Monday, August 29, 2011

Creating A Fantasy Map

Welcome all you wonderful fantasy lovin', picture takin' peeps! Hope you're having a stellar week. Always remember to wear that beautiful smile of yours...and always remember to be YOU because you're the best YOU there is! 

You're doing a wonderful job getting the names JLB Creative and Janet Beasley out there - and that's what it's gonna take to get these epic fantasy novels of mine into print! I would love to see if we can work as a team and get 1000 "Likes" on the JLB Creatives Facebook page, and see if we can't work on getting the blog followers up to 500 for the first goal! I'm working right with you on all of let's GO TEAM!

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Creating a Fantasy Map

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     How many of you fantasy writers out there have fallen in love with creating your maps? I know I have. When writing my first epic fantasy novel, "Maycly," I was shocked to discover just how much a map actually helps make the story richer in content, and flow even better with continuity as my characters traveled.

     Maps can be as simplistic or detailed as you wish...remember, it's your world.

     Something to think about, are you creating an entire world or just a land? If you're creating an entire world will your story encompass the whole planet or just a portion? You may want to draw an entire world, then pull out the portion(s) where your story will take place. The map of Maycly is an entire planet, though the planet is small, and the entire planet is utilized throughout the story. 

     There is a variety of terrains to choose from or mix and match: mountains, deserts, lakes, rivers, plains, meadows, oceans, creeks, farmland, etc. Each different terrain may be specifically drawn to portray its uniqueness. For example if you have a mountain range you'll want to draw "mountains" rather than just listing the name of the range. If it's water you're drawing be sure and add some waves, or color for quick reference. Climate plays a big part in what type of terrain you'll be "hosting" on your map. Make certain your story's weather type(s) matches the regions on the map.

     A map key is a nice touch. For instance a mileage, or whatever measurement you've come up with, scale is a helpful tool i.e. 2" = 1 mile.  Your planet or land has direction. In fantasy it may not be north, south, east, and west - but a "weather" vain depicting directions is a useful addition as well. Also add to the key what your cities or villages look like - perhaps smaller villages are marked with a square and larger towns are drawn as triangles.

     Give everything a name. If you draw a forest, give it a name. If you draw bodies of water, give them names. Even if they're not in your story - you might be surprised to find out how many of those names/places you just might end up using to make your story even better. 

     How do your characters travel? If you need concrete roads, put them in. If you need cart paths draw them as such. If your story holds flying characters and they are limited to only traveling in certain airspace draw the air tracts and add them to your key.

     Drawing your map in color can be very helpful. It may not be printed in color, but it can help you see and understand the depth and purpose of your terrains much easier.

     Below I've posted a link to some maps that are free for you to use compliments of Free Fantasy Maps. I found them very helpful in giving me a guideline with which to start. 

     I'd like to personally invite you to become a fan of the brand new page on Facebook: "The Kingdom of Allon" brought about by my fellow author Shawn Lamb. She has just developed a page boasting a map of her kingdoms. Awesome! Be sure to click the "Like" button, Tweet, and share her new page. Thanks a million if not two! 

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     Volumes 2-6, of my "Hidden Earth" series, have gotten quite a bit of my attention lately. Being that we're out traveling from Florida to Canada, there's been a lot of time spent in the car. All I can say is YAY for laptops! ;-) Only another 11-15 weeks we should have word from the publisher on "Maycly." Keep hanging in there with us - your wonderful support and shared enthusiasm are what keep us going!

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Pic n' Thought
Janet Beasley
In life...somedays you're the bird and
other days you're the fish.

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     Ever wonder how face painting came to be? Check out this cool Hub Pages post...

I by no means endorse this site, nor do I get $ for click throughs, ads, etc. It's just strictly a fun page I came across while surfing the web, found it interesting, and wanted to share it with you.

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     OK - so this was a cool week! I love creating the maps for my novels and I hope my experience and link helped you discover at least one nugget of info that was useful. We have learned it's better to have a "bird day" rather than a "fish day," and have opened our eyes to the history of face painting. 

     Remember to share JLB Creatives and the talents of author/scenic nature photographer Janet Beasley with your friends and family. As our fan base does the output of JLB Creatives imagination! 

Have a great week!
Thanks again for stopping by...


  1. This is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for posting it. This is the step I have been struggling with in my YA Fantasy novel.

  2. Hey Suzanne - so glad you stopped by and found something useful. I too found that a map made a HUGE difference when writing my novels. It made the content so much richer and definitely more "personal" for the readers. Now all I have to do is wait to get it published! ;-) Again, thanks for stopping by. ~Janet~ JLB Creatives


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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)