They’re in most fantasy novels, almost all of them actually, and most readers give them nothing more than a glance but they’re a great tool for a writer.

Why?

Because they help you with coherency.

They’re nothing worse than getting into a book and realising half the names of people and places are so similar you’re having trouble remembering who’s who, or that you were sure the main character rode into the sunset and now they’re heading north?

As writers we need to ‘get our facts straight’ and a map is a great tool.

things to add onto your map:

Places, roads and landmarks.

Distances – especially if you’re working on a series. If in book one it takes a day to travel to place such and such and in book two it takes three days than you’re in a bit of a mess. I once used a knotted piece of string (don’t laugh it’s not far off how sailors originally calculated ‘knots’) each knot was something like 2cm apart and each knot equalled IE half a days walking ride. Thus i could easily calculate and accurately recalculate distances across my fantasy land.

Are you into sketching? Draw in hills, rivers etc.

Not into drawing? Cut them out of a magazine or just write down the details. Whatever works for you.

Want to go a step further? Add in notes, you can use speech bubbles or even sticker speech bubbles available at most craft/scrap booking places. IE story starts here, main character gets attacked here and so on.

Above all else

Enjoy

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