View Full Version : What Inspires You?

Master TMO
07-11-2012, 08:15 PM
Random question: What inspires you to do mapping or world-building? Is there a book, show, game, etc, that whenever you read or see it, it makes you want to do some mapping or world-building of your own?

I just re-read the book that makes me want to resume world-building (haven't done any in several months, due to other workloads, and reading it made me think of this question for here): Glen Cook's 'Sweet Silver Blues'. It's the first book in the Garrett, P.I. series, and really the only one where the character leaves the city he lives in. But the world he goes through in it is different and inventive enough that it catches my imagination. And the people and events he set up in that first book set up a myriad of plot points and events to last through at least a dozen books (so far).

I also have recordings of the show 'How the Earth Was Made', but I mostly watch that when I am already working on a map, and it helps me with ideas or realism. I don't watch it much when I am not working on a project.

07-11-2012, 08:19 PM
Reading books about great worlds always does it for me. Especially if the stories are finished and I can't spend any more time in the world the author has created.

The opposite works too. The Hunger Games trilogy made me so angry with its lack of maps that I really really wanted to draw one.

07-11-2012, 10:19 PM
More and more I find my inspiration in the maps themselves. I will have a tiny idea that becomes a map and then tells a story.

07-11-2012, 10:35 PM
Everyone on here, Ascension, Torstan, RJbeals, etc...

07-11-2012, 10:38 PM
Pretty much everything I look at. Since my day job takes place outside and I'm always moving from one location to another I get to see a lot of stuff. Reading books generates ideas as well. Day dreaming about my own world and adventures I would love to run my group through kicks out a few. Zooming around google earth also helps.

I have a bunch of ideas that have nothing to do with maps but they tend to come from feelings I have about things (events, movies, things, heard, etc).

07-12-2012, 09:47 AM
Books. And thanks a LOT, Master TMO - I don't recall hearing of Glen Cook til you mentioned him - and thanks to the Amazon preview now I have another dozen books to chew on. I really ought to balance inspiration with some actual output...

Even the start of a map eggs me on too. I'll generate some terrain, and the isthmus just there makes me wonder what if competing cities there and there both claimed it as a trade route... hmmm... then how about if the guys over here periodically mucked up the trade route with their own squabbling... would storms along that coast make seaborne trade a viable alternative, or chancy? What if yes, but the only lumber for shipbuilding came from across that stretch of ocean? And on and on, and infinitum.

07-12-2012, 05:57 PM
You never heard of Glen Cook's "The Black Company"? Whoa....

Master TMO
07-12-2012, 07:57 PM
I love the Black Company books, but for some reason they don't usually inspire mapmaking urges in me (although I have vague memories of making a map of Roses a long, long, long time ago).