Help! Writing a Fantasy, Need a Map!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Myrnwr, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Myrnwr

    Myrnwr New Member

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    Hey, I'm looking to write a fantasy novel, and I have already written a lot of the lore. The problem is, I cannot for the life of me come up with a decent, satisfactory map. I'd love help of any kind.

    The map I'm looking for is one that is like Middle Earth in many ways, but not copycat. The map should have:

    -Sea in the west, Unknown, uncharted land in the east, like Middle Earth
    -a large mountain range, like the misty mountains, in the east, and scattered smaller ranges in the north
    -a large forest in the center
    -a large river, like Anduin, separating said forest from the eastern mountains
    -Preferably no Mordor-ish lands or desert, but if you think it fits, i'm open to suggestions

    I'd really appreciate feedback, thanks. :D
     
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    If you're after a map consider using the Real World.

    A good fantasy maps are simply upside down or sideways areas from the real world (we are so used to seeing the world with the North at teh top that turning it all upside down generally fools most people). In addition to turning maps around selecting single small areas for the focus helps as well. I would also add that you can often up scale maps and downscale them without too much trouble so long as you make some adjustments.

    In the end though your map is your map and many books have very rough maps - only town locations, rivers and territories are often all that is needed, you don't have to go super detailed. In addition get some idea of scale, how far can towns be apart before logistics affect them - you don't want settlements months apart in travel nor do you want them moments apart (ideally although the real world shows that many settlements can grow into each other if near specific resource types and with enough growth - a great example is small settlements either side of a major river crossing growing into a single settlement as they expand.
     
  3. Myrnwr

    Myrnwr New Member

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    Thanks! The thing is, I really WANT to go into detail with this. I've already made up several alphabets based off of real-life runic alphabets, and started fabricating a fictional language based off of old Welsh. A detailed map is a necessity, at least for me.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Best advice I can give you then is to talk to a cartographer (ie map maker) you might also want to consult one with a historical background as opposed to a modern background - eg a historical cartographer. I say that only as modern map making is a very different process and whilst you might indeed get some ideas, you might find that an older style of map making and design helps you more with a fantasy book than modern mapmaking concepts.

    Of course for the overall design both groups could give you detailed suggestions or ideas to start from.
     
  5. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

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    Were you looking for a sketch or a set of geological reasoning? I can give either a go if you'd like (no promises on how it looks though)