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World Building: Maps

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

So here we are!  The last piece of my world building segment and everyone’s favorite thing to look at MAPS!

After all this planning and speculation, it’s time to take it all and put it into a coherent world.  I love maps.  I love reading a story and following along on the maps provided, and in all honesty I wish they could fold out so I could read and look at them at the same time.  They add a whole other level to the story telling.  But just how do you do this?  Well there are several options.

Option 1

Hire someone.  This is by far the easiest method.  It’s gonna take some time to find one that works within your budget but that’s easier than making it on your own.  They’ll ask you questions to get a general idea of how your world should look and adjust from there.  To find these wonderful people, you’ll need to search for fantasy cartography freelancers.

 

Option 2

The pasta/6sided die method.  This is a pretty fun method that could be at least a good starting point.  Basically what you do is take a large handful of macaroni noodles or 6 sided die and drop them onto a piece of paper.  From there you can adjust as needed.  Areas with large concentration of whatever you use could end up being cities or other features.  Then when you’re happy, trace first in pencil then marker and voila! A map.  Click the link here for full details: macaroni map

 

Option 3

Use a map generator.  I like this as another good reference because most of the hard work is done already for you.  In the generators, depending on which one you use, you can adjust everything right down to the coastlines.  A simple google search will give you plenty to choose from but I liked Asgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator.  They create maps randomly and if you have the patience you can build a whole map with cities, ports, and natural features.  You can also add whatever you need to make it fit your story better.  The link for it is here: Fanstay Map Generator.  One word of warning however, if you close the page, you’ll lose everything.  There’s no save option where you can go back later and work on it some more.

 

Option 4

Draw it yourself.  If you’re artistic or just like torturing yourself, you can always make your own map.  Maps don’t have to look fancy or pretty, they just need to give you a basic understanding of the layout of the world/country.  There are plenty of blogs that will help you draw them from scratch (I reference one above) but if you don’t like that then you need to read Fantastic Maps’ blog post on the matter.  These people make maps for a living and collaborate with other creators to help others create realistic worlds.  Their post is very easy to follow and applies a healthy helping of real world logic.  A great tool for anyone wanting to create their own map.  You can read the post here :World Building by Maps

 

As always, if you have any tips or tricks about creating maps or just world building in general, please comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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See ya next time!

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World Building: Economy

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s time again for another segment in my world building series.  This is the last one that pertains to the planning stages.  Next week we’ll dive into the final segments.  But without further ado, let’s talk about money.  I actually only have four things for you to consider today.  Like with everything else these don’t have to be completely hashed out as long as you have a good understanding.  The reason why I’m even bringing up money is because that is the force that drives the world.  It doesn’t always have to be coin or paper.  Use what ever system you like.  Let’s go.

Are all my countries wealthy?

In the real world there are countries who struggle for one reason or another.  Is your single country or multi country world well off?  Poor countries might try to steal what they need or work out some kind of deal with countries who are better off.  On the flip side, countries that have an abundance of wealth are usually targets for those who either have nothing or want more.  Your countries status will change how other countries interact with them.

What (if anything) is your country know for economically?

I live in the US and each state has a couple of crops that they have claimed as their state crop, or they produce a large portion of a certain crop.  What is your country known for economically?  It doesn’t have to be a crop.  It could be meat, a trade, or spices.  This just adds another layer of realism to your world/country.  Everyone is known for something.  If your country isn’t known for something then you might want to ask yourself why?  Is your country mediocre?  Do they have seat at the table but no real power?  These are some interesting questions because they could end up as driving points for certain characters.

How do the masses access the goods and in what form?

This is where you get to decide what system does your country use when it comes to the acquisitions of goods and services.  Do they use a coin system?  A digital credit?  Rations?  Barter?  Are there any taxes or other fees?  Just put yourself in your world and figure out how would you go about living your daily life.  That will really help you figure out some, if not most, of the small details that might pop up later.  Doing it a head of time will keep you from having to stop and think about it later and then go back to establish it earlier on.

Crime.

Unless you set it up as some type of utopia, there needs to be a shady element.  There are going to be people who’d rather steal for what they want.  Let’s not forget about assassins and other thugs.  Crime is a lucrative enterprise.  Just look at the Cartels and Mofias.  The crime element can also add a bit of unpredictability to your world or settings.  Like the saying goes, there’s no loyalty among thieves.

Well there you have it folks, just four simple things to think about when you’re setting up your country’s economy.  So what about you?  Do you have any ideas that you would like to share?  Did I miss anything?  Comment below!

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Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

Fiverr a Hidden Gem!

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Boy oh boy what a week.  I have survived my first week at school back with my students.  I have to say that it went pretty well.  But that makes me afraid for this week.  Positive thoughts though. 

Any who, let me tell you about this nifty little sight that I came across thanks to one of my favorite Youtubers, Safiya Nygaard.  She does a lot of weird posts and I love her.  Well one thing that she tried was Fiverr and that got me wondering if it could be used for writers.  I have not been paid to talk about this site.  This is just for fun/my opinion.

Now if you’re not familiar with Fiverr its a website where freelancers can post their resume.  Think of it like the personals in a newspaper.  Most of the jobs cost….that’s right 5 bucks, but there are more expensive ones too.  Those tend to belong to the professionals.  There’s a wide range of freelancers to choose from.  All you have to do is enter what you’re searching for and then have at it.  So far I’ve used Fiverr for editing and book cover designs.

The editors I’ve used are super friendly and they won’t break the bank.  Now I can hear a few of you already. “But if they’re cheap, they’re bad.”  Maybe but any editor worth their salt should be willing to talk to you about the changes they made.  If they don’t then you have a bad editor, no matter the cost.  Editors are there to help you and to help make sure that your book is the best that it can be.  I’ve seen big publisher books with mistakes.  No one’s perfect, but if you’re just starting out, you gotta do the best that you can with the funds that you have and a cheap editor is better than no editor at all.  Now some editors aren’t familiar with novel writing and rule bending that comes with that. But once you explain your thought process they will either agree with you or help explain it better.  I’ll use them again for future novels.  It  cost me about $300 for a custom job.  All in all it never hurts to ask.

I used to make all my book covers to help cut costs.  It’s not a bad option but what I wanted exceeded my skill level, time to learn, and patience to apply.  So for 30 bucks I got a new cover for a previous book (you know to test the waters).  Let’s say that I will be using this person again.  The thing that many cover designers do is have you pick the images that you like and then they blend it into your cover. Some have unlimited revisions while others only allow for three.  So please make sure that you look at everything before you hand over cash.

But overall, for the services that I’ve used, I can say that I’m satisfied with what I got.  The next service I want to check out would be book interiors.  I’ll be sure to let y’all know when and if I do.

Question Time:

Have you used Fiverr before?  For what?

Where did you find your editor/book cover designer?

Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

See ya next time!

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

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