Wednesday Writing

Evening Guild Rats,

So an interesting hypothesis by one of my BETA readers, and I thought it would be a good idea to put it out to the blogiverse to see what you all think.

Tonight’s grand question… To map, or not to map???

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Soooooo…. Looking at their feedback and the one thing they would have liked was a map to the city of Rêves, to help them navigate around my world in their mind.

A fair bit of feedback, however, it got me thinking… is mapping your world in detail benefit or hurt the reader’s encapsulation of the story.

While it’s become a bit of a trope in fantasy to have a map of your world in the front of your book, what is their purpose?

  • To show off the broad spectrum of the world you’ve made?
  • To offer context on settings?
  • To gift reader’s with an already half-formed depiction of the world they are stepping into?
  • Art???

Some fantasy maps are fantastic in their own right and can really add true imaginative structure to the words on the page. (a picture paints a thousand words after all)
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eaf7bcb9ef93a671d7b6a60977e00745--fantasy-city-fantasy-map

Especially if the story moves about the world/city/setting, then it’s understandable to give the reader an atlas of whats going down. But what of the reader’s own imagination???

The reason I had first never considered a map is that the whole story is encapsulated within the city of Rêves itself. Sure, there are references to the wider continent and world of the ‘Honour Among Thieves’, but these are built to explore characters or moods or at times paint the struggles of race and conflict that underly the story.
A map would never convey the grittiness of the Rêves streets, the smells in its polluted air or the rough hue of brick on brick…..

But that’s not to say that maps are bad…
(I would love to do a map of Rêves… Goodbye social life!!!!)
However, I feel like maps have a direct purpose and I like the way I have constructed Rêves to be different in the minds of those who read the book. I hope that they will pick up on all of the senses written into it and see Rêves uniquely to everybody else.

I can only hope, I have done the city justice…. I suppose we’ll find out on December 31st!!

But what are your thoughts?????

Are maps an essential ingredient if the world is a creation of the author’s imagination?

Or do they detract from the reader’s ability to build the world using the materials offered by the writer…

Please let me know your thoughts, leave a comment, I look forward to all feedback 🙂

Until next time… Keep out of trouble (if you can)

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