Welcome today’s Craft post where we are going to be talking about the map. Before we get started, this is the third and final post in the sub-series on Storyworld, you can find the other posts in this sub-series here. You can find all the posts from the beginning under Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. Each sub-series has a link to the page with all the posts for that series.

This post is for those who enjoy buying a new fantasy book or science fiction or young adult or independent readers to find a map of the world they will be visiting. It is my opinion that you should have a map of your storyworld, it doesn’t need to be released to the public if/when your novel is published. It just makes thing’s easier knowing where everything is. Even if you don’t know where it is and want to discover it as you write, you can mark it down roughly or exactly. Also, just makes things easier. Do what you like, if you don’t care if there is a map or not don’t worry about it. This is just my opinion.

Before we get started, I was going to give step by step directions on how to make a map in Adobe Photoshop, but I have changed my mind on that. One, the way I use it I am not as familiar with as I would like. Mostly it has been several months since I made a map. Two, there are directions already out there to do it. I am not going to do that. I am going to talk about why I am so fascinated by maps. Don’t worry I am going to give you links to it all at the end. If you don’t care about why I love maps, then scroll to the bottom.

Why do I love maps of fictional storyworlds? It isn’t like I am going back and forth between the front of the book and back to where I am to see where the characters are. Sometimes I do, but I generally don’t. I think it has something to do with the idea of I can if I want to. Most of my interest in maps is solely to do with my own writing. My second book series I ever developed that is currently in Development Hell in my brain right now. I spent years working on the series and when I wrote the first two books three times each I think. I needed maps to help me write directions and actions scenes. It could be a house or a mine or a small village. I need to see it and chart the path the character was going to take.

Secondly, I think it is because I am a very visual person. While for something’s I can describe or draw or talk about without having a physical picture of it, a lot of things’s I can’t. I know what I want, but I need to see it outside of my head to really get a grasp on it. Trying to bring what I see to life using Photoshop is a challenge and I like challenges. Ironically, that is also one of the reasons why I think I am obsessed with writing, too.

Finally, map making is fun. I have used a few different ways to make maps. One from just drawing on Photoshop to using teepee’s for mountains, to stamps in photoshop of mountains to an atlas style. All were fun, but the first was always the hardest to do. It would take several tries to get the landmass or islands just right. The way I use now is so much better.

Okay, I am done talking about my obsession with maps. Here is what I use. There is a user on the Cartographer’s Guild known as Ascension, who has a text document for people to use to make maps using Adobe Photoshop. You can find the directions here. Another user from the Guild known as Kindari took the guide made some modifications for new users and posted it with Ascension’s blessing. You can find his directions here. Kindari also made a seven-part video tutorial that is on Youtube.

– 1 of 7 – Intro, Step 1 – 24 –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRaxI7EnX-k 
2 of 7 – Step 25 (CS5.1 and earlier): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2DJhj…
2 of 7 – Step 25 (CS6): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKIzJz…
3 of 7 – Step 26 – 54: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgP9tb…
4 of 7 – Step 55 (CS5.1 and earlier): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6kKIK…
4 of 7 – Step 55 (CS6): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGnDKn…
5 of 7 – Step 56 – 129: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-vUyj…
6 of 7 – Step 130-194: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngO9fc…
7 of 7 – Step 195 – 226, end notes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhz0T0…

Would you like to see what it looks like. Well, my video below is a speeded up of me making one. It took roughly about two hours, thanks to Photoshop closing out on me randomly and making mistakes. I edited down and speed up between 500 to 1000% to get it just under 12 minutes. Sorry no music. I couldn’t find royalty free music I could use while trying to get it all done. Enjoy.




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