Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maps and plans and things

Wow, next week is already Book-in-a-Week time. Yikes! I have pledged to write 15 pages. I hope I can. Next week is also when my beloved and I have scheduled an entire week off work to clean and organize our house. We're calling it The Great Purge. We are going to be boxing up lots of books and belongings, moving them into empty space in my office, and then cleaning and reorganizing everything. Everything. Yikes! I am back to playing with my map of Avalon. I have an outline of the island and its three outlying islands, and I'm very happy with the look of that. Now I am at the point of adding the actual features to the main island, and I don't really know what needs to be done. I have found a couple of online articles so far. One is titled "Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds" and has some useful info so far (I haven't read all of it yet). The second is "Fantasy Fiction Writer's Guide to Creating Worlds." This one has some simpler, more straightforward advice: "It is important to remember in this step, the natural order of the world. For example, the tops of mountains are usually colder than the surrounding lands, and rivers often cut canyons through the plains."

That's all I have so far. I think I'm going to put in the rivers and lakes and mountains. (I think an island about 450 miles by 250 miles is big enough for a small mountain range.) I have a basic idea of where I'm going to put Avalon City. (I'll probably end up needing a map of the city, too, now that I think of it--I guess I need to look up info on drawing city maps, don't I?) Just from doing the first, basic bits on the map I have a better idea of where my enemy forces are coming through and how they're eluding detection. So this is definitely a useful tool. I was so sure I didn't need a map! But, it's useful. And it's also drawing my focus back into the story, so it has an added extra benefit there. And on top of all of that, there's coloring! Coloring is always good.

I may not post anything next week, depending on how the Great Purge is going. I'll be writing my BIW stuff before writing here, so if you don't see anything from me, never fear. I'll be back on the 9th, and maybe by then I'll even have a map to post.


Miss Bitty said...

Hee -- maps are so much fun...I can't wait to see how yours turns out. Honestly, when I'm stuck in a rut and can't get the motivation I need, spending a little time with my colored pencils adding more detail to my map can give me all the inspiration I need. Sometimes, even just spending some time perusing it -- "well of course the plot is stuck...I've got my characters trying to cross a lake that isn't there!" -- can be all that it takes.

Hope you'll post pictures when it's done....

Ælfswyđ said...

You'll be able to tell where the city is when you get the geography taken care of--think defense & trade. Ports, rivers, high ground.

Kim said...

"You'll be able to tell where the city is when you get the geography taken care of--think defense & trade. Ports, rivers, high ground."

I know pretty much where the city is. I know which coast it's on. I am just deciding if I want it closer to one outlying island or the other--both bits of coastline are equally suitable, so it's more a matter of taste I suppose. Or perhaps it's more a matter of me needing to just make a decision and put the city on the map, for crying out loud! *grin*

Kim said...

"Hope you'll post pictures when it's done...."

I will! And this is really fun and quite useful. I already determined that I farm that makes an appearance actually needs to be in an entirely different section of the island that I had thought if I want my travel description to work properly. And again, you are totally right about the inspiration. I am finding myself back in my story much more now that I've started playing with the map.

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