I think a lot of people harbor under the misconception that writing a story, regardless of the content, only consists of, well, writing. Write the words down, that’s all it takes, right?
There’s a lot that goes into stories, even the most basic and shortest story you could read. Much of this revolves around research and fact checking, but some of it extends further, for example, map making :D
I’ll admit, I’ve always been fascinated by maps. I’m definitely an author by definition, but my day job involves studying maps and blah blah technical jargon goes here. In any case, maps are extremely interesting. I often look at them and wonder if a landmark might have been involved in some mysterious event that was never fully explained, or how a battle might have been waged when this river blocked the entrance to this valley, etc.. Simply put, maps hold stories for us to discover.
That said, anyone who’s read my books may recall Ulric mentioning in Light of Dawn that draconians hale from another realm entirely, called Ithelyon. There are also allusions to Mystikkar throughout my stories (a.k.a. the City of Magic) which also happens to be in Ithelyon–and we will finally be getting a chance to see some of it in The Final Calling. Yay!
Anyway, point being, worlds need maps, and I’d definitely had an idea in mind for Ithelyon for quite some time, just not extreme specifics. But with the way the story goes in The Final Calling, I’ve had to not only plan one, but two different realms. Actually, three if you count … wait, I’m not handing out spoilers here :D
But the most important is Ithelyon, and I wanted to put my thoughts down, not just in story form, but map form as well. So I started working on it (not at the expense of writing the story itself, however!) and I actually have a very nice work in progress to provide.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the basic quality, though I’ll admit I don’t have every landmark down here (still not handing out spoilers lol). A friend asked if I was going to include this map as an insert in the book once it’s published, and I’m considering it, but I don’t want to clutter my story with a bunch of side notes and yadda yadda. But hey! That’s what blogs and websites and so on are for, right? :D
This map is a smaller piece of a much larger image, and the overall project is still in the works (it’s not easy building a world after all). But I thought I’d share just because I’m easily excited and all that :P