Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Worldbuild Sees Its Final Form

As a fantasy writer, I have to love worldbuilding. Taking all the historical and archaeological and social knowledge I've gathered over the years and plunking it down in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. Maps, I love maps, too, which helps.

Years ago, before I ever wrote a single word of the novels I'm revising, I drew the world maps for the stories to come. Drew a couple of circles for each half of the globe and started filling in landforms, rivers, mountains, then kingdoms and cities. Common tale, but I wonder if everyone creating a new uncharted world gets those delectable butterflies in the belly by just looking at those vast, empty stretches of territory, yet unpopulated by humanity? Did God feel that way, looking at all the potential of the little globe spinning around in that vast universe? I think he must've. It's the potential that elicits that feeling, endless possibilities before the nitty-gritty of diving down and making it all work together.

Well, last night my husband finally got our scanner to work, so I was able to scan into my computer all those ugly hand-drawn maps. Then I loaded them into the GIMP program. Wow. While the maps have to be in black and white and fit into a smaller space than the old printer paper they were drawn on, they now have mountains that don't look like jiggly triangles! And the names are in readable fonts! And the water has texture! I must admit, they don't look half-bad. They will certainly work for my self-publish project. It will be so strange to see those old maps printed in the front of a book. And since they came before the first word, it's fitting that they will be a reader's first glimpse of my world.


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