Creating a Fantasy Map

I never thought I’d end up with a job where I’d have to create a map of a fantasy world, and while my fantasy world is no where near as complicated or in depth as say Middle Earth, I had no idea how hard it is to make a Fantasy map! I am now super impressed with any author/artist who has made one. I know I’m supposed to be working on Samhain Sorcery, the sequel to The Kingston Chronicles, but one of my side projects is a novel about Nephilim, Angels and Demons and as such sections of the book are set in the Underworld, hence the need for a map. I primarily need it for my own reference so I can keep track of my settings and as such it’s not overly detailed.

I looked online for tips or software to make my map look realistic but I didn’t really find what I was looking for. I’m not sure if in the future it will be necessary to include the map in the book when I publish it, so I didn’t want to use software that may have a complicated user agreement and copyright agreement. I’d like to be able to use my end map at my own discretion and I obviously don’t want to intrude on another individual’s copyright. I like the style that Indie-author Nina Smith has used in her Shadow series and I like the realistic maps in books such as A Song of Fire and Ice. (Thanks to Nina for the permission to use her image here. If you’d like to learn more about Shadow, or Nina’s other novels, click here to get to her website.)

Shadow Map

But, apparently, my drawing skills are not what they once were. My craggy coastline looks like a squiggle and my mountain range looks like the angry jowls of my kelpie. It’s been a long time since I picked up a pencil and really focused on my drawing and that’s been detrimental to the skills I learnt in high school. As with everything there is a limited amount of time I can devote to things and drawing hasn’t been high on my priority list. I do plan on getting back into it one day, (I have some children’s stories I’ve written that I would love to illustrate and publish) but for this project I was looking for a shortcut. It would be so much easier if I could just dump what I see in my head onto a blank page.

So if you’ve created maps in that past and can give me any tips I would love to hear from you. Whether you come from a writing background, fantasy art background or even a normal cartography background any help you can give me would be truly appreciated. Otherwise I think I’m never going to make sense of my world layout.

EOFYS sale 2018On a side note; time is running out on my 99 cent sale at Amazon. In selected currencies you can purchase The Kingston Chronicles Kindle edition for 99c until the end of June. For price in your local currency check your local Amazon outlet. Sale ends on the 30th.

Also, I will no longer be appearing at the Telling Tales Festival in Balingup this year. This is a festival I normally do in tandem with Nina Smith and this year there are scheduling conflicts. It’s a shame but it is necessary this year. I hope to return next year.

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