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11-26-2011, 07:26 PM
Hi my name is Joe, I'm pretty much artistically challenged, but I hope to learn something from this site. I am in the process of writing up notes to write a fantasy novel, and in my mind the first thing I need for myself is something I can see of the land I'll be writing about. So basically that is my reason for joining this community is to learn how to create map images, city images, dungeon images, so I can visualize my fantasy world, and hopefully I'll complete the works. If your interested in knowing anything else, feel free to send me a message or reply to this. I look forward to all the wonderful information this site has, and thank you all for contributing.

11-27-2011, 10:13 PM
Welcome, Joe - glad to have you here. A perhaps surprising truth you can draw from a deep dive into old threads here, is that artistic ability isn't strictly necessary. It makes mapping easier, and perhaps more beautiful. But perfectly nice & useable maps can be produced by application of careful craftsmanship, following the lead of the multitude of Guild tutorials. Do you have in mind style or styles you'd like to aim for?

Indeed - having the setting laid out can be a huge boost to creative writing. When I write it's often the very details of semirandom geography that drive plot and culture. If nothing else, using a map to keep track of who goes where and what hometown they hail from can be a lifesaver.

What sort of graphics software do you already have access to, or do you want to learn?

11-27-2011, 11:01 PM
Well, I believe I'd like to have some maps similar to those you'd find in the inside cover of fantasy novels, or throughout in some novels. Then after that is complete, perhaps a some city maps so I can layout the towns the main characters will be traveling in. I have Paint.Net, GIMP, Photoshop CS4, and of course MS Paint. I am most familiar with Paint.Net and I've used GIMP some, I really haven't touched Photoshop CS4 because my computer doesn't like it very well :(.

11-28-2011, 12:17 AM
Any of those ought to be adequate for your needs. If your computer doesn't like Photoshop, the Gimp will do many of the same things, maybe with less stress on the machine :-). If you're shooting for an in-book map, I'd suggest keeping it fairly simple. Or maybe building it in layers, with a simpler version for the limited space on a page, and a more detailed version online to tempt readers to a webpage... community, discussion board, massive interest generation, hordes of voracious readers who can't wait for the next book, who hang on your every word, begging for additional info, detail, exposition, spinoff products, t-shirts, action figures... and of course, hard-copy poster-sized, 4-color lithographed maps. Ambitious? Well, if you're going to be shy about dreaming, we can put words in your mouth, eh? :-)

Anyway, keep us in the loop - we'll be interested to see what you come up with.

11-28-2011, 07:28 PM
Hey thanks for all the wonderful dreaming ideas.... I can only hope I make it that far, first I must get my feet wet with designing the world. :) Thanks for the kind words.