As a Wishful writer I am constantly wishing up great kingdoms, Interesting races/ cultures and unique worlds full of mystery. I want to make worlds that I could get lost in for years creating stories for each person that inhabits it. I wish to make a world that is far more interesting than our own. I want unthinkable monsters, Romance to die for and questionable hero’s. I wish to have a map as revered as J.R.R Tolkiens Middle-Earth.
I have always had a great fascination with maps, ever since I came across the great Middle-Earth. As far as World-Building goes physically creating the world is my favorite part. I love slapping down landmarks and daydreaming about all of the things that go on there. I like giving kingdoms strategic advantages or disadvantages, like being nestled into the mountains or teetering on a cliff. And most of all I love how it helps drive my creativity for the story that is set in this world.
Having a map helps me keep track of where people are in my story and places they can explore. It also might help me find problems that my characters may run into while going along their way. Having a map also helps with little things like what the weather may be in a certain region. For me a map is a necessity
Unfortunately for me I am also some what of a wishful cartographer. I am even worse at drawing than I am at writing. My drawings of land always come out looking like blobs. Very unattractive blobs. Not weathered shores that hide the tales of a lost traveler. This map here is my only passable world that I have kept. everything else was abysmal.
This map created many threads of story for one of my projects and maybe that is why I am so partial to it.
Even after I created this “Masterpiece”, I continue to struggle just getting a decent shape for my lands. My edges are either too smooth or too exaggerated. Never the weathered look all land inherently has. I have tried following tutorials on youtube, but still my lack of skill shines through. I thought to myself there has to be a better way to do this. So, I fired up the ole Google machine and behold I came across brilliance! One of the first sites I came across was Inkarnate.com. In all honestly this is the only fantasy world builder I found. If you know of others I would love to try!
I spent a couple hours on the free version familiarizing myself with all the tools. I quickly found myself wanting to have the pro version just too see the other stamps I could get and it just made things like placing trees easier.Frankly the free version is more than enough but I just like having extra goodies.
Inkarnate is great for things like building maps for Dungeons and Dragons as well. Actually I believe that was the intended audience when they created it. But it’s the perfect tool for writers as well as those who want to dabble in their own world building. Heck, even if you do neither of those things it’s fun just to play around with.
These are some of the maps I have created for a couple of the stories I am in the progress of “Writing” and the other is just one I am fooling around with.
When It comes to the other aspects of world building I tend to push them off. I am no world building expert but damn do I love making maps. What are some of your favorite aspects of World-building? Are you good at making up cultures? Are you a political master? Or are you a map head like me? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!