Hello, Everyone! :)
Not sure what to say...
Well, I'm Jalyha. I'm not really a Cartographer, but I think I might like to be.
Perhaps if I say a bit about how I got here.
I'm a writer, or at least I always try to be. I'm quite good at it, but I've never finished anything. This time I got close and then realized that the way I'd pictured my (fantasy) world in my head, it just wouldn't work out right. My rivers and mountains were moving throughout the story, and I've no way to account for that type of magic. Big No-no.
So I drew a (really awful) sketch of my world, oceans and continents and islands. I flattened it out and tried sketching in the rivers and lakes and mountains. Forests and hills. I got so engrossed in my work that I forgot to eat dinner or go to bed. And when I was finished, it looked... awful.
Drawing the world, however, made me want to draw the moons and sun, and write descriptions. After a few months I ended up with an entire book about the world in my (unfinished) manuscript.
And I still didn't have a decent map. I tried again, this time with MS Paint and ended up with even worse maps.
I gave up, for months I didn't touch my world. But I couldn't get maps out of my head.
Finally I ended up on a website devoted to world-building, and some of those links led me here. Without registering for either site, I'd compiled enough new info to make a really pretty map of one continent.
It wasn't enough. I've been prowling your site for weeks, drawing maps and geographical features and ... well, I've become pretty much obsessed. I LOVE the entire process (what I've got down so far) and I think if I could do it *right*, and draw fabulous new realms for the rest of my life, I'd be content.
So... I registered, and here I am, with no idea where to start.
(PS: I talk a lot)
Welcome to the Guild! You sound like me when I try to write a story, I get so obsessed with the world and creating it that I almost forget about the story itself… oh well. This forum is a great place to learn so I'm glad you found your way here!
you sound a lot like my sister too! She has been writing a story for a few years, I have made a few maps for her but she keeps changing what she wants. The last map I made for her was okay but it's been a while so not only have I learned a lot about cartography she has also changed a lot of her landscape.
This is the last map I did for my sister:
sorry about the quality of the picture.
P.S. It's also nice to know I'm not the only girl on this forum
Oh, no... my mental landscape doesn't change much. My world is very real to me - I can't just add things whenever I want... I'm in a whole different universe! I mean, sometimes they have floods, or quakes, but ...
My real problem is I see Naos through the eyes of my characters - So, since they haven't even explored the whole planet yet, much less developed any sort of air travel, I can't picture the place in a top-down view, like a typical map.
I fancy myself a decent-ish artist, but these map things are troubling. I even considered paying someone to do my maps instead, but I don't want them messing up my world
As eccentric as that is, we could still pretend it was a quirk, and not actual lunacy, if Naos was the only world I had, like this. But I've fully built 23 worlds *in my head*. Sometimes I don't know what planet I'm on...
And yes, it has a very distinctive "old boys' club" sort of feel, here. Good to know I'm not the only female, on top of being a newbie :p
(I'm teasing, though, everyone's been perfectly well-behaved).
Anyway, I'm determined to get this mapping thing down right, so ya'll are stuck with me for a while, lol.
PS: That's a very pretty country! The name Nirahen made me laugh, because I have a country called Narahyn :p
("Na" on Naos means big, when added to another syllable with an "a" sound. Na-ra is a big place, Na-va is a "big ruler"... like a king or emperor, "Na-ka" applies to various creatures.... And "Hyn" is uh... there's no word in english... closest would be like, "undesirable".
So Narahyn is the vast wasteland. Not that you wanted a language lesson... )
I love languages! I know my sister just kinda came up with those names… but they all sound cool.
Everyone here is great, but it's still nice to know I'm not the only girl. Don't worry about me getting sick of you I don;t really get sick of most people.
I get pretty detailed with my languages - but I usually only write up a few of the rules for myself - not a lot that would help other people :p
I do make cases for noun functions, like:
Naossatu ----subject or nominative----- the world (is, does, ...)
Naostusv ----object or accusative----- (something affects) the world
Naosstu -----vocative----- O world!
Naossotu -----possessive or genitive---- the world’s
Naossutu -----indirect object or dative---- (given, sold, etc.) to the world
Naossytu ------ablative------ (something is done) by the world
(Naos means the world - na (big) and os (dirt/earth) and I conjugate my verbs. :p
Of course, in this language, the syllables have different meanings based on *where* they are placed in the word...
Anyway, I used to pull the names out of the air, but I ended up (eventually) not liking the way they sounded together. Looks like your sister did pretty well, though
This is so familar I almost thought I wrote it myself. I absoluty love writing (I am not English so don't mind the grammar, I try) but these damned maps keep turning out different everytime, and not quite like I want them to. I just new here so I hope I can learn a thing or to about this amazing maps I have seen so far. I was actually hoping to find someone to help me with drawing my maps but maybe I'll take a shot at it myself.
I have set my mind on making my first complete world with all cultures and stories that go with it. I am a history student so I draw from our own history and turn it into something new. I try to write some kind of backstory first before I start writing my stories, like some history book actually. After that I want to write various stories that are set in different periods my backstory.
(really funny to read that you have like 23 worlds in your head, I've made up and drown so many maps and thought about things but I never am satisfied. A am bound to work with the world I have now.(continent name Imuldir, after the first King that brought all lands together). Also, I tend to talk a bit to much if it's about these kind of things.
I chatter on about it too :p
I suggest trying your own maps as much as possible - get the world straight in *your* mind. ..At least enough to know where you can and cannot compromise.
I have in my world a small valley area surrounded on 1 1/2 sides by the base of the mountains, and on all other sides by the river. In the valley is a village, with a crescent-shaped forest on a small plateau to the west, and a little lake to the east. The village is really small, but prosperous, because there is no bridge nearby. (except a small one leading into the village proper). If you want to get to the other side, you have to pay a villager to get you across, or go the long way around the huge bend in the river, or around the mountains. So all the traders and messengers stop there. They have to.
There's lots more, but the surroundings are important. If you don't know enough to TELL someone that..
At the same time I've learned (just from reading here!) that you can't be *too* uncompromising. These guys know more about how nature works... I've seen maps that looked perfect to me picked apart by the people here and the parts that are *flawed* are always things the author wouldn't budge on. Readers will pick things apart too.
Anyway, you'll learn a lot here, whether you decide to do your own map or commission it. I know I have.
Welcome to the Guild, Jalyha. Given your goal of mapping one or more of your worlds, a starting place might be to pick a tool ( software you like or have or can afford, which can produce the kinds of maps you prefer). Then pick a tutorial that will build some skills - not necessarily even a style you want, since any exercise with your toolset will improve its general usefulness. And you'll get the most mileage out of the tutorials if you tackle them in Work-in-progress threads- interactive development will answer questions and give new ideas -- and we're a pretty gently helpful bunch.
Digital tools aren't your only choice by the way - plenty of us prefer physical drawing / painting.
You have a huge advantage in that you've already richly imagined your worlds. That does leave challenges , since total random terrain generation isn't a full option, but random*ness* still can do a lot of the work - you don't have to design every river bend and ridge line.