The Evolution of a Fantasy Map

With The Lost Sciell’s, Book 3 of The Merging Worlds series, release date this summer, I’ve been designing images. Those who subscribe to my newsletter¬†got a first look at some cover designs.

I’m in the process of updating the maps. Let’s take a look at how they’ve evolved over this series. I won’t be changing the world map much so let’s begin with that.

I started with this sketch then realized some of the land placements didn’t fit in with the story. For instance, Jael gets cold, like really cold, during the winter. It needed to be farther north.

It turned into this:

And this:

See the individual land designs HERE

Jael’s map history is a bit more complicated. It evolved a lot. The world is in the middle of an apocalypse. The entire series takes place on Jael.

The United States was my inspiration. At first, I took that literally.

Then I learned more about map making and changed the land’s shape.

Here’s the map for Book 1, The Sciell.

And this:

Not bad. I still had a lot to learn about map making.

Since Book 2, Chains of the Sciell, mentioned more places, I needed to update the map. Also, I was still researching map making and wanted use what I learned.

I like this a lot better.

Now, I’m changing it again for Book 3. More villages need to be added while other places need to be taken off. The biggest problem I’ve been having, besides the color and texture, is making the village names clear while ensuring the font size reflects the actual size of the location.

And I just realized one village name is missing: Heaven’s Terrance. The characters never go there but it’s mentioned.

Book 3’s map isn’t finished yet. It’s better than where it started:

But there’s still something off about it. I think the forest lines are too straight. I’m letting it simmer while I think over the design. I’m still learning about map making.

Now it’s your turn. Got a map sketch or finished design you want to share? Comment with the link.