stages to mapmaking, pairing considerations at each stage with important technical decisions that will help authors create worlds which are more vibrant and believable. To follow along, pick up the following tools, and settle down beside your computer…”

Read more…