Howdy, howdy, howdy
Hello fellow map makers,
Wow! And there was I thinking it was only me that sat down and doodled maps in my spare time whilst smoking a ciggy... How wrong I was.
Well where do I start? Hmm OK here I go... I am an ex-soldier, I used to serve in the Royal Engineers and was involved in the first five months of Operation Telic, that's what us British called it anyway, you may be more familiar with Operation Iraqi Freedom. I left not long after, very disillusioned with the whole military viewpoint, this eventually led to the belief that we in the West are actually a bunch of greedy, selfish s@^$! Since then I have started working in a care home and find it quite fun, although not very creative.
To unleash my creative energy I entered a few online creative writing competitions and was shocked to find out I wasn't that bad, so not bad that I even won a few! My parents have been getting on at me for ages to write books after reading the emails I sent my family and friends whilst I went travelling to Thailand. I thought it was just parents being encouraging but my wife read my online posts and is also insistent that I at least try to write a book, she tells it how it is, she is no literary genius by any means or great reader, but she is honest and doesn't sugar coat things for me. Unknown to my family I have secretly been writing a book about my time in the armed forces in an attempt to discourage my two sons from joining up after hearing my rattle on about my time in the army. My family found out and although they thought it was a nice idea, they insist my skill lies in my creativity and love of all things science fiction and fantasy.
You see I am a Lord of the Rings nut! You know? One of those wierdo's that detests Peter Jackson, because he dared to leave things out of the film and had the audacity to include things that never happened!!! I know the book by heart and only wish he had lived longer so he could of told many more tales about Middle Earth. I don't want to re-write Lord of the Rings, like so many people have tried to do, but there are elements from it that I would like to include, lot's in truth, but it won't be Middle Earth and I am not the great J.R.R.
One thing that made Lord of the Rings great was it's depth, the author had created an entire mythology for his world before writing, most of that mythology didn't make it into Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, but it's presence gave Lord of the Rings it's entire flavour and plot line. He made one mistake I think, he left global geography out of the equation... well not entirely but it didn't seem to have the importance geography plays in real life and the impacts it has.
I want to start my book by creating a global atlas, complete with plate tectonics, continents, ocean currents, weather patterns etc. I need these things to build up my world, I have so many ideas and I need the map to reflect them, to give a good scientific reason for certain weather conditions, geographical features and the reflective cultures that follow. This is my blend of science FACTion and fantasy. Gods can and will exist in my book, but if a god decides to sink a city or raise a mountain... that has scientific (geographic repercussions) e.g. weather patterns may change due to diverted currents etc.
What i'm saying is that i want my map to be super detailed, a parallel version of our world, just more fantastic in every sense of the word. Once i'm happy with a rough continental outline, I can include plate tectonics, find the eathquake zones, volcanic hotspots, mountain ranges... These lead to certain cultures worshiping fire gods and having holy mountains and the like.
I'm not asking for help, just here for inspiration, although any help would be appreciated, I'm not here to steal either, I understand the importance of ownership over creative labours of love. If there is something I think someone has created that I can't adapt to my own ideas and I just have to steal it exactly how it is, then I will ask not take.
Anyway, I had a quick browse over some of the art work and... guys and gals... Some of you are brilliant! My favourites are the old style pen and paper maps, but following a close second are the Google Earth style satellite maps... That is the level of detail I love.
Welcome, macziggy ! There's several threads where folks have worked out worlds from the tectonics up - have a look to see how others have tackled that. Search should pull them up - I can't think of an actual tutorial that focused on tectonics-up worldbuilding.