Nov 182019
 
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Whether we’re an artist or not, creating maps has advantages. They help us visualize a location and think about what lies where. This can be anything from land features on continent or region maps, to buildings and public areas in settlement maps, cells and escape routes in dungeon maps, stations or ships (whether those vessels are wooden or space-faring), and even planets, moons, asteroids and suns on star maps. Seeing empty spaces to fill on our map can inspire invention that leads to more creativity, realism, and realization about what’s feasible or even likely, given our design. Impossible scenarios can be avoided. A map also helps us remember what we visualized, should we be absent from our story world for an extended time.

Some of us are good enough artists to include our map in published works, but even if we can’t draw, there are programs that can greatly assist us. They don’t require drawing skill; rather, the ability to place preexisting objects, like a city or mountain icon, is all that’s needed. Then we just repeat this as often as needed or desired until we’re done. And maps can be created piecemeal. Even if we don’t use such a program, we might want to hire someone to depict a location for us, and even squiggles on a page are helpful in telling an artist what to create.

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