Find Your Way Through

Maps are magic, aren’t they?

A visit to writer Kirsten’s blog, A Scenic Route reminded me to honor my maps.

Honestly, until I read her entry, Getting My Bearings, I’d forgotten about the maps I created for my novel.

So, I’ve plundered the huge pile of miscellaneous papers, notes, stickies, and stuff on my desk and salvaged the following items. The first map I found was the route my heroes take after crash landing on an alien world. They have to reach the capital city within two days, skirting death and destruction on the way.  From this bird’s-eye view I was able to move them forward, describing the surroundings, while not letting them wander into the bush. My battle maps are gone. The military advisor at my house (war veteran husband) suggested a sprawling conventional battlefield might be replaced by door-to-door urban warfare. He was right. Instead of a map, I used a numbered list. But, there are many ways to put maps and other 2D art to use in writing. The tiny escape craft pictured here ferries my characters across the galaxy. I needed a way inside the craft as two species got acquainted by total immersion. Picturing the shell of the ship helped immensely. And, when everyone is back on Earth, I wanted to avoid the fatal error of naming streets in famous cities incorrectly so here is my beautiful plastic covered map of DC.

I have to admit I envy any author who can function without these aides. What would it be like to know where your MC is all the time, how he arrived there, and where he will end up? What a fantastic skill that would be!

Even so, using a picture can create a novel, and a map can envision a world.

How do you envision your world without using words?

3 thoughts on “Find Your Way Through”

  1. Your maps and pictures are awesome! Look at those pretty colors! You’ve inspired me to make some more maps of my own. 🙂
    I love your rocket ship too.
    My muse has been anti-map so far, and insists on writing my stories more or less through the eyes of the characters. That makes for messy first drafts, let me tell you!
    With maps like these I might be able to entice him to reconsider.

  2. Oh, I love your planet-to-ship vessel design! Nice map, too.
    I also had to draw a map for my “alternative world.” I refer to it as I write to keep me – and my characters – in the right places, and the right frame-of-mind.

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