I suspect that most writers quite enjoy drawing up a map but it can also present a problem, especially if you are considering publishing your work in this highly competitive market. Not everyone has the knowledge or artistic skills to produce a map that will be an asset to their book but if you know where to look there are plenty of resources that can help you produce a map that you can be proud of.
Over time I have come across some very ingenious and simple techniques that help to produce an original and convincing map. I will list some of them here and I will also take you through the evolution of my own map; a process that is still ongoing as I, like thousands of other fantasy writers, try to breathe life into my world, the world of Battle Mage, otherwise known as the World of Wrath.
The Seven Kingdoms of Wrath
Sunsets Are Important
We Know When Something Isn't Right
Painting With Mountains
My Photoshop skills are fairly limited but I knew enough to know what ‘might’ be possible. What I wanted to do was to create some custom ‘brushes’, basically a tool that allows you to draw with a particular shape. It can be a round dot, or a tree, or a mountain. I had no idea how to do this and it took a fair while to learn. But what you do is this...
Creating Custom Brushes
Again, I found numerous images of compass roses but I wanted to design one myself so I drew up a template that contained most of the lines, circles and reference points I would need. Here is the template. Feel free to download it to design your own compass rose.
And here’s how I used it for my border.
Putting it all Together
The World of Wrath
(So there's no telling what might come next! :)
Thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy post. Hope it was useful to you and do look out for Part II,
which hopefully won't be too far away!
Cheers for now