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Maps Workshop — Developing the Fictional World through Mapping

Maps Workshop — Developing the Fictional World through Mapping
Most of the books I’ve written have started with a map. Not with an idea, or a character, or a theme. With a hand-drawn map, doodled out first while I was sitting and keeping someone else company, or while I was on break, or when I couldn’t think of what to write and had no ideas to speak of and knew that if I drew a map something would come to me. Some of the maps were fairly artistic from the start. Some began on napkins or the backs of throw-away paper, and only became things of any artistic merit after they’d served their initial purpose of handing me an idea for a novel. Now I know this is a weird little quirk of mine, and I can’t guarantee you that if you’ll just draw a map, it will give you a novel that will sell. I have favorite tools for mapping. This first map is going to be your continent. Before we get started, I want to be VERY clear about one issue that I know some of you are already sweating over. Okay. Get out your graph paper. It’s time to make use of your mistakes. Now…

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religion in fantasy novels Since no one burned my house down after the Tolkien post, I’m going out on a limb here and talk to you about using religion in your fantasy novels. Generally speaking, when building worlds in fantasy novels, the religions of your world will be a reflection of the religions here on good old planet earth. So I’m going to offer a few suggestions – take them or leave them: Know thy religion. Political Writing Say you are a young person beginning to write about politics and policy. You probably have some idea of what you believe, but have you thought about how you believe it? That is, have you thought about where you will sit on the continuum that stretches from writers who are engaged to those who are detached? Writers who are at the classic engaged position believe that social change is usually initiated by political parties. To have the most influence, the engaged writer wants to channel his efforts through a party. The engaged writer closely and intimately aligns with a team.

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