Map Drawing and World Building in Stories

A common part of fantasy novels is to include a map of the world where the story will take place before the chapters begin. This is a great way to help immerse your readers into the reality of the world you are making. A map makes the world feel alive, like you can chart a course and sail there. It adds a sense of physicality to your story and also can help readers understand the scale and shape of your story’s world.

Creating maps for a story is also a good way to generate ideas for a story. As you make a map, you may find blank spaces that you want to fill up or add to, and as you add to them your story develops a need to see these added locations to your map. It is a good idea to plan on visiting most of the key locations of your map in your story to make sure they justify being marked on the map in the first place. However, maybe you cannot visit all the maps locations in your first story. Do not despair, this is a great way to leave your world open to further exploration in another book in the same world. Some stories will advance their plot by the discovery of a new map that leads to somewhere previously undiscovered in the world. Have fun and try making your own maps of your worlds!

Below is a video on how to get started drawing your map. This is just an introductory video to help you get started. Use it as a stepping stone to launch yourself forward on your creative journey in map making and world building!

(YouTube video of map making for books by JP Coovert)

About Curtis Decker

Happy to be here and to open the library to all in need. I love talking about stories, drawing, farming, and hiking. Come in for books, conversations, and to share in the atmosphere of our historic small town library. A magical place of stories and wonder.
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