Mapping your way through the muddle

Writing is hard. Especially for me. I’m just not one of those people that can sit at a computer screen and have magic instantly flow from my finger tips. For me, it seems my ideas always have to take shape through notes, doodles, sketches . . . and maps.

I’ve been doing a lot of mapping lately, more than ever before. Sometimes I work on detailed maps on the computer to help conceive of a world or building. However, these days I find that I’m doing lots of quick sketches in my notebook to quickly diagram a specific room or space while writing a scene. This is more or less so I can just track the logistics of the character movement. I guess I just don’t have the type of brain that can figure it out until I map it out on paper.

This photo of my sketchbook shows some of those maps, which, of course, make no sense to anyone on the planet except for me. But they helped push me through a couple of scenes, so they have served their purpose. The other diagram is the more detailed floor plan of a world I’m building. After a while, I find I have to print out a computer-generated map and just mark it up the old-fashioned way.

zn_map&notebook

I also did a side view of this particular environment. I must have done five or six versions of this building so far.

zn_crosssection

I’m also helping the editor of my Kendra Kandlestar series, Kallie George, work on the world for one of her new projects. These are just some of the rough sketches so far. They need to be very much refined! In any case, I think she is going through the same evolution as me, and deciding that she needs to rely on mapping more and more. It not only helps her figure out a world for herself, but so that she can communicate it to her editor.

hh_floormap

hh_crosssection

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