M is for Maps

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category: ,

I hope everyone recovered from my post yesterday! :) Today we are talking about maps. I promise this one is really short today.

When I create any world for my stories, I always draw a map. I have to - otherwise my characters start heading south when they should be going north!

I use a free program called AutoREALM in combination with Paint.Net (which is also free). Here is the most recent version of the world map for The Kinir Elite Chronicles

This one I made it black and white then added the fancy little border there so it can look nice in the front of the books. But AutoREALM allows you to make them in color if you like. The program comes with great little icons and markers so you can make your map as detailed as you want to. I made this one pretty general, leaving out rivers and such as I only have one book done so far. As the series contiues and the characters travel around their world more, the map will no doubt be added to to show the new locations.

Do you make maps for your worlds? I know some people draw them by hand! Crazy. I much prefer using programs with fancy icons and such to help me. Besides, it's much easier to edit on my computer than it is by hand (especially if I decide a city needs to change location).

8 Responses to "M is for Maps"

Claudie A. Says :
April 15, 2011 at 8:47 AM

I typically sketch something by hand to know what is where. I put a few pointers about climate here and there, as well as important rivers. Then I leave it be.

The more detailed my map is, the more I feel it constrains my storytelling. Sometimes it gives me ideas, yes, but most of the time I already know where I want to go, and I'm all "Uuuugh, that's a huge river to cross in spring."

So. Details, not too many. And story primes over map.

Love yours, by the way! :)

Laura Josephsen Says :
April 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I use maps for my fantasy worlds, too. If I don't, as you said, my characters kind of get lost. With my current book, I had waited a while to make the full map, and when I sat down to figure out where they were based on distance and how much time had passed, I discovered they should already be halfway through the next country. *head desk* I had some modifying to do after that. ;)

I just use my regular old paint program on the computer and design it myself. :)

Shannon Lawrence Says :
April 15, 2011 at 11:54 PM

So far, I've made one map, but it is of a village, not a world/realm, and it is hand drawn. I had no idea there was a program out there for it, though!

Good luck on the rest of the A to Z Challenge!

Dawn Embers Says :
April 16, 2011 at 1:32 AM

I might want to do a map at some point, at least for the epic fantasy. Haven't tried it yet. Good post.

Gail M Baugniet Says :
April 16, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Yes, I draw my maps by hand, acreage, lakes, rivers, trees. I'll admit that yours has a much more professional appearance.

Dawn M. Hamsher Says :
April 16, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Yes, I made a map for my fantasy world. I'm really good with PowerPoint, so I used that so I would have something visual. I'll check out AutoRealm! Thanks for the tip!

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Claudie: Yes, story does prime over map for sure. I get a little more detailed only because I sort of like the "oh no a big river is in the way moment" because it potentially adds more tension to the story if worked correctly. :)

Laura: That's great! I'd love to see some of your maps one day. I love making them. It's so fun.

Shannon: Oh yes, for the smaller city maps I usually draw by hand to just give me references. But, for the big world, I use the computer. It's just easier. Thanks!

Dawn: You should try it! It's really fun, to see your world really come to life this way.

Gail: Oh thank you Gail! I did make a few versions before this one came about and this one I purposely made "professional" like in order to go into the book when it's published. It's great that you draw them by hand!

Dawn: Oh I never thought to use PowerPoint. Might have to try that one day, just to see what I can do with it. Thanks for stopping by!

Auto Title Loans Says :
May 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I've never tried to make a map for my characters, I've always just had a general direction and stuck with it. I think this would be a good tool to explore them more. Plus, it looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for the link info.

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