Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Maps and other things Fantastical
Here is the map I came up with for the King Rolen's Kin trilogy.
Making people look at the maps of your invented world is a bit like making them watch slides of your last holiday. Speaking of which, I once went to visit a friend of a friend who made us watch his collection of slides of steam trains. Only he put them in upside down and went through the whole lot, then turned them up the right way and made us sit through them again. My ... that was a night I won't forget in a hurry.
But back to maps. Over on the ROR blog MGC regular Chris Large has done the first part of a two part post on What does a Map bring to a Story. Part 2 will be up next Sunday. Thanks, Chris!
The map for King Rolen's Kin was inspired by two things. I'd been reading the history of Japan and I was intrigued by the way the string of mountainous islands with little arable land shaped the island's people. There was pressure to secure the arable land and hold it. And I also watched a documentary on volcanoes and what happens as they erode.
Being a writer, of course I saw how this would shape the people who lived there. And being an SF reader from way back, I thought why not have a planet with no moon, lots of stars, bright as a moon ( minimal tides due to planetary and solar gravitational pull)? Also, I set the islands on the equator so both north and south are cold, depending on where you are. Plus, I made the orbit elliptical, so they have intensely cold winters and hot summers.
All of which is embedded in the text, but I don't actually spell it out. It's enough for me to know. For a full explanation of the world building behind the KRK trilogy, see here.
So, tell me, do you like maps in fantasy books?
Do you ignore them until you get the narrative gets you lost and then you refer them to find out where things are?
Do you feel the map should be superfluous, that the narrative should carry enough information for you to make sense of it?
Are you like Chris, annoyed by illogical maps?
Confess now, do you have a map for your latest work-in-progress?