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Chaplaindm
11-30-2009, 04:05 PM
I am a Christian Fantasy novelist and am a terrible artist! However, I have been frantically trying to map my novels. And what do you know... a WHOLE FORUM about map making!

Glad I found this. I am really looking forward to trying the tutorials.

Chaplain

mearrin69
11-30-2009, 04:21 PM
Welcome, and good luck with the tutorials.

What is, BTW, "Christian Fantasy" as a genre? Is your stuff based in our world or a fictional one? Just curious. I'm a gamer and not very well read on Christian literature (unless you count C.S. Lewis) so my only connection is SJ Games' GURPS Banestorm - a fantasy world with an influx of folks from our Earth. Most of them were pulled during the time of the Crusades so you've got some sort of interesting continuation of troubles from our world on theirs.
M

ravells
11-30-2009, 04:27 PM
Are you a Christian that writes fantasy novels or are you a novelist that writes about Christian fantasies? (just pulling your leg!)

Glad you found us and I hope you find a tutorial which suits your style and works with your novels!

All the best and enjoy your stay at the guild,

Ravs

Chaplaindm
11-30-2009, 04:58 PM
Thanks for the "warm" welcome! Ha ha ha

To answer your questions I like to say my writing is akin to CS Lewis.

Here is what I have done. I have created a world which existed before the Garden of Eden.

(There are those who believe that there was an original creation which was destroyed at Satan's rebellion. Thus, the Genesis account of creation is a re-creation (I do not hold to this)).

In this original creation there is still God, man's fallen nature, and good verses evil. However, I am free to change the rules a little bit to include magic, monsters (they are a hybred of the fallen angels mixing with human women- Genesis Ch 6), and other fantasy elements.

I have finished the first novel and am working on the second. Now, before I go too much further I need to map all this out and also document the history. In the end I hope to write a myriad of novels (much like the Dragonlance series) and then possibly open in up to other writers.

I have been working on this for about a year now. I started to develop a video game to mirror the novels but it is too much a stretch. So I am backing up and focusing on the writing.

PS- I am also an Army Chaplain...

Thanks for asking!
Chaplain

Ascension
11-30-2009, 05:08 PM
Welcome. I like adding religion to my worlds but I'm what you would call a bad-boy Catholic. I've been adding angels and demons, instead of monsters, to my stuff since I was a teen so I'd certainly back you up on your endeavors and hope to buy your work someday.

mearrin69
11-30-2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the explanation. I like twists like that. Oh, and, former Army here...MI though, no greater calling.
M

Steel General
12-01-2009, 07:27 AM
Welcome Aboard!

Chaplaindm
12-01-2009, 12:44 PM
Thank you all for the warm welcome! I hope to get pretty active here... especially if I can get the hang of this.

I tried my hand at video 3d game creation but after a year I am giving it up (for awhile). I was either going to have to double my efforts of place my energy elsewhere. I opted on the latter...

So I am putting my constructive energy into my fantasy writing and fantasy world building. Hopefully this will be a good place to learn the map making portion ang get some good feedback. From what I have seen i am thinking it will be!

Chaplain

Midgardsormr
12-01-2009, 03:47 PM
Are you a Christian that writes fantasy novels or are you a novelist that writes about Christian fantasies? (just pulling your leg!)


Heh. That's actually a distinction we frequently make on the Christian Gamers' Guild (http://www.christian-gamers-guild.org) listserv, particularly when it comes to games marketed toward Evangelicals. Unfortunately, there is a standard of poor quality in many products intended for sale at Christian bookstores, made all the worse by a firm conviction that one should never have an original idea. But that's beside the point.

Welcome, Chaplaindm! Start in on those tutorials and put up a work-in-progress thread; you'll be on the road to becoming a good artist in no time!

Chaplaindm
12-01-2009, 04:56 PM
Thanks Midgardsormr!

The quality is a hard part and the learning curve is insane. I struggle with the idea of game creation being a 'hooby'! I spent COUNTLESS hours and never really got anywhere. Sure, I got a LOT better and a LOT faster but no way good enough.

Already a good way through the first tutorial.

ravells
12-01-2009, 05:57 PM
Don't forget to post your map!

Chaplaindm
12-02-2009, 12:49 PM
Real quick. let me get you opinions.

I am looking to make the antique looking maps much like the old Lord of the Rings stuff. I am a writer by nature and that is my passion. Although I LOVE what I see here I really do not want to spend a HUGE amount of time on my maps as I am using simple ones to illistrate my books. I do not need all the color and relief...

