… ‘cos he deserves it, sticking with the least consistent, least prolific blogger this side of Imperial space.
So, I thought he, and maybe some of the rest of you, might like to see the maps that I made when I was planning Rynn’s World. As you’ll see, they’re pretty different to what was published (if only in appearance – all the geography I plotted was used, but, for various and numerous reasons, my own images couldn’t be printed in the book).
I often make maps for my stories, to various degrees of detail. For Rynn’s World, I really went to work. After reviewing as much material about the Crimson Fists and the invasion as I could, I had the overall plot, but it wasn’t grounded in any solid geography. From there, I took three days to make the maps I needed in Photoshop. Once I had the maps (and, in fact, during their creation), I started to see exactly where the Fists would go and how the journey of Kantor’s survivors would pan out.
The map-making process really helps me with maintaining consistency in the story (I actually considered the Marines’ walking speed, the refugees’ speed, and the distance between Arx Tyrannus and New Rynn City – thus, it takes Kantor et al. a specific, non-arbitrary number of days to reach Jadeberry Hill). Mapping also helps me imagine scenes I’d like to include, plus all the little details that make a place seem more real, and it gets me thinking about how the environment would shape the people, plants and animals that live there.
World-building is one of my favourite parts of the whole story-writing process. As closely as possible, I try to follow real-world science – that is, the maps have to make sense – but I admit my knowledge of the subject is woefully inadequate. I refer to my Concise Atlas of the World a lot, as well as a bunch of helpful websites.
So, there you have it. Hope that makes up a bit for my lack of recent posts. I know I’m intermittent at the best of times, but writing a book just isn’t a quick, dynamic, exciting process (though reading should be). Unless I turn this blog into a chimera of bodybuilding/martial arts/animal rights/rock music and video gaming opinion, it’s gonna remain fairly intermittent.