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World Building: Build A Map Tools

Should you have a map? Must you have a map? No. It is a very personal decision and largely depends on the genre of your book and whether it is in print, though there are now options for adding images to ebooks. Some people love them, others never glance at them.

Whether you are writing Fantasy, Science Fiction, or even Mystery, building a map of your story world can be fun for you and your readers. It is a fun addition to your website.

You can do it just for yourself for reference when writing your book. I like to draw room plans for choreography purposes, but those aren't included in the finished product.

If you have spent a great deal of time researching or building a story world, the maps can help you avoid continuity errors.

I used a map of Rhodes Greece to plot my character's 30 day journey on Mythikas Island. (Blatant plug, the new ten-year anniversary editions are available!). 

Here is a map from Mystery author Deborah Crombie. I highly recommend her books which are set in London.
And from the romantic Fantasy The Princess Bride by William Goldman:
Here is a list of articles with tips for creating maps.

1. How to Create a Map for Your Fantasy World Updated on March 15, 2018 M. T. Dremer

2. How to Make a Custom Map for Your Fantasy World by JANLOOS

3. 10 Rules For Making Better Fantasy Maps by Lauren Davis

4. Generating Fantasy Maps by Martin O'Leary

5. Creating a Map for Your Fantasy Novel by jademphillips

6. Map Creation for Fictional Worlds by Tina Dubinsky

7. Planet Maker allows you to design your own planets.

Here is a list of Instructional Videos

1. How to Make and Design a Fantasy World Map by  Shipwreck Samantha

2. Generate Your Own Random Fantasy Maps by Mark Frauenfelder

3. How to Draw Medieval Cities: Fantasy Mapmaking Tutorial for DnD

Here is a list of software options for map building.

1. Roll For Fantasy Map Builder allows you to the create a whole world of your own design using over 1400 different images. It includes natural parts for the inner landscape, like forests, mountains, and hills. All of these elements can be dragged around if you enable this feature.

2. World Spinner is for gaming, but allows you to render a high-quality map. No other tools or artistic skills required!

3. Otherworld Mapper software

4. Profantasy software  Campaign Cartographer 3+ is faster, easier to use and creates more attractive maps than ever before.

5. Inkmate is a site where you can build fantasy world maps.

Here is a list of Photoshop Brushes and other image sites for map building.

1. Fantasy Map Symbols has a large collection of downloadable images and map elements from terrain to castles.

2. Shutterstock has images for purchase

3. Deviant Art  has a large assortment of medieval brushes.

 5.  Adobe Fantasy Brushes

Next week, we will take a look at researching your historical setting, starting with Fairs and Festivals.

For advanced worldbuilding, check out SBB Build A World Workbook in print and ebook.

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