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Old 21st April 2007, 05:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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map creation?

first post, here goes:
i know there was an earlier post about maps, but this one is different. My question is:
where do you get the ideas for your maps? Where do you get your inspiration? Do you just doodle? Do you make the map after or before you think up the plot?




ps: any suggestions would be great, as i'm stuck making a map for my latest story.
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Old 21st April 2007, 05:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

When I draw my maps, I always start out with a fresh sheet of paper, and I just sketch out a random shape for a continent, so mostly it's doodling for me. When I'm happy with the outline I draw in rivers and lakes, mountains and forests, and finally the cities, towns and ports.

Usually, I like to have a map sketched out before I start writing, even if it isn't a complete world map, just one continent. It gives me ideas about the shape the story should take, because I can visualize journeys and such from it. If the story requires it, you can then look for ideal places where a big battle could take place, or if the characters need to hide/flee. That's just the way I do it, though.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Usually I envision a single place, such as a battle, and then a lot of different cultures; then try to piece them together as feels best. Then I just tweak it a little. Hasn't worked for me lately, though...
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Old 22nd April 2007, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Just free associating here,never drawn a map in my life:
settlements near large rivers and lakes
no woods above the treeline
coastline irregular(using fractals?)
no large bodies of water in the rainshadow of mountains
be careful where you put steppe and tundra vegetation,and swamps,and deciduous evergreen forest
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Old 22nd April 2007, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HardScienceFan View Post
and deciduous evergreen forest
Ben
Now that's a real fantasy world, HSF - a neat trick, though, if you can find one!
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Old 22nd April 2007, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Have you ever heard of(*sound of phonebooth door closing,swishing cape*)
GAFFE MAN?
I plead guilty.
Have you ever heard my rap record(as Fallacious D):Erring on the Thick Side?
Have you ever seen a more crimson face than mine?
Have you ever seen my booklet for the Centre for the Scientifically Inept?
(Getting your Terminology All Wrong:A Primer)
plus I'm in the alphabatical Index of Nitwits & Nincompoops
In short,I'm embarassed
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Old 22nd April 2007, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

That's all right, Ben - always glad to help!

actually, the common idea of an evergreen tree "not shedding its leaves" ia wrong - they just do it all year round, a few at a time.

Have you noticed, BTW, how rare ordinary rain is in Fantasy? It's nearly always either dry, or a violent storm, or snow, for some reason. Perhaps it's because a lot of writers ignore the mechanics of a rain shadow, as you mentioned.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Would it be worth the people who know exactly about everything like this to post a thread (and hopefully sticky it) describing the different features of landscapes, and how they should fit together, and where not to put them etc.

I can guarantee that most of us will have no idea whatsoever.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Not a bad idea, Lenny - you'd be amazed at the number of botanical and horticultural gaffes I've read.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 04:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

In that case, then, I think I'll do well to keep the few maps I've drawn as far away from you as possible.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 04:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

*Ben,peering around the edges of the black lines surrounding the "post" box*
UUHHHMMM
are we talking fantasy or SF here?
lately a lot of geomorphological research is centered on the link between
largescale geophysical phenomena and geomorphology.
If you want to build a world consistent with current views on our planet,then you have your work cut out for you!
remember,e.g. if you describe seasons,the planet has to have an axial tilt.
Tides imply a satellite,etc.Vegetation,ice cover etc.imply heat sources and sinks,and influence planetary albedo.Strong air movements(storms) imply strong differential heating,et a lot of cetera.
Hope I haven't scared you,BTW
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Old 22nd April 2007, 04:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Er Pyan, doesn't the larch shed it's needles in winter ? Seriously, though maybe fantasy writers (cetainly in the UK) are so sick of rain, they leave it out unless they need it for the plot.
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Old 22nd April 2007, 04:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Quote:
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Er Pyan, doesn't the larch shed it's needles in winter ?
True - it's not an evergreen, though - it's in a class of its own as a deciduous gymnosperm - it just looks like an evergreen tree.
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Old 23rd April 2007, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

just checked, wikipedia has a pretty lengthy article on what HSF was talking about (where to put rivers, mountains, cities, etc.). Was a great help to me. oh yeah, the article is called constructed world.
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Old 23rd April 2007, 08:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: map creation?

Constructed world - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm going to guess that that is the article, yes?
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