I am using GIMP at the moment but I already have CorelDraw and paint Shop Pro. I know I can do what I am looking to do in GIMP but is there an easier program out there for Antique Style maps? Something that is REALLYYYY easy?


Thank You,
Chaplain

Gamerprinter
12-02-2009, 01:39 PM
Whether using GIMP and a drawing tablet, or hand drawn with pen and paper that is scanned into GIMP/Photoshop - I think this is the only "best" way to create a Tolkien styled map. While you can use hand-drawn looking brushes of mountains and trees placed using GIMP or similar application, doing it by hand is probably best, fastest, and IMO your only option.

Here is a Tolkien styled map that I recently created...

http://forums.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7450

Is this the style you are looking for? This is hand-drawn and scanned.

GP

Chaplaindm
12-02-2009, 02:41 PM
Yes, that is exactly it.

So let me get this straight... first, you hand draw the map features. Then you scan it and import it into GIMP.

So I could hand draw the map with the features I wanted, then scan into GIMP and create the parchment background. Then I could add the text and voila' i'm done?

Call me stupid but I never imagined you could actually combine the two (hand drawn and electronic). I told you I wasn't an artist!

A couple of questions...

1st- Is scale a big issue? Most scanners handle 8 1/2 X 11 so can I just scale it indefinately?

2nd- What art supplies do you recommend for me to use if I take this route. Just a pencil or are there some great tools that can be really helpful?

Thanks!
Chaplain

NeonKnight
12-02-2009, 03:10 PM
Ahhhhh....Christian Fantasy. One of the Best I read was To Reign In Hell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Reign_in_Hell). In interesting read and as long as it is taken as fantasy and not gospel, should not offend.

Welcome to the Guild!

Chaplaindm
12-02-2009, 04:20 PM
My fantasy is much more geared to a younger audience and is more Epic fantasy- good verses evil with clear distinctions. I took a look at the link in your post and the book looks interesting. When I go on Amazon next I may take a look at it. However, I spied on my wife's Amazon cart and I think whe is getting me several new Dragonlance books!

Also (I am going out on a limb here) I am trying as much for quantity as quality. At present, I am trying to push out 4 full length novels a year. It is really discouraging to find good authors that have written only a couple of books. If I can, I want to publish four a year. We will see what happens!

Ramah
12-02-2009, 05:59 PM
Four a year? Jeez, I've been working on mine on-and-off for 18 years now. :(
I cannot get my head around writing four a year unless they are the size of pamphlets.

Midgardsormr
12-03-2009, 12:08 AM
Ahhhhh....Christian Fantasy. One of the Best I read was To Reign In Hell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Reign_in_Hell). In interesting read and as long as it is taken as fantasy and not gospel, should not offend.

Welcome to the Guild!

I do like Brust, but I haven't tried that one out yet.

Anyway, on the subject of scanning:

You can't get infinite resolution from a scan, but you can get quite a bit. A good scanner capable of 600 dpi can turn an 8.5" x 11" drawing into a ~5000 x 6500 image. Typically you'd want to blur it a bit and reduce it to 300 dpi, though, which would give you 2500 x 3250 image. Since the eventual application would, at most, be a two-page map glued to the inside of a book cover (like the Wheel of Time map), that would be about the right size, anyway.

In any case, you're way ahead of most fantasy authors in wanting an aesthetically pleasing map. Somewhere around here is a thread where we all whine about awful maps we've seen in books.

Chaplaindm
12-03-2009, 04:51 PM
@ramah,

I try and write for about 3 hours a day at about 1000 words an hour for my rough draft. At 6 days a week I can often get out about 15 to 18,000 words a week. That equals about 3 1/2 weeks for a rough draft of 65,000 words. I do not edit during this time and work off a pretty extensive outline.

Then I can do my 1st edit at about the same speed. The third edit is pretty fast- primarily just juicing up the wording. However, there are still a lot of mistakes. At that point I save MEGA time by sending it to a professional editing house which edits it for me a forth time. It is sort of expensive but saves me COUNTLESS hours. Also, I do not demand perfection. I am pretty happy with a good book with plenty of action. I am looking more for the old "dime novel" appraoch or the "TV Series" feel then the one time awesome production!

But I am just starting out so we will see how it pans out!

Rythal
12-08-2009, 09:51 PM
cool stuff, welcome! I will have to check out this guild, sounds good.