Twice now I’ve tackled various map-making problems. On January 16, I wrote about creating a world map. Then on January 28, I wrote about creating the map of a country. Today I’m going to talk about creating a city map and (bonus!) designing buildings for fictional worlds.
Both of these topics are meant to be simple overviews to help get you started. There are lots of books and articles out there if you want to get into more detail, but it also starts to get pretty technical. For the most part, if you use a bit of common sense and put some thought into it, you should be able to create a city (and/or building) with few problems.
A week and a half ago I talked about how to create a world map. In that post, you followed along as I created the map for my fictional world Obroth (featured in my 2014 NaNo novel). I even talked a little about how it compares to Earth. But for most people, a world map isn’t a whole lot of use when writing. It’s too large to show the details that are going to be important to a novel’s characters, and contains more information than is needed (specially, countries and areas that won’t ever be mentioned in the story). So, with that in mind, I’m going to show how you can create a country map.
When it comes to map making, a lot of people balk. Either they feel it’s too artsy of an endeavour, or they think it’s a waste of time/energy, or perhaps they even think that maps are unnecessary for the writing process.
Whether you require a map or not is really up to you, but I feel like for the vast majority of novels, the authors would have had to have a map of some sort as they wrote. Now, that might mean that they’re using Google Maps, or an atlas, or some other pre-made map of Earth. But it could also mean that they drew a map of their fictional world using pen and paper, or some sort of computer program.