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When writers get lost in their own worlds.

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Writing a novel itself is hard enough. You're already mired in the long hours of writing practice and studying writing theory... but wait! "Now," you say to yourself, "what my story really needs isn't a ninth draft or a third editor, or even a higher than nearly nonexistent budget for marketing.... what it really needs is a map!"

If you're smart and employed, what you can do is hire a talented illustrator to craft your magical world into a visual masterpiece!

Thankfully, I am neither of those things, so I decided, "I'll do it myself."

How hard can it be?

my ugly baby
my ugly baby

For an answer to that question, please refer to the image of what looks like a really ugly baby.

First thing I had to do was draw a continent and slap the locations down of the seven kingdoms (abbreviated in the drawing).

Thankfully, there isn't any journeying to these kingdoms in this first book, just a lot of talk about each kingdom.

That means I get to be lazy and skip trying to pretend I know how to draw logical roads and cool landmarks.

Ok, well clearly my drawing skills aren't winning any awards, so lets try a map making program like the ones all those brilliant D&D guys use for their campaigns.

my less ugly baby
my less ugly baby

This continent looks drunk...

Well, at least you can read the names now, but I was still missing the mark of what I imagined.

I was pretty certain my book wasn't getting a map by this point.

I bought a few books on map making (yes, there are some!) and a few fantasy map creation tools and got to work.

The first thing I realized is, the beginning of every map looks stupid.

Creating a map is almost like writing a book. You start with some word rubbish leaning against a few unstable ideas and you hammer and saw (and Photoshop) at it until it looks like it could actually be something... someday.

A map!

Map of the Seven Kingdoms of the Magistrate

Today, a map finally happened.

It's really cool to see it fully realized.

It looks great on my Kindle, too!

In Hindsight

If I could have hired someone, I probably would've contacted an amazing illustrator I follow on Twitter, Cat Scully, or hired someone on Reedsy.

But, If I could have done that, then I wouldn't have had to create my book cover too! Haha.

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