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Elvenswordsman
December 21st, 2013, 01:16 PM
Any thoughts on the map would be greatly appreciated.

World is based on a fantasy novel I'm writing. (Note post-edit : Just realized I'd previously modeled this map to look like Japan, about 9 months ago. Didn't realize it until just now, but it's literally identical, to almost 85%. Is this going to be problematic? I'd forgotten about it.)

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Edit:

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popsprocket
December 21st, 2013, 02:33 PM
What are the dashed lines in the ocean representative of?

Elvenswordsman
December 21st, 2013, 03:00 PM
Lines of conflict. It's a no-go route for traders, but they're just general lines to show contrasts between the two nations (good and bad).

aj47
December 21st, 2013, 04:56 PM
As a reader who never looks at maps (I'm visually impaired) I think that *having one* is a good idea for people who are visual learners. This looks reasonable as a part-of-a-world. I'm reminded of ancient maps -- should I be?

MyloAyjack
December 21st, 2013, 05:06 PM
I love making maps for the settings I write in. It really does give you a very keen grasp on the world you write in, doesn't it?

Some people never spend much time looking at maps included with the books they read. Others study them until they've learned every detail. Regardless of the approach of the reader, I do believe that having such a map can aid the audience in gaining a more firm grasp on the world you're taking them into with your tale.

Your initial sketch looks good! Any plans to turn this into a color map--perhaps for a beautiful interior cover on a book?

Elvenswordsman
December 21st, 2013, 05:32 PM
As a reader who never looks at maps (I'm visually impaired) I think that *having one* is a good idea for people who are visual learners. This looks reasonable as a part-of-a-world. I'm reminded of ancient maps -- should I be?

Swords and Sandals are my pleasure, so perhaps?


Your initial sketch looks good! Any plans to turn this into a color map--perhaps for a beautiful interior cover on a book?

This is, as you put it so well, a map to guide the story, allow continuity and realistic time values to be maintained. As for the finished map, perhaps if I finish the novel I'll think about it - or figure out how to illustrate. Shading is what gets me, can't get the mountains to stand out.

Outiboros
December 21st, 2013, 06:52 PM
Well, there's barely any of the details that often go wrong in fantasy maps. Mostly it's crazy, improbable rivers, unlikely mountain formations, deserts occurring without any good reason, or major population centres being placed on illogical locations.

It is rather hard to read, though. I can't get anything out of those lines. What is ocean and what is land? What's going on in the lower left? I'd make those 'lines of conflict' straighter so that they don't interfere with the coastline, or make them a different colour, or colour in the sea. It's a sketch, of course, so I bet you were already planning on that.

I'd say don't waste too much time on it. The story should have prevalence.

Elvenswordsman
December 21st, 2013, 07:44 PM
Obviously the map was missing colours. Does the edit above help at all?

Folcro
December 21st, 2013, 08:58 PM
I can see from the illustration that you are investing a great deal of thought and energy into your novel, which alone gives me the impression that you are manufacturing this work to the fullest extent of your talent. I'm sure this will look great with indications of cities and regions.

Personally, I rarely find myself looking at maps. When a writer tells me something is so far away from something else, I draw a general image in my mind and take the story scene-by-scene. Though, if a story is constantly jumping scenes and politics are constantly being thrown in, I can see it being useful to some. But even then, I find a glossary or appendix of histories to be much more useful, Like Frank Herbert and Martin used. Out of curiosity, do you plan on implementing something like that?

And yes the colors make it look much better. I would go a bit darker though, but I know this copy is probably rough.

Gavrushka
December 21st, 2013, 09:20 PM
I like the map, and I do remember how long I'd pour over the ones in the Lord of the Rings... There was a book brought out, called 'The Journeys of Frodo', and it was filled with detailed contour maps based on the descriptions taken from the books; I spent many an evening immersed in that!

