I came across this great article by Roberta Osborn called How to Create A Map For Your Novel. It is very cool and I strongly recommend to those of you who are fantasy or sci-fi writers and may be considering drawing a map, that you follow the link.
When writing Wycaan Master, I never thought to draw a map. Only when I began to write a sequel and realized that I had to keep my characters following a certain geographical framework did I consider making one.
Given that I have no artistic talent, and that my son who helped me write and edit, better understands which end of a pencil is which, I charged him with the task. Being of prime pre-teen material, he refused. In the ensuing negotiation, we agreed to tackle it together.
We went through the manuscript and highlighted every change in direction, every named mountain range and forest. He then took a piece of paper and began to draw. We were soon off the page and took another piece of paper and, utilizing cutting-edge technology, taped the two pages together. They soon blossomed into several pages at unruly angles one to the other, with absolutely no way the map could be folded.
it was clearly destined to be crumpled, torn, and otherwise abused. Today, it sits somewhere in our humble abode under a pile of mutually discarded papers that are not yet quite trash-worthy. It is a tragic tale.
As I look through the articles above, I am struck with a series of questions for those who read epic fantasy. Remember, that I am new, if enthusiastic, to the genre. If you have the energy please answer any or all of the following questions.
1) Do you look at a map at the beginning of a fantasy novel? If so, how much do you study it?
2) Do you refer back to the map as you read the book?
3) Is there any room in epic fantasy for a GPS?
Answers to the first two questions will be greatly appreciated.
Have a great weekend,
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written two fantasy novels and the first has reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award as of March 2012. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (@elfwriter).