I'm now at the point where I would start drawing a map for my storyworld. I did that years ago for the Belfaylinn story. Here it is.
|Click here to see a larger version.|
I've spent a lot of time looking at this map over the past few weeks. It's fun. I like it. But I'm not sure it fits the feel of my story, which is YA fantasy. This map looks to be for a younger age, like a children's chapter book or a middle grade book. So I'm toying around with the idea of re-drawing it. We'll see. What do you think?
Along with creating a map, I usually spend a lot of time world building the culture of each country, kingdom, or realm on the map. For the Belfaylinn stories, I have three kingdoms. The aerial fairies live in Tarafoyle, up on the top of the highest mountain. The grounders live in Glasderry, in the thickest forest in all of Belfaylinn. And the merrows live among the islands and rocks of the Glassloch Sea in the kingdom of Kenmare.
I spent a lot of time carefully naming the places on this map. I was trying to come up with quaint titles, and I'm happy with the way all of that turned out with places like Cloudbright, Petal Fog, Tarrelton, Ballinloch, and Novahorn.
I've spent a lot of time in my research and world lately, and I'm specifically trying to create unique culture for the fairy people as a whole and for each of the three races. Those are my biggest concerns for my storyworld and I think the map I have now shows the differences in each environment quite well.
I've written several thorough posts on the topic of creating a map for your storyworld, so I won't go over all of that again. If you need help creating the map itself, check out these posts:
Map-Making 101: Drawing the Map
Map-Making 201: Naming Things
The Evolution of a Fantasy Map
A map a snapshot of your world, and you want that to be a good one. You want it to grab the reader's eye and keep them there, exploring. Here is a short list of questions to ask yourself or tasks to do before or while you are map-making.
1. What is the purpose of this map?
2. What do you want to show? (An entire world? One city? Something else?)
3. List some interesting places or landmarks you can add to your map.
4. Make a list of places mentioned in your story and make sure to put them all on your map.
5. Don't put very many other places on your map--places that your characters won't go. Such places will only clog up your map and make your reader wonder when the characters will go there. And then they never will.