I made a map for a fantasy series, but the main reason was for my own usage! - It helped me calculate travel times, and who was where etc. - They can be fun to make! :)

Elvenswordsman
December 21st, 2013, 11:48 PM
But even then, I find a glossary or appendix of histories to be much more useful, Like Frank Herbert and Martin used. Out of curiosity, do you plan on implementing something like that?

As far as my intentions go, I plan on doing something similar to what J.K. Rowling did, wherein I'll expand to the points I'm capable of within reason. I'll do my best to include detailed glossaries and appendices.

One note: I have literally delved deeply enough into the writing to explain cultural occurrences among dwarves - In my kingdoms, the first son is names _arin, while the subsequent sons are named _orin, with the first letter being lower in the alphabet the older the son is. This is to show that position is very important in Dwarven society, and the ability to know the place of the man you're talking to.

I feel like the map is more of a piece of illustration for under the front cover, more than a functional piece of the book required to be memorized. I feel I can rely fairly well on my writing to give image to readers, however I know I personally love having a map to look at.

Also, as gav mentioned, I love having a map to plot out paths. It helps keep realism in the writing, consistency in the travel times, and encourages me to keep in mind the geographies of the regions.

Thanks for the response Folcro, and you too gav!

Folcro
December 22nd, 2013, 12:03 AM
Also, as gav mentioned, I love having a map to plot out paths. It helps keep realism in the writing, consistency in the travel times, and encourages me to keep in mind the geographies of the regions.

I was going to expand on that as well--- Even I have a map of my coming fantasy, but it will probably never see publication. So long as the writer is consistent, the reader can draw their own maps. This is an excellent sort of metronome to keep the story balanced and consistent. I always encourage all the "behind the scenes" tools that help a writer make it look like he just sat down and wrote about a place that actually exists.

Given your obvious effort, I look forward to reading your work; perhaps helping you, if I can.

Outiboros
December 22nd, 2013, 03:54 AM
Obviously the map was missing colours. Does the edit above help at all?
Yes, hugely. It's much clearer.

TheGreedyimp
December 31st, 2013, 01:40 PM
To address your concern about it's similarity with Japan(and apparently Korea and China), it all depends on how much it bothers you. I think it's perfectly fine. If you do intend to change it because of its similarity, I wouldn't do anything more than rotating it. After I rotated my head 90 degrees, left and right, it doesn't look anything like East Asia.

Kuro
December 31st, 2013, 04:09 PM
I'd thought it looked familiar and if it's modelled after Japan, that explains why. I wouldn't worry about that, though. There's no rule saying a fantasy map can't look similar to a real world location.

But if you intend to include this map with your story, I'd suggest trying to make the lines crisper. The color certainly helps, but the map could still look better.

Elvenswordsman
April 25th, 2014, 02:01 AM
Resurrecting a dead post XD Thanks Kuro, greatly appreciate the feedback. Graphic design doesn't come easily to me, so I know it needs work.

The reason I'm re-opening this is to get more feedback, and transition into posting my first chapter. Also trying to get my first post off has been.. difficult, to say the least.

Folcro
April 25th, 2014, 04:31 AM
Also trying to get my first post off has been.. difficult, to say the least.

Care to elaborate?

Ariel
April 28th, 2014, 10:53 PM
If it makes you feel any better I just modified a map of the moon.

Denhark
April 30th, 2014, 06:25 PM
The map looks pretty sweet. Although it'd be cool to see a labelled version of it, like all of the areas/countries, cities, towns ect. Included.

ToriJ
April 30th, 2014, 06:48 PM
It could be because I'm bad at geography, but the map doesn't remind me of Japan at all. I wouldn't have known had you not said anything. As bad as it may sound, I could see some not being able to spot the similarities for the same reason I didn't.

I concur that the colorized map is an improvement to the above and I can actually make out everything in the black and white image after seeing it all in color. I like the different colors of the terrain. Was that meant to represent anything or is it just for design? The only thing that really sticks out to me are the lines across the ocean making it look like a street. I'd take them out, but I can understand if you'd want to keep them in.

Elvenswordsman
April 30th, 2014, 09:46 PM
Care to elaborate?

I suffer from anxiety; I've been a member long enough I shouldn't care about posting my work, but ... This is a piece I started while I was still with my ex, and it's just a mess of connections, despite being an entire work of fiction/fantasy.

It's just a matter of posting my work. It's also a risk because it's largely focused on Dwarves, and I'm unsure if I can connect with readers at a base level. I have tried to create identifiers which can be associative notions that the reader can come across and say "I understand that", but I've really gone off and created a whole dwarven culture that builds largely on the notions we have of them, but is soo much more.

Eh, it's probably not as scary as I'm making it.


If it makes you feel any better I just modified a map of the moon.

It does, immensely.


The map looks pretty sweet. Although it'd be cool to see a labelled version of it, like all of the areas/countries, cities, towns ect. Included.

I'll add labels in a bit, the problem first arose in the sense of "what are people going to think of the map?" I may need to add bits, so as to remove the likeness I'm seeing in the map, just small pieces, perhaps connect the center of Japan to the mainland.


I like the different colors of the terrain. Was that meant to represent anything or is it just for design? The only thing that really sticks out to me are the lines across the ocean making it look like a street. I'd take them out, but I can understand if you'd want to keep them in.

The colors are different races/factions, and they may or may not be kept depending on if I define the borders well enough.

Also, I see what you mean about the dotted lines, I will remove them in the final version, although I may include small little markers to represent sea-trading routes, or areas of conflict in the sea.

Folcro
May 1st, 2014, 04:02 AM
I suffer from anxiety; I've been a member long enough I shouldn't care about posting my work, but ... This is a piece I started while I was still with my ex, and it's just a mess of connections, despite being an entire work of fiction/fantasy.

It's just a matter of posting my work. It's also a risk because it's largely focused on Dwarves, and I'm unsure if I can connect with readers at a base level. I have tried to create identifiers which can be associative notions that the reader can come across and say "I understand that", but I've really gone off and created a whole dwarven culture that builds largely on the notions we have of them, but is soo much more.

Eh, it's probably not as scary as I'm making it.

Well, fear by definition is what you make it and every emotional response occurs for a reason, so don't cause further stress on yourself by beating yourself up about your stress. Be it your fault or not, your emotions are very real and relevant.

But yeah, you should just go ahead and post.

I would like to know more about how you expand this dwarven culture. There have been several renditions of them which I have fallen in love with, particularly in Dragon Age and Morrowind. If you're worried about relatability, I get that, but that all depends on where you start (maybe not even reveal them as dwarves until chapter two, when the reader is already hooked).

We'll all be able to help you much more if you post. If you want to disclose something more synoptic, which may be necessary in your case, that is something I would advise showing to an individual, as opposed to posting in public (even in the workshop).

Abby
May 7th, 2014, 10:06 PM
It looks fine to me, I presume you will be adding place names & landmarks?

Ariel
May 10th, 2014, 01:55 PM
Oh, and Elven, if you want to have lines and such showing trade routes, natural features, factions, etc, I would suggest having multiple maps. You could even get as detailed as mapping out average temperatures, wind/ocean currents, etc. that's all up to you.

Quentin
May 12th, 2014, 11:18 AM
Hi Elvenswordsman,

I joined WF only a couple of days ago and I only just discovered your map.

I love reading maps, whether real, historic or fictional. I don't believe the fact your map is similar to Japan should be a problem. After all, George Orwell's 1984 was set in London, England and nobody complained about it. Moreover, since you're writing a fantasy-novel I can't think of any reason why anybody should be upset.

As some previous members asked, will you add cities, roads and/or natural features?
Did you ever considered re-drawing your map(s) on photoshop or any other software? It's a very cool when it comes to drawing maps. I use PS every time I make a new maps. It allows me to try out different possibilities very easily without having to re-draw the entire map every time I mess it up.

dmr400
May 24th, 2014, 07:21 AM
I doubt anyone will be put off by it's resemblance to an actual country, its likely that very few will even notice it.