The crux of every great epic fantasy is a map. Okay, okay, that’s not exactly true. But I believe that maps are the one piece of artwork that every otherworld fantasy needs.
I remember the very first time I picked up an epic fantasy novel. I poured over the map at the very beginning of the book. It’s what the author presented before I even had the opportunity to read the first word. I would then begin reading and continue to reference the map as the characters moved from place to place. I'd Imagine the battles and the hardships and wonder what would await them at their next destination.
I can’t wait to pass on that experience to others.
Let’s dive in!
Here’s my map as it is currently:
The map is still incomplete. I have more places and features to label, but these are the primary locations of much of the story.
I wish I could say that the map started out this way. Here’s this map’s humble beginnings:
Not much to write home about, but I had to start somewhere. At this point, I wasn't sure exactly what the borders of my world's lands would look like. I knew that a large, primary land mass would be needed. I knew that I needed seven nations with a central location (labeled "BC"). I also knew that I wanted at least two of those nations to be separated by an ocean.
After I drew this, I consulted an acquaintance of mine who specializes in geology. We talked about where certain geological features and climates should be placed in order to create an accurate setting. We looked at real world examples where the settings I imagined actually occur.
This lead me to this draft of the world:
Done in MS Paint, this is where the world really began to take shape.
This is a climate map. It's color-coded to show where the mountainous, forest, grassland, steppe, desert and polar regions are located. You can also see the primary lands, rivers, and major cities. Though I moved on from this draft, I still keep it around as reference material for what each setting is like.
Again, the map is still incomplete and I may end up creating regional and city maps as my world continues to grow.
What About You?
Do you enjoy Epic Fantasy stories in the vein of Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson?
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Join my mailing list and I'll send it to you as soon as it's ready!
I want to know what you think about the map!
Would you like to see some regional and city maps?
Please let me know in the comments